The Octavian Latticework
written by Jack Belmonte
published by Voltaire Publishing
About the book – from Goodreads: America, 2023. Johnny Luca is a rookie counter-terrorism agent for the U.S. Anti-Subversion Authority. He and his partner, Julius Fullerton, are on the heels of Brigade 910, a domestic terror group led by the shadowy Octavian. Together they stumble upon the nightmarish terror attack that Octavian is planning-a symphony of destruction known as Project Orion.
Meanwhile, Reed Wilkins is a President in crisis. He has vowed to veto the draconian Total Information Awareness Act, a law that would give the government sweeping powers to turn America into a surveillance state. For his opposition, Wilkins knows he will be assassinated-by Alexander Bryson, the ultra-nationalist Director of the Anti-Subversion Authority. Determined to defeat Bryson and destroy the new law, Wilkins reaches out to Agent Hunter Peterson, an old friend and the leader of Luca and Fullerton’s team.
When Luca discovers that his late detective father investigated Octavian in the last year of his life, the young agent sets in motion a chain of events that plunges the team into the heart of both plots-the Project Orion terror attack and the plan to assassinate President Wilkins.
From the streets of Newark to the World Trade Center in Manhattan, through secret passageways beneath Washington to midnight meetings at Arlington National Cemetery, Jack Belmonte’s debut novel will take you to an America under siege, where freedom and tyranny struggle for supremacy at zero hour.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. The surveillance state must be destroyed, and The Octavian Latticework offers a glimpse of the future that confronts us if we don’t act.
Where did you get your inspiration for The Octavian Latticework? I was inspired by the NSA spying revelations. I imagined a future where things were a few degrees more oppressive in terms of surveillance, and then populated the landscape with characters on both sides of the divide.
How do you balance practicing law and writing? By keeping them separate, basically. Practicing law is my Monday-Friday (and occasionally beyond). I only write on weekends, or on days off or vacation. When I’m working on a novel, I’m constantly thinking about it, and almost obsessing over how to develop it and make it better—but I never allow it to interfere with my work. And on weekends, I make time to write. So I don’t feel cheated on either end.
Which do you enjoy more – practicing law or writing? I enjoy each in its own sphere, as diplomatic as that sounds. In terms of pure joy, nothing matches the experience of writing. But part of what makes it so enjoyable is that it isn’t my job. And as for my job itself, it’s actually pretty cool. I haven’t yet become jaded with the practice of law.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? I’ve just about finished The Superstructure, which is the sequel to The Octavian Latticework. I also have a book of poetry in the works.
What is your favorite genre to read? I’m all over the place. Thrillers (the Millenium trilogy), fantasy (thank you for the Game of Thrones addiction, Mr. Martin), horror (Stephen King). And I read quite a bit of non-fiction, especially about foreign policy.
Who is your favorite author? Fiction: George Orwell. Non-fiction: Christopher Hitchens.
In your opinion, what is one book that everyone should read? Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the internet…at least not found easily. (1) I can make a mean tomato sauce; (2) I used to live in London; and (3) I’ve won five fantasy baseball championships.