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Interview with Noah Boyd, Author of The Bricklayer

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The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd is a new, fast-moving thriller. The main character, stone mason Steve Vail, is an ex-FBI agent with the strength of a weight lifter, nerves of steel, and the personal code of a warrior. Vail was fired from the Bureau for insubordination, but because of his reputation as a talented and resourceful investigator, the FBI resorts to seeking his help with a difficult case. Someone is out to kill high-profile targets, with the aim of both getting a lot of money and making the Bureau look bad. He's killed twice already, so time is of the essence. Vail agrees to help and teams up with the beautiful and intelligent Kate Bannon, a Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI. Vail's bravado and knack for spotting for unresolved loose ends allow him to stay a step ahead of everyone else in tracking the killer, who knows a bit too much about the inner workings of the Bureau. Chock full of plot twists, The Bricklayer is a page-turner that's hard to put down and sure to find success in the market.

When it comes to investigations, author Noah Boyd knows what he's talking about, having been employed by the FBI for 20 years. During that time he worked on some notorious serial killing cases, including the Green River Killer and the Highland Park Strangler, and he still works on cold cases when he's not writing. The Bricklayer is his first work under the name Noah Boyd, but it is not his first book. He also published a novel while still employed by the FBI.

I had the chance to send a few questions to Mr. Boyd by email, which he was kind enough to answer:

What made you want to start writing thrillers?

It wasn't my intention to become a writer. I wrote my first book, against FBI edicts, to expose the obstructionism by Bureau management. Once the first book became a bestseller, the offers came in and it looked like a better retirement job than a security guard at Walmart.

How did you come up with the idea of Steve Vail? How did you pick his name?

I suppose my main characters have always been recalcitrant. I thought someone who had been fired by the FBI and had such a great disdain for bosses that he worked at a labor's job so he didn't have to answer to anyone would make a character who was true to his core values. 

I chose his profession because my father was a bricklayer. His name came to me when, sitting in a doctor's office, I saw on a diploma that his middle name was Vaill. I thought it was a great name but the double L was a little too European, so I settled on "Vail." I've always like the name Steve; it's sounds strong to me.

Are you working on another Steve Vail book?

Yes, Vail flies to Washington to spend New Year's Eve with Kate, but there's been a kidnapping of a seven-year-old boy that they have to resolve first. And that's just the first chapter. The FBI director summons them and asks Vail to work on a complex spy case.

Thank you, Mr. Boyd. I look forward to Steve Vail's next adventure!

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About Nancy Fontaine

Nancy Fontaine is a librarian and freelance writer living in New Hampshire with her husband, two cats, and every four years during presidential primary season, the national press.
  • C

    ‘The Bricklayer’ first N. Boyd book I have read. Good read till reaching p.364 – Steve Vail had just waded across a river after walking down train lines – then – “On the other side he waited for the water to drain from his clothes”. Par 3, page 347 then states ….”Vail drove across the sidewalk & parked directly underneath the steel lattice of…” Where did his car come from???? Haven’t finished the book yet but that error has somewhat spoiled the book for me.