A place where writers who love crime fiction and horror can discuss different facets of writing, and the various components that make up a story. Readers are more than welcome too. Let's discuss what you like to see in these tales of mystery, suspense and terror. Included also will be news about upcoming contests, links to great crime, noir, and horror tales, and a review or two.
In Never Say Goodbye, Richard Parker introduces us to
Detective Tom Fabian. Changes are taking place in his personal life that are
presenting many challenges. He and his wife have decided to separate, and their
daughter will be leaving home to attend college. His professional life is about
to take a very dark turn due to a tragedy that occurred within his Department.
He has been assigned the position of Lead Detective on a case involving
multiple murders. There are no clues, no witnesses, no suspects, and the
investigation is at a standstill.
His boss, DCI Metcalfe, expects progress, and insists Fabian
stay away from the press on this one. Tom had previously been the Lead
Detective, and driving force behind the apprehension of a serial killer. In
that particular case, the press had been helpful with the capture. Tom became
the face of the Department with the media, but Metcalfe mistrusted the press,
and was determined that level of publicity for both Fabian and the Department should
not occur with this case.
At the time Tom took over the lead position, there had
already been four murders, with the victims being one man and three women. The
murders occurred in different parts of the city, and no connection between the
victims was apparent, except for the weapon and their manner of death. They
were all stabbed with the same knife, and the killer inflicted post-mortem stab
wounds to their faces. Was this an attempt by the killer to instill fear
throughout the city? Was the killer trying to send some type of message?
Fabian eventually figures out what links the victims, and it
is as disturbing as the crimes themselves. The victims’ last names are street
names, and the sequence of their murders follows a particular route. Which
street name will be next on the route, and without any clue as to direction,
how can the police identify and protect any potential targets? What association
does the killer have with these particular locations? Detective Tom Fabian is
racing against a killer’s clock to an unknown destination. Who will cross the
finish line first?
Never Say Goodbye pulls you in right from the very
beginning. The plot is fast-paced, and filled with twists and turns, and the
characters are genuine and engaging. Now that I have met Detective Tom Fabian,
I can’t wait to tag along with him on his next case. This is Book #1 with this
character, and it is a gem. I am really looking forward to Book #2, and then
some. If you enjoy a dark crime thriller, Never Say Goodbye is definitely for
you, and I recommend it very highly.
Never Say Goodbye will be available to order on August 14, 2018.
Maggie, a single mother with a young child, awakes one night
to find an armed woman in her home. Maggie doesn’t know her, but she does know
who sent her, and why. The young woman, Holly, has been instructed to kill
Maggie in order to ensure the safe return of her baby. Maggie understands this
woman’s deadly mission since she herself had been sent on an identical one.
Someone who calls himself the Babysitter kidnaps the children of single mothers
and instructs them to commit murder in order to get their children back
unharmed. He even provides them with the names and locations of their intended
Maggie’s daughter, Penny, was returned safe and sound, and
she was not going to allow anyone to endanger her again. Holly’s daughter,
Abigail, was now in the hands of this demented puppeteer, and she believed
following his orders was the only way to get her child back. Two mothers
confront each other in the middle of the night, each intent on protecting their
children whatever the cost. Choices have to be made, and quickly too, because
the Babysitter’s clock is ticking, and when the sun rises, time’s up. Will
these two women play out his sick game, or is there any room for trust between
them so together, they can confront this madman, and still save their children?
The author does not take you gently by the hand and lead you
into a plot land of sunshine and roses, where together you, along with the
characters, can slowly gather strength to face an upcoming crisis. No. Not this
time. In this story, you are immediately set down right in the middle of a
nightmare that you will share with two mothers fighting for their own lives and
ultimately, the lives of their children. It is a unique format for a novel, and
that is what makes this one a true thriller. Life doesn’t slowly build up with
a lot of backstory – life simply happens without warning, and so do the events
in Keep Her Safe.
The mothers’ journey in Keep Her Safe is one of twists and
turns, with danger around each and every corner. You will understand their
anger, you will sense their determination, and you will feel their fear. While
it is true that you won’t be able to put this one down, you won’t want to
either. Just like Maggie and Holly, you will need to know where the road leads,
and in the end, who will win this deadly game.
It’s a day, just like any other day. Lana is washing dishes, and her four-year old
son Cooper is out playing in the yard. She glances briefly out the window, and
sees that a man wearing a mask has jumped over the fence into their yard. To
her horror, he begins placing a sack over Cooper. She fights with him, and saves
her son from his would-be abductor. Before he flees the scene, the man whispers
‘tomorrow’. While reporting the incident to the police, the child reveals that
the man has been in close contact with him on previous occasions, whispering to
him through the fence. Now this monster has a name: Mr. Whisper.
Lana, her husband Todd, and Cooper relocate, but Lana cannot
move on. She becomes obsessed with finding Mr. Whisper, and follows a website
that tracks child killers and pedophiles. The police continue to investigate
the case without success. When they win a family vacation at an adventure park,
it seems an opportunity to put the ordeal behind them, even for a short time.
At the park however, Todd is assaulted, and Cooper is abducted. Now, the
nightmare truly unfolds.
Someone begins luring Lana to crime sites, Todd disappears
from the hospital he was admitted to following the assault, and Cooper is still
missing. What does all this mean? Where is Todd, and what dark secret is he
hiding from his wife? Did the stranger keep his promise of ‘tomorrow’, or is
someone using the child’s abduction to get to Lana?
Hide and Seek is packed full of dark and disturbing
surprises around every turn. A mother on a quest to find her son, a father
whose night terrors drive him to take desperate measures, and a stranger
pulling the strings like a diabolical puppeteer, drawing them in for his own
demented purpose. The characters are well developed and genuine, the settings
are menacing, and the fear is palpable. The plot moves at lightning speed as a
mother races to save her son, all the while somehow knowing she’s the missing
token in this cruel and depraved game.
Richard Parker has done it again with another top notch,
five-star thriller. This story will grab hold of you right from the start.
Clear your calendar before you open it to Page 1 because there’s no way you’ll
be able to put it down until the end.
Infinite Darkness (The Edge: Volume 2), is a collection of
horror stories you don’t want to miss out on. This anthology has no central
theme, no min/max word count for the stories, and the stories are arranged in
no discernible order. These are the reasons why it’s such an enjoyable read.
None of the writers were trapped inside rule after rule, and were free to share
their darkest, and most disturbing, tales of fear, superstition, and malice. There’s
something in here for all dedicated fans of horror. It contains 17 stories, the
works of 10 incredibly talented writers. These stories will shock, surprise,
disturb, and scare you. If you are looking for a great read, I recommend this one
'Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you.' Really? Think again.
Let’s have some fun. Sign in to your Twitter account and
access the hashtag BeMyKiller, a stream to entice a serial killer to select you
as their next victim. There you will enter your tweet - your dare. Use your
imagination – be creative – make him want you. Only. You. Wanna play?
A disturbing prank? An irresponsible practical joke?
Perhaps, but as occurs after all actions, there occurs a reaction. In this
case, the reactions that resulted were deadly consequences. People were being
targeted, and murdered, in ways that matched quite literally the taunts they
aimed at the killer. One victim baited the predator with the words ‘want a
piece of me?’. You can probably make an accurate guess at how this young man’s
Hazel Salter, a film producer, had a theory about the
killings, and also had a personal stake in this tragedy. One of the victims was
a childhood friend of hers, and she was determined to try to find a way to
convince the authorities to focus their investigation in a different direction.
She gathers her crew together, and establishes a base of operations at the site
of her friend’s death, with the goal of making a documentary about the murders.
Plans include interviewing locals, family members and friends of victims, and
members of law enforcement as possible.
Even someone with the best of intentions could not
anticipate how their plans could go horribly wrong. As the project proceeds,
people associated with it are systematically murdered. Who is responsible? How
can those left protect themselves? Are the killings and disappearances related
to the original Twitter prank, or has another serial killer chosen to use the
area as his hunting ground?
Richard Parker has assembled a cast of characters whose
lives criss-cross again and again, and weave an impenetrable web of mystery.
From the first page, Be My Killer will lure you into that web, and hold you
tightly until the last. Be My Killer is definitely not for the faint of heart,
but if you’re looking for an impressively dark puzzle that gathers itself
together, one terrifying piece after another, then Be My Killer is for you.
Severed my relationship with DiskUs Publishing, and all rights to my 9 books listed with them have reverted back to me. DiskUs has always dealt with me in an honest and fair fashion; however, exposure is very limited since books are only available via their site. Under new management, this may change in the future, but at this time, I prefer to find another home for my work. I am in the process of reworking several of my novels and will be seeking a new publisher for all of them, so stay tuned for updates!
The prompt this week was to write a horror story that included
the following: Writer, 50,000, month, goal, and winner. This isn’t a horror
story in the supernatural sense, but some people can create a horrific
situation without any help from the other side. Please enjoy.
I did it. Yes, I did it. I finished the novel on time, and it is
a great success. Come to think of it, this one might be my most successful
novel ever. It frightens me to look back and remember how close I came to
letting myself down. All my life, I had made certain to always set a goal and
then devote all my time and effort to accomplishing it. When I hit a roadblock,
I simply plowed through it, until an event occurred that turned my roadblock
into a cement wall. When my agent called and said I needed to drop whatever I
was doing because we needed to talk, that set in motion a series of events that
completely turned my life around. I remember his call as if it happened
“Jack, I’m going to be completely honest with you. You know that
I don’t only think of you as a client, I have also always thought of you as a
friend. My intent is not to hurt you, but I have to be blunt. It’s the only way
I believe I can help you, and believe me, Jack, you need my help.”
“Richie, don’t be so dramatic. You’ve always been straight with
me. We’ve known each other for most of our lives. You should know by now that
you don’t’ have to tip-toe around me. What’s so urgent that you had to call me so
early in the morning, and on a Saturday? Since when do you work on Saturdays?”
“Okay, Jack, here it is. You’re currently under contract with
one of the biggest publishers in the country, and you are obligated to produce
one more novel before your contract comes up for re-negotiation and hopefully,
“I’m aware of that, Richie, and I’ve been working non-stop.
You’ve been getting the drafts I’ve been sending over, haven’t you? What’s the
“The problem is I have
been getting the drafts you’ve been sending over.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Jack, I’m sorry, but they’re awful. Each chapter is worse than
the one before. It isn’t that they’re just rough, they’re terrible. But, that’s
not the biggest issue right now. The thing is, you only have a few months left
before your deadline. While you don’t have to turn in a print-ready copy, you
do have to turn in a complete first draft for review. You’ve been working on
this one for a little over a year and all you’ve sent me is around 50,000 words.
Have you been holding onto the rest or is that all you’ve got written so far?”
“Wow. Awful, huh? Are you sure you’re really an agent? Have you
never heard of an editor?”
“Jack, there isn’t an editor on this planet that could fix the
crap you’ve been sending me. I am so sorry to have to say these things to you,
but it is all crap. A miracle couldn’t fix what you’ve done so far. What is
going on with you? This isn’t the kind of stuff you produce. You are a hell of
a writer, my friend. Your work makes people angry, it makes them laugh, it
makes them cry, but your latest? Frankly, I can’t make it to the end of any of
the chapters without nodding off. It’s all flat. There’s no emotion, there’s no
action, there’s no…uh…there’s nothing. There’s nothing at all.”
“Maybe I’m just burned out, Richie. Maybe I just can’t cut it
“Nonsense. In the past, you’ve cranked out first drafts in a
little over a month and while it took time to get them ready for publication,
there was something great there to work with, and from. No one expects you to
keep up a pace like that, but like I said, you’ve been working on this one for
over a year and you’ve really got basically nothing to show for it.”
“What am I going to do, Richie? I stare at my keyboard and feel
nothing. Usually I can’t type fast enough, but for the past few months, I just
hit the keys and I don’t even care if it makes any sense. Ever since Linda…”
“I know how hard it has been on you, Jack. I also know how easy
it is for me to tell you to forget her, and remind you that she was nothing but
a poor excuse for a human being. You loved her, married her, and all she did
was take you for whatever she could get from you, and that wasn’t even the
worst thing. Instead of simply walking out on you, she made sure you knew she
was running off with another man. I get it, okay? I do, and I know it takes
time to move past something like that, and I don’t mean to sound cold, but it’s
time to pick yourself up and start living again. Don’t let the past haunt you –
put an end to it.
“I think I have a solution. You’re too close to this project and
you’ve reached a point where you’re just going through the motions. I want you
to take some time off, a month, where you don’t think about writing at all. I
have a cabin at Black Bear Lake, and I want you to stay there. It’s fairly
close to where you live, and secluded enough so no one will disturb you. I’ve
arranged for the caretaker to stock it with food and other supplies you may
need. You can take my boat out on the lake, fish, stare at the walls, whatever.
At the end of the month, I want you to go back home, start fresh, and draft me
a story that I can be proud to send off to your editor. What do you think?”
“I didn’t know you had a place out my way. Why didn’t you tell
me about it? I could have taken some time off and joined you for a day or two.
I like to fish too, you know.”
“Uh, I don’t get down there very often, and when I do, I just
want to shut myself off from the world.”
“I sure get that, Richie. That’s exactly what I need. Hey, can
you get away for a few days this time and join me? It’s hard for me to be alone
“Jack, enough looking back. I can’t get away right now. I’m in
the middle of a couple of big deals, so you go and use this time to get
yourself together. I’ll overnight you the keys. Call me when you get back.”
“Will do. Thanks, Richie. For everything.”
“No problem, Jack. You’ll work this out because you’re a winner.
I truly hope this helps you.”
It certainly did help. Being at Richie’s cabin cleared my head
right up. If I hadn’t gone, I never would have found all those pictures of him
and my wife. Linda’s always been that way. No matter where she stays, or for
how long, she always has to make the place her own. She sure made that cabin
home. There were photos of the two of them in drawers, along with some of her
drawers, if you get my drift. I used to pay the credit card bills for purchases
of lingerie, sex toys, and massage oils. Now I know why all I ever saw of those
things were the bills for them.
I wished I had a camera to capture Richie’s and Linda’s expressions
when I showed up at his penthouse in New York. I let them finish their
cocktails before I gutted them both. Again, those looks of surprise with each
thrust of the knife were priceless, and I’ll remember them until the day I die.
After I tucked them both in the king size bed, I booted up Richie’s computer
and wrote the draft of a true crime novel that I was later told would most
likely be a best seller. It took me less than a month to complete it because my
inspirations were close at hand. I had planned to leave to return home the day after
I overnighted the manuscript to my editor, but apparently, some of Richie’s
neighbors had reported the smell. When the police arrived to investigate, I was
in the middle of making a latte, so I didn’t answer the door quickly enough for
their liking. They had the concierge unlock the door, took a look around, and
arrested me on the spot.
Richie was so right. I had allowed the past to haunt me, so I
put an end to it. Permanently. My attorney told me this morning that my book
has been number one on the New York Times Bestseller List for 16 weeks
straight. Being on Death Row, I can’t collect the profits, but that’s okay. I
set a goal and achieved it. Richie was right about something else too. I am a winner.