David McCaleb is today’s ThrillerFest 2017 debut author! Read on to find out more about his military thriller, Recall, and the heart-wrenching way he’d kill off his protagonist!

BookTrib: If you were on death row, what would be your last read? Why? 

David McCaleb: If I were languishing on death row, eating my final meal of nachos piled with guacamole, my last read would be Psalm 23. Why? Being executed, trivial as it may seem to some, would stress me out. Yes, we’re all dying – some of us faster than others – but the process isn’t anything I look forward to. Plus, I don’t like needles, and my third novel’s edits aren’t complete, and I don’t know if my book contract contains a death clause in it. Yeah, I’d need the calm reassurance of Psalms before facing The Big Sleep.

BT: If you were going to kill off your protagonist what method would you use? Why?

DM: My protagonist, Red, is a proud husband and loyal father in charge of a diverse black ops unit of military operators and intelligence assets. He’s fought hard for his country and family. If I were going to kill him, it would need to be in a unique manner instead of the most obvious dying in the line of service. I would want it close and intimate, while still carrying stakes at the national security level. Here’s my proposal:

An antagonist, a demon from one of the prior novels with a serious grudge against Red, hovers a drone over the Pentagon with a vile of botulinum toxin strapped beneath, endangering everyone in that building and for several miles around. He demands Red’s wife kill her husband using his own Ka-Bar (think big knife) on live video or he will crash the drone. No merciful bullets through the head. His knife, her hands. His life, for the lives of many. Five minutes to get it done. Go!

An intimate scene ensues between Red and his wife with lots of frantic what-if’s, but this evil antagonist will carry through with his threats. They know what needs to be done.  She grips the handle with quivering fingers, draws the blade to his throat, but in a passionate rush of tears can’t bring herself to do it. He squeezes his hand over hers and plunges the blade through both jugulars.

One life, for many.

Either that, or he’d be shot on an op in the line of duty while saving one of his men.

BT: What is the all-time best thriller you have ever read? Why?

DM: My all-time best thriller I have ever read is The Lion by Nelson DeMille. He is a skilled story teller who masterfully moves the plot, maintains suspense, and develops characters the reader wants to win. In a genre that at times depends too heavily on plot and action, DeMille gave us those, along with John Corey. While reading this novel, I became that detective. It was immersive. Corey possessed the perfect level of bravado without souring me against him. His self-worth was inflated and he was chauvinistic, but he carried a sense of duty, courage, and honor that bore him through. An imperfect character that I deeply wanted to succeed.

Head over to Amazon to purchase a copy of Recall now!


David McCaleb RECALLMeet Red Harmon, a father and husband who kills two muggers while defending his family in a parking lot. He acts instantly, with skillful violence, but minutes later remembers none of it.

Recall is a journey of discovery – a mystery and thriller. As Red digs deeper, a past hidden even from himself emerges and threatens to tear apart his life and compromise national security. Once an elite military operator with the Det, a fusion cell of intelligence agencies and Special Forces, his active service was complete.

But his memory is returning, a lethal killing machine is awakening, and Red is returning to duty.

The incident launches an explosive flight that weaves family, military, and the Det into a mounting Iranian nuclear conflict. Red must rejoin his old team, infiltrate an enemy stronghold, and complete the biggest mission of his life.

You’ll be carried with the team through the streets of Tehran, hunted by VEVAK, the Iranian Secret Service. With no one to trust, their only hope is to evade an enemy that’s always one step ahead.

It is a story of courage and devotion. Charismatic characters and multiple plot twists weave an engrossing read you won’t be able to put down until the knockout ending.


David McCalebDavid McCaleb was raised on a rural farm on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He attended Valley Forge Military College, graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, and served his country as a finance officer. He also founded a bullet manufacturing operation, patented his own invention, and established several businesses. He returned to the Eastern Shore where he works and currently resides with his wife and two children. Though he enjoys drawing, painting, and any project involving the work of hands, his chosen tool is the pen.

Recall is the first novel in the Red Ops series.  The second, Reload, will be released at the end of August.  Please visit David McCaleb on Facebook or at his website.