Short List

Mystery & Thrillers

By L.R. MacAllister

Publisher : Book Baby

ABOUT L.R. MacAllister

L.R. MacAllister



Having less than six months to live, a terminally ill writer embarks on a coast to coast road trip. Seven names are on his list: the ones who had stolen from him in various ways and would pay for their transgressions. His latest manuscript had been rejected by every literary agent he'd sent it to, but its research has not been in vain. Less than 50% of homicides are solved. The odds are in his favor.
Two veteran detectives, Houston's Bill Healy and Barstow's Kevin Walsh, have a mandatory two weeks to solve their similar homicides. If not solved in that time-frame, their respective department chiefs will invite the FBI to intervene. With no pertinent clues, fingerprints or DNA left at the crime scenes, they depend on hunches and luck in order to track down the extremely intelligent killer, who they refer to as "DSB."
His first victims were in Texas and California, but the body-count continued on a national scale. All horribly mutilated, a sheet of cardboard is fastened around their necks, a cryptic message written on it.
There is only one exit on Richard Calder's highway to either Hell or Heaven. Being a serial killer is more fun than writing about them. It's not how you die, but what you die for.

The book's premise evolved from my research of serial killers, specifically why they'd elected to enact their particular method of carnage. Anger, although misdirected and oftentimes nebulous, seemed to be the precise fuel that ultimately propelled them to choose a particular solution of attaining revenge. Sans any directive other than to satisfy that intent --and with total disregard for the consequences of their actions --serial killers are born. I created a character who believes in God, but who also remembers that He had killed in moments of revenge. Richard Calder knows the difference between right and wrong, but now he is faced with a conundrum, though internally validated. He has six months left to live at best; the ones in his past have been enjoying the fruits of his labors while he has been suffering from their thefts; and there is nothing left to lose. Utilizing his dedicated and finte research of past serial killers, keen to how they had eventually been apprehended, and reasonably certain that he is now an expert in regard to how to get away with murder, he embarks on the last road trip of his life. But will he actually be comitting murder? Is it not an eye for an eye, as the Bible had said? The trick for me, when writing this book, was to somehow spur the reader to garner empathy for the protagonist. And within that effort, I also attempted to underscore the fact that in certain times within our daily lives, many of us have also harbored thoughts of revenge, albeit never bringing them to frution. Words, hastily spoken, are sometimes a mirror to our souls.

Currently, Short List has received 6 reviews, two 5-stars and four 4-stars. As of one month ago, I've been promoting it while also editing my next release, which is book #1 of a 3-part short story collection. As well, I'll be re-releasing my 1995 paperback Gigolos as an eBook in July of this year.