Thrillers often deal with dark subjects, it’s one of the things that draws us to them. Cal Rogan, the protagonist of my books is a drug-addicted ex-cop who, in the first book of the series, is destitute and living on the streets – a pretty dark place to be. Often that darkness worms its way into my mind.
The first time I noticed was before I even started to write the first book. I did in-depth research into the issue of addiction, which lead me into discussions with doctors, drug counsellors, police officers and many addicts and former addicts. As I listened to their stories, my presuppositions about drug addicts were shattered. I realized that any one of us could make one small mistake which would drag us down to destitution. One addict I met had been a student working on his masters degree and heading towards a Ph.D. He had been an occasional user of pot until someone, whom he thought was a friend, gave him a joint laced with heroin. He was quickly hooked. His life fell apart. He ended up being thrown out of his home by his parents and living on the streets. He was lucky; he survived and made his way back into society. Most heroin addicts don’t.
To tell the truth of a story, thriller writers need to get into the heads of their characters. Many times, doing this has let in the darkness, often resulting in sleeplessness, nightmares and, on occasion, triggering depression. There are instances that stick with me. One of the Cal Rogan books features a serial killer who selects a certain type of victim and has a killing ritual. Being in that killer’s head was not a good place to be, as a found myself truly understanding their motivations. In the book Lockstep, a child is kidnapped by a pedophile. Although the perpetrator does not succeed in his desires, observing the plot from the point of view of both the child and her abductor was for me—a father of two daughters—very disturbing. In Captive, a teenager is taken by a sex-trafficking gang. Getting into her mind was one of the saddest things I have done.
Like many writers, I am, from time to time, susceptible to bouts of depression – something about which I have only recently gone public. When depressed, I sometimes ask myself if there is something fundamentally wrong with me to be able to think up dark plot and get into the minds of the very worst members of the criminal world. I think of it as the thriller writer’s burden.
That said, darkness is only one part of my books. Cal and his daughter and his colleagues have a lot of humour and joy in their lives and many times they have victories over the evils they encounter.
Just like real life, I guess.
Jailed (Cal Rogan Mysteries Book 7)
How do you get an innocent kid out of jail, when even the DNA evidence says he’s guilty?
Twenty-year-old Micah Weston is in jail for killing his girlfriend. When PI Cal Rogan investigates, he discovers that an intricate web of lies has been woven around the victim. Can Cal get Micah out of jail before a prison gang keeps their promise to kill him? And what will the gang do when they discover what stones Cal is turning over?
Publisher : Robert P. French (October 18, 2021)
Paperback : 346 pages
File size : 1130 KB
ASIN : B09JV5KMBG
ISBN-10 : 1777062586
ISBN-13 : 978-1777062583