Esther Charlemagne and Aiden “Mac” McManus have settled into their brownstone in Manhattan, enjoying their newlywed bliss, when a knock at the door sends them back to a grisly murder case they worked in 1959, five years earlier, while serving as detectives on the elite homicide squad of the NYPD. The FBI secures a very pregnant Esther, along with others involved in the case, in a safe house, while Mac returns to NYC to find the killer who has threatened to murder his beloved wife, Esther.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This book is the second in my Shadow Series, based on the Jungian Shadow Archetype. Lots of psychology involved. The series two main characters are Esther Charlemagne and Aiden "Mac" McManus, who were former NYPD homicide detectives turned private investigators.
As I'm an amateur photographer, and have been acquainted with professional photographers for years through a friend of mine, himself an award winning professional, I decided to have the plot circulate on photography. Because the series is set during the sixties, the art of photography was rather involved, with different sorts of film, the developing process, camera types, shading, etcetera. It's rather involved and takes a great deal of talent and study to be successful in it. There is also a bit of mysticism regarding photography that I find intriguing. Some American tribes believed that the camera stole your soul. As a noire mystery thriller author, I definitely went there. I thought, "What if a camera was used to catch sight of a soul leaving a body as it died?" A chill went up and down my spine. Then, the natural progression was to design a character ghoulish enough to initiate it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I needed a photographer whose greatest desire was to take pictures of someone dying. Yes, he needed to be portrayed as someone disturbed, but I didn't want him to be totally despicable, one dimensional. I had to have him trying to snatch moments of normality in his life, to have people he loved, cared about, making him more human. So, I created a little sister who adored him, and he her. Then, I wanted Esther to become his object of affection, while she, of course, was intrigued at first, then rejects him. His affection then turns to obsession.
1943, Columbia University, New York
It began as an idea, only an idea, but a beautiful one, dazzling and brilliant in its conception, like a flash of lightning crossing the heavens and landing on earth. There was no feeling or attachment to it, no perception other than seeing the moral rightness of a profound commitment, an unfettered faith to it, something to which you could offer sacrifices…
She was quite beautiful, though, that girl in his history class, a photographer's delight. Her skin had an exquisite dewy quality to it when the light shone across her body, as if she were made of alabaster and polished to a soft sheen. Her long black hair, trailing down to the small of her back, radiated a kind of blue light, having an otherworldly, almost ghostly quality to it. Her dark blue eyes, though, were her best feature, framed by thick, black lashes. She was a virtual love affair for the camera.
Thomas happened upon her quite by accident outside that history class. He already knew her schedule intimately, knew her quirky little habits when she sat outside the café in town, her lack of friends, all of it. She accepted too easily the invitation to go with him – young girls are always flattered by the prospects of romance. The jolting idea percolated throughout that first conversation, while her full, dark lips expressed all the disappointments in her life closing in on her. Her thoughts were foolish, silly narcissisms and he knew she could be easily manipulated with the right words.
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