Clueless Observations

Dm5_2Chadwick Saxelid is a frequent commentor here and he kindly gives my novel DIAGNOSIS MURDER: THE PAST TENSE a rave review on his new blog "Clueless Observations":

The
Past Tense
spends most of its time in the past, with Sloan himself
narrating how he got started on his obsessive hobby (I guess that is what you
could call it) of solving murders.  The story also gives the reader a good
understanding of the pyschological needs that drive Sloan to do so.  Its 1962
portion is a simply wonderful murder mystery, filled with the to be expected,
and delighted in, twists and turns that keep the reader second guessing the
author.  However, the contemporary half of the story is less so.  I guessed the
identity of the killer the moment the character was introduced into the
narrative, but that didn’t make the final confrontation between the killer and
Sloan any less harrowing.  It’s the best in the series to date.  Goldberg also
stages a final reveal that, because it is subtly hidden inside a taunting
statement that the killer makes to Sloan, is utterly bloodcurdling in its
emotional intensity when Sloan later realizes what the killer admitted to
doing.  I really don’t know how Goldberg could top the emotional power of this
entry.

I didn’t, either. That’s why the follow-up, THE DEAD LETTER, is more in keeping with the previous entries in the series. It’s a straight-ahead mystery that’s more about the plot than it is about the emotional lives and psychological underpinnings of the heroes.

But the one I am working on now, THE DOUBLE LIFE, is closer to THE PAST TENSE in terms of exploring Mark Sloan’s inner life, so-to-speak. I’m not writing it in first person, but I am doing some experimenting with structure… you’ll have to tell me when it comes out next fall if I’ve succeeded or not.

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