Perfect Killer Succeeds As Fiction AND Fact
I set out to write a non-fiction book on why good people do evil things.
Perfect Killer– originally published in 2005 by Forge/Tor — has a lot of current significance in the cases of the:
- Robert Bales Afghan massacre,
- Trayvon Martin case and
- Mohamed Merah assassinations in France.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF EVIL?
Clearly, evil has been done. But do we have a spectrum here?
In these cases we have acts of evil.
One one end of the spectrum, we have the case of Bales who “snapped.”
On the other end, we have an assassin who — for religious and political reasons — methodically plotted his killings over a long period of time and documented them with video.
And, in the middle, George Zimmerman, a murder of opportunity and chance, a man who killed out of what appears to be race and prejudice.
SCIENCE, RELIGION ETHICS — FACT VERSUS FICTION
Having been a biology major in college, I started research for Perfect Killer with scholarly and scientific references.
After a while, the religious and ethical aspects of what my research revealed began to dominate my thoughts about what this book should be.
For more about the research, please see the Perfect Killer website at PerfectKiller.Com. I think Perfect Killer is the only thriller to have an extensive scientific and non-fiction bibliography.
WHY A FACT-DRIVEN THRILLER?
I decided to write a book that was part thriller, part investigative reporting and part scientific.
First of all, because scholarly books have a relatively small readership.
Second, because a thriller allowed me to create specific characters with behaviors — specifically Traumatic Brain Injuries — that were consistent with those reported in the scientific literature.
This also allowed me to have the characters work with the concepts of good and evil … we cut slack when we can see a brain injury that causes evil acts. That person is seen as wounded, not evil. If we see no physical cause for evil behavior, we brand the person as evil and punish them very differently.
Third, because after I had gotten deep into the research, I discovered documents and experts that indicated secret and unethical tests of experimental drugs on soldiers in the First Gulf War that may have caused one type of Gulf War Syndrome.
The plot was thickened by facts more fantastic than the fiction.
The massive amount of non-fiction in Perfect Killer is responsible for its appearance on paid kindle bestseller lists in both fiction and non fiction. I hope both sides are satisfying to my readers.