Saturday, March 2, 2013


I wrote two novels featuring Bill Shannon, BAD THOUGHTS and BAD KARMA, both originally published as hardcovers by Five Star. I've now put them together as a single kindle ebook.

Bad Thoughts was the second novel I wrote (FAST LANE being the first), and it's my grimmest and bleakest book, as well as maybe my most gripping and intense. The book takes place in the Boston area and, in keeping with the grim outlook of the book, it takes place during the winter months with the weather throughout being bitterly cold, often with sleeting rain. Shannon is a Cambridge police detective who sees his marriage disintegrating, and well as possibly his sanity. To say that Shannon goes through hell in this book is a massive understatement. Even with all the craziness and horror in Bad Thoughts, at its core it's a book about surviving abuse.

Bad Karma was the fifth book I wrote (between OUTSOURCED and THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD), and it's a very different book than Bad Thoughts--even the genres are different, with Bad Thoughts being a mix of horror and crime and Bad Karma being hardboiled PI. While Bad Thoughts might at its core be about surviving abuse, Bad Karma at its core is about healing yourself and moving on in life.

Bad Karma takes place five years later and has moved the action to Boulder, Colorado, with Shannon now working as a PI. The novel takes place during the summer: the weather's sunny, Shannon has reconciled with his wife, and both of them happier and more in love than ever. But just as the weather changes dramatically three-quarters of the way into the book, so does the brutal violence that rolls in. The last 70 or so pages are probably as gripping as anything I've written. Bad Karma also intersects with Outsourced and Fast Lane. The theme of white collar workers (specifically software engineers) being obsoleted and discarded that was written about in Outsourced is carried on in Bad Karma.  Shannon also meets up on the hard streets of Denver with one of the central characters from Fast Lane.

What drove the plot of Bad Karma were two ideas--one, an idea that I tried to write as a short story but just could never get to work right in that form, the other, some people I knew signed up for what they thought were yoga classes at a suburban shopping area with an organization that major news outlets have called a cult in their reports.

As different as both of these books are, they fit well together, both thematically, and because of what Shannon went through in Bad Thoughts you want to see this happier version of his life. And as different as these books are, they're not only connected by Shannon but certain metaphysical elements. With Bad Thoughts, astral projection plays a significant role, and while the metaphysical aspects are more subdued in Bad Karma, they're still there.

Here's what some people said about these books when they were originally published:

"Dark, brutal, captivating -- this is one hell of a book, the kind of book that doesn't let go of you once you start it. Dave Zeltserman is clearly the real deal." Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-winning author of THE LOCK ARTIST

"This fast-paced, gritty psychological tale balances the fine line between mystery and horror" Library Journal

"Bad Thoughts is an ambitious genre-bender combining the paranoia and existential dread of the best noir with a liberal dash of The Twilight Zone. Not to be missed." Poisoned Pen Booknews

"Detective Bill Shannon is back and a welcome return it is." Booklist, Elliot Swanson

"top-notch P.I. reading" Bookgasm

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

"'s my grimmest and bleakest book..."

Well, you had me at that point! ;-)