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Multiple Wounds Paperback – December 11, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
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T. Jefferson Parker and Alan Russell Discuss Multiple Wounds
T. Jefferson Parker: Congratulations on the new book. Or should I say books?
TJP: Why are they doing that?
AR: Don't good things come in threes?
TJP: That segues into Multiple Wounds, a novel where you feature a character that not only has multiple personalities, but personalities of Greek goddesses.
AR: I know that sounds fantastic, but many of those diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder do have larger than life personalities. For my character with DID, the emergence of those goddess alters was often a survival mechanism.
TJP: Did something inspire you to come up with such an extraordinary character?
AR: My brain started percolating when I read about this woman with DID who cried tears of blood when she became upset. That image propelled me, and the story built from there. Early in the book I knew my detective had to be confronted by this spectacle.
TJP: Men aren't good dealing with even ordinary crying. Do you like pushing the envelope of crime fiction?
AR: I do, but I should ask the same of you. Your Charlie Hood novels certainly aren't traditional mysteries, and in them you haven't felt the need to neatly tie up loose ends.
TJP: I've never been happy writing the same old, same old, and I know you aren't either. A few years back we did a library program together and you talked about a horrific incident you fictionalized in Multiple Wounds.
AR: I came home late one night and there were fire trucks and police everywhere. As it turned out there had been a double homicide of a mother and daughter on our street, and the murderer attempted a cover-up by setting a fire. The murderer even killed the family's two pugs. The only survivor was Rainbow the family cat.
TJP: A cat that you and your wife adopted.
AR: It was heartbreaking watching Rainbow going in and out of the ruins looking for her family the day after the murders. When we first took her in, she really smelled of smoke.
TJP: So you had your detective do the same thing in Multiple Wounds.
AR: For both of us, it was the only good thing to come out of a tragedy.
TJP: In the library talk you also mentioned that your working with San Diego Police Department helped you write your novel.
AR: I worked with Homicide Team IV where the sergeant called me to the scene of the homicide just like the rest of the team. Most of his calls came after midnight, and like the detectives I hurried to be there within half an hour of the call. I dressed the part with a blue blazer and tie. On a few occasions the media asked me to comment on the crime and I always referred them to “my sergeant.”
TJP: There’s nothing like getting that firsthand experience.
AR: It’s one thing writing about a murder, but another thing seeing a person that died through violence.
TJP: The book was nominated for a lot of big mystery awards.
AR: It ended up being a bridesmaid. I don't have a shelf of Edgars like you do! How about loaning me one?
TJP: I'm sorry. Our connection seems to be breaking up.
Russell offers up a highly original, literate mystery that is part psychological thriller, part exploration of the human soul, and part police procedural. When the mutilated body of art dealer Bonnie Gill is discovered, San Diego Detective Orson Cheever is assigned to track down the killer. His search leads to Helen Troy, an artist whose brilliant but deranged sculptures are perfect reflections of her distorted mind. Helen is a "multiple" whose many personality manifestations make her as mysterious as she is bewitching. Cheever eventually finds that he not only must help Helen confront her demons but also must face long-buried grief from his own past before the case can be solved. Russell has written an absorbing story that successfully combines the mundane with the otherworldly and delivers intriguing characters as well as fascinating glimpses into the human mind. A top-notch choice for most mystery collections. Emily Melton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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I don't want to say too much about the plot as I do not want to be giving away any secrets. I found that I liked the character of Mr. Russell's south, Cheever and found his inner struggle to be eminently understandable. The other main Character, Helen Troy or Holly is a bit more difficult to understand due in part to her illness. Dr. Rachel Stern is also a well written character with her own needs and fears.
I would recommend this book to and of a good psychological mystery tale.
with multiple personalities. The story involved many complex relationships: the young woman with her various personalities, with
her psychiatrist, with the detective who was attempting to solve a murder case that affected the young woman, and with her
father, and the relationship between the psychiatrist and the detective. At times I found the story somewhat disturbing, but I
gained considerable insight into the life of someone with multiple personalities. I am impressed with Mr. Russell's versatility.