From the Author
What motivated me to write Human Resources? The short answer is fear. I grew up in a rural community in upstate New York where many fine people raise or hunt their meat. I'm not against this and would embrace the lifestyle if I still lived there. When I was a boy, my father often took me to visit townsfolk who owned all sorts of farm animals. The people fed, nurtured and even assigned affectionate nicknames to the animals. While stroking feathers or fur they'd say in baby-talk, "What a love, oh yes you are, you're such a cutie!" Inevitably, "Clucky" or "Bossy" soon sat on the dinner table as a drumstick or veal chop. The same people would look at me, pinch my 5-year-old cheek and tell my dad, "Oh he is soooo cute! I want to take him home with me!" The idea of going home with them terrified me. I had nightmares. The paradox of the loving care during preparation for slaughter confused me. I didn't expect people to be cruel to an animal during its life, but why be so incredibly affectionate if...? My young brain could not reconcile the pampered journey with the harsh destination.
Fast forward to adulthood and I learned about Kobe beef and its processing. The daily massage, beer, music and other pampering given to cattle--all for an end that will be anything but luxurious for the animal. This dissonant behavior is the premise of Human Resources. The story is a glimpse into my childhood nightmare. You can thank me later.
I decided to write a book that provides a satisfying scare without gore. The story's most disturbing elements are only implied. I wanted to leverage the power of imagination. If I succeed, the story will create the type of worry thriller readers crave.
Human Resources is not a sequel, but does feature one character, Morana Mahker, carried over from Dire Means. While her role in Human Resources is different, her character, the tools of her trade and how she uses them is consistent. The books can be read in any order.