Secret society is called upon to intervene once again in John Nuckel’s thrilling new novel, ‘Drive’


NEW YORK CITY — Brimming with risk, secrets, and daring exploits, John Nuckel’s new novel, “Drive”, (March 6, 2018, from thewordverve, inc.) gives historical fiction and thriller fans no choice but to race through pages to the end.

An organization with a guiding principle of fairness operates in the shadows, emerging only when needed. Founded at the turn of the century by a former captain of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, the Volunteers exist “Et Omnia Recta” — to make things right. In 1899, the Volunteers worked to dismantle the political power of Tammany Hall. And when one of their own is in danger from a Chinese hacker in the present day, they are called upon once again.

Pap Martinez, a dashingly brilliant coder, has gone underground after faking his own death to attempt to evade the evil grip of a former MIT classmate who wants him out of the picture. Protecting Martinez is the daughter of one of the Volunteers, Annie Falcone, whose life will be forever changed by the dangerous mission. She navigates through one threatening situation after another, with outside help from the secret organization she now belongs to, and attempts to do her part to “make things right.”

Jumping seamlessly between past and present day, “Drive” is a fast-paced, inventive thrillride. Fans of his past work won’t be surprised by the intensity and true-to-life feel that this author and radio personality brings to his newest work.

JOHN NUCKEL went from the welfare apartments of a middle-class town to a successful career in the financial world. Even in the midst of his accomplishments, he knew he needed to express himself creatively. He’s always said he met enough characters sitting on barstools on Wall Street to fill a dozen books, so now he’s embracing his creative spirit by writing. He encouraged others to do the same on his radio show, “Wake Up and Dream.” He is a New York Times contributing writer, and you can learn more about him at He is the author of three white-collar crime thrillers in The Rector Street Series (“The Vig,” “Grit,” and “Blind Trust’), as well as two short stories (“The Victory Grill” and “The Garden”). “Drive” is his latest work.





Et Omnia Recta—to make things right.

In the late 1800s, a secret society is formed by a captain from Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders with the support of the nation’s leading industrialists and bankers. Over a century later, the tradition continues, in the same saloons and boardrooms of New York City where it all began.

In this crime thriller, where history and current events unite, Woodbury Kane, Jacob Riis, and Roosevelt himself fight the tyranny of Tammany Hall in the first mission of the Volunteers during the turn of the last century.

In today’s New York, the descendants of the Volunteers recruit Annie Falcone, a New York police officer, who takes the oath: Et Omnia Recta. She is to provide protection to one man, America’s top technological mind, from his longtime adversary, Sheng, China’s most brutal hacker.

Annie is unaware that she’s merely a decoy to draw Sheng out for the hit squad that was sent ahead of her. Her instincts alone will be the force behind the success or failure of the mission.

Like so many other Volunteers before her, Annie’s survival depends upon her courage, her skill, and her DRIVE.

John Nuckel | March 6, 2018 | thewordverve, inc.
Paperback | 978-1-948225-06-9 |$15
e-book | 978-1-948225-05-2 | $5.99
white-collar crime/thriller


PressKitAuthorPhotojohnnuckelAn Interview with John Nuckel

“Drive” is a bit of a departure from the career you have built as a writer of financial thrillers. Why did you decide to make the jump to something with a historical fiction angle?
I quoted Teddy Roosevelt’s “In the arena” speech at the end of one of my radio shows and since I wanted to go in a new direction with my writing, I started researching the Rough Riders and any connection with New York City. I found some very interesting characters that I think you’ll enjoy.

So much of this book is based in fact. Can you tell us more about the research that went into writing “Drive?”
I went to the New York Historical Society, the Museum of the History of New York and did a ton of research online. Make no mistake, although I do use real people in the book, this is all made up. I had so much fun writing what the famous journalist Jacob Riis would have said to Lower Eastside gangster Monk Eastman in the White Horse Tavern at the turn of the century.

Much of the action in “Drive” takes place in Martha’s Vineyard. Why did you choose that location as the backdrop for your book?
One of the joys of being a writer is that the smallest thing can become an inspiration. I was jogging in Martha’s Vineyard a few years ago and came across a path named Huckleberry Barrens. I turned in and ran around the scenic pathway. When I emerged and checked my GPS it didn’t register the distance. This scenic route along an estate lined street was off the grid! What a great place to bury a body!! Since I wanted to take my story out of NYC for a bit, this was the place.

How do you plan out your books? Do you know how the stories will end before you start writing?
I daydream about it for a couple of months. Then write an outline. Then change everything as I’m writing. The story sets the path for me, not the other way around.

What challenges did you face writing a novel that jumps between the past and present?
The main challenge is that there is so much history available that it is hard to funnel all the information I have gathered into a streamlined version. I learned that Al Capone, John Torrio, Meyer Lansky, and Arnold Rothstein among many others, all have roots in the Five Points Gang of the lower Manhattan. Who do I put in, who do I leave out? I do find it interesting that I have so many real life bad guys and very few good guys.

What can we expect from the second book in this trilogy?
The next book in the series will center on the Cotton Club during the 1920s. I’m doing research on the era now, and I’m really excited. The club was the center of the Harlem Renaissance, which brought us Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway and many other famous musicians. It was also the most popular night club for some of the most notorious gangsters in American history. Among them were Lucky Luciano, Dutch Shultz, Arnold Rothstein, along with dozens of others. It was a vibrant, volatile time, which made a lasting impact on New York in particular but on the country as well. I’m a few chapters in and I love it. I think you will too.

Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
The idea of my show and my general philosophy is that you must follow your passion. There has to be something in your life that is outside of work or family. Something for you! My life turned around once I started doing something that I loved in addition to my regular life. I wouldn’t recommend quitting your day job right away, but start that novel or learn that instrument. Your work life and family life will be better once you become a more engaged enthusiastic person. Once you start taking some time to follow your own dream, not only will you always have something to do, you’ll always have something you want to do. That is a gift!
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