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Too Opinionated

May 22, 2024

As the son of a U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer, J. David Bethel
hopscotched around the world, from one of his father’s embassy postings to another, finding
himself, in 1959, in Cuba, sitting in a hotel room with Fidel Castro, just one week after Castro
had come to power.

Today, Bethel is an award-winning author, mining his memories from his globetrotting
youth as the son of an embassy press attache for his political and psychological thrillers that
explore the violence always simmering in the dark recesses of human nature.  As Bethel says,
“My childhood was fertile training ground for a fiction writer.” 

His latest novel, Mapping the Night (2024), follows a pair of investigators – one for the
FBI, the other for the NYPD -- whose probe into a New York City serial killer is being hampered
by a person – or persons – in government. The question is why? 
As with Bethel’s other books, Mapping the Night is fast-paced, intricately plotted, with
compelling characters in the kinds of glamorous, high-stakes worlds in which Bethel grew up
and later worked.

Not surprisingly, many of his novels lean into politics. Evil Town (2015, Tell-Tale
Publishing Group) tracks an FBI investigation into the murder of the wife of popular Florida
congressman that takes the story from the Pentagon to small-town Florida. No Immaculate Conceptions (2018, Two Dog Publishing) follows a frantic young presidential speechwriter who is pursued by a psychopath.


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