One after another, they appear by the sides of suburban roads and freeways – the naked, strangled bodies of women who have been raped, tortured and left for dead.
Police begin to suspect that their target is a rogue operator who has emerged from their own ranks. And then, all hell breaks loose in Los Angeles…
An arrest in the strangling murders of two co-eds across state lines finally leads to a break in the case, but the mild-mannered suspect remembers nothing about the crime of which he is accused. His attorney and a team of psychiatrists are convinced this is no lust murderer, but a mentally ill man tormented by an evil alter personality, the terrifyingly malevolent sexual sadist “Steve”. But what if Steve is the final triumphant act in a psychopath’s lifelong career in deception?
None are prepared for the dark journey through the mazes of the human mind it will take to unlock the door to justice.
*Murder by Increments is the true story of one of the worst cases of serial sex homicide in American history, a story whose subject matter dates – like Gone – from the late seventies. As I state in the foreword to A City Owned, book one of the series, the case is actually well-known. The perpetrators are familiar faces from the serial killer hall of fame. Nonetheless, I have deliberately omitted direct mention of them, or the popular name of the landmark case with which they are associated, until well into the narrative. The reason for this will probably become clear to the reader, as they journey through a story whose outlines are far more contemporary and familiar than they might otherwise be expecting. In other words, while the case is old, the themes it raises most definitely are not.
From the preface...
"I wrote Murder by Increments after coming across some of the more obscure details of the case during studies for my criminology accreditation. At the time, I was stunned by the fact that—despite thinking I already knew what the case was about—I actually knew very little, and the facts I was learning brought to mind many of the horrors and sufferings that seem to be occurring with greater frequency in our present world. As vile as the actions of the perpetrators were, almost as shocking were many of the responses of the police, the courts, and the psychiatrists to whom justice was entrusted. The criminal figures at the center of the story, in my view, are not its most arresting feature; instead, they were catalysts that through their actions revealed the frailties of human nature, and the outlines of a society tormented by itself..."
Some of you may be wondering what to expect from this new work, given that Gone: Catastrophe in Paradise sits in a different genre, being the true account of history's worst airline accident. Maybe true crime is not your cup of tea? A little background about myself as a writer is probably in order here. I am a historian and criminologist by training, and as such, I am a writer who is interested in the past, and in what the past can tell us about the present. All my books are true stories, and I am one who firmly subscribes to the old adage that "truth is stranger than fiction".
The histories of disasters and crimes are interesting to me precisely because they tell us so much about the present-day realities of our social life and psychology. Thus, while at one level Gone was simply the story of an airline accident, it was also a philosophical meditation on chance, fate, and the vagaries of the human psyche. Similarly, while Murder by Increments is the story of a criminal case and its prosecution, it is also the story of prejudice, the psychic legacies of trauma, and how our institutions work – or don't work. Check out the Amazon links and the free sample at the bottom of the page for more info about the books.
Gone was my first publishing effort, and while I wasn't at all sure what to expect once I sent it out into the world, it has surpassed all my expectations, going on to sell thousands of copies, and garnering 50+ rave reviews on Amazon.
If you enjoyed Gone, I am confident you will enjoy this just as much. It is an extraordinary true story, the details of which would defy belief, except for the fact that they actually happened. Researching and writing this book was an immensely emotional and rich experience for me.
Now I wish to gift you, the reader, the same experience. If you would like to check out a sample of the book, I have made one available free for readers who have subscribed to my mailing list and showed such well-appreciated interest in my books. You can grab it here.
A City Owned: Murder by Increments Book One
United States: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GT55YXN
Killing Cousins: Murder by Increments Book Two
United States: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GTWM5NB