Names are important. While Smith is still the most common last name on the US, John is not anymore (Jackson, Liam, and Noah hold the podium). Yet, it still bears the ring of old fashioned quiet. It’s John Doe. A Dear John letter. It’s solid and safe. It might be silly, but what strikes me in this book is the clash between what we usually associate to a name and the reality of this John Smith.
The story is The First(A John Smith Thriller #1) by Glen Kenner, an Action Thriller.
John Smith is a First, one of a few men that walk among us seemingly as normal as anyone, but with a secret so unimaginable that their very existence is a threat to humanity. But times are changing and the Firsts are eager to live openly and take their rightful place in the world once again. The only thing stopping them is John, who has seen the best and worst of all of mankind and knows that some truths are best kept secret. He has kept his own life simple and unassuming because he knows it’s the only way to stay out of the system and under the radar of world governments, secret organizations, and assassins alike. But when an old enemy shows up on the same day that a beautiful young woman needs his help, John quickly finds himself in the fight of his life against elite hit squads, ruthless psychopathic murders, and a black-ops cutting-edge technology that was specifically designed to track down him and other Firsts like him, all while trying to unravel the mystery of this new woman in his life without getting her killed and keeping her from killing anyone who doesn’t deserve it. From the American Midwest to Syria and Paris, John Smith is both predator and prey, but he can no longer survive on his own, and so with the help of the only people he hopes he can trust and more luck than he deserves, he faces down his fears and takes on his enemies the only way he knows how: with everything he’s got.
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 1
I don’t step back.
I don’t turn or duck my head or cry out or beg.
I never fucking ever show fear.
I do catch the pipe in my left hand without my eyes leaving the eyes of the guy swinging it. His eyes go wide. I love when this happens. And this is always what happens. The asshole, he is always an asshole, the asshole will slowly get a beautifully bewildered look on his face that shows he just realized his day went from fun to fucked in one second flat. And then I punch him square in the nose. Nine out of ten times I can blacken both of his eyes this way.
One punch, two black eyes.
It’s my signature move: catch their punch or pipe or baseball bat or pool stick or golf club or wrist if they’ve got a knife or broken bottle or whatever. And punch them perfectly square in the nose with a little rabbit punch. Nothing dramatic. Nobody dies. Just bop! A short rabbit punch and down they always go.
This particular guy, this asshole with red and purple veins on his nose, gray stubble on his cheeks, something nasty on his breath, goes right into the What The Fuck look on cue because I’ve caught his pipe in my bare hand and my right hand comes up in a clenched fist but I hesitate a split second because this asshole has just the slightest beginnings of a smile on his lips. And then I hear it. A whistling coming at the back of my head. And then I don’t see a goddamn thing.
About the Author
Glen Kenner is the author of the John Smith thrillers and numerous short stories published in the US and Japan. He was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1969, and grew up 30 miles southwest in High Ridge, MO. He received a B.A. – English from the University of Missouri – Columbia and an M.A. – Media Communications from Webster University before moving to Wakayama, Japan, with his wife to teach English as a Second Language to public school children for three years. Now back in St Louis, he enjoys writing suspenseful, action-packed thrillers, painting, traveling, and volunteer work for local literacy non-profits.
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