This is a discussion page for and about my new series, “The E Z Knight Reports”. It includes brief character biographies of the main and occasionally recurring characters. E Z Knight has his own page next on the drop-down menu (“About E Z”).
These novels are episodic. But they’re also mostly stand-alone and non-sequential mystery / suspense novels featuring problem-solver / “handyman” and former vigilante-for-hire E Z Knight. They’re narrated in both first and third person and for the most part in past tense–with a little present tense to spice up the action.
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Knight is a former US Force Recon Marine, dealing with his own haunting past. There are times, however, he is coerced into getting involved in other violent and unsolved criminal cases and reluctantly sets out to resolve them. He has sworn off of this kind of “handyman” work, but he seems compelled to get involved with particularly unpleasant new cases that he feels would benefit from his attention.
This series is sexy, humorous and irreverent. However, it is also a gritty and somewhat realistic and poignant look at the darker side of life, crime and the human condition. With a modern-day, ramped up “The Rockford Files” / “Magnum PI” feel, a Jack Bauer-capable hero and a “24” pace, it consists of page-turning, episodic eBook novels (50-75,000 words). They portray E Z Knight as a man with inner conflicts that interplay with the heavy action plot(s), and create characters with depth that readers can identify with and have empathy for. All combined, it makes these episodes entertaining, fast and fun reads.
The following introduction is printed at the beginning of every story (updated as necessary) in order to give the reader important background information pertinent to, and in common with, all of the episodes:
“The E Z Knight Reports”
My name is Ethan Zachariah Knight — but most folks call me E Z, like the letters “E” then “Z,” or simply: Easy. It’s not that hard; it is — easy.
I’m narrating these accounts to writer Gordon A. Kessler, who will transcribe each into a report along with some supporting information he’s gleaned from interviews and other research.
These statements are required by my parole officer. She’s a great gal — lovely lady — and asks little of me in return for a job I did for her once (in Knight’s Big Easy). But she does insist that I give a narrative on everything that’s happened between my mandatory monthly visits. I think it’s a personal thing; her life is so boring that she lives vicariously through my misadventures. The crazy thing is that she doesn’t care a bit about me breaking the law — as long as the end justifies the means. I guess that’s okay by me, because after reading each report I turn in, she locks it away and shows it to no one else.
And I tell her everything.
You should know a couple of things about me from the beginning:
1. I’m former military, and I’ve killed people, both here and abroad. But I’ve always tried to do my killing for the right reason. These days I just want to be left alone, and I avoid putting an end to people’s lives as much as possible.
2. I have a couple of kids I love dearly, but a restraining order keeps me at least 200 yards away. They live with my folks in Colorado — I spend much of my time on my sailboat in Southern California trying to keep a low profile. Like I said, I just want to be left alone.
3. Why the restraining order? I was convicted of murdering my wife — my children’s mother. Of course I’m innocent, and I found proof after escaping from prison a while back. In the process, I got even with two dirty FBI special agents who were involved in my wife’s death. As far as I’m concerned, their deaths were self-defense. Still, I haven’t been able to prove the Federal agents’ involvement yet. Being dead, they can’t confess. Too bad, I’d love to make them talk.
Due to lack of evidence on the dead Feds and other extenuating circumstances, the court considered my involvement in their deaths involuntary manslaughter. The prosecution also took into account the proving of my own innocence in my wife’s killing. In a plea bargain, I was sentenced to ten years’ probation plus the three years I’d been behind bars — time served. I might add: some favorable outside influences from my past got involved on my behalf.
I’ll get around to telling this whole story when the time is right. But, for a man who has yet to look forty in the eye, a whole bunch of my story is yet to be lived, let alone told.
Oh, and — did I mention: I just want to be left alone?
That’s the skinny on me.
I hope you and Parole Officer Tamara White Cloud are entertained by these reports. And please excuse the colorful language, risqué encounters and violence — it’s what my life has become.
***Supporting Cast (a “we are the world” group, and never all in any one episode):
*Smokey Smith—E Z’s regular love interest (still platonic), widow in her early thirties, smart, sassy, dark-haired beauty, owner of Smokey’s Grog and Galley Restaurant, as well as Smokey’s Marina and Slips, the sailboat dock where E Z keeps his boat. She has no idea about E Z’s “handyman” work, but is aware of his prison term and the details of his wife’s murder (See E Z’s page “About E Z”).
*Osias (Oz) Papadopoulos—sixty-ish manager/bar tender of The Wizard’s Den (the tavern attached to Smokey’s Marina). A former Greek merchant marine, he’s always full of astute yet off-the-wall witticisms and observations.
–Oz considers himself a philosopher, the likes of Aristotle (Onassis). He claims he and his twin brother were raised from birth by the same wolf pack that killed his parents until he was caught in a trap at the age of six. He’ll show you the trap scars on his ankle if you ask him. He says his brother is still living with the wolves on the island of Hydra. If you tell him there aren’t any wolves on Hydra, he’ll tell you that just because no one else has ever seen them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
–He has pictures of two wolves above the bar that are captioned “Mom” and “Dad” underneath. Beside them is a sideshow picture of Barnum and Bailey’s Wolf Boy, with the caption of “Brother Bo”. He’ll admit that these aren’t pictures of his real family, but they’re the best he can come up with from memory.
–Oz has his own page on this site. If you don’t mind uncensored sailor wisdom and adult humor, visit “Oz’s Witticisms”. But don’t say I didn’t warn you–some folks will consider his wit offensive.
*Cecil “See Saw” Esau—old blind man who sleeps at The Wizard’s Den and spends most of every day sitting at the bar. Hard to tell if he’s sleeping or awake due to his dark glasses. He’s an encyclopedia more reliable than the Internet; a history book with a white cane and shades. He too is a former Merchant Marine and captain of a merchant ship that was attacked by pirates with RPGs. He lost his sight when his ship caught fire, while repelling the pirates. That was over ten years ago.
*Esmeralda (Ol’ Corky) McCourkle—cantankerous female septuagenarian who became fast friends with Smokey soon after she rented the slip for her thirty-six foot Hunter sailboat, the Nauti Gal. She’s overly protective of Smokey and not a huge fan of E Z’s, but she loves Jazzy Brass and Nostradamus as well. She also has many secrets.
*Friendly—Old Corky’s mean-as-hell calico tomcat. He’s everyone’s nemesis except Jada, Smokey, Dolly and Old Corky.
*Stormy (Rachel) Waters—E Z’s 29-year-old niece, NYC defense attorney and sometimes free-lance vigilante. She’s the best at getting some of New York’s most despicable criminals off scot-free, and then she kills them. New York does not currently have a death penalty.
*Icy (Isaac) Waters—E Z’s nephew and Stormy’s twin, former US Navy SEAL corpsman and vigilante. He sometimes works for E Z’s former employer, Judge Hammer (but E Z isn’t too happy about this arrangement).
*Colonel James Waters—E Z’s distant, fifty-ish ex brother-in-law. He’s a US Air Force officer and Stormy and Icy’s father.
*Jason Ryder—E Z Knight’s former USMC Recon comrade, now movie star.
*Stella Hutchins—Actress with on and off marriage to Jason. She’s also one of E Z’s ex-girlfriends–from years back.
*Sophie Hutchins Ryder—Jason and Stella’s six-year-old daughter.
*Connie Stone Waters—E Z’s older sister in her late forties. Divorced from “the Colonel,” she’s Stormy and Icy’s mother.
*Amy Knight—E Z’s ten-year-old daughter
*Dusty Knight—E Z’s nine-year-old son
*Beautiful Johnson—huge black body builder, former US Force Recon Marine with E Z. He is E Z’s best friend but doesn’t like vigilante work. Still, he helps E Z out when necessary.
*Rabbit (Robert) Smith—Smokey’s teenage son. A good kid, he helps Smokey with maintenance around the boat dock and Marina.
*Jada—homeless teenage girl, tattooed and pierced, with an attitude. She hangs around E Z and seeks shelter in any unoccupied sailboat she can find tied off at the dock. She not only does odd jobs around the marina, she is also one of the most computer savvy people E Z has ever met, and she comes in very handy.
*Jazzy Brass—E Z’s super intuitive, golden retriever. She spends her time on the boat, at The Wizard’s Den, or someplace in between. She is the only “real life” character—I made her put her paw print on a release, so that I could use her in the series.
*Nostradamus (Nosy)—a stray but friendly male ferret and Jazzy’s best friend. He seems to have pre-cognitive abilities and has taken up residence in E Z’s 27-foot Catalina, the Reckless Abandon.
*Tanner Brown—around 70 years old, retired USMC sniper in Vietnam, and formerly E Z’s DI. Lives alone in a small house in San Diego, CA., where he keeps track of E Z’s cache of weapons and special equipment (since E Z is a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing any weapons, especially these).
*Booker Ratcliff (Booger Rat)—former USMC Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit corporal; now part-time, non-union truck driver. He saved E Z’s life in Afghanistan, but otherwise he’s useless, except for giving E Z a hand once in a while. Always scheming and in trouble, but E Z feels indebted to him.
*Lt. Harper Lee Legend—E Z’s good friend, a homicide detective with LAPD. E Z saved her life once, and she has a soft spot for him, even though she’s gay.
*Captain Sally Chan—Chinese American police captain in charge of records for LAPD and also Harper’s lesbian partner. She doesn’t care much for E Z and only helps him as a favor to Harper.
*Doc (Gervase) Knight—E Z and Bonnie’s father, a sixty-ish former Army Medic and retired railroader. He does a little contract work for some short line railroads once in a while. Doc has lived with a lady who owns a B&B near Crested Butte, CO, for a couple years. He’s E Z’s children’s custodian. E Z calls his father “Doc” like everyone else does.
*Mary Arden—Doc’s live-in, and owner of Arden’s Bed and Breakfast outside of Crested Butte, Colorado. E Z and his sister Connie consider her their step mother.
*Jolene Duncan Knight—E Z’s murdered wife, dead for six years from the time of the first E Z Knight Reports book, Knight’s Ransom.
*Edward Rankle—black LA assistant district attorney. He’s moved to LA from Kansas after losing a bid for DA. Heavily involved with putting E Z in prison under false pretenses and, he always has an eye on E Z, looking forward to the time E Z will slip up so he can put him back behind bars.
*Tamara White Cloud—E Z’s beautiful and empathetic Native American probation officer. She has a son in the Marines.
*“Judge” Hammer (an alias: E Z doesn’t know if he truly is a judge or his real name. He has never seen his face). The Judge hires “contractors,” vigilantes and mercenaries like E Z for investigative and “wet” work that comes up. Jobs consist of domestic criminal cases that law enforcement cannot solve or is unable to legally pursue, or foreign military operations that involve a limited stay and focused mission like high-profile snatches and assassinations. E Z Knight was the Judge’s favorite contractor and worked together with a specially trained group called the “Revenging Fist”. Hammer tries to pull E Z back into the “business” often.
*Opening chapter beauty—ever-present first chapter female messenger who may or may not become a notch on E Z’s “gun”. She’s always a different origin/race/nationality, dependent on the episode, as each will involve a different crime, criminal, region of the country or world.
*You’ll also find a couple recurring primary antagonist/nemesis. Many of the primary episodic villains will be sophisticated, intelligent and very capable. Expect the villain to knock off a major character in each novel.