Interview with Geoffrey M. Cooper, Author of The Third Man (Brad Parker and Karen Richmond Medical Thrillers Book 7)

03 Jul 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Third Man (Brad Parker and Karen Richmond Medical Thrillers Book 7)?

The Third Man, like my other novels, is a medical thriller drawn from my career as an academic scientist and cancer researcher. However, The Third Man differs from my previous work in having a historical background, which is based on my long-standing fascination with espionage as well as my interest in the history of DNA research and the political upheaval of the 1960s. The historical basis of the plot is the landing of two German spies on the coast of Maine in 1944, toward the end of World War II. They were quickly captured, but the premise of the book is that a third man was secretly included in the mission. His long-term goal, known only to a select few in the Nazi high command, was to learn the developing science of DNA research and eventually using genetic engineering to help launch a Fourth Reich. Amidst the turbulent events of post-World War II America, the third man learns the emerging science of DNA research and partners with a deep-cover Nazi geneticist, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazi collaborators to engineer sinister modifications of the human genome. Until years later, when science has advanced to the point where human genetic engineering is now feasible, an accidental discovery at the U-boat’s landing site provides a glimpse of the mission. Drawing Professor Brad Parker and Lieutenant Karen Richmond into a struggle to stop the creation of a new class of neo-Nazi warriors.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I most enjoy reading mysteries and thrillers, especially medical thrillers and historical spy novels.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I’m currently reading Embolus, a medical thriller by Gary Birken. Next up are Pitch Dark, a mystery by Paul Doiron (one of my favorite Maine authors), and The Housemaid Is Watching, a thriller by Freida McFadden.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I’d have to say my favorite was the scene in 1953 Los Alamos in which Catherine (the deep-cover Nazi geneticist) hunts down and kills a German physicist who has become a liability. This scene is one of the clearest depictions of her cold-hearted devotion to the cause which, however evil, justifies anything in her mind.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I’m good as long as my dog’s in the room to help me write.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it, but with much worse tools than were available in the past.


Geoffrey M Cooper is the author of the new book The Third Man (Brad Parker and Karen Richmond Medical Thrillers Book 7)

Connect with Geoffrey M Cooper

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