Marko Zorn is a Washington DC homicide detective, but a very unusual one. He operates by his own rules and will not tolerate bureaucratic interference. He does not fit the profile of a big city police detective: he rarely carries a gun and he faints at the sight of blood. But he is also the most dangerous and feared man in the city of Washington.
The most elusive assassin in the world versus DC homicide detective Marko Zorn
Washington, DC homicide detective Marko Zorn is investigating the murder of an actress—an old love—when he is assigned to protect the visiting prime minister of Montenegro, the beautiful Nina Voychek.
At 85 I Published My First Crime Thriller—Otho’s essay published in Newsweek
Otho was interviewed on the Charlotte Readers Podcast
Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine picked The Reflecting Pool as one of two favorites of 2020!
Marko and Me—Otho reflects on his character on the Jungle Red blog
My City of Crime—Real and Imagined on CrimeReads
Otho interviewed by author Jon Land on Facebook Live
Otho participated in the following International Thriller Writers Roundtables:
Otho Eskin published his first thriller, The Reflecting Pool, to great reviews and book club interest in 2020. It was selected as an Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller and Suspense. The Reflecting Pool follows Marko Zorn- a Washington D.C. homicide detective who has a strong ethical compass but refuses to play by the rules. The sequel, Head Shot, also featuring Marko Zorn will be released in December, 2021.
Before he turned to writing fiction, Otho Eskin served in the U.S. Army and in the United States Foreign Service in Washington and in Syria, Yugoslavia, Iceland and Berlin (then the capital of the German Democratic Republic) as a lawyer and diplomat. He was Vice-Chairman of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, participated in the negotiations on the International Space Station, was principal U.S. negotiator of several international agreements on seabed mining and was the U.S. representative to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He speaks French, German, and Serbo-Croatian. He was a frequent speaker at conferences and has testified before the U.S. Congress and commissions.
Otho’s career in the Foreign Service unknowingly prepared him for thriller writing later in life as he witnessed political corruption at every strata of society. While stationed in East Berlin during the cold war, the East German intelligence service (Stasi) operating on behalf of their Soviet masters, published a book entitled “Who’s who in CIA (correct title), translated into several languages and with wide distribution. This propaganda effort listed Otho and was intended to claim that he was a U.S. spy. (He was not). This was part of East German and ultimately Soviet, disinformation campaign to make the work of U.S. Foreign Service officers serving abroad more difficult.
Otho Eskin has also written plays including: Act of God, Murder as a Fine Art, Duet, Julie, Final Analysis, Season in Hell, among others, which have been professionally produced in Washington, New York and in Europe.
Otho is married to writer Therese Keane and lives in Washington, D.C.
—Midwest Book Reviews
—The Authors Show host Linda Thompson
The best crime hero this side of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. Woven from the fabric of masters like John D. MacDonald and Robert Crais, this riveting page-turner is never afraid to cut its own cloth.
—Jon Land, Providence Journal
—Author Steve Berry
—Author John Gilstrap
Q & A
Tell us a little about yourself, how and when you started writing.
I love to read and I love the theater and this has stimulated a lifetime interest in plays and in writing. In my career in the Foreign Service, writing was an essential skill where accuracy, clarity and concision were the highest priority and I have adapted these skills to writing plays and, later, fiction. My first efforts in the field of fiction were short stories in the science fiction genre. I later decided to adopt these techniques to long-form fiction. I wanted to draw on my many years of living in Washington and working in the US Government. I know the city—from Capitol Hill, to the elite social circles of Georgetown, to the poor, sometimes desperate, sometimes dangerous parts of town out of the limelight. My work has involved me in the world of interagency government cooperation and infighting—sometimes savage and brutal—and have drawn on that experience to describe how Washington actually works.
What inspired you to write this novel?
I have lived much of my life in Washington, DC and know the city well—from its public monuments and grand boulevards to the other Washington which can sometimes be dangerous and ugly and I wanted to recreate this Washington as a backdrop to an exciting story.
How did you use your life experience or professional background to enrich your story?
I spent my career coordinating the work of many government agencies—civilian, military and intelligence—and I have drawn on this background and these experiences.
Anything autobiographical in your novel?
Are any characters based on people you know?
No, except in the broadest, most generic, sense.
What part of writing your book did you find the most challenging?
Developing a main character who is both engaging and believable.
What writers have inspired you?
I admire classic mystery writers such as Graham Green, W. Somerset Maugham, Eric Ambler, John Le Carré.
What is the writing process like for you?
I try to stick to a consistent schedule of 5-6 hours a day and work at the same hours each day, normally from 12 Noon to six (I’m not a morning person). I find I do a lot of re-writing and revision as new plot points occur to me in the writing process.
What’s next for you?
I am working on further novels featuring the same protagonist, Marko Zorn, and some of the same characters.
By the time I retired and returned to Washington and looking for a new career, Washington had become an exciting theater town. There were many small, experimental theaters hungry for play scripts and I became active in play-writing groups and in the theater scene and began writing plays. At first, many of my plays were short, ten-minute plays but, over time, I explored more serious subjects and in longer form. I slowly found directors and producers ready to produce my work. The rest, as the say, is history.
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Principal of Judith Ehrlich Literary Management LLC
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