Author of the debut novel Cardiac Gap

Author of the debut novel Cardiac Gap


Absolutely riveting futuristic thriller based on the author’s life as an Airborne Ranger Special Forces officer. Takes today's geo-strategic situation and brings it forward to a grim future possibility.
Could not put it down!


- Colonel (Ret) Patrick O. Carpenter

US Army Ranger and Former Army War College instructor 

By Bill Raskin

Cardiac Gap

The United States in the late 2020s enters a death spiral. Economic crisis spreads in a way not seen for ninety years. The jobless line the streets. An impoverished government cuts military forces and overseas presence to the bone. The Russians, smelling weakness, make a bold move for Middle East oil.

Against this backdrop, Cardiac Gap follows the struggle of former Special Forces operator Mark Elliot. When Silicon Valley billionaire Courtney Simons pushes a mercenary solution to the Russian challenge, senior military officers implore Mark to join that effort in hopes of guiding a good outcome. Along the way, Mark discovers dark forces at play. He feels trapped and powerless. But when Mark learns the full details of a devastating plot, he has no choice but to risk it all and join one last, desperate fight to save his country. Woven into this fast paced story, Cardiac Gap asks: What does it mean to stand together as citizens? Will we rally as a country when it matters most?


Bill Raskin

Bill Raskin served as a career Army Special Forces officer, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel with 20 years on active duty. This included a wide range of overseas deployments, multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and service in classified programs and assignments.

Bill led and commanded special operators at every level from small teams to command of a Special Forces battalion and battalion level task force. He continues to consult to the national security community, and holds an MA in Security Studies and a BA in History from Georgetown University.

A native of Dallas, Texas; Bill now lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his loving wife, a wonderful teen, and an awesome dog. Together they pursue many adventures. Cardiac Gap is his first novel.


Sixteen Books that Informed the Writing of Cardiac Gap

Sixteen Books that Informed the Writing of Cardiac Gap

The books in this article each informed Cardiac Gap in personally meaningful ways. Books on governance and social challenges lent insight as to why our industrial-era government models struggle to adapt in a post-industrial world. In light of this dilemma, might bad actors give up altogether on the nation-state and simply grab what they can for themselves?

But if those were the macro topics, I opted at the micro level to write what I knew – and put special operators into this chaotic future world. As a retired Army Special Forces officer, I’ve had the great privilege to live and work in a tribe of amazing colleagues and friends. I’ve had to sprint just to keep up; had to learn to raise my game beyond what I ever thought possible. The books below on combat arms service and developing excellence each gave insight on how I might possibly explain what it meant to serve with such a cohort.

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Independence Hall and a 175-Mile Book Launch Bike Ride

Independence Hall and a 175-Mile Book Launch Bike Ride

Philadelphia trip summary: On 30 November, the author departed for a 175-mile overnight bike ride from Bethesda, MD to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. The journey culminated with a National Park ranger tour of Independence Hall on 2 December. After a year exploring a fictional collapse of the republic in “Cardiac Gap,” this visit to the founding fathers brought a welcome recharge of batteries.

Why ride 175 miles to mark final publication prep for Cardiac Gap? A couple of reasons. At the most immediate, I wanted a personal way to close the writing and editing phase of the novel. Narrator Mark Elliot’s first words hit the laptop screen in January, 2018. The next eleven months saw nine drafts, double that re-write of key scenes, and working with industry experts who would become my indie publishing advisors. I loved every minute of it.

By November, this marathon neared its end. The book would go to final proofreaders and advance readers soon. I would move on to publishing, promotion of the book, and knocking around for future writing projects. How to personally mark the milestone?

Like many who grew up through the special operations community, time spent outdoors and time in good hard physical effort became more than part of the job. It became a way of life. And, in a world increasingly plastered with screens and never-ending data streams, even a couple days of full-on physical work has a regenerative effect that can last for a while. It gets us rebalanced to how our genes and brainstem are programmed.

On another level, amping up to a truly hard effort felt like something I owed the characters. One of the ironies in writing the book was; here I crafted scenes that pushed it to the edge physically, braved incredible risk, and endured the worst of weather conditions. And I lived it all from the comfort of our finished English basement – taking in the sunlight and sipping espresso! With the east coast socked in a cold and wet early-winter, a long ride punctuated with an overnight bivouac would offer just a little taste of the suck. That might pay a small homage to the efforts of Mark, Ulysses, and Puppy (three central characters).

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