Brother’s Keeper Author’s Commentary
One Of My Best Thrillers Of All Time.
Get a copy of Brother’s Keeper now.
‘Brother’s Keeper’ is my first psychological thriller, and it was simultaneously fun and challenging to write. It tells the story of Scott Sharp, a traveler whose train makes a stop at the tiny town of Burdensville.
Here, Scott tries to assist a waitress being harassed by a drunk and gets himself arrested, which results in pulling the stranger into the dark secrets the town holds, and the secrets won’t let him go.
I consider this to be one of my best thrillers of all time. ‘Brother’s Keeper’ is my first suspense thriller release, and it is the first book I have written that I would classify as a psychological thriller or psychological horror. My second novel in my list of psychological thrillers was ‘Box Office Butcher,’ and my third novel would be ‘Passing Through.’ If you like the horrors, try all three of these serial killers.
Writing this novel was fun for a variety of reasons.
It was off the beaten path compared to most books I write. The monster in this book is not a vampire, witch, or zombie; instead, the monster is an unknown psychopath murdering women at night who pass through the town. Developing the character of the serial killer wreaking havoc was a good time; I wanted him to be dull but intelligent; he needed to be needy but in control in ways no one understood. He needed to have deep-seated issues that were in such a terrible knot that even those who might care about him didn’t know how to sort them out.
Here’s the deal.
Scott walks into Burdensville without the slightest idea of what has happened to this town. He is, utterly and completely, an innocent victim. When he first gets to the café and tries to protect the waitress from the town drunk, the sheriff puts him under arrest, which is the first sign that something is off in that town. The whole place is off, and he can’t seem to put his finger on what is happening around him. All Scott knows is that he’s trapped in a jail cell, but it is there that Scott himself will begin to unravel the goings-on in Burdensville for himself.
It gets better.
Of course, we cannot have the murder mystery element without romantic suspense, even slight. In the case of Brother’s Keeper, I created a slow but sure relationship between Scott and the waitress he tried to save when he was arrested. In the beginning, she was aloof with him, but soon the two get to know each other. Inevitably, the killer puts her sanity to the test.
But here’s the kicker.
Sheriff Robert Darby keeps the most secrets in this town, as readers will discover. I chose the sheriff for this role because none of what happens in the crime thriller would be possible without his badge’s authority. The beauty of fiction is precisely what I did in the case of Sheriff Darby and his unutterable secrets.
I tried to put a bit of everything in this new fiction book: Old lady hen twins who are the gossipers of the town; Dickie, the café owner, who has excellent fatherly affection for Denise, and who has seen some of the craziness Burdensville truly has to offer. The town is essential to the psychothriller novel, in all of its insanity and desperation. Another reason why I consider this to be one of my best thrillers of all time.
Want to know the best part?
To put things in a nutshell for my readers, there is a history of foul play that I can explain here, but these secrets are vile shameful and have instilled a sense of obligation in Sheriff Darby that he can never silence. It is, quite literally, a massive burden for him, but he carries these things and acts upon them out of the best interest of the townsfolk as a whole, not to mention himself.
Readers may feel like Sheriff Darby is something of a bad guy, but I cannot express enough that the things he does which seem so wrong are committed out of a pure heart, a heart that is trying to make things right in a situation where they will never, ever be right again. He is not the guy to hate here, though it seems that way throughout the pages of this psychological murder mystery, it appears that way.
The reality is Sheriff Darby is as much of a victim as all of those who have been murdered in a blood bath on the outskirts of the town. This also makes it best thrillers of all time.
You might be wondering about the town.
I wanted people to be in Burdensville while they read this. Also, I wanted readers to get a definite feel for the town, Mayberry, without a shower. I did my best to convey the gloom of the constant shadows that seemed to hang over the place, even when the sun shone. That’s more or less what happens in small-town life, and, evil or not, Burdensville is no different.
Add this novel to your Best Thrillers Of All Time list.
Get a copy of Brother’s Keeper now.
Brother’s Keeper Character Profile
Scott is a good man in his heart, coming from a good family. He is the kind of person who believes in the good of man’s heart overall, at least until he gets to Burdensville. Scott is loyal and courageous, which is apparent in his response to Denise being harassed. Scott is a man of ideals who feels his way through a dark spot in his life. Though finding love is far from his mind. He is also intelligent and determined, and he isn’t afraid to stand up and take the wheel in whatever way he can to help. His character adds calm to this one of the best thrillers of all time.
This petite strawberry-blonde has cute blue eyes and a slight build. She has never married; Denise has cared for her sister, Diane, since the death of their mother and father. With mountains of responsibilities, she works and supports her sister, who is preparing to attend college.
Denise works at Dickie’s Place, the small town café that serves as the main hangout in Burdensville, her lifelong home. Her boss, Dickie, keeps an eye out for her, being the only father figure in her life. Denise knows something is off in her town, but like all the rest who live there, she keeps the few things she does know far from the ears of strangers, making her seem standoffish to passers-through. She has a big heart and is brilliant as well.
Sheriff Robert Darby
Sheriff Darby is the law in this town, and he is the only one with this responsibility. He is from Burdensville, just like all the rest, and he loves the people and place, though it is difficult to tell until further on in the book. Not only does he feel an obligation to look out for the townsfolk, but he also feels an intense, heavy obligation to keep the secrets that only he and a select few know about.
Darby goes to some terrible lengths to fulfill this obligation at the cost of saving face and keeping promises he has made. He is a gruff, sandy-haired man with something of a potbelly, and he is constantly chewing on a toothpick. What this guy says goes, even if it’s the wrong thing to say. This also makes it one of the best thrillers of all time.
Ronnie is mentally challenged, the result of an injury while in the womb, but he is a severe alcoholic. For the most part, the town knows him as a harmless drunk. They have known him all his life, and while he can be a bit overwhelming and scary, Ronnie is still one of their own.
Dickie isn’t the leading player in this book, but his role is significant. He owns Dickie’s Place, the only place to eat and hang out in town. Like most of the rest, Burdensville is his home, and he knows everyone who lives there. He is Denise’s boss, but more than that, he has known her for years, and he has a solid fatherly affection for her, making sure she is safe.
His employees are like his kids, and he is good to them. Dickie is a man of average height, with thinning gray hair; clean-shaven. He usually wears short-sleeved button-downs and jeans; he is very down-to-earth and trustworthy, at least to those he knows. This is a good man who gets wrapped up in the dark drama of the small-town life at the wrong time, but he benefits Diane.
The younger sister of Denise is preparing to graduate, and she will be starting college to study to become a nurse; she is her sister’s pride and joy, and she is also all Denise has left since their mom and dad died. The two are close, and Diane is a good girl who would never disrespect or worry her sister. Dickie keeps an eye on her, too, though the two aren’t as close as he is with Denise. She is a typical, down-home girl next door who lives a good life. The only drawback is that she is oblivious to the history and goings-on in Burdensville.
Get a copy of Brother’s Keeper now.
Buy books thrillers of all time online by R.W.K. Clark today.