Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Shame," by Alan Russell

Alan Russell's psychological thriller Shame, with over 300 reviews, is an unmissable deal at $0.99 today!

Shame, by Alan Russell
Price: $9.99 $0.99 (save 90%)
345 pages, with a 4.0-star rating from 342 reviews

"Thought-provoking, well-researched and well-written. None of the characters are what they seem and all of them drag with them some hidden shame that causes them to try to change who they are. Looming over them, from the distant past, is a serial murderer named Gray Parker - but better known as "Shame" for his signature of writing "shame" on the bodies of the women he killed. Maryelizabeth is the only woman to survive meeting him and she is now known as the Queen of True Crime since the book she wrote about him paved the way for her to become a very well-known true-crime author. There truly isn't much I can express about the plot of the book itself without giving away important aspects thereof. I do highly recommend it to just about everyone; despite a couple mildly graphic scenes of murder, it is overall a very well-done psychological thriller with important overtones about understanding ourselves, rooting out our own inner demons, discovering what our own inner "shame" is and getting rid of that poison before it is too late. A very strong recommend from me for this extremely interesting novel." -- Amazon reviewer

Although it’s been many years since the death of his father—an infamous serial killer known as Shame—Caleb Parker still struggles to free himself from his father’s dark shadow. Caleb wishes only for a normal life without being branded a “killer’s son,” but his dreams are shattered when a new string of murders surfaces that are all too reminiscent of Shame’s terrible killings.
When the police label him the prime suspect, Caleb forges an unlikely partnership with true-crime author Elizabeth Line, a writer whose career began when she survived an encounter with Shame and who then went on to document his life—and death. As the body count begins to pile up, Elizabeth and Caleb come to the conclusion that one of them has been targeted by the killer, and a game of cat and mouse begins as they try to uncover the murderer’s identity before becoming his next victims.
Brutal and unapologetic, Shame draws you into the mind of a serial killer with no chance of escape until the last page is turned.
Author Tess Gerritsen Interviews Shame Author Alan Russell

Tess Gerritsen:
The last time we talked you interviewed me for a newspaper column, but now I get to interview you.
Alan Russell: That’s right. We discussed your latest book Last to Die and explored your San Diego roots.
TG: Being a San Diego native, my first few winters in Maine weren’t easy.
AR: I think I’d hibernate.
TG: Actually, winters are my most productive time to write. And speaking of hibernation I understand you’ve emerged from it with a new book (Burning Man).
AR: Not only a new book, but the reissuing of Multiple Wounds and Shame.
TG: I missed Shame the first time around. What’s it about?
AR: My first insight into writing the book occurred when I read about Ted Bundy fathering a child while in prison. That got me to thinking about how terrible it would be to be the child of a serial murderer.
TG: So much for a normal childhood.
AR: Exactly. Given that circumstance, I figure I’d want to escape the sins of the father as soon as I could. And that’s what my protagonist does.
TG: Let me guess, he’s not able to escape his past?
AR: Even though he has tried to carve out a life outside of his father’s shadow, it’s always there. His wife and children have no idea about his past, but it still taints him. The past catches up with him when a series of murders occur with his father’s M.O. Suddenly, he’s not only outed, he’s the prime suspect.
TG: That doesn’t sound like an easy book to write.
AR: It was the book from hell. I was on deadline and for the only time in my life I was late. In order to make the book right, I had to balance the past of the father with the present of the son. I also found it necessary to have not one major protagonist, but three. I brought in a true crime author whose career path was started when she survived the father’s visit to her sorority and he spared her life. And filling out the triumvirate is a drag queen.
TG: Dare I ask if that’s something you have personal experience with?
AR: The only time I’ve been in drag was when I played the role of Mother Ginger in the West Coast Ballet Company’s performances of the Nutcracker. And no, I’m not a dancer. The only reason I was in that production is that I’m 6’ 7” and they needed a tall performer to hide all the little dancers under a huge hoop skirt. Someone recommended me for my height, and though I was terrified at the prospect of performing as a writer I couldn’t say no to such an experience.
TG: Do you have pictures?
AR: You wouldn’t want to see them. I was not an attractive woman. My oldest son claims he still has PTSD from seeing me dressed that way.
TG: Do you still think of Shame as your book from hell?
AR: I must admit I really enjoyed rereading it. I guess enough time passed to forget the pain. It must be like women with childbirth. And speaking of childbirth, even when you were a practicing doctor and the mother of two you kept up a demanding writing regimen and still do. What’s your secret?
TG: Sheer stubbornness and an obsessive-compulsive streak. I hate missing deadlines, so I stay at my desk until it's done.

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Meet the Author

Critical acclaim has greeted Alan Russell's novels from coast to coast. Publisher's Weekly calls him, "One of the best writers in the mystery field today. The New York Times says, "He has a gift for dialogue," while the Los Angeles Times calls him, "A crime fiction rara avis." Russell's ten novels have ranged from whodunits to comedic capers to suspense, and his works have been nominated for most of the major awards in crime fiction. His novels have garnered him a Critics' Choice Award, The Lefty (awarded to the best humorous mystery of the year), and two San Diego Book Awards. A native and long-time resident of California, Alan Russell is a former college basketball player who these days barely can touch the rim. A proud father of three children, Russell is an avid gardener and cook, and fortunately is blessed with a spouse who doesn't mind weeding or washing dishes.

To find out more about Alan Russell please check out his website: or like him on Facebook:

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