When Jonathan Hall walked away from his career as an international art thief to be a father, he thought he’d made a clean break—from crime, from life as The Monarch, from an early grave. But when The Monarch’s signature symbol resurfaces carved into the mutilated bodies of New York’s elite, Jonathan realizes his retirement might’ve been short-lived. Someone is framing The Monarch for horrific slayings. But Jonathan and his former partner Lew know this isn’t just murder—it’s a message. Now caught in a deadly game against a fanatic madman whose reach penetrates the darkest corners of the globe, Jonathan and Lew have no choice but to play along. But when Jonathan’s daughter becomes a pawn, all bets are off. To win this game, Jonathan and Lew will have to accept one final task as The Monarch—a job that could change the course of history forever.
The Monarch is an incredible story of intrigue, espionage, heist, and suspense. I loved this story! The Monarch plays out like a thrilling movie in your head while you read. The writing is well paced and the characters are intriguing. When the story begins, there are many moving parts and places involved with the plot line. At the beginning of this book, I had to focus on the who and where with each new chapter as we bounced around the globe, but once each individual story line was introduced and the players were developed, the intrigue takes off and I was hooked. This story takes places all over the world, in the present day with flashbacks to where this all began so many years ago. We meet Jonathan and Lew, two partners who became best friends after a chance meeting years ago off the beaten path. They worked together as the Robin Hood of art thieves and were so well known. Yet things changed when Jonathan’s daughter came into his life and both men have left the high adrenaline heist world behind. Yet someone, somewhere is creating havoc in their name and they must take charge to stop the murders and find out who is behind it all.
The plot line to this book was one of the things that hooked me. It was different from the slew books I have been reading lately, which was a refreshing experience that I am so happy for. The plot was very well written and brilliantly developed. This book is filled with intrigue, drama, and thrilling adventures. I had no idea what was around the next corner and loved the surprise of the story as I read. The writing style was lovely and I cannot wait to see what Jack Soren has in store for the future.
One of my favorite parts to see in any book I read is the character development. The characters introduced within this storyline have the potential to be shallow, considering there are so many moving parts and different people introduced all throughout the book. But Jack Soren is able to take a character and provide them with the perfect amount of back story and create people within each plot line that add authenticity and excitement to this tale. Jonathan was a single dad trying to make ends meet and leave his past behind. Lew was a man who has made mistakes but was fighting for what was right. Emily was the starry eyed writer who learned the truth behind her words. The list goes on and on. Each character is foundational to the story and I was beyond pleased with what each person brought to the table.
The Monarch is a must read for anyone who enjoys well written thrillers. It was such an awesome story full of adrenaline and excitement. Do not miss this one!
It is always fun to find new authors and see a bit of the world through their eyes! Check out this interview with Jack Soren, the author of The Monarch, and see a bit more of the man behind the book!
Can you tell us about yourself?
I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Before becoming a thriller novelist, I wrote software manuals, waited tables, drove a cab, and spent six months as a really terrible private investigator. I live in the Toronto area.
What do you do when you are not writing?
When is that? I enjoy anything that involves story: reading, movies, television, video games, and explaining why I’m three hours late and smell like nachos and tequila.
Where do you get your ideas?
A box I found buried beneath the underpass behind my house. Shhhh.
To be honest, I have no idea. I’ve tried the notebook approach, but I just end up filling up the notebook and then throwing it in a box and never looking at it again. But really, ideas are easy. Dime a dozen. Execution is the trick.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I don’t really get writer’s block, if that exists (my Dad would say “Carpenters don’t get carpenter’s block”. Sometimes you just have to do the work.) There are times when it’s more difficult than others, but I think that’s more about figuring out the right path into and through a story. If I’m trying to write and it’s not coming, then there’s something wrong with what I’m doing. I may not know it consciously, but on some level I know something’s broken.
The “block” part would be stopping to figure out what it is. But I don’t believe writing is just putting words on the page. Sometimes it’s drinking a beer and staring at your navel.
How does your writing process look? Consistent with regular amounts of word counts daily/weekly… or more sporadic with a gush of words all at once and then a dry bed for a while?
On the days that I manage to sit down to write, I try to get 2,000 words done. I don’t really have a “process”. There are definitely more productive times. I’m not really driven by deadlines, more by how long it takes me to find the “in” for a project. Ideally I’d like to write every day, but with the business side of writing and life in general, that’s sometimes just not possible.
Oh, and I’m really lazy.
What books did you read when you were kids? Any books you found inspiring?
I think I started out with the typical books most kids did — The Hardy Boys, comics, etc. After that I got into Star Trek novels because I liked the show. After that I pretty much read whatever I could get my hands on, but I do remember a few standouts like The Runaway Robot and You’re Stepping On My Cloak and Dagger.
It wasn’t until high school that I found a book that really spoke to me: The Catcher In The Rye.
At what point in your life did you realize that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
Has that happened yet? Man, nobody tells me nothin’.
Some authors listen to music while writing, others prefer a quiet space. Which is your preference? If you do listen to music, do you have a playlist? Care to share?
Depends on the scene I’m writing and the mood I’m in. I listen to everything from soundtracks to straight up rock and roll. But sometimes I want silence. Lately, I’ll put on my noise-cancelling headphones, open the laptop and just type the mood of the scene into Spotify. They have playlists for just about everything.
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JACK SOREN was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Before becoming a thriller novelist, Soren wrote software manuals, waited tables, drove a cab and spent six months as a really terrible private investigator. He lives in the Toronto area. For more about Jack, you can check out his social media sites listed below.