Sunday, October 5, 2014


“The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible.”—Allan Kaprow

Murmurs of Insanity—crossing the lines.


This fourth novel featuring Moriah Dru and Richard Lake dramatizes two separate cases. Running in the background is a case about a young would-be gang banger who witnesses a murder between drug lords and afterward disappears. In the second (primary) case Lake asks Dru to look into a missing art student at the University of Georgia. Lake is an Atlanta police detective and Moriah Dru is a private investigator specializing in tracing missing children.

Throughout my life I’ve had a keen interest in art—I’ve an easel somewhere in the attic to prove it. My interest extends to Performance art, too. Some think of it as avant-garde; and it certainly plays a role in anarchic art such as Futurism and Dada. Some see it as nihilistic, but all agree it’s a hop-step from genres like painting and sculpting. Kaprow, known as the father of “happenings”, was very clear that Performance art is not theater, but, to me, it certainly involves theatrics.

As action art, the artist or artists feel the need to challenge the conventions of traditional art and of society. Doctrine is tested. Brainwashed concepts mocked. In the case of the artists in Murmurs, the trail of Performance clues are meant to shake up a complacent community. What could go wrong?

I’ve tried to show in these divergent cases that societal insanity compels the thuggish and vile in the real world, while in the artist community of a college town, insanity shows up as contrived and annoying. Be that as it may seem, in the end Murmurs of Insanity is a murder mystery.

Oh, and about the cover—dolls give me the creeps. They look like the dead.


A Review:

This is an outstanding, complicated, complex, emotionally fraught, novel of murder, and manipulation. It requires careful and thoughtful attention to the details of the crimes, the motivations of the characters and the movement of the plot. The rewards for readers are substantial. Yes, character development and explication is important. Yes, the relationships among the main characters, and there are many, are vital, but, unlike many modern crime novels, in this story the plot is an important and sturdy factor. – Carl Brookins


Available online, in book stores and libraries. Ask your bookseller or librarian if it is not stocked yet.

Also in the Dru/Lake series:

The End Game

The Last Temptation

The Devil Laughed.

Running with Wild Blood – Jan. 2015