Thriller novel set in Dublin

Author always remembered the Tri-Valley

When Chuck Wesson lands a high-paying job at a tech firm, his first assignment is to travel back east to demonstrate a communication device called the Crimson Shamrock. But when someone tries to steal it, then his flight is diverted, Chuck gets suspicious: His new employer is not what he seemed.

Author Michael Hughes' new 128-page thriller, "The Crimson Shamrock," takes place partly in Dublin, where Chuck rents an apartment and travels up I-680 for a hamburger.

"I have some family friends in the San Ramon area," Hughes said, and he's been passing through the area all his life although he now lives in Los Angeles. "The name 'Dublin' was in the back of my head. And it went with title of the book 'The Crimson Shamrock.'"

Hughes, 25, graduated from Stanford University with a degree in history and a minor in economics. By day he works at a bank, dealing with mortgage regulations. But after hours, his imagination twists and turns, creating inventive plots and characters.

"Crimson" is Hughes' third book. He started with "Loafing by La Brea," which he self-published on Kindle. The second, "Pumpkin Farmer," is a psychological thriller set in the Bay Area of the late 1970s, which was published by Black Rose Writing. The small press also published "The Crimson Shamrock," bringing it out in June.

"I wrote short stories when I was a kid, but I didn't get too serious until college," Hughes said.

At Stanford he worked on a bipartisan political opinion journal, and he wrote a 65-page honors thesis on the Supreme Court in the 1930s. He began to focus on novel-writing four years ago.

Hughes has done signings for "Pumpkin Farmer" at book stores throughout the state, and at the Berkeley Book Festival in June. He has book signings of "The Crimson Shamrock" scheduled in Southern California and is working on firming up venues in the Bay Area, he said, as bookstores begin to carry it. Meanwhile his books are available online.

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