Saint Monolith is the first full book I ever wrote and published. I had actually set out to write Hegemonian first, but the concept of Mason Stone was banging on the inside of my head to get out, and for some reason it started coming to me more naturally than Hegemonian was at the time, so I went with it.
On the surface it could appear as just another cop turned vigilante story, but it is so much more, so much deeper, so darker. It’s the story of a troubled man, someone who sees the world differently than most. While most people see those around them as inherently good, usually naively, Mason Stone sees through the facade of societal pleasantries and recognizes the darker side of people underneath. Without the fear of law so many people would take advantage, for uncivilized savagery is still a part of human nature, waiting just under the surface. You see it on the news every day, and it’s the reason you lock your door at night. Mason is someone whose had many tragedies and pain in his life, and he has little tolerance anymore for people who are inherently evil. No longer caring about his own life, he seizes opportunities to remove those people from the world.
It’s also quite a love story, as Mason’s weak spot is love, and he finds it in the psychologist who is trying to free him from his inner demons.
I think writing Saint Monolith came so easily because there is so much of me in there. I didn’t have to think very hard about “what should this character be like”. I just had to look into my own head. It’s funny the way books develop in a completely different way than intended. I had never planned for any love story to happen. I never planned to put so much of my personal life in it. Originally it was just going to be an action story with lots of bad guys getting killed. It ended up being so much more.
As I wrote it, Mason and Sue discovered each other in the same way people do in real life. I didn’t plan any of it out. I just let natural events unfold. Boy meets girl. There’s attraction but circumstantial resistance. Then slowly over time the relationship develops until it’s unstoppable.
Sue was never supposed to be a main character. She was just a placeholder for me to spill my own mental issues onto paper. She ended up becoming the star in her own right, and the way she changes throughout the book, that again was purely unplanned. When I write I guess I tend to just follow ‘the natural order’ of things, to mimic real life. Sue’s metamorphosis is sort of a bonus story within a story that I never wrote. She wrote it herself.
I tried to balance the book’s chapters, alternating an action one with a psych session. Each psych session ended up being my own personal history, which was never intended either. But somehow, if Mason was going to exist, and he was basically me, then his history would have to be mine as well. That part is a little weird, but telling something semi-autobiographical makes for a great, gritty, real human story.
I planned on making Mason’s story a trilogy. As I write this post, Part 2 “The Saint of Seven Mile” is about to be released. We’ll have to wait and see what the future brings after that.
~ Tom Reinhart
“You make dark so beautiful.” ~ C.L. Schneider
“I gave this book 5 stars because I could not put it down. There are stories that grip you from the first paragraph and this is definitely one of them.”
“Tom Reinhart is not your average writer…he is intense, brutal and straight to the point. I can’t wait for the next Mason Stone, I just can’t wait for it.”
“Not just another vigilante novel composed of implausible, two-dimensional characters operating within the boundaries of some sort of alternate urban reality, Saint Monolith is sure to satisfy even the most discriminating action fan with its gritty, hard-bitten atmosphere and lifelike vignettes. Highly recommended!”
“The writer has a keen imagination and a good understanding of human nature. He keeps the reader on the edge of his seat.”
“On the surface, this is the story of a vigilante; of a jaded, world weary cop unable to ignore the evil on the streets, or the demons in his head. But in the skillful hands of the author, Tom Reinhart, it becomes so much more. He has masterfully created a complex character in Mason Stone, such that he doesn’t simply let us read about Mason’s turmoil and suffering, he makes us feel it. And it hurts. You’re there every step of the way as he walks the line between right and wrong. When he crosses this line, and you know he’s spiraling downward, you find yourself fearing what he’s becoming. You fear for him just as strongly.
This book really got to me in such a way that I had trouble putting it down. The rest of the characters are all equally well developed. There was a gritty, brutal reality to the plot. The atmosphere is tense, and even when the action slows down, the pressure doesn’t. The window into Mason’s mind, the glimpses into his past, his views of the world, run you through a gambit of emotions. Reinhart so expertly describes both sides of the coin; you’re left to make your own decision: is Mason Stone a cop, criminal, demon, or a saint?”
“This book captivated me very early on and all the way through to it’s end. As a police officer myself, it’s hard for an author to do that if it’s a police related story, as there are usually too many inconsistencies and things that just aren’t realistic enough to let me continue to suspend disbelief. But Tom Reinhart did a great job of avoiding that pitfall!The romance of the novel provided a perfect compliment to the fast and bloody action and dark overall tone of the story. I recommend this book to anyone, especially if you’re a cop, you won’t be disappointed.”
“This book grabbed my attention immediately and my only regret was that it wasn’t longer! The author has the ability to write in a way that you are immediately able to create a mental picture of all characters and become vested in their lives as well as their well being! I look forward to more great reads from this author.”
“Bought this book as am a fan of the crime genre and must say that it was quite the pleasant surprise! The writer paints quite the realistic world in this novel and the main character Mason you grow to like the guy with all the rough edges hes got at the same time. This book really had me turning the pages constantly to find out what happened next. Excellent blend of well written characters and situations that makes one ponder on our own state of affairs with crime, justice and society in general.”
“For those who love books of the crime genre and want to try something new I highly recommend giving this book a chance since its a great read! The pacing in the story is well done too and never leaves the reader feeling like things are being dragged out. From moments of self reflection to the explosive action all done up with fantastic writing that paints the picture of Mason’s story in ones mind this book will be a hard one to put down until you are finished. Will most def be crossing my fingers for more titles from this author!”
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