We’re thrilled to have here today “The Murderer” from Verlin Darrow’s new PI mystery, Blood and Wisdom. “The Murderer” (he won’t provide his actual name) is a 50-ish cypher living in Santa Cruz, California.
It is a pleasure to have “The Murderer” with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so for this interview, Mr. Murderer. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
-Are you kidding me? Fairly portrayed? Not a chance. That son of a bitch so-called author made no effort whatsoever to tell my side of the goddamn story. So what if a few losers end up dead? I had my reasons and they were damned good ones. What did the Bible say? Judge not, or you’ll get judged. Something like that, anyway.
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
-Colorizing? What’s that? Use regular language, for Christ’s sake. I’m not a writer. I’m a goddamn character, aren’t I? But here’s how I’d change things. Gimme a scene where I talk to a victim or two and explain why they have to go. It would touch the reader and I’m sure it would make sense to most anyone with any sense. I need to be a more sympathetic character. Murderers are people too. It’s the human condition to have flaws, isn’t it?
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
-I’m brilliant. Way above the curve in the intelligence department. It was pure luck that yahoo detective figured things out. That’s another thing I’d change. The luck factor wasn’t clear at all in Darrow’s version.
-That’s a hard one. Sometimes I’m a picky eater.
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?
-Brando. Definitely Brando. Before he started eating like a pig and got so fat.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
-You bet. And she’s way more woman than you could handle, buddy.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
Well, I got worried when Gatlin came snooping around the cabin in Big Sur, and I wasn’t thrilled when that cop got arrested, but I gotta be honest, I didn’t see it coming. I mean, I knew it wasn’t a slam dunk, but I never thought the deal wouldn’t work out for me.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
(Laughs). Victim # 1. I like having my head on my shoulders.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
What do you think? You think I want to rot in prison? What’s wrong with you?
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
Make me the protagonist. I am SO much more interesting than that detective and his drippy girlfriend. And I’ve got a lot of ideas about how to beat the system. Playing by the rules is for losers, and I think most intelligent readers know that.
Thank you for this interview, Mr. Murderer. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
I doubt it. I don’t think anybody’s gonna see me for a very long time.
Verlin Darrow is currently a psychotherapist who lives with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near the Monterey Bay in northern California. They diagnose each other as necessary. Verlin is a former professional volleyball player (in Italy), unsuccessful country-western singer/songwriter, import store owner, and assistant guru in a small, benign spiritual organization. Before bowing to the need for higher education, a much younger Verlin ran a punch press in a sheetmetal factory, drove a taxi, worked as a night janitor, shoveled asphalt on a road crew, and installed wood flooring. He missed being blown up by Mt. St. Helens by ten minutes, survived the 1985 Mexico City earthquake (8 on the Richter scale), and (so far) has successfully weathered his own internal disasters.
About the book:
When Private Investigator Karl Gatlin takes on Aria Piper’s case, it was no more than a threat—phone calls warning Aria to either “stop doing Satan’s work” or meet an untimely demise. But a few hours later, a headless John Doe bobs up in the wishing well at Aria’s New Age spiritual center near Santa Cruz. Aria had ideas about who could be harassing her, but the appearance of a dismembered body makes for a real game changer. And what Karl Gatlin initially thought was a fairly innocuous case turns out to be anything but.
Dispatching former rugby superstar and Maori friend John Ratu to protect Aria, Karl and his hacker assistant Matt are free to investigate a ruthless pastor, a money launderer on the run, some sketchy members of Aria’s flock, and warring drug gangs. With his dog Larry as a wingman, Karl uncovers a broad swath of corruption, identity theft, blackmail, and more murders. But nothing is as it seems, and as the investigation heats up, Karl is framed, chased, and forced to dive into the freezing water of the Monterey Bay to escape a sniper.
Against the backdrop of a ticking clock, Karl races to find answers. But more murders only mean more questions—and Karl is forced to make an impossible choice when it turns out Aria’s secret may be the most harrowing of all…