Jones, Bruce 1944-
JONES, Bruce 1944-
PERSONAL: Born 1944.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Doubleday, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Author and screenwriter.
AWARDS, HONORS: Upcoming Author of the Year award, Bertelsman Book Club.
(Editor, with Armand Eisen) Sorcerers: A Collection of Fantasy Art, foreword by Ken Kesey, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1978.
Amberstar: An Illustrated Comic Odyssey, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1980.
Tarotown (novel), Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1982.
Twisted Tales, Blackthorne (San Diego, CA), 1987.
In Deep (novel), Crown Publishers (New York, NY), 1991.
Maximum Velocity (novel), Dutton (New York, NY), 1996.
Sprinter (novel), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1998.
SIDELIGHTS: Bruce Jones has written for film and television and is the author of several novels. His first projects combined text and illustration, and he coedited the anthology Sorcerers: A Collection of Fantasy Art with Armand Eisen. The book is a collection of the work of eleven young fantasy illustrators. Writing in Booklist, Dan Miller noted that Jones and Eisen provide accompanying text for the mostly bizarre stories that Miller felt would "delight and excite" adult fans. Jones followed with Amberstar: An Illustrated Comic Odyssey, the novel Tarotown, and a collection titled Twisted Tales.
Jones changes genres with In Deep, a crime thriller about a serial killer who abuses his female victims with a policeman's night stick and leaves their bodies on a Santa Barbara beach dressed in 1950s-style swimsuits and wearing dark glasses. Detective Eustes Tully is a loser cop, loveless and burned out; first assigned to the case, he is then pulled off and assigned to narcotics. While investigating drug kingpin Santiago Dias, he meets former cop Mitch Spencer, a recently fired insurance investigator who is a guest on Dias's yacht. Spencer was hired to keep an eye on Claire Greely, wife of an impotent millionaire. Mitch falls for Claire as Dias sets him up for the beach murders. Booklist contributor Peter Robertson commented that the fact that Jones is a screenwriter "may explain the remarkably sure touch he has with this first novel and the slew of graphic, galvanizing images it comes loaded with."
Maximum Velocity is a thriller set in the Colorado Rockies. Chris Nielson is a writer who has moved into a rural home with his wife, Matty, and toddler son, Nicky. A man calling himself Frank Springer arrives, and although Matty introduces him as her cousin, he is, in fact, her former husband, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) killer who has been released from jail to track down a Russian arms dealer who is somewhere in the Colorado wilderness. Frank, who has destroyed the family's identity, is intent on taking back his son and wife, to continue to abuse her as he had in the past. Chris must fight this maniac, eventually with assistance from the CIA, which also enlists his help in finding Godunov, the Russian.
A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the violent scenes in the novel "inventive and frequent, and they do keep the story whirring until Springer's gruesome end and Nielson's predictable success." Wes Lukowsky said in Booklist that the first part of Maximum Velocity, in which Springer takes over the home, "brilliantly establishes a terrifying Hitchcockian scenario." Barbara Conaty, writing in Library Journal, described the plot as a "berserk waltz at a mad tempo in the forest of doom."
Jeni Starbuck, a former Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agent, is being manipulated in Jones's novel Sprinter. A lunatic called the Solobomber gives Jeni, a runner, instructions as to where to go to prevent his planned explosions. The bomber is a computer security expert who is able to track Jeni's movements, set off bombs in locations that are under surveillance, and control other computers in order to take over the city. Booklist critic Benjamin Segedin felt that "Jones's paranoiac thriller is not entirely misguided," noting the U.S. government's attempt in the 1990s to add the Clipper chip to all computers. Segedin believed this novel would be better as a Geena Davis action film than a novel.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 1978, Dan Miller, review of Sorcerers: A Collection of Fantasy Art, p. 29; September 15, 1991, Peter Robertson, review of In Deep, pp. 124-125; December 15, 1996, Wes Lukowsky, review of Maximum Velocity, p. 712; April 15, 1998, Benjamin Segedin, review of Sprinter, p. 1386.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 1991, review of In Deep, p. 812.
Library Journal, September 1, 1991, review of InDeep, p. 234; October 15, 1996, Barbara Conaty, review of Maximum Velocity, p. 90.
Publishers Weekly, October 14, 1996, review of Maximum Velocity, p. 62.*