Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Crime Scene Now Available
...but may stay with you for long after.
The publisher synopsizes "Crime Scene" this way:
"After discovering a photograph in a book of a little girl killed by her own mother, a woman becomes preoccupied wondering how anyone could kill their own child. One hot summer day the answer becomes all too violently clear...."
I wrote "Crime Scene" when I ran across a book of very disturbing and explicit crime scene photographs in a bookstore many years ago in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. I bought the book, which shows you how twisted my twisted interests are. But there was one image that I simply could not get out of my head: that of a strangled little girl. It gave my nightmares. It broke my heart. To this day, I can still see that stark and horrible image in my mind's eye, even though it's been many years since I actually held the book in my hands.
This brain imprinting was what I had in mind when I started writing "Crime Scene." In the story, I wanted to show how something as simple as a photograph can leave a lasting, indelible impression and how that impression can create a yearning to put things right again.
"Crime Scene" has no ghosts or vampires or paranormal beasties. But, as a horror writer, I think I number it among my most horrific--and, in a way, redemptive--works.
I hope you'll check it out.
Here's a short excerpt:
She wished she had never picked up the book in the first place. Wished she had never gone into the bookstore and lifted it from its shelf. But there was the morbid curiosity thing: that stopping to look at accidents on the highway compulsion from which we all suffer.
The book was a collection of crime scene photographs, with notes from a New York homicide detective, who was now retired. These actual scenes of death had no glamorous patina that some thriller movie would give them. The blood was real; the suicide victims with their heads blown off real; the burned bodies real; the executions real--clinical in black and white; sad demises recorded without one whit of sentimentality or sympathy. It made her realize that death was just as mundane, and ugly, as eating a piece of cabbage or taking a shit.
And then she came to the little girl. Oh God, she wondered, hand trembling, match's flame wavering as she brought it to the tip of her cigarette. Oh God, why did I have to turn the page? Why did I have to see that photograph?
It was just one of many. There among the murders, the decapitations, the lovers' quarrels that had ended in a way that ensured no one would ever love again. All of these were shocking, she could give them that much, but they were so outrageous, with all the blood, the grim display of brain and other interior matter, that they managed to keep her at a distance. She couldn't get emotionally involved.
But then she came to that page.
That one photograph had burned itself indelibly into the soft pink tissue of her brain. A kind of branding. As much as she would try, she knew she could never forget it. Almost of its own will, the photograph would rise up in memory, painstakingly detailed, as if she were doomed to open the book again and again to that same page, reliving the nausea for the rest of her life.
You can purchase your copy of "Crime Scene" directly from the Untreed Read's bookstore or purchase an Amazon Kindle version here.