FBI agent Matthew Roarke has been on leave, and in seclusion, since the capture of mass killer Cara Lindstrom–the victim turned avenger who preys on predators. Torn between devotion to the law and a powerful attraction to Cara and her lethal brand of justice, Roarke has retreated from both to search his soul. But Cara’s escape from custody and a police detective’s cryptic challenge soon draw him out of exile—into the California desert and deep into Cara’s past—to probe an unsolved murder that could be the key to her long and deadly career.
Following young Cara’s trail, Roarke uncovers a horrifying attack on a schoolgirl, the shocking suicide of another, and a human monster stalking Cara’s old high school. Separated by sixteen years, crossing paths in the present and past, Roarke and fourteen-year-old Cara must race to find and stop the sadistic sexual predator before more young girls are brutalized.
Alexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers The Harrowing, The Price, The Unseen, Book of Shadows, The Shifters, and The Space Between; The Keepers paranormal series, and the Thriller Award-nominated, Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI Thrillers series (Huntress Moon, Blood Moon, Cold Moon), which has been optioned for television. She has also written three non-fiction workbooks: Stealing Hollywood, Screenwriting Tricks for Authors, and Writing Love, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (www.ScreenwritingTricks.com), and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, West (the screenwriters union) and the board of the Mystery Writers of America.
Alex is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. She lives in Los Angeles and in Scotland, with Scottish crime author Craig Robertson. www.Alexandrasokoloff.com
Blog URL: http://www.screenwritingtricks.com
Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/alexandra.sokoloff
Amazon: The FBI Thriller Series: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011M9AOBM?keywords=huntress%20moon&qid=1451693113&ref_=sr_1_1_ha&s=digital-text&sr=1-1
The Woman of the Species….
Bitter Moon, my new book out now, is the fourth in the Thriller Award-nominated Huntress/FBI series.
So my Huntress Moon series turns the tables. The books follow a haunted FBI agent on the hunt for a female serial killer.
There’s just a small problem with that. In real life, female serial killers don’t actually exist. (Oh, I know you’re going to bring up Aileen Wuornos. Not a serial killer. We’ll get to that in a minute!)
The fact is, one reason novels and film and TV so often depict women as victims is that it’s the stark reality. Since the beginning of time, women haven’t been the predators — we’re the prey. But after all those years (centuries, millennia) of women being victims of the most heinous crimes out there… wouldn’t you think that someone would finally say — “Enough”?
And maybe even strike back?
Well, that’s a story, isn’t it?
But it took a long time for me to figure out how to do it right.
I worked as a screenwriter for eleven years before I snapped and wrote my first novel, and in that time I worked on several film projects featuring serial killers. One of my core themes as a writer is “What can good people do about the evil in the world?” – and as far as I’m concerned, serial killers are an embodiment of evil. So for several years I was doing research into the subject every way I could think of besides actually putting myself in a room with one of these monsters. I tracked down the FBI’s behavioral science textbook before it was ever available to the public. I stalked psychological profilers at writing conventions and grilled them about various real life examples. I went to forensics classes and law enforcement training workshops.
And while I was doing all that research, one thing really jumped out at me about serial killers. They’re men. Women don’t do it. Women kill, and sometimes they kill in numbers (especially killing lovers or husbands for money – the “Black Widow” killer; or killing patients in hospitals or nursing homes: the “Angel of Death”) — but the psychology of those killers is totally different from the men who commit serial sexual homicide. Sexual homicide is about abduction, rape, torture and murder for the killer’s own sexual gratification.
(And please don’t get me started on books and films that portray serial killers as having an artistic or poetic bent. Ridiculous….)
So back to Aileen Wuornos: she was not committing sexual homicide; she was a spree killer with a vigilante motivation. I find that psychological and sociological distinction fascinating. (I write about her case, and the psychology of other real life mass killers, in Huntress Moon.)
Then a couple of years ago I was at the San Francisco Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, always the most inspiring of the mystery writing conferences for me. One afternoon there were two back-to-back discussions with several of my favorite authors: Val McDermid interviewing Denise Mina, then Robert Crais interviewing Lee Child.
As I’m sure you can imagine, there was a lot of priceless stuff in those two hours! But two things that really struck me from the McDermid/Mina chat were Val saying that crime fiction is the best way to explore societal issues, and Denise saying that she finds powerful inspiration in writing about what makes her angry.
Write about what makes you angry? Well, see above!
And then right after that, there was Lee Child talking about Reacher, one of my favorite fictional characters, and it got me thinking about what it would look like if a woman were doing what Reacher was doing. For one thing, it would be a lot crazier, because women just don’t DO that. But what if someone did?
And that was it—instantly I had the whole story of Huntress Moon.
It was a hugely exciting moment, because I’d been trying to write this story for practically ever.
I believe my job as an author is to give my readers a thrilling, sensory, gripping adventure that makes them feel — and also makes them think. It’s all about the fight against everyday evil, for me, and about the deep connections people make with unlikely other people when they commit to that fight.
With the Huntress series I finally have an umbrella to explore, dramatically, over multiple books, the roots and context of the worst crimes I know. And at least on paper, do something about it.
Whoever she is, whatever she is, the Huntress is like no killer Agent Roarke – or the reader – has ever seen before. And you may find yourself as conflicted about her as Roarke is.
As one of the profilers says in the book: “I’ve always wondered why we don’t see more women acting out this way. God knows enough of them have reason.”
185 total views