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Steve Brewer / Max Austin's Duke City Series

Steve Brewer returns to tell us about his pseudonymous series centered not on a single protagonist but on the varied denizens of a city:

Can you write a series that doesn't have a continuing protagonist? Does that even qualify as a series? Those are the questions I asked myself as I wrote my new Duke City crime series for Random House/Alibi. I'm writing the series under a pen name – Max Austin – and felt like pushing the envelope. Books about crooks, with no white knight in sight.

The novels have protagonists, of course, but each one features a different cast of criminals. Some minor characters and law enforcement types continue throughout, and Duke City – my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico – is practically a character itself. But the protagonists change from book to book.

Over my 20-year publishing career, I've drifted toward the criminal side of the crime novel. I've written about plenty of good guys, but it's always been the bad guys who interest me most. With the exception of A Box of Pandoras, all my recent stand-alone novels center on crooks, often small-timers who are in over their heads. It's fertile ground to work.

The first Max Austin novel, Duke City Split, was published in April as an ebook original from Alibi. It stars two professional robbers who hit it big when they knock over an Albuquerque bank. Duke City Hit, which comes out December 16, is about a hitman who learns he has a grown son. The son wants to get into the family business.

The third one, Duke City Desperado, features two nimrods who try to rob a drive-through bank. It's slated for June 2015, and will be my 27th published book.

Those three were sold as a trilogy, but I'm polishing up a fourth Duke City novel now. It pulls together characters and events from the first three books, and writing it has been a real high-wire act.

Is it a series yet? I guess I'll leave that up to the readers. I'll keep doing what I'm doing, because I'm having a ball writing these books about crooks. —Steve Brewer

Comments

Radine Ramsey said…
I am looking forward to the next book in the series! The first book was great!

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