Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?


A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart? The brilliant professor from Bethel University? Or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Disturbing Scenes in Stories

After reading about the rape scene in Game of Thrones, and hearing other people comment about it, I wondered if any of my stories had disturbing scenes. Well, there are no rape scenes in any of my books, but there is plenty of tragedy, and any tragedy can be interpreted as disturbing. As for how disturbing, I suppose it depends on what kind of tragedy.

Any kind of cruelty committed by someone against someone is disturbing. And the highest degree of disturbing might be measured by the scale of the cruelty. In both Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes there is plenty of killing, several murders, and vengeance killings. Each scene by itself can be disturbing. How disturbing? That's up to the reader. Perhaps not so disturbing compared to mass killings. I say that because in both books, there is mention of the Nanking massacre, which occurred during World War II. The invading Japanese army committed widespread atrocities in that event, mass murders of civilians, men, women and children, and it has been called one of the worst atrocities in the history of the world.

A book was written about it called The Rape of Nanking. It was written by a Chinese American woman, and shortly after publication, she committed suicide. I remember reading about it not that long ago. Just why she committed suicide, I don't know, but the point is the massacre at Nanking is not only a tragedy, but very much disturbing. And that is the backdrop to the story line in Killer Eyes.

You see, the main antagonist in Killer Eyes is the daughter of a Chinese man who had survived Nanking. The man had formed a Killers Guild which had the original purpose to hunt down and kill any Japanese veteran who had participated in that horror. When the man dies, (of natural causes,) his daughter takes over, but she is overly zealous. She is out of control. And the Killers Guild changes under her leadership to a bunch of perverted outsiders, who mostly aren't even Chinese. And their victims are no longer Japanese veterans of the Nanking nightmare.

Oh yeah, that's where Trent Smith comes in. But I can't divulge any more of the story or plot without giving away spoilers. I'm done with revisions now, but I'll still go over it again, like an editor, before I submit it to Melange. Rest assured, Killer Eyes is almost ready.

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