Robert became a fan of thrillers as a teenager when he discovered Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt series. These works, and others, inspired him to start writing his own books and a life-long dream was born. He first created his central characters Steve Bennett and Amanda Clark in college, though it would be many years before he hit on the right stories for them.
In his early forties he conceived the Port Mason series, stories set in and featuring a fictional city 'somewhere in America' that he describes as inspired by St. Louis and Portland (Oregon) with a strong dose of Chicago-style politics and corruption to keep things interesting.
His first Port Mason story, "The Inheritance", was originally released in 2013. An updated and re-written edition was released later that year. Book two in the series, "The Servant", was released in 2014 with book three, "In the Crosshairs" coming out in 2017. He has just released the fourth installment, "The Mayor", and is getting started on book five.
Robert was born and raised in Illinois, where he lives with his wife, Angela, and their children, Josie and Jimmy.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I've been reading stories for as long as I can remember. Even kindergarten books have stories. I do remember being very fond of Curious George as a child.
What do you read for pleasure?
Thrillers, science fiction, alternate history, and the occasional non-fiction book.
Private Investigator Steve Bennett is back in Robert Gonko's new novel, "The Mayor". The mayor of Port Mason and his wife have been assassinated. Steve Bennett has been targeted by the same killers. His mission: protect his family while finding out what the assassination has to do with an unsolved case from his past.
Steve Bennett is back in Robert Gonko's new thriller, "In The Crosshairs". The private detective faces his toughest test yet as he navigates a web of corruption in the police department to find out who is targeting police informants. Could it be the chief of police himself?
When same-sex marriage becomes law, the killing starts. The perpetrator: A vicious psychopath who calls himself 'The Servant of the Lord.' The man determined to stop him: private detective Steve Bennett, who joins the hunt when one of his best friends falls victim to the killer.