Bestselling indie author, attorney, award winning newspaper columnist–J.D. Rhoades is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but with a soft creamy center. He attended the University of North Carolina, where he majored in Spelling. A stint in UNC’s creative writing program resulted in his not writing another word of fiction for 13 years, unless you count legal briefs.
In 1993, Rhoades’ local newspaper, the Southern Pines, North Carolina, Pilot, apparently got tired of his snarky and sarcastic letters to the editor and asked him to write a weekly column. “Hey, smart guy,” they said, “you think this is so easy, you try it!” “Hey,” he said, “how hard could it be?” These proved to be the very words that have gotten him in more trouble than any others in his life, except maybe “hey, gorgeous, can I buy you a drink?”
After a few years and an award for the column from the North Carolina Press Association, the same editor grudgingly allowed as how Rhoades wasn’t a complete hack after all, and suggested he write a novel. “Hey,” he said, “how hard can it be?” The answer, as it turns out, was “very hard indeed.”
He wrote a novel. It sank like a stone. For some inexplicable reason, he wrote another. That one, THE DEVIL’S RIGHT HAND, was picked up by St. Martin’s Minotaur and was nominated for the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. novel. Two more Jack Keller novels followed, as well as a stand-alone, BREAKING COVER.
In 2010, Rhoades looked at the world of e-publishing after seeing the success several friends were having with it. “Hey, he said, “how hard…” –well, you get the idea. After a couple of missteps, his backlist is now available for Kindle, as well as his e-published novels STORM SURGE, LAWYERS GUNS AND MONEY, and GALLOWS POLE. His latest novel, MONSTER: NIGHTRIDER’S VENGEANCE, was written under the pen name J.D. Nixx, and his available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Monster-Nightriders-Vengeance-ebook/dp/B007Z8M6PM.
In the fall of 2014, Polis Books will be doing re-issues of the first three Jack Keller books, followed by the February 2015 release of an all-new Jack Keller book, DEVILS AND DUST, in both print and e-book formats.
Rhoades lives, writes, and practices law in Carthage, North Carolina, where he does not usually refer to himself in the third person.
Books by J.D. Rhoades:
Broken Shield (Tony Wolf/Tim Buckthorn Book 2)
Chief Deputy Tim Buckthorn takes center stage in this scorching sequel to the bestselling BREAKING COVER.
Buckthorn and his beloved hometown of Pine Lake thought they’d seen the last of FBI agent Tony Wolf. But when evidence of a kidnapping literally falls from the sky, Wolf returns to assist in the search for an abducted young girl.
Buckthorn, Wolf, and brilliant FBI prodigy Leila Dushane race against the clock to piece the clues together. When the evil they find follows them home, Pine Lake once again suffers terrible tragedy at the hands of violent and lawless men. Tim Buckthorn, who’s lived his life as a sworn officer of the law, will have to cross every line he ever knew on a quest to protect the people and the place he loves.
“I loved this emotionally riveting collision of good and evil in a small Southern town. Rhoades always melds action, character and suspense into a seamless and unforgettable ride.”-Alexandra Sokoloff, award-winning author of THE HARROWING and the Huntress Series
“A blistering follow-up to BREAKING COVER. The prose is fast and smart, the pace frantic and the characters driven, dangerous and yet full of heart. BROKEN SHIELD reaffirms JD Rhoades’ position as the king of redneck noir.” -Zoë Sharp, author of the Charlie Fox crime thriller series
“J.D. Rhoades introduced Tim Buckthorn in Breaking Cover. Now, in the searing prose of Broken Shield, Rhoades shows us he has created a character who can stand tall alongside Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch.”-Keith Raffel, bestselling author of DOT DEAD, DROP BY DROP, and A FINE AND DANGEROUS SEASON
The Caretaker (two short stories, only .99! )
A couple of tales from the graveyard…
In “The Caretaker,” William Cain doesn’t know why only he can see the new arrivals in his cemetery, or why they tell him their stories–but he knows how to take care of their unfinished business, and there’s always work to be done. “Spadework” is a previously published tale of a father’s revenge.
Lawyers, Guns & Money
Andy Cole has a pretty good life. Oh, sure, he’s got two ex-wives to support and maybe he’s a little too fond of good bourbon, but he’s got a thriving law practice and he’s one of the movers and shakers in the town of Blainesville.
Then local crime boss Voit Fairgreen drops a bag full of cash on Andy’s desk. Voit’s brother Danny’s been charged with murdering a troubled young barmaid, and Voit figures Andy’s the kind of inside guy that can get Danny out of the jam.
That’s where things start to unravel.
Someone in this town wants the truth buried, and Danny along with it. But Andy’s discovering that Danny just may be innocent. And for someone like Andy, an innocent client is the worst thing in the world…
Will Andy Cole, the insider, a guy who’s always gone along to get along, risk everything, including his own life and the life of the woman he loves, to get at the truth?
Award-winning mystery writer J.D. Rhoades combines the hard-boiled tone of the classic P.I novel with the white-knuckle suspense of the legal thriller in his best book yet.
STORM SURGE is the first e-published novel by the Shamus-Award nominated author of BREAKING COVER and the Jack Keller series.
For beautiful waitress Sharon Brennan, the luxurious Pass Island resort is a place to make a living for herself and her daughter Glory. For amiable handyman Max Chase, it’s a place far away from his past.
But there’s a lot more to Max than meets the eye. And as a Category Five hurricane bears down on Pass Island, some very bad people arrive with a plan to use the cover of the storm to steal a mysterious object, an object that powerful people want desperately enough to kill for.
When things go wrong and Sharon and Glory are trapped on the island with a team of cold-blooded mercenaries, they begin to realize that maybe Max isn’t the good guy they thought he was…but he may be just the bad guy they need.
Listen to J.D. Rhoades read the first chapter (mp3) http://www.jdrhoades.com/bc.mp3
From the Shamus Award-nominated author of the critically acclaimed Jack Keller southern crime series comes an explosive stand-alone thriller about an undercover federal agent, a chameleon whose specialty is assaulting criminal organizations from within. He was the most talented undercover agent in FBI history, until he dropped completely off the grid, and hasn’t been heard from in years. Did he go native, or was he discovered and killed? When Tony Wolf is finally driven out into the open, torn from deep cover during the rescue of two kidnapped children, he becomes the number one target of both the vicious biker gang he double-crossed and a massive Federal manhunt.
But Tony’s tired of being the hunted, and as both the gang and a traitorous FBI agent converge on a small southern town, they’re all about to learn a hard lesson: When the Wolf breaks cover, he doesn’t always run away.
Sometimes he comes straight at your throat.
“Like [Lee] Child, Rhoades dishes out one airtight action scene after another, mixing in just enough character-building moments and holding our interest in a full cast of nicely developed supporting players. All that, and a Sam Peckinpah–like bloody, bravura finale that will leave even icy-veined thriller fans panting for breath.”
“Shamus-finalist Rhoades (The Devil’s Right Hand) delivers a gripping stand-alone thriller…. The action escalates to a powerfully violent, powerfully satisfying conclusion.”
“Breaking Cover is one of those rare thrillers that combine smart, tense prose with a momentum that never quits. J.D. Rhoades revs this baby into action from the get-go and never eases up on the throttle.”
-Tess Gerritsen, NY Times bestselling author of THE KEEPSAKE
“Breaking Cover won’t surprise J.D. Rhoades’ fans, who already know just how good he is, but it should win him many more. A breath-taking pace, paired with a sure sense of character and place, makes this book another winner. Rhoades’ star on the mystery scene is rising almost as fast as his own stories rocket across the page.”
–Laura Lippman, NY Times bestselling author of ANOTHER THING TO FALL
“This book flat-out rocks! J.D. Rhoades — the king of redneck noir — jams down the accelerator on page one and never touches the brake pedal. If Breaking Cover doesn’t make your heart beat faster, see a doctor; you may be dead.”
- Sean Chercover, author of BIG CITY BAD BLOOD and TRIGGER CITY.
“I read this book so fast my fingers have blisters. Hypnotic as a cobra’s stare and twice as mean. J.D. Rhoades is a master.”
–Marcus Sakey, author of THE BLADE ITSELF
Safe and Sound
Bounty hunter Jack Keller faces his most dangerous and sadistic enemy yet in this explosive Southern thriller… Jack Keller works in fugitive apprehension, and never feels more alive than when he’s hunting down a skip. But when a young girl goes missing, and Keller finds out that the father is an AWOL member of the army’s elite Delta Force, he knows immediately that this case will be anything but fun and games.
Keller is a Gulf War vet who knows his way around the Army’s red tape, but the psychological scars from his experiences in the gulf have only just started to recede enough for him to live and love again. No one is sure how taking on the kidnapping case will affect him, least of all his girlfriend Marie, who’s counting on Jack’s recovery if they are going to have any future together. But a young girl’s life hangs in the balance, and a shadowy group of missing Delta commandos seems to be the key to finding her. For Jack Keller, it’s not an easy decision, but it’s the only one he can make: consequences be damned, he’s going after the girl.
“Crisp dialogue and the author’s deft use of local color support a narrative driven as effectively by characters as by events.”
“Jack Keller is a sure-fire star of the new generation of hard-boiled heroes.”
—Stephen Booth, bestselling author of Dying to Sin
Good Day in Hell
Bail enforcement officer Jack Keller is doing a skip trace on a young woman from the right side of the tracks who somehow got involved with the wrong kind of man. But Laurel Marks’s history doesn’t matter to Jack—she’s wanted on a parole violation, and his paycheck depends on tracking her down.
Meanwhile, Keller’s girlfriend, sheriff’s deputy Marie Jones, is called to the scene of a grisly murder—a gas station owner has been shot point-blank in the face, and his teenage stepson, plus the cash from the register, is missing. But something in the back of her mind tells Marie not to jump to conclusions…
When a bloody, merciless killing spree starts in a church on the other side of the county, it seems impossible that Keller’s skip and Marie’s murder/kidnapping case could be related. But the local media is soon involved, and the mess they make of the situation soon reveals just what Keller, Marie, and every other peace officer in the state of North Carolina doesn’t want to believe: three people are viciously angry, incredibly well armed, and they’re ready to strike again at any time.
“Fast-paced and rich in regional color, this satisfying thriller is notable for its empathetic portrayal of the two emotionally damaged protagonists, each struggling with past trauma—his sustained in the first Gulf War, hers resulting from the killing of her partner—in order to form a trusting relationship”
“Another high-voltage thriller starring bounty hunter Jack Keller… Rhoades portrays unrepentant, psychotic killers but manages to make us feel, almost against our will, the human hearts that beat within their violent souls.”
Good Day in Hell is a fast-paced novel of damaged people doing bad, bad things. A must-read for lovers of noir.”
—Barbara Seranella, author of AN UNACCEPTABLE DEATH
“J. D. Rhoades kicks ass. Jack Keller kicks ass. Good Day in Hell kicks ass. You’ll read it in one sitting and be breathless by the finish. Rhoades writes with wit, style, and adrenaline.”
—J. A. Konrath, author of Whiskey Sour
The Devil’s Right Hand
The Devil’s Right Hand is the story of Jack Keller, a man tormented by the nightmares he’s had ever since a disastrous tour in Desert Storm. Destroyed by his experience, Keller now makes his living tracking bailjumpers for H&H, a North Carolina bail bonds company run by a reclusive, beautiful, and horribly scarred woman named Angela. In truth, Keller doesn’t work bail enforcement to live, he lives to work: the only thing that breaks through the numbness is the thrill of the hunt, the sound of gunfire, the high that comes with each successful takedown.
When H&H is required to track down a lifelong loser for jumping bail on a routine burglary collar, Keller has no idea how gravely events are about to spiral out of his control. He chases his quarry straight into the center of a firestorm involving a pair of local Indians blinded by rage and hell-bent to avenge their father’s murder. Along the way they encounter a vicious North Carolina cop with a mean streak and very few moral boundaries. Not to mention the cop’s beautiful partner Marie, caught between a newfound desire for the just-on-the-edge-of-the-law Jack Keller and her loyalty to a police department with a serious ethics problem.
These people, each hurtling forward on their own individual trajectories of self-destruction, begin to intersect each other’s lives in a series of volatile, escalating, and deadly events. Furiously paced and filled with unforgettable, masterfully drawn characters destined to meet in a bloody showdown which most of them will not survive, The Devil’s Right Hand is a stylish, razor-edged debut novel that redefines the rules of the Southern thriller.
“Rhoades slaps this supercharged crime-fiction debut into overdrive in the first paragraph and never lets up through nearly three hundred pages of nonstop action.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“A fine example of redneck noir. Nicely crafted . . . if you hail from certain dark corners of the sunny South, it’s the next best thing to a trip home.” —The Washington Post