By Basil Sands
Lindy opened her eyes and struggled to make out the dark room around her. She’s bound at the wrists and tied to a chair, unable to move. Footsteps outside the door stifle her screams. He’s coming…
In town, Sheriff Jenna Alton gets a text with a video and a simple message—you’ve got six hours to find her or I kill her.
This is how D. K. Hood’s latest book, WHISPER IN THE NIGHT begins—and I would strongly suggest that you don’t read it if you plan to sleep soon. WHISPER IN THE NIGHT is a tense thriller, not for the light-hearted—but definitely a story thriller fans will find compelling.
Writing about the rugged beauty of Montana and her interest in criminal forensic science goes back many years for Hood. Her debut crime thriller, Don’t Tell a Soul, was a Top 100 Bestseller on Amazon USA, with her follow-up books, Bring Me Flowers and Follow Me Home, enjoying the same success. Her novels The Crying Season and Where Angels Fear hit the USA Today bestseller list.
In this interview, she takes some time out of her busy schedule to talk to The Big Thrill about what inspired her chilling new release.
Please tell us about your latest book, WHISPER IN THE NIGHT.
Fifteen-year-old Lindy Rosen has been having nightmares for weeks, waking in a panic, screaming that there’s a man in her room watching her sleep. Her parents assumed it was her overactive imagination, but when one morning they find Lindy missing from her bedroom, they’re not so sure. Sheriff Jenna Alton is called in to investigate.
Within hours of the schoolgirl going missing, the kidnapper reaches out to Jenna with a video of Lindy bound and tied to a chair, crying to be set free. And a simple message—you’ve got six hours to find her or I kill her.
Jenna’s team work around the clock to try to find Lindy before the deadline, but time runs out, and Jenna receives a devastating message. The killer has made good on his promise. He’s playing a dangerous game. And no one knows what his next move will be.
But just two days later, one of Lindy’s school friends is taken in the middle of the night and the countdown begins again.
What a chilling premise. Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
The killer took shape first. He’s a twisted psychopath that likes to play games. Having him change the game plan at every turn to confuse Sheriff Jenna Alton made him very interesting to write.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I find every aspect of writing crime thrillers exciting and like to approach my stories from many points of view to place the reader into the story. I want my readers experiencing everything I’m seeing as I write, from the twisted mind of the killers to the concern of law enforcement and the terror of the victims. For me, researching every small detail is something I enjoy and I spend a great deal of time on research.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
I discover new things with every story I write, from poisons to explosives, but what constantly surprises me is the criminal mind in all its facets.
Where do your story ideas come from?
Honestly, I don’t know. They pop into my head most times, or I dream them. I’ve always have very vivid and strange dreams I can use. I have a list of what frightens me and that’s a good fallback to induce ideas. Once an idea forms, it happens very quickly.
Are the characters based on real people, or a pastiche of people you’ve come across?
I guess there’s a small part of every psychopath I’ve ever studied in my killer’s character. The traits and compulsions would come from them. I don’t base my characters on anyone in particular and they exist entirely in my mind. I observe behavior and notice mannerisms, so these assist with the rounding out of my characters.
What kind of books do you like to read for your own entertainment? Favorite authors?
Oh, I read a wide range of genres. Thrillers of course, but I enjoy historical western suspense novels as well. I’m currently reading David Baldacci’s Redemption. My favorite authors—and I have many— include John Sands, C. J. Box, Lee Child, Diana Gabaldon, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, and Gregg Hurwitz, to name a few.
Do you have a special story or series waiting in your future?
I have three more books to write in the Kane and Alton series. I’m not sure how far I’ll be going past #9. I’ve discussed another series with a strong female lead with my publisher, so time will tell. My plot book is bulging with ideas.
Now we come to the part of the interview where I try to delve deep into the heart and soul of the author, revealing to inner workings of she who is known as D. K. Hood.
You’re taking a walk in the Montana woods on a fine sunny evening, when suddenly you smell the unmistakable scent of body odor. The kind of body odor that comes from years of not bathing, eating lots of raw meat, and possibly rolling around in piles of decaying flora, and maybe even decaying fauna. Out of the woods steps a seven-foot-tall manlike creature covered in long red-brown fur, head to toe, with very large feet.
You let out a gasp of surprise to which the creature replies in a posh British accent, “Oh dear! Please, don’t be frightened! I won’t harm you.”
What happens next?
The pleas of the innocent, lost British gentleman rushed past D. K. as she ran down the trail, leaping over twisted tree roots. She didn’t stop until she hit the highway and found a deputy leaning against his cruiser. “Hey there’s some crazy bear up there. I figure he’s eaten a tourist.”
Writing crime thrillers for Bookouture has been a dream come true for D. K. Hood.
Her debut crime thriller, Don’t Tell a Soul hit the Top 100 Bestseller list on Amazon USA, followed by Bring Me Flowers and Follow Me Home enjoying the same success then The Crying Season went into the USA TODAY Bestseller list followed by Where Angels Fear.
She loves writing about the rugged beauty of Montana and her interest in the development of forensic science to solve crime goes back many years.
To learn more, please visit her website.
He lives in Anchorage Alaska with his wife and teen sons.