I spent close to ten years in Miami law enforcement investigating and prosecuting rapists, robbers, child molesters, drug traffickers, wife beaters, and murderers before I decided to step back and pursue a career in thriller writing. In an overwhelmed system, I handled literally hundreds, if not perhaps, thousands, of cases during that time, and while I’d like to be able to say I can still remember every victim and every defendant on every case I worked, I know that’s impossible.
But there are cases that have remained with me over the years. Victims who undoubtedly affected me. Defendants who actually frightened me. There are always some crimes that, no matter how many years you’ve been around the system and no matter how many unbelievable things you’ve seen in those years, still manage to shock you with their senselessness and brutality. It’s those crimes, those headlines—the ones that still beg for an answer to the question why, even years after they’ve been committed—that force you to wonder if some people are just truly evil.
That’s the question that I wanted to explore in my new novel, Plea of Insanity. Inspired in part by a friend’s tragic experience with a brother who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, I wanted to go back into the Miami courtroom and journey this time into the mind of madness. And as can be expected when one pleads insanity, nothing is what it seems.
Plea of Insanity is a project that is more than two years in the making, and I’m really excited about how it turned out. Instead of death row, this time my research took me inside a maximum-security forensic hospital for the criminally insane. I have to say that was an experience that will stay with me forever.
Thanks for all your amazing e-mails and humbling comments, and most of all your unending patience while I completed this project. They really helped get me through.
All the best,