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Robert Fisher
Interception City

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

Interception City is a provocative, morally-complex crime thriller set in a decaying community deep in the Florida Everglades. Murder, police corruption, racial tension, illicit sex, family betrayals, bored teen brides, heartless Miami killers, Internet swingers, assorted nut-cases and a fun-filled but violent high school reunion are all elements in Interception City.
A crisp swamp noir that plunges deep into the bogs, trailer parks, and ‘gator pits of the Everglades, Mattson’s Interception City, the followup to Killing Liberty, offers a sweaty, surprising crime story involving sneaky psychics, a lusty vice principal, an ill-fated high school reunion, and of course those evergreen elements of tragicomic Florida thrillers: corrupt cops, ugly racial tension, and murder most marshy. One chief strength of Mattson’s brisk, compact novel is its well-crafted plot—the nuanced layers of storytelling and shifting motives will draw in readers who relish dark but amusing stories of wild local color amid the Florida muck.

Despite some broad, satiric types and Mattson’s sharp comic timing, the lead characters are multifaceted and convincing, even as the situations they face (trying not to lose a gold tooth down a corpse’s throat; holding off a home invasion with a garden tool) always come close to spinning out of control. Their actions can shock, as when Leonard, a federal judge, drunkenly shows up to his ex-wife’s home and then shocks the reader by going much too far, threatening her with violence. The story moves quickly but leaves readers time to soak in uncertainties—would Leonard have killed Wendy on the spot if things had gone differently? It also has heart amid over-the-top elements like a Psychic Trailer Park Hotline cable show. Seeing Wendy break down after all of the abuse and turmoil she has suffered, and learning to lean on her daughter for support, is as heartbreaking as it is convincing.

Interception City offers a wild, surprisingly emotional ride, despite a few instances where the plot and characterization fall victim to the familiar. However, its engaging plot, swift storytelling, and assured twists will surely satisfy readers who prefer their crime fiction caked in Florida sweat.

Takeaway: Brisk, surprising Everglades noir with strong central characters.

Comparable Titles: Tim Dorsey, Jonathon King’s Max Freeman series.

Production grades
Cover: B-
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Billy Hayes (author of Midnight Express)

I loved "Interception City," (with) such great characters... and I laughed out loud for pages when the Judge struggled thru that bizarre aftermath...keep these dizzy dips into the swamps coming.

Kirkus Reviews

In Mattson’s thriller, the police can’t be trusted in a run-down Florida town.

The dialogue is often funny (“Ladies, my Trailer Park Psychics know exactly what that lying son of a bitch of yours is doing right this second!”), but Mattson’s forte is blending the many characters and subplots into a cohesive whole.

A twisty, fast plot with lots of bloodshed and humor.  

Mark Howell, The Key West Citizen, May 19, 2013

"Interception City" by Parker T. Matson (Black Mask, paperback $8.99) This is a very witty book if only for the author's point of view and the voice he chooses to use for it. The story is set in a decaying community in the Everglades and is about as funny as this quote on the dedication page: "The truth may or may not set you free, but it will definitely get you killed."

"Interception City may or may not feel like home to you but we found this book to be seriously hilarious.

MENSA Bulletin, Tom Elliott, September, 2013

"Interception City" by Parker T. Mattson (Black Mask), billed as a "...provocative, morally complex crime thriller," is all that and more.

Michael Grais (writer of Poltergeist, Marked For Death, Cool World, among others

"Interception City" is one of those fast-paced thrillers where the characters are half-crazy but as real as can be. For a novel so filled with murder and mayhem, it had me laughing out loud. I highly recommend it!