Please give a warm welcome to multi-genre author Diane Rapp. Diane is going to share her inspirations behind her latest book…
DNA STALKER: Revenge or Justice?
It all began with the Jonestown Massacre of 1978. The supposed suicide of Jim Jones prompted an intense manhunt by his enforcement team, the Red Brigade, which honed skills needed to capture or kill the illusive prey.
The stalker has tracked a target for thirty-nine years and won't be easily stopped by a pair of ship’s detectives. DNA profiling might lead the stalker to the target, endangering innocents along the way. Does the stalker seek revenge, justice, or stolen jewels?
Natalia and Jason work together on the cruise ship, Sea Mist, and they must stop the stalker from harming identical twins aboard the ship! Hundreds of suspects are cruising to the western Caribbean, including six sets of identical twins. They are participating in Genetics Ultra’s DNA study called the “Twins Project.”
Who does the Stalker seek? Which pair of twins are in danger?
Natalia and Jason accompany the twins on shore excursions, and discover that preventing a crime is more difficult than solving one. The partners work to unmask the culprit and protect the twins. Will Natalia and Jason be able to stop a well-prepared assassin?
The inspiration for this novel came in several parts. I was given an Ancestry DNA kit for Christmas and promptly “spat” into the vial before I sent it off. While they processed the DNA, I waited impatiently. In the meantime my husband scheduled a “free” cruise to the western Caribbean during January. Before we sailed, I read an article about twins-separated-at-birth; some of the twins shared similar habits, occupations, spouse’s names, and children’s names—interesting.
Let’s back up to the cruise. I actually won a “free” cruise by playing Bingo during an Alaskan cruise five years ago. On that cruise, I was doing research about Alaska for my novel Murder for Glacier Blue. We postponed taking the cruise because we were so busy. Finally my husband decided to go ahead and book the cruise for my birthday. He’s so sweet! We found out that airfare, port fees, excursion fees, hotel rooms (before and after the cruise), and tips added up. Our “free” cruise got expensive, but it was my birthday present!
During the cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, the Florida Keys, and a private island in the Bahamas, I took notes, photos, and video of places and tours to include in my new book. Back home, I received my DNA profile and decided to incorporate DNA profiling into the novel. I grew tired of solving a murder in each book, so my investigators would prevent one. I have trouble making up titles, but this time the title, DNA STALKER got stuck in my mind.
What was the stalker’s motive?
I decided that the twins would be in their late thirties and the parents near sixty, therefore, I started thinking about the time period during the twins’ birth. There was a horrific event in 1978 that made newspaper headlines worldwide: the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana. While researching the event, I discovered that Jim Jones was the only person who died from a gunshot rather than cyanide poisoning. Did someone else kill him? The stalker’s motive might be revenge for the killing of Jim Jones.
New main characters will star in this novel, although both were introduced as side characters in previous books. Jason Briggs is an ex-Interpol agent who once wanted to be an actor, and his love interest, Natalia Baliskov, is a real psychic. When she touches a person, she sees visions of their past or future. She can also communicate with ghosts. The couple joined the CCL security team during the novel Murder on a Ghost Ship. In the new novel, the pair must protect six different sets of twins and prevent the stalker from killing the prime target.
Four inspirations inspired my thriller: DNA profiling, twins-separated-at-birth, the Jonestown Massacre, and a romantic cruise to the western Caribbean. I developed the back-stories of characters to fit these different elements, and sent them cruising to the islands I had just experienced. I describe tourist attractions in my books, so everything was very fresh in my mind (and my pictures).
This is not a typical murder mystery. I don’t like to read steamy scenes, blood, guts, or gore, so I don’t write them. This book is clean enough to appeal to “cozy” readers, but delivers enough suspense and action to appeal to “thriller” enthusiasts. I hope readers might be intrigued enough to purchase a copy.
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About the author
Diane Rapp began her writing career by publishing a Caribbean tour guide book with her daughter, who worked as a shore excursion officer on cruise ships. Diane incorporates the behind-the-scenes life of a ship’s crew along with real tourist destinations into the High Seas Mystery Series. Her readers love to dream about future travel or refresh their memories.
Diane considers herself a “split” personality author. She has published ten novels total in several different genres: science-fiction, mystery, fantasy, and a game book based on the High Seas Mystery Series.