May 12, 2015
Tradecraft: Mace Neufeld Options Stephen Besecker's Novel The Samaritan
Deadline reports that powerhouse franchise producer Mace Neufeld (of the Jack Ryan series and The Equalizer fame) has optioned the 2011 debut novel by Stephen Besecker, The Samaritan. The bestselling thriller is the first in a series of at least three books. Scribe Mike Maples (the forthcoming Padre) has been hired to adapt. The Samaritan is about the half Seneca Indian Kevin "Hatch" Easter, who grew up on New York's Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, raised by his shaman grandfather before becoming a "highly skilled tracker" for the CIA. But Hatch's peaceful life is interrupted when his beloved wife is killed in a mob hit. When everyone involved (or possibly involved) in the assassination starts turning up dead, DDI Jack Slattery assigns his top field man Gray Taylor to investigate Hatch. Has he gone rogue? Is he using his Native American tracking skills and CIA spy skills to avenge his wife's death? Or someone else responsible? Hatch, fighting to clear his name, forms a bond with Gray as the two men work to uncover a conspiracy. Neufeld, who's historically shown a good eye for franchise-worthy material, envisions this as the start of a potential film series.