Morbid Curiosity

My first finished novel, currently seeking representation.

Morbid Curiosity

No one questions David Shuster when he claims his mother, Michelle, died twenty years ago. He figures death row is as good as dead. Now Michelle wants David back in her life—what is left of it.

David, now twenty-seven, hasn’t seen his mother since he was six. So when Ramona Greene calls with a message and a plea for a visit, David is torn between his desire to keep his distance and his dark curiosity. He thought he knew enough: his mother ran off, killed eight women, got caught, and was given the death sentence. When he reluctantly agrees to hear Ramona out, questions arise. Why does she want to leave him her house? Why does she want to see him, now, after twenty-one years? And could she possibly know anything about his father?

When detectives entered the home of Michelle Riley Shuster, they found homemade torture equipment, urns of congealed blood from the missing women, and several hundred copies of Blood & Copper, the fictionalized story of Erzsebet Bathory. The sixteenth-century Blood Countess of Hungary, twisted and hypnotic, was a dark inspiration for Michelle. When Michelle cut the young women she abducted, it was Erzsebet she thought of.

In a mixed narrative, MORBID CURIOSITY moves between David’s search for understanding and Erzsebet’s bloody life story (from her first period to her eventual imprisonment) and explores the fine line between being mesmerized by evil and being inspired by evil. Complete at 98,000 words, the novel was my MFA thesis from the University of Memphis and a Quarterfinalist of Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest.

Morbid Curiosity will appeal to readers of both historical thrillers and psychological dramas.  It is a stand-alone novel, but Ramona is a cross-over character in my current work in progress, and could potentially be a connecting character in a series of psychological thrillers.

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