Rulon slowly stood up and faced the curtain. He could hear the voices. The tones were the same; no indication they knew he was there. His dad liked to say that courage is making a decision to act and then living with the consequences. And Hemingway said courage is grace under pressure. Or was it going berserk under pressure? Rulon could never remember. Two more breaths. He swung his hammer back and forth a few times and rolled his shoulders to loosen up. He squared his jaw, hefting Freya in one hand and the Colt in the other.
“Weapons hot,” he said under his breath, and then he was through the curtain like a message from Thor.
Rulon Hurt and Yohaba Melekson couldn’t be more different. But opposites attract when the straitlaced farmer from Idaho and the impossibly intelligent physics student from Switzerland discover a trunk full of Albert Einstein’s secret writings that warn the world of its impending destruction.
James Haberkorn’s debut novel is an explosive thriller so intense it’s guaranteed to hook you from the very first page.
From the Author:
I am mostly Irish and would like to think that somewhere in my DNA are a few strands dedicated to storytelling. I have been writing off and on for years, but it wasn’t until I attended Boise State as a communications major and began writing extensively for my company that my interest, and hopefully, my talent, in writing began to develop. I enjoy reading a good thriller that offers a layered tale of realistic encounters and strong, complex characters. For example, Albert Einstein has long fascinated me. His great intellect was unparalleled, but at the same time, I am perplexed at how this complex man and his profound humanity was clouded by secrets – fathering an illegitimate daughter and championing the Manhattan Project which he later regretted. If you read Einstein’s Trunk you’ll see how these two issues are woven into the story. It was interesting to research, and I think it makes Einstein’s Trunk a little richer.
I enjoyed developing my two main characters, Rulon and Yohaba, but I also enjoyed developing the minor characters, particularly the villains. I have a theory about people that no one is all good or all bad. Good people can have moral lapses, and even villains can love their wives and children, feel gratitude, and have a code they live by. And that’s how I wrote the book. The villains in ET are either Russian or work for the Russians, but not all of them are bad people. Even the ‘Thin Man’, their old leader, as cold and lethal as he is, has a code he lives by, as does Dmitry who is hunting Rulon and Yohaba until Rulon puts him out of commission.
Just for the record, the story, Einstein’s Trunk, is not autobiographical, except that for the locations, I drew on settings I was familiar with – such as Zurich, Meyrin, and Bergun in Switzerland and Annecy in France. And the main character, Rulon, is not me. I look nothing at all like the 6 foot, 290 lb. Rulon, never rode a bull, never threw a hammer, never even rode a horse. Rulon Hurt is a hammer-wielding cowboy who is straight-laced, religious, and hardworking. He travels between the two polar worlds of Idaho rancher and undercover agent for a private security company called Office Crimes Division – OCD. As a religious man, Rulon does not swear, cuss, smoke, drink, or chase women. He is also a little self-conscious about his weight and has a dry, ever present sense of humor. I thought he’d be a fun, offbeat character to develop. And he was.
My goal was to write a book that was gritty, intricate, and realistic but one that wouldn’t leave readers with a bitter aftertaste. I used as an example the 1953 movie Shane with Alan Ladd and Jack Palance. Jack Palance hardly had any lines, killed only one man, didn’t curse, didn’t scream, didn’t threaten, but managed to exude malevolence from every pore by his posture and tone of voice. That is hard to do! And that is what constitutes real acting. I think good writing should do the same – portray reality, even the gritty side, but do it with perhaps a little understatement.
The book seeks to unravel the riddle of the trunk and its link to a mainbelt asteroid called 182 Elsa. The story takes place in Idaho and Switzerland, and, yes, there is a beautiful young woman whose life is linked to the trunk and to Rulon. And yes, Rulon is no one you want to mess with.
I invite you to click the Jim’s Blog tab to learn more of the background behind the inspiration and writing of Einstein’s Trunk. Feel free to share your thoughts.