Welcome friends! Pull up a computer, tablet, or phone, and sit a spell as Story Empire’s Something Wicked Blog Tour continues. You can find the complete tour schedule here. My guest today is Joan Hall, who shares a very scary and very human kind of wickedness . . .
Mae, thanks for hosting me today for this second day of the Something Wicked Tour. It’s a pleasure to be here and interact with your readers.
Hey everyone. More often than not, the greatest evil we face isn’t with the paranormal or encounters with aliens. Real people often commit serious crimes—among them are espionage, murder, kidnapping, and arson.
During a six-month period in 1992-1993, a series of arsons occurred in Seattle, Washington, and the surrounding area. Before a task force identified a suspect, over 107 fires occurred. Three people died as a result of a fire in a retirement home.
Paul Kenneth Keller was arrested and charged with the crime. His father identified him from a composite drawing and criminal profile. Keller had a fascination with fires from an early age. After his arrest, he admitted to setting seventy-six fires and is currently serving a ninety-nine-year prison term.
Does a serial arsonist sound like the basis for a novel? That’s what I did with Unknown Reasons, a romantic suspense novel and the second in my Driscoll Lake Series. The arsonist targeted houses, businesses, and a nursing home.
The common factor? My main character, Brian Nichols, has a connection with each place. He’s trying to build his business while overcoming his past. He’s also in the middle of a new romance.
But someone is intent on destroying him. What’s worse, he becomes a prime suspect.
He stepped out of the shadows, leaving the cloak of darkness, and crept toward the abandoned factory. His pulse quickened with excitement as he neared the building. On the other hand, it could be nerves. A solitary streetlight illuminated his path for several feet between the fence and an abandoned boxcar.
But there was little to worry about. It was Friday night, and many of Driscoll Lake’s residents would be at the football game.
It was hard to remember a time when fire didn’t captivate him. He learned how to start a flame without the benefit of matches or a lighter and delighted in holding a magnifying glass in a position where the sun reflected on dry leaves, causing them to smolder.
Fire was essential. People used it for cooking. It gave off warmth and provided a source of light.
One small spark could quickly develop into a roaring flame. And a roaring flame was powerful. It could destroy. Even kill.
If you can’t stand the heat…
Rachel Jackson hails from one of Driscoll Lake’s wealthiest families. Like her father, she became a doctor and is now a respected physician. But despite her successful career, Rachel feels something is missing from her life—until she crosses paths with Brian Nichols.
The son of a hard-working mother and alcoholic father, Brian acted out when he was young, earning a reputation as a troublemaker. As an adult, he’s worked hard to clean up his act and now owns a burgeoning construction company.
Rachel and Brian form an unlikely friendship which begins to blossom into something more. But a series of structure fires—determined to be arson—puts Brian in the hot seat. The properties are all associated with his work, making him the prime suspect. Toss in his juvenile history, and he finds himself the focus of a tenacious investigator. Even Rachel starts to have doubts.
Brian struggles to save his relationship, his company, and his reputation. But unless the real arsonist is caught before striking again, everything Brian holds dear may go up in smoke.
This is another great read you’re going to want to grab. I’ve read this entire series, and enjoyed it immensely, especially the small town setting and characters who feel like neighbors and friends.
Today, you can find me haunting Staci Troilo’s blog with a look at Home Circles. Sounds pretty un-spooky, right? Well, they’re likely not what you think. Find out here and say hello!