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Vaughn C. Hardacker is a mystery, thriller, and fiction author from Caribou, Maine even though his travels have taken him all over the world. Growing up,, he was a rebellious child and was prone to recklessness something he believes he has taken into his adulthood. As a seventeen-year-old, he left home and bummed around New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut for a year before joining the Marines. His first trip abroad was to VietNam where he served before coming back to the US and settling in Caribou. He would get married and live with the love of his life for thirty-six years in Caribou, before his wife died of cancer. During these years, he had gone back to school and got a bachelors degree before they moved to Boston, where they would live for fifteen years. Hardacker would also get degrees from Southern New Hampshire University and the University of Maine. He then found a job with Wang Labs, who sent him to the Chicago office where he spent a dozen years. Vaughn is a member of the Mystery Writers of America New England Chapter. He published his debut novel “Sniper” in 2014 and also has his short stories published in a variety of short story collections.

Hardacker started writing when he was a junior in high school. He penned what he believed were awesome vampire stories and is thankful they have never seen the light of day. Vaughn has always been an avid reader of crime thrillers and mysteries and his work has been influenced by the likes of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe. As a freshman in high school, he read “I, The Jury,” the classic Mickey Spillane novel and from then on was hooked to mysteries. When he later joined the Marines, he read a lot of the thriller and western short stories by Louis L’Amour. The idea for his debut novel “Sniper” came to him when he was following the Washington DC investigation and hunt for a sniper. He thought the average American citizen would be very vulnerable to violence from such a man. Having always been fascinated by the reluctant hero, he came up with the premise of his lead protagonist Mike Houston. He had been a Marine like Vaughn Hardacker and had quit the military believing he left the sniper in him behind, only to find that he had not. Vaughn was also inspired by people such as Carlos Hathcock who established the first sniper school in Quantico. As a Marine, it was a requirement that he become a rifleman and thus he spent months in the rifle range and in intensive infantry training and this gave him much of the information he needed to write his novel. He also interviewed snipers or people that had worked with them to flesh out his story.

While it may seem that Vaughn had a very smooth path to authorship, nothing could be further from the truth. He started out believing he was an excellent writer but it took him two decades to learn how to be a writer. Hardacker still remembers his first writer group and the first night they met. He went in believing he was going to dazzle all of them only to be chewed up and spat out. But the experience made him work even harder to improve his stories. He also became better at dealing with rejection from the editors, agents, and publishing houses. Vaughn’s road to publishing started when he became a member of the Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America chapters in his state. He had determined that if he wanted to become a successful author, he needed to make friends and interact with people that had achieved success as writers. Still, it was not that easy as he came in second place in a literary contest in 1989 and lost much of the prize money to a predatory editor. He almost gave up until he went to his high school reunion and several friends asked him why they were not seeing his novels on the shelves. This was the wake-up call he needed and he started networking like never before but it still took thirteen years to get a publishing deal. Hardacker now has numerous short stories published in several anthologies and more than five novels to his name.

Vaughn C, Hardacker’s “Sniper” opens to the killing of four people by a sniper in Boston Common. Mike Houston, and Anne Bouchard who are Boston homicide detectives are assigned the case. Amid the terror and blood, Houston finds that there are likenesses or if you like similarities between the code of ethics, choice of victims, killer positioning, and his own training as a sniper, US Marine scout. The crime scene has been set to provide maximum shock value and Houston wonders if the killer had purposefully set out to do this. The connection he had suspected plays out again when the sniper comes back and this time takes out Houston’s ex-wife. In doing this, he has severed the bond that had been left between the detective and Susie, his daughter who had been estranged for months. The death toll rises but what the sniper does not know is that the investigation has turned personal and Bouchard and Houston will do everything in their power to find and stop him. In a final gesture of depravity, the sniper takes Susie and then lures Houston to a remote island in Maine for a deadly showdown between two of the best snipers in the world.

Vaughn’s “The Fisherman” opens to Mike Houston having decided to leave Boston and go live in the mountains in Maine after his showdown with a deranged sniper the previous year. He has quickly adjusted to his new life of solitude in his cabin overlooking the mountains. But he is wakened from his reverie when Bouchard now a lieutenant pays him a visit with an investigation that may involve a serial killer. Cheryl Guerette a known heroin junkie and prostitute had last been seen getting into the car of some customer. Detective Bouchard believes that man could be a serial killer that had been nicknamed “The Fisherman” that she has been tracking down for months. The man has been taking prostitutes and homeless women from the streets of Boston and Portland, and Ann needs Houston’s help to catch the man. She had also told Houston that she would be seeking advice from Jimmy O’Leary a known mob boss. He had been against the move but she had done it anyway. O’Leary happens to be involved or know about the people committing crimes of pimping and prostitution in Boston, and he may just blow the case wide open making it almost impossible to get to The Fisherman.

The “Black Orchid” by Vaughn Hardacker is a hard-hitting crime novel that tells the story of Deborah Hollis. She lives in New Hampshire and is a member of one of the oldest and wealthiest families in the state. At the opening of the novel, she hires a private investigator named Ed Traynor to find Melinda her sister who left town to go to LA to make her name as an actress never to be heard from again. Former Los Angeles police officer Jack McMahon who now works for the Hollis’s accompanies Traynor to LA where they find Melinda in a morgue. She had been butchered by unknown persons and been registered as a Jane Doe at the morgue. It turns out that she had landed a lead role in a snuff film but in the process had been involved with a sadistic Mexican producer named Giuliano Olivas and Vincent Beneventi, a pimp who is also looking to make it in LA. Another person of interest is hot Hollywood director Kondrat Jablonski currently in Canada, where the two detectives may have to go to get to the bottom of the homicide case.

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