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H. Terrell "Terry" Griffin released his seventh Matt Royal mystery, "Fatal Decree," in 2012. His latest book, though, doesn't include protagonist Matt Royal. File photo.
Longboat Key Wednesday, Jul. 24, 2013 4 years ago

New Griffin book to thrill, minus Matt Royal

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Meet Ethan Fitzgerald.

He’s an agent in America’s most secretive agency and the protagonist in Longboat Key thriller writer H. Terrell “Terry” Griffin’s new book, “The Assassin’s Game.”

He’s the guy a NATO commanding general calls when his wife is kidnapped. But here’s what’s also unique about Fitzgerald: He’s Griffin’s first protagonist other than Matt Royal.

Griffin expects to release “The Assassin’s Game” by the end of July on Kindle and other electronic platforms but, for now, will hold off on ordering print copies of the novel and most likely price it at $3.99.

“The industry is changing so much,” Griffin said. “More people are using their electronic devices to read. I realized last year that this was the wave of the future. This is more of an experiment than anything.”

Earlier this year, Griffin saw the success e-books can bring, especially when the price is right. His novel, “Collateral Damage,” published by Longboat Key-based Oceanview Publishing, reached No. 1 in the private investigator category on Amazon when it was featured in February as one of the site’s 100 downloads for under $3.99. As a result, sales for Griffin’s other books surged as well.

Although Matt Royal bears more than a passing resemblance to Griffin, Ethan Fitzgerald is purely a figment of his imagination. The new protagonist works for the same secretive government agency that Matt Royal’s friend Jock Algren worked for — but that’s where the similarities between the casts of characters end.

Unlike the Matt Royal mysteries, which are set on Longboat Key, “The Assassin’s Gate” begins in Washington, D.C., but is mostly set in Europe.

Griffin began working on the book six years ago but put it aside when he was just more than halfway done to focus on the Matt Royal books.

Now, he’s hoping fans of his original protagonist will give Ethan Fitzgerald a chance.

“People who like Matt Royal may be a little hesitant to buy a different character, but I’m hoping people will reconsider for $3.99,” he said.

If readers embrace Ethan Fitzgerald, Griffin will probably make a new series.

Already, “The Assassin’s Gate” has received a favorable review from Griffin’s most important critic: His wife, Jean, thinks it’s his best work yet.

Where in the world is Matt Royal?
Matt Royal isn’t going anywhere. “Found,” H. Terrell Griffin’s eighth Matt Royal mystery, will be released in November by Oceanview Publishing.

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