Could the infamous “deep state” overthrow the US government? We’ve interviewed Ben Coes, author of the Dewey Andreas series of thrillers, about his latest installment, Trap the Devil — and the deep state! Learn more in our author interview below!
Trap the Devil is about a group of powerful people high-up in the U.S. government who attempt to takeover the U.S. government from within – a coup more than two decades in the planning. Their goal: take back America and then launch an overwhelming nuclear attack on the Middle East and Europe in order to eradicate Islam from the earth. Dewey stumbles into the plot almost accidentally, but realizes that he must act quickly, and with lethal force, if he is to save America and in particular his friend, President J.P. Dellenbaugh.
For those who may be new to the book series, give us a little background on your lead character Dewey Andreas, and what or whom was your inspiration for his character?
Dewey was born and raised on a farm in Castine, Maine. He went to Boston College and played fullback on the football team, then joined the Army Rangers, where he graduated from Winter School ranked 1st out of a class of 188 recruits. He was recruited into what was then called 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment, known more widely as Delta.
He married Holly, a girl from Castine and they had a son, Robbie, who died of Leukemia at age six. A few months later, Holly committed suicide and Dewey was falsely accused of the crime and put on trial. He was kicked him out of Delta and went on trial, defending himself. A jury acquitted Dewey of the crime and he left the U.S. for good, deeply angry not only at being falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, but for being abandoned by the country – the armed forces – he’d risked his life for.
Dewey went to work on a series of offshore oil platforms all over the world, living a solitary, hard life in the brutal world of offshore drilling. A decade later, the oil platform he worked on – a massive rig off the coast of Colombia called Capitana – was the target of an attack by terrorists embedded on the platform. This is where the first book in the series, Power Down, begins. He fights his way off the platform and then returns to America to help stop the broader attack by the terrorists. Despite having every reason to hate his country, Dewey risks his life to return and defend the country he loves.
In Dewey, I was trying to write about true patriotism. He has every reason to hate the country that abandoned him, but he doesn’t. The series of books tells a larger, still evolving story about Dewey’s relationship with the U.S., his reluctant reconciliation and ultimately his resurrection as one of America’s toughest and most gifted soldiers.
Most of your books revolve around political or military intrigue. What are your thoughts on the current state of our military and the war against ISIS and radical Islam?
Both Trap the Devil and my last book, First Strike, concern the issue of radical Islam.
First Strike was about ISIS – its’ roots, its leadership, its utter brutality. In First Strike, Dewey must stop an ISIS cell that has taken over a dormitory at Columbia University, where they start throwing one student every hour from a high floor until their demands are met. Trap the Devil in a way came out of First Strike. First Strike was about the horrible nature of the enemy; Trap the Devil, however, shows that our reactions to our enemy’s brutality can be just as horrible.
The villain in Trap the Devil, Bruner, sees his daughter killed by a jihadi suicide bomber. His response to this monstrosity is a plan a hundred times more monstrous. As with some of my villains, I think readers will sympathize with Bruner’s anger and sorrow – but not with his plan for nuclear Armageddon.
In the real world, we’re winning the war with ISIS but are losing the broader war against radical Islam. Jihad is spreading in ways that are much less predictable than even five years ago. Cells and even individuals are devising their own strategies of terrorism against the West, often without any external direction, funding, or contact from the main groups and people leading jihad. Gunmen killing innocent people in the streets of Paris, the Boston Marathon bombers, the list goes on. It’s far easier to stop a tactically organized and centrally managed cell of individuals than to stop the sort of self-organized, autonomous terrorists who take matters into their own hands.
The solution, I believe, will only come when Muslim countries take accountability for the actions of those that have grown out of their flock and then lead the effort to stamp the terror out. In the same way Germany accepted responsibility for the cancer that grew within a very small subset of its people and became Nazism, Muslims must take accountability for terrorism and stop it. Far too many Germans remained silent while the Nazis murdered innocent Jews. So, too, do far too many Muslims passively, or out of fear, accept the cancer that has grown within their religion. America and the West can help stop it, but only when the cancer is recognized, owned, and destroyed by far greater number of sane, reasonable, and rational Muslims can this horrible chapter end.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you write at a regular time each day, or when you feel inspired, etc.?
I get up at 5 A.M. and write. I write at least five pages a day, whether I feel like it or not. To write books for a living, a writer needs to write every day. I look at writing in the way a bricklayer looks at his work. Every day, I need to put some more bricks in the wall. Ironically, those days when I really don’t feel like writing end up being days where I find inspiration and excitement once I get going. Often I feel like I’m like a reporter, relaying the actions, thoughts, and words of my characters, like taking dictation. Writing is a solitary and lonely thing, and the characters become co-workers in a sense.
And tell us about your “Thrillers for America’s Best” charity you and your wife started a couple years ago? How can people contribute or participate?
My family and I started Thrillers for America’s Best (T.A.B.) a few years ago to try and do something for the men and women who served our country and helped defend America, many of whom returned from the war theater with terrible physical and mental injuries, and who often don’t receive the care they need. Once or twice a year, we send thrillers to every Veterans’ hospital in America. At first, it was just my books, but we’ve started to send out books from other authors as well, including Mark Greaney. Mystery Mike, a large thriller and mystery bookstore in the Midwest, sent us a ton of books as well. The goal is simple: hopefully give the brave people who sacrificed for all of us a few hours of respite from their suffering through good stories.
At some point, we might start accepting donations but at this point we pay for all of it ourselves. I’ve considered hiring a few people so that we can do more. Many of my fellow authors have asked if they can contribute books to the effort and it would be nice to be able to say yes to all of them.
Tell us a little more about yourself!
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