Passing Through Writer’s Commentary
One of my best thriller books of all time.
I believe that writers and novelists, as in any profession, change and grow over the timespan that they work and produce. Any of my readers and fans who are familiar with my books and the ‘genres’ they are ‘classified’ under are able to recognize the point I am making. Authors’ characters get more detailed and personal; descriptions get a bit more intense, as do emotional scenes of any kind. I have also found, for myself, that with each and every fiction book I put out, I seem to get a bit more ‘guts’ about what I am willing to put down on paper. For instance, I’ll admit it, in the beginning, writing a detailed love scene was something I dreaded, but I do much better now, and I’m getting much more comfortable, with experience, in that particular area. This, of course, is just one example. I consider this to be one of my best thriller books of all time. ‘Passing Through’ is my latest suspense thriller release, and it is the third book I have written that I would classify as psychological thrillers, or psychological horror. The first was ‘Brother’s Keeper’, and when I wrote that I thought it was a bit much. The second in my list of psychological thrillers would be the ‘Box Office Butcher‘ another must read. If you like the horrors be sure to try all three serial killers.
Here’s the deal ‘Passing Through’ is on an entirely different level.
Now, I realize that there will be fans of psychological thrillers out there who will love this book; perhaps it will surprise them, and they will find it will be just what they were waiting for from me. Others, though, are going to despise it.
‘Passing Through’ was very difficult for me to write for a number of reasons, but there were two in particular that took a toll on me. First, I have had close personal experience and interactions in passing with violent criminals, and their minds and ways of thinking are ugly and burdensome; they are not people you want to make regular friends of. To put these things into words and make people understand was, well, exhausting.
I also found myself quite beaten up after writing each and every violent part. I didn’t want the parts to be mild, because the character of Elliot Keller was a horrible, horrible man. It thrilled him to do the things he did to people to the point that the only motivation he had for escaping prison was to have a chance to indulge in his deviant behavior yet once more in his life. Some of the visuals I got, which are what prompt what I write, made me sick, and more than once, I had to step away and breathe.
Now, let’s talk about the psychopath Keller.
Initially, I wrote his character with little to no explanation as to why he was the serial killer that he was. Did his mother not love him enough? Could he have suffer abuse as a child? Did he see something he never could get past? It didn’t matter at first; to me, he was just a bad man, an animal, a violent psychopath. Many murderers or serial killers never suffer wrong at the hands of another, yet they choose to harm others over and over, for no other reason that they like it and its fun.
I changed this. The reasons I began to explain a bit about what made Elliot what he was are simple: I had to show readers the ripple effect, that can literally last for centuries, when this type of violence is bestowed by one on another. What happened to Keller, Keller did to others, and it would not stop there… it would never stop. I didn’t go into his past to provoke pity or compassion. He is nothing more than a rabid animal, and his actions clearly demonstrate that. With that being said, by the end of the new book, you will understand what I mean, and you will still hate him all the more.
You might be wondering about the town.
Thompson Trails, Virginia is yet another fictional town full of ignorant, innocent unawares that have no idea what is about to hit them. I love to develop these little burgs, and I enjoy creating the people who live blissfully within their boundaries. I grow to love many of the characters, no matter how brief their appearances; as readers know, authors kill people off, no matter their age or how good of a person they are. This happens a lot in Thompson Trails, and I grieved each death. But in reality, killers don’t flip coins, and they don’t pick and choose. Bad things happen, and they always seem to happen to good people. If they happened only to people like Keller, well, that would be a good thing to happen, now wouldn’t it?
Want to know the best part?
Finally, I would like to touch base briefly on Rick and Donna Welk, the owners of the cabin resort, but mostly I want to focus on Donna. Donna and Rick have suffered the loss of a pregnancy, which spurred them to move and buy the cabins. On the outside, Donna is soft, kind, generous, a good wife, and wouldn’t hurt a fly. She is hurting that she cannot have a child, and she is simply trying to build a new, happy life around this reality. I believe that readers are going to be surprised by the fiber this little blond woman is made of, and I think they will be furious at the outcome Keller causes her and the man she loves.
But here’s the kicker.
For those of you who are lovers of psychological thrillers, well, here you go. I hope you enjoy it and add it to your best thriller books of all time list. I also hope it makes you as sick as it makes me, because it is that horror and sickness that makes us face the harsh realities of life and keeps us on our toes. Well, I didn’t write this and then roll it in sugar because it isn’t candy; it is a jagged little pill that will slice your throat straight open if you swallow too fast, or without water. And believe me, when I say, it is not for children. Best to give fair warning; I wrote this in a manner that it would leave some kind of mark. Hopefully, the mark is a good one. So, sit down with the lights on and enjoy the terror that is Elliot Keller in ‘Passing Through’.
Passing Through Psychothriller Character Profile
Elliot Keller, AKA Elias Derringer ‘serial killer’
Elliot Keller is pretty much the main horror character of this psychothriller. He is in his mid-thirties, tall, with long, scraggly black hair that seems constantly uncombed and a bit greasy. Sporting a black goatee most of the time to enhance his menacing appearance. He is slender and tall, with piercing dark brown eyes that are almost black. Elliot has lived a life of crime, though only a handful are told in these pages. He is a rapist, a sexual sadist, and though his preferred raped victims are women, he looks especially for a male victim to include in his ‘fun and games’. The male victim is bound and forced to watch by means of Keller literally safety pinning his eyelids to his brow line. He was captured after raping and murdering three girls and torturing the boyfriend of one (while making him watch). The only reason the kid lived was that Keller ate, got full, and then grew bored of the game. The psychopath left the kid for dead after relieving himself all over the young girls. This was not for pleasure; it was a sheer act of degradation. For five years in prison, Keller has been patiently scheming his escape, and now the time has come. He is highly intelligent and knows how to ‘be where he is at’, meaning, if he is in a situation he cannot control, such as prison, he will act as expected as a means of maintaining control. In addition he can bluff anyone, and he does it well. He is heartless, soulless, and has absolutely no conscience to speak of. The only reason he wants to escape is to have a bit of fun once again. He escaped the death penalty on a trumped-up technicality, which shows the level of his intellect and depravity.
This small, plump blonde is about as cute and good-natured as female horror characters come, with a heart of pure gold and an attitude to match. Donna and her husband Rick moved to Virginia after losing a pregnancy and being told she would never have children. In an effort to move on anew, they bought and renovated the cabin resorts on the Appalachian Trailhead in Virginia. Donna is too innocent and trusting, and her first meeting with Keller shows this. The pain she carries around over her loss has made her tougher than even she knows, and it will begin to show after she and Keller spend time trying to find their way through the blizzard together as he marches her to her death. While she is a wonderful woman and wife, her experience with this man will prove to be her complete undoing.
Donna’s husband is of medium height and weight, with short brown hair and hazel eyes. This horror characters from a bigger city, which is never mentioned, but he lacks the easy trust in people that his wife and the other townsfolk have. If his gut senses something is off, he follows it. Rick is the catalyst behind Keller ending up at the County Sheriff’s in the cell for the night under an alias, but unbeknownst to him, his efforts to help do nothing more than start a major war between this escapee and the town on a small, nightmarish scale. He feels that he is Donna’s protector and the things that Keller puts him through tear his manhood and ego apart. Though Keller never really puts his actual life in danger, he steals it from him completely.
Sheriff Bob Brown
This rotund, balding man is around sixty, and he has sheriffed the town he loves for more than thirty years. Those who live there are like his children, and he is close to everyone. This horror characters pride is his wife Rosie, and he beams at the sound of her name. Sheriff Brown is another who is way too trusting, even for a cop, and he has never met the likes of Keller. With no experience, he winds up learning first-hand what the meaning of the word ‘maniac’ really is.
Deputy Darren Rush
This poor young red-headed kid is left with Keller for the night, thinking he is simply keeping watch over a man who is down on his luck. While Keller feigns sleep, Rush gets a call about the escapee and lets the caller know, inadvertently, that he is in custody. The storm won’t let anyone through for a day or two, so Rush plays it off. But Keller isn’t sleeping, and before Rush knows what is happening, he ends up dead and covered in woolen jail blankets in a laundry closet, the psychopath’s first victim.
This pregnant young woman is given the responsibility to take breakfast to the passer-through staying at the jail. She hasn’t told her husband about the baby, but she is glowing. She is kind, stunningly attractive, and just as innocent as the rest of the female horror characters. What the psychopath Keller does to her cannot be put into words here, and he leaves her, and her unborn child, like so much garbage, raped atop the desk.
Captain Russell Johnson
Part of the Virginia State Patrol, Johnson is the cop who contacts Rush about Keller the psychopath. He thinks they have time to get the convict because he is in a cell, but an emergency nine-one-one over the computer from Thompson Trails is cut off, and there is no power or phone service. Now, he and another cop, along with backup, race against time and the weather to get to the town and stop the horror that is already well underway.
Detective Jackson Fowler
This man is a state detective who only becomes involved with the apprehension because he is the only one on the force who drives a big truck with a plow to clear roads during his off-times. He is mostly silent, with not much of a real part, but without him, the cops would never get to Thompson Trails at all, even though they are way too late.
Sweet and silver-haired Rosie is a life-long resident of the town, and she is considered the ‘mother’ of all. Her part is simple, as female horror characters go; yet sweet, and she is necessary to the emotional aspect of the novel.
Put this crime fiction on your best thriller books of all time list.
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