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Rogues & Patriots: A Nick Crane Thriller

Rogues & Patriots: A Nick Crane Thriller by Patrick H Moore

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Rogues & Patriots

Rogues & Patriots

A Nick Crane Thriller

Patrick H. Moore’s new novel Rogues & Patriots is Book Two of Moore’s taut and topical three-volume series in which veteran LA PI Nick Crane finds himself locked in a life or death struggle with Miles Amsterdam and “the Principals,” a powerful but soulless group of aristocratic, right wing “super patriots” who are bent on turning the United States into a police state.

Eight years after he and his team liquidated Frank Constantine, a murderous military shrink and close personal friend of Miles Amsterdam, Nick Crane finds himself abducted, beaten and threatened with rendition to a black site in Egypt if he refuses to join the Principals’ cause, which includes attempting to incite anti-Muslim violence in every major American city. Crane, however, is rescued by his close friend and business partner, Vietnam War vet Bobby Moore, and the war is on.

With its well-drawn characters, non-stop action, and sharp, first person narration, Rogues & Patriots will leave the reader breathless. Itis a scintillating sequel to 27 Days, Book One in this series as, once again, Nick Crane stands tall as a world-weary PI everyman who takes on all comers in his drive to make America safe again for everyone.

Book Details:

Genre: PI Thriller
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: April 22, 2024
Number of Pages: 361
Series: A Nick Crane Thriller, 2

To purchase your copy of Rogues & Patriots click either link here: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt of Rogues and Patriots:





The frowning corpse of Roberto Diaz was found by a jogger on Friday morning at six a.m. on a windswept hillside in East Los Angeles. Cause of death still unknown. Time of death according to the ME, around two a.m. Not an accident, not according to my LAPD friend, narcotics detective Tony Bott. Roberto had been Tony’s best informant, and my friend was beside himself with anguish and rage.

Twelve hours before the body was discovered, Tony had charged into my office on the third floor of the Poseidon Building, near Third and Alameda. All wound up. First, he told me he’d been called down to the old Spring Street Courthouse by a federal prosecutor named Sam Blaylock, who’d told him that henceforth his best informant, Roberto Diaz, would be off-limits. Starting today, Diaz would report to one of Blaylock’s DEA agents. He would work for a new DEA-ICE task force dedicated to combating drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and human smuggling. Not to mention narco-terrorism and murder-for-hire. The whole nine yards.

“It was strange,” said Tony. “Blaylock was all casual and dismissive. Like jumping a man’s informant was no big deal. He never even apologized. But I controlled myself. Got out of there fast. I figured I had to talk to Roberto, see how he felt about this, but when I called him, his voicemail was full. So I paged him. That was three hours ago. He still hasn’t gotten back to me. That’s not like Roberto. I’m worried.” Tony paused. Took a deep breath. “So listen, Nick, listen to what happened next. Either I’m crazy or something weird is going on.”

Tony stopped, pulled a bandana out of the pocket of his Tommy Bahama walking shorts and mopped his forehead. He was wearing his casual designer clothes: Izod pullover and Polo deck shoes to go with the shorts. And the mirrored Ray-Bans pushed up on his forehead. Why this instead of his usual dirty white boy riding-in-the-Mexican-car undercover look—black jeans, colored tee-shirt, and blue bandana? Or his basic go-to-court look—Dockers, bland polo shirt, casual shoes?

Simple. He had a date right across the street from my office at the Third Street Korean Bar & Grill. At seven p.m. Or as Tony explained:

“This woman came up to me in the parking lot outside the courthouse. Right after my meeting with Blaylock. I was steaming. And plenty worried too. ‘Cause Roberto is kind of a simple guy. Those sharks are the last people he needs to be working with. That’s when I felt her breathing on the back of my neck. I turned around, and she gave me a big smile. She looked about forty. Stylish enough, I guess, but a bit wizened in that clubwoman kind of way. Wrinkles around her mouth and eyes. She says, ‘Hey, Tony, got a sec? I need your help with your old informant Roberto Diaz. That prick Blaylock wants me to shadow him. He thinks Diaz won’t suspect anything ‘cause I’m a woman. Says he wants to know what Diaz is really doing. Yeah, right. How the hell should I know? I’m in over my head. Maybe we can catch a drink later, and you can give me some tips?’ She acted like we were pals. It made no sense. And why in hell would Blaylock want his own informant followed? I deadpanned, and she said, ‘Look, I’m Tami Wheat. I’m a new investigator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. And I need your help. C’mon, Tony, be a sport. I would so appreciate it.’”

He paused for breath while I mulled it over. Tony was right. It made no sense.

“Then,” said Tony, “I was about to ask her why she thought I could help, but I stopped myself. ‘Cause I figured if I helped her out, it might help me stay connected to Roberto, when and if he surfaces. So what I said was, ‘Sure. I can meet you for an hour or so. Around seven. But I’ll have to bring a friend ‘cause we already have something planned for the evening.’ She didn’t like it, and I told her to take it or leave it. I guess she decided to take it.”

I rubbed the back of my neck. Thinking. Spoke. “It does seem weird. Why in hell would she come up to you five minutes after Blaylock gave you the black spot? It makes no sense. I never told you this, but three years ago Blaylock was the AUSA on a twenty-pound federal meth case where my lawyer friend Jack Snow got the client a year and a day. A year and a day! With no cooperation. Outrageous! I remember thinking at the time that it seemed kind of sketchy.”

“Something’s up with that Blaylock fool. I can feel it.” Tony nodded firmly. “And Roberto’s been spooked for a while now. He was approached by some undercover guys about a week ago in a North Hollywood bar. He managed to shake them, but he was freaked out. Said he was going to disappear for a while. Which was fine up until today, when I learned what the Feds have planned for him. He’s not here legally. They’ll hold that over his head.”

“Does Roberto have a local case?”

Tony grinned. A bit sheepishly.

“I know. He’s working off a case that’s never even been filed. Jack Snow says that’s pretty much taboo among the Feds, but that you local boys do it all the time.”

“He’s right,” said Tony. “Those federal bastards have no mercy. They put you to work setting people up, and then they still send you to prison. Whereas we local boys have heart.”


At seven o’clock we walked across the street to the Korean Bar & Grill. A smiling Tami Wheat greeted us halfway down the bar. “Gentlemen. How nice of you to be on time!”

“Always,” said Tony. I stepped forward and introduced myself as Nick. Perfunctory handshake.

Tami was about what I expected—on the petite side, toned and tan with a determined look in her close-set blue eyes. She was wearing expensive jeans, a frilly white blouse, and a brown leather bomber jacket.

“It’s too noisy in here for conversation,” I said, nearly shouting. “Let’s sit on the patio.” Outside, we sat in swinging chairs suspended on chains under a bamboo awning. A moment of awkward silence, waiting for the drinks to arrive. I stepped into the breach. “Nice place, huh? Whenever I get the chance, I sit out here with a Pellegrino while I write up my case notes.”

Our drinks arrived. More chit-chat. Then Tony got down to business. “So, what can I do for you, Ms. Wheat? You said something about needing pointers on how to shadow Roberto Diaz.”

“That’s right,” said Tami. “But please call me Tami. I’m pretty new to this game, and although they trained me, I’ve never done surveillance on my own before. And because Diaz has disappeared, I’ve got to figure out how to find him.”

Tony and I exchanged a quick glance. Was it possible Blaylock and his team had not yet located Roberto? This would help explain why Tami had appeared out of nowhere, asking Tony for help.

“Just so you know,” said Tony slowly, “I can’t find him either. The damned guy has disappeared. And this can be a slow game. I’ve had informants disappear for months at a time and then reappear with a new target.” He paused and shook his head, his lips set in a hard line. “But more to the point, why on earth should I throw you a bone when your people have made it crystal clear you’re stealing my prize informant?”

“Wow!” said Tami. “You’re angry. I would be too, I suppose.” A moment of silence. Then she plunged ahead. “But there’s no need to be defensive. We’re all on the same side here, aren’t we? I mean, we all want to indict these drug trafficking bastards and lock ‘em up. Protect our borders and all that good stuff.”

“I wonder,” said Tony, cracking a half-smile, which, given his mood, dripped more menace than mirth, “if we are on the same side? The way I see it, your people want to fuck me and use Roberto. Then when he runs out of information, you’ll indict him for trafficking and lock him up. Then, when he’s done his time, you’ll deport him. A bad deal all around.”

Tami was shocked by Tony’s vitriol. At least she looked shocked. My friend’s cell phone pinged, and he punched in his code. Stared at his screen, worry lines erupting across his forehead.

I stepped in. “Here’s what you need to understand, Tami. Detective Bott has every reason to be angry. The standard procedure here in LA is for our federal colleagues to share informants with local law enforcement. It’s been that way for decades. And here you and your team go and break the rules. Without any reasonable explanation.”

Tami shrugged, a casual lifting and falling of her shoulders. Almost too casual. “I understand. And just so you know, like any good conservative, I have great respect for precedent. But this situation is different. We are a brand-new state-of-the-art task force, and we are taking all due precautions to keep everything in house. In order to avoid any possible slip-ups.”

Tony looked up from his phone. Treated Tami to his best scowl. Went back to his readout.

“That’s completely out of line,” I said. “You’re implying Detective Bott would screw things up unless he’s cut out completely. That’s downright insulting. Not to mention ironic, considering here you are trying to persuade my friend to help you out with Roberto when, according to your boss, Sam Blaylock, he’s not even supposed to go near the damned guy.”

Tami looked at Tony, who was ignoring her. Looked at me and smiled. Broad, friendly, and phony as hell. “Why should you be insulted? It’s no skin off your back. You’re not law enforcement. In fact, Mr. Crane, unless I’m mistaken, you’re one of those rare PIs who never even was a cop.”

Hit me like a gut punch. This woman, notwithstanding her green and helpless act, knew exactly who I was and what I did for a living. Which made no sense. Unless…I took a long pull from my Heineken.

At that moment, Tony’s phone pinged again. This time, he swiped up, glanced at the number, frowned, and held the phone to his ear. “Holy shit.” The blood drained from his face. “Gotta roll.” He stood up, flung down some bills, and was gone within seconds. I had a bad feeling. Diaz.

And I had problems of my own. Here I was, alone with this peculiar woman, who seemed to know more about me than she had any business knowing. I decided to probe. “Sorry my friend had to leave. I didn’t see that coming. But I’m curious. How did you know I’m Nick Crane? We’ve never met before.”

She looked at me. No smile this time. Instead, a measured, thoughtful look, like a hunter surveying her prey. “Well, if you really want to know, we know all about you, Mr. Crane. We know you’ve almost lost your investigator’s license countless times for breaking the rules. It’s amazing you still have a license to carry. Suffice to say, you’re not too popular in certain circles.”

She was baiting me. Much as I wanted to, I decided not to bite. I stood up, nodded shortly, and walked away, leaving her there on the patio, one hand wrapped around the waist of her St. Pauli Girl, the other reaching for her phone.

*** Excerpt from Rogues & Patriots by Patrick H. Moore. Copyright 2024 by Patrick H. Moore. Reproduced with permission from Patrick H. Moore. All rights reserved.


Guest Post by Patrick H. Moore

Author of Rogues & Patriots

My new PI thriller Rogues & Patriots has been five years in the making. Now, at long last, it is now available on various platforms including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In this article, I’m going to describe the process that led to the actual writing of Rogues and Patriots. 

I began writing Rogues & Patriots in 2019. At this juncture I had published one crime novel, a lively tale called Cicero’s Dead that was indie published in 2014 by my good friend, screenwriter and novelist Max Myers. Sales were strong, but I wasn’t completely satisfied for the simple reason that Cicero’s Dead broke no new ground. I wanted to write a crime novel that really mattered, that said something significant about our society and the country we live in.

I wracked my brain for some time before finally capturing the wisp of an idea. I would have my protagonist, veteran Los Angles PI Nick Crane, lock horns with a shadowy group of wealthy and aristocratic so-called patriots known as The Principals. The Principals, led by an unstable retired Marine Corps captain named Thomas Quincey and his terrifyingly sane accomplice Marguerite Ferguson, would have a very nasty plan in mind—to essentially lock up Muslims and Latinos in private prisons, the purpose of which would be to make boatloads of dirty money while, in effect, making America white again, or at least as white as possible. In order to kick off their scheme and terrify Americans into submission, Quincey and Ferguson’s unsavory crew would launch a series of false flag operations directed at Muslim American communities in and around major American cities. The idea was to strike such fear into the hearts of rank-and-file Americans that they would eagerly support Quincey and Ferguson’s diabolical plan.

So far, so good. The problem I faced, however, was why would The Principals come after Nick Crane? What triggered their extreme animus toward him? To answer this essential question, I hearkened back to an earlier unpublished novel called The Mental Health Club in which Nick and his team bring a highly unstable military psychiatrist named Frank Constantine to justice. It seems that Frank—who was engaged in “gentler, kinder” torture research—was also busily murdering innocent women and leaving their nude corpses displayed in conspicuous places.  Although Nick did everything in his power to simply arrest Frank, he refused to surrender, and in the melee, Frank’s own handyman Henry Taylor shot and killed him. 

It turns out—and this is the key connection—that Thomas Quincey and Frank Constantine had been lifelong friends. They had grown up together; attended private schools together; played sports together; and even gone to Yale together. Quincey is unable to come to terms with Constantine’s death; he blames Nick for his friend’s demise, and, put very simply, he wants Nick to pay with his life.

Although Thomas Quincy despises Nick with every particle of his being, he is in some ways a practical man. He realizes that if Nick could be coerced into working for him, it could greatly help his false flag operations due to Nick’s combination of leadership qualities and significant personal courage and competency. With this in mind, Quincey and his crew abduct Nick and hold him for interrogation at their “black site” in Los Angeles. During the interrogation, Quincey offers Nick the devil’s own bargain. If Nick agrees to work for him organizing the murderous false flag operations, Quincey will, in effect, “write off” the fact he blames Nick for Frank Constantine’s death.

Nick naturally refuses Quincey’s unacceptable offer, and with the help of his friend and business partner Bobby Moore, Nick temporarily escapes from Quincey and company. Thus begins the “cat and mouse” game between Nick and his team and Quincey and his crew.

And, to add additional intrigue to the story, Nick has been hired by Thomas Quincey’s wife, the lovely Iraqi immigrant Adara Ghaffari, to help her and her father Muhammad escape from Quincey’s clutches.

Once I had figured out my basic setup, I merely had to execute, that is, I had to write the novel. I tried to make my characters, both the good and the evil, as vivid as possible and I tried to keep the action moving forward with very few interruptions. Did I succeed? Naturally, only the readers can make that determination, and I’m eager to field my readers’ responses to my long and earnest efforts.

Patrick H. Moore — Author of Rogues & Patriots

Rogues & Patriots

Patrick H. Moore is a Los Angeles based Private Investigator, Sentencing Mitigation Specialist, and crime writer. He has been working in this field since 2003 and has worked in virtually all areas including drug trafficking, sex crimes, crimes of violence, and white-collar fraud.

“There’s no feeling quite like walking into a prison to consult with a client knowing that he or she is facing many long years behind bars, unless you can thread the needle and convince a skeptical Federal judge to give your guy or gal a second chance. Criminals are not known for putting a high priority on telling the truth; neither are cops and prosecutors.”

This is no easy task but mastering this job, which combines art, science and intuition, has given Patrick the tools to write realistic crime fiction that depicts the unpredictable and violent world of cops, convicts, prosecutors and defense attorneys.

27 Days, Patrick’s first traditionally published thriller, was published on February 6, 2023 by Down & Out Books. It is the first in a three-part series in which veteran Los Angeles Private Investigator Nick Crane battles a group of aristocratic domestic terrorists known as the “principals.” 27 Days was recently named a finalist in the General Fiction category of the 2023 American Fiction Awards.

The second book in Patrick’s three-part series is titled Rogues and Patriots and published by Down & Out Books on April 22, 2023.

To learn more about Patrick, click on any of the following links:, Goodreads, BookBub – @patrickhmoore77, mInstagram – @patrickhmoore1, Twitter/X – @PatrickHMoore1Facebook


Visit all the Stops on the Tour!

05/20 Showcase @ Guatemala Paula Loves to Read
05/22 Showcase @ Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense
05/23 Review @ Country Mamas With Kids
05/25 Interview @ Hott Books
05/28 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
06/03 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
06/05 Review @ darciahelle
06/08 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
06/19 Partners in Crime Presents: Author Interview
07/12 Podcast reading @ Books to the Ceiling
10/18 Mysteries to Die For: Toe Tags Podcast

Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell


Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Wendy Barrows

    Great guest post! This sounds like a very interesting book!

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