The Death of a Thousand Cuts

What would an accidental president need to do to solidify his grip on power? Good stories demand verisimilitude. To make them believable, a writer has to imagine them from multiple angles. S/he must “see” as the characters see, and that includes (maybe especially) seeing what it is the bad guys want and why. From there, […]

Operating as designed…

I don’t write about current events. If anything, my thrillers anticipate them. We are living through what the comedian John Oliver aptly calls Stupid Watergate, which is “a scandal with all the potential ramifications of Watergate, but where everyone involved is stupid and bad at everything.” But what if an administration were run by smart, seasoned, […]

Landscape as character

Recently (May 2, 2019), CrimeReads did a fine piece on The Importance of Setting, but its focus was on whether it made sense to choose a real place or to invent one. It’s an interesting read (and of course it added to my TBR pile!), but I’m fascinated with stories that use their settings almost […]

Record Scratch has writing that’s crisp and direct, with wit, humor and darkness

In JJ Hensley’s compelling Record Scratch, Trevor Galloway takes a case from the sister of a murdered superstar musician, who expects him not only to solve her brother’s eight-month-old homicide, but to recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation and his legacy. The client closes the meeting by putting a gun under […]