Release date: June 22, 2018
Someone has been creeping in the dark while the others sleep, and they’ve done terrible, terrible things.
“There was a man on your roof,” claims curmudgeonly lane-hermit Herbert McKinney. Then, he initiates an unprovoked fight with a local punk. Drama escalates when that punk’s dead body is found hanging at mid-street one August morning—a boastful killer messaging their next prey. All fingers point to Herbert as the culprit. Soon, the five couples he calls neighbors come under suspicion, too. When detectives divine blackmail as the motive, eyes cross to find who hides the most shameful secret. Husband versus wife, friend versus friend, the shiny suburban veneer of innocence has been forever tarnished. As hidden deviousness boils from their pores, there lurks a thief, a pill addict and a sadist—secrets worth killing for.
Now, as the man on the roof helps guide justice and watches devious neighbors slip in and out of sleepy houses, confusion and questions persist. Who dies next? What have they learned? Who is becoming a monster? Who already is one? And just how many secrets can a small group of multi-ethnic Ohioans have? Only one cemented truth exists: the killer will kill again.
A taut domestic mystery-suspense thriller, The Man On The Roof propels the reader through a tangled, volatile and suspenseful thicket of deception, murder and friends, inviting the reader to discover the murderer and who hides which lie. First there was Gone Girl. Then there was The Girl on the Train. Now, there’s The Man On The Roof.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Man on the Roof! I have a guest post from the author to share today.
The Great Lure of Mystery: Why we’re Enamored with Mysterious People
Eve probably only ate the fruit because she wanted to know what it would taste like, or why it was forbidden. Scientists say that it’s one of the reasons we even began to build tools, and also why we were able to evolve to dominate the world. It’s why we learn, why we ask questions when we look up at the stars and why we sometimes find ourselves eavesdropping conversations of strangers on trains, planes and buses. Curiosity is to the brain what appetite is to the stomach, and it is no better, no easier satiated than by solving a good mystery. But why, out of all the wonderful mysteries in this great big universe, are we most enamored by the one that seems most easily understood: people? That is the great modern curiosity.
“Every one is a mystery, sometimes even unto themselves.” That is the premise on which I based my latest novel The Man On The Roof. A psychological mystery-thriller, The Man On The Roof follows in the footsteps of other recent hits like Gone Girl, In A Dark, Dark Wood, The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window, challenging readers to discover who is lying and who has really committed the heinous crime. Here, it is in its simplest form that we find out why we love not only a good mystery but a good mysterious person.
We’ve all heard the saying a woman must maintain an aura of mystery about her when it comes to courting. In other words, ladies can’t share all their secrets with their beau even after marriage. Why? Because he’ll get bored? Is that it? Are we obsessed with mystery simply because it keeps us from being bored. Maybe, but I believe there’s more there.
A good mystery keeps us active, keeps the brain churning, invites us into a world of new experiences. All of those things counter boredom. They also help us to think, learn, desire. When a potential lover maintains a mystery about them, it makes us work and shows us just how interested we are in keeping them. It’s a primitive form of testing our heart. Still, it goes deeper than that.
Mysteries in book form have a set structure. Authors introduce the players, set the stage, give them a puzzle to solve (a murder in the case of The Man On The Roof), then go about deconstructing the way and/or reasoning behind said puzzle. There is a concrete beginning, middle and end. In that way, mysteries supply us with structure to chaos in a world that increasingly seems to have little structure or cause for any effect. These fictional stories allow us to see justice done when in real life real justice is such a fleeting concept. But a psychological mystery-thriller is often different.
A psychological mystery-thriller thrives on the idea of people as mysteries. Instead of always supplying justice, they give us an often bleak look into the mind of the person who committed the crime. One might think that morbid, yet we’ve become engrossed in this genre of mystery now more than ever. Look on TV and you’ll find a glut of true crime stories, mysteries that didn’t always end with the right verdict. These allow us to sit in judgment of those around us, comparing and contrasting our own life to theirs. We can lose ourselves in wondering if we’d do the same as them, in trying to piece together the puzzle of a person.
Speaking of, there’s a feeling of accomplishment that we get from solving mysteries, from learning something new, from putting together the last puzzle. Time drips away at such a fast interval that we often need something to stake within the ground in order to feel as if we aren’t wasting it. During our schooldays we would burst at the seams at having accomplished passing from one grade to the next. There was always something to look forward to. In adulthood, there are not as many milestones. Years can float by where one feels as if they’ve done nothing. Mysteries give us a definite goal to achieve before the novel’s counterpart does. People are similar in that their mystery unfolds to us like a video game. We are able to notch our progress by recalling just how much we’ve been allowed to learn or “solve” about this person. It’s one thing to look out your window and see your newlywed neighbors and think they are happy. It’s an entirely different thing to look out and see her cheating. Level up! You just got a secret achievement.
Ultimately, we are drawn to mysterious people and look forward to the unknown in other humans because they make us feel and do it so effortlessly. We feel accomplished. We feel aroused. We feel a little smarter. We feel a little more accepted. We feel we’ve learned something. We feel a little less bored with our own lives. We feel alive! A person is a most pure mystery because they’re always changing, always challenging, always filled with secrets just waiting to be found out and explored. And in doing such exploration, we discover just as much about ourselves as we do about them. Mysteries, and mysterious people allow us to remember that we are so much more even on days when we think less of ourselves. I believe that everyone is a mystery, sometimes even unto themselves, so it is our duty to go out, have an adventure and discover the secrets we didn’t know we had. But first read The Man On The Roof (tee-hee)!
Check out the other stops on the tour!