Noah Boyd’s debut novel The Bricklayer had reviewers salivating, they called it “taut, rapid fire and relentless,” “a blistering debut” and his character Steve Vail “a new hero on the bookshelf.” Now Boyd brings us more Steve Vail in Agent X.
Boyd is more than qualified to pen Vail’s adventures. He’s a former FBI agent, and before he joined the bureau he was a Marine in Vietnam. In his 20-year career he solved several high-profile murder cases but despite a stellar track record Boyd clashed with his superiors after publishing a book unflattering to the FBI. He retired from the bureau in 1993 and has been writing full time under the pseudonym Noah Boyd ever since.
The King’s English (TKE) got the chance to grab a brief interview with Noah.
TKE: Your bio says you work on cold cases in your spare time. Are you a member of the Vidocq Society, the group of law enforcement professionals who dedicate themselves to solving stone-cold cases?
Noah Boyd (NB): No, I’m not a member of the Vidocq Society. For the past 13 years I have worked with a local police department on a 29-year-old serial murder case. I am fortunate because I have access to people I worked with in the FBI who are also retired and can give me expert help with things like DNA and profiling.
NB: I think the first copy of The Bricklayer I saw being sold was in the airport. I thought about what a great marketing staff they have at William Morrow.
TKE: Do you read other authors while you’re writing a draft and if so who are your favorites?
NB: I do read while I’m writing. I really like the big guns–Patricia Cornwell, Lee Child, James Patterson.
TKE: Both Bricklayer and Agent X give an unvarnished view of the red tape clogging up the inner workings of the FBI. Given your stellar solve rate and the clashes you had with your bosses at the bureau do you think anyone can cut through the red tape and modernize the organization?
NB: The FBI has not had any leadership for 40 years. It has become just another federal agency. As long as politicians choose the director of the FBI, it will never get better.
TKE: Your books have action movie written all over them. If you could cast anyone as Steve Vail who would it be?
NB: My son and I both, two years apart and completely independent of one another, thought Gerard Butler would make a good Steve Vail. Ironically, he has recently made an offer for the book. But it is Hollywood and those things don’t always work out. But we’ll keep our fingers crossed.