Freehold Township Deputy Mayor David Salkin is transporting people out of their homes and into the jungle with his newest self-published novel, The Team.
As a natural sequel to his books, Crescent Fire and Necessary Extremes, The Team combines drug cartels, terrorists, and cannibals with a true story that a customer of Salkin’s experienced when he was serving in the Vietnam War.
“I have a customer [at Salkin's Jewel Case] who I have become very friendly with over the years, we were just chatting one day and he was telling me about his life as a frogman. Before there were Navy SEALs they were what they called UDT, Underwater Demolition Teams, commonly known as frogmen,” said Salkin. “He and his guys were made into the Navy All-Star Baseball team because they were all young and athletic and they could all play baseball. They would tour around during the Vietnam War and they would showcase American baseball by playing local teams. Even though there were 15 guys on the roster and 15 guys getting on the bus, there were only 11 guys in the dugout because the others would be out doing their assassinations or blowing up a bridge or doing whatever other special secret stuff they needed to do. And they used that baseball team as a cover story for a few years.”
The customer’s life experience turned out to be the missing piece to a story Salkin had wanted to tell for years.
“I read Homeland Security Magazine and several years ago the front page had this really scary looking dude with tattoos all over his face and the headline read ‘The Holy Trinity Narco-Jihadists in South America’. Basically what you have in the tri-border region is where the rainforests of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina all meet. Its all just basically rainforests and jungles but on a map you have them all coming together in this region and because it is so hard to get to, there are terrorist groups that are training in the western hemisphere in this area in the jungle.”
Salkin continued to explain that in the article he learned that none of the three countries want to take responsibility for what is going on at their border and instead point the finger at each other, making the tri-border region the perfect place for Salkin’s story to take place.
Salkin’s newest novel combines both the customer’s life as a frogman and the issues going on in the tri-border region to create The Team. However, the book had to take a back seat after a publisher told Salkin that the story was not believable.
“They [publisher] told me ‘this is a really cool story but it’s just not believable.’ Which is funny because everything I have ever written has been complete fiction and this one was based on a true story and this was the one that was not believable,” said Salkin.
Although the publisher did not want run the story, Salkin believed that it needed to be told which is why he went ahead and self-published it in September.
“Just because a publisher says it is not believable does not mean that the public doesn’t want to hear about it. It is a compelling thriller that has a good pace and is in an unusual setting. When was the last time you read a spy story or a thriller that had cannibals in it in the middle of the jungle? It’s not your typical setting for a book but it’s not really that far out there."
The Team came out as an e-book on Amazon.com on Sept. 6. Although the book has only been on the market for a few weeks, it has already received four different five-star ratings from readers.
To read a preview of The Team and see reader’s comments visit amazon.com/TheTeam