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Crime Thrillers and me: A love affair

I’ve been reading and writing since I was four years old. My reading list graduated from Archie and Mandrake to Enid Blyton to Sherlock Holmes and other crime thrillers as I grew up. My writing, which was at first just scribbling in the last few blank pages of old notebooks, graduated to something tangible only when I reached eighth grade and wrote two short stories. Both were crime-based stories, with my own detective! Then in tenth grade I attempted a novella, which was again a crime thriller. Since I read my first book of Sherlock Holmes stories, I was hooked to crime thrillers. I’d read all Agatha Christie and Holmes books I could lay my hands on; also experimenting with E.S.Gardner and Mary Clark Higgins. The only thing I read apart from crime fiction was Harry Potter, the only fantasy book I’ve read till date; and some ghost story anthologies.

Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot opened my mind to the vast and exciting field of criminal psychology. These two novelists, in my view, concentrated on studying the psychology of the crime and the criminal. This led to me doing more research on topics like criminology, forensic psychology and forensic psychiatry, and these are the themes I started using in my stories subconsciously. 

Everyone-friends, family members- who read my stories asked me the same question: Why do you write crime-based stories only? Don’t you find it dark and morbid?

Yes, crime thrillers are dark and morbid. Some because they have blood and gore rampant in their murders; some because they explore the mentality of a cunning, devious murderer- who kills either for revenge or may be a psychopathic serial killer. I want to explore this mentality, this urge to kill. Why do people kill, or commit sex crimes and other felonies? What pleasure do they get in inflicting pain on other human being? How do they feel when they’ve killed someone? How is a psychopath born? How do these people think, behave or dream? Do they realize they’re responsible for their actions? Or can they get away by using the insanity plea?  What can society do to prevent people from becoming killers? How does society contribute to a killer’s psychology? James Patterson and Val McDermid have also explored these issues in their novels- the reason I adore these authors too.

The last three questions cropped up in my brain when I read Sidney Sheldon’s Tell Me Your Dreams. The story of beautiful, successful Ashley Patterson turning out to be suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder and committing five murders, then let off by the court and sent for mental treatment simply fascinated me. This novel generates a debate which is very real- for both the law enforcement personnel and for mental health professionals. This chain of thought, incidentally led me to choose mental health as my area of research as a future pharmacologist.

That’s why my first ‘serious’ novel is about a serial killer and an FBI agent who has studied profiling, has a degree in and researches criminology, and whose father was a forensic psychiatrist. Some of my inspiration also comes from TV shows like CSI: Las Vegas and Criminal Minds. Since my novel also intertwines this story with love as a sub-theme, I also tried to study normal human behavior, so my character descriptions are a bit lengthy. That’s why one of my characters speaks through an internal monologue.

Studying the human mind, and explaining the reason why people behave the way they do, why they commit heinous crimes and how we, as a society, can help to prevent killers from being born, is my passion and my profession- and the reason I want to keep writing crime thrillers and extend the scope of this topic through them.

Percy Kerry is a student and writes in her spare time. Her first novel, The Grim Reaper's Rage, comes out next month.

A preview of her book can be had here: http://authonomy.com/books/47360/the-reaper-s-rage/

5 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for having me here, Jo :)

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome. be sure to drop back and let us know when the book is released.

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  2. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!
    kareninnc at gmail dot com

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  3. The Play is a murder mystery thriller where a famous theater group in Kolkata is ravaged when the members of the group gets killed one by one in a span of one night. Only three of the members survive. The task of finding out the truth falls on one member, but the answers the member was looking for are not the answers the member will get. Will the truth kill the member or just make the member even stronger. Find out as The Play begins.

    watch: https://www.facebook.com/theplaythemovie

    ReplyDelete

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