When a mysterious package lands on Louisa Hancock’s doorstep, the Philadelphia museum curator can hardly anticipate the nightmare that’s about to envelop her. The package is addressed to her father—an expert in Viking culture—and inside is a ninth-century sword, a chilling thank-you note, and photos of two dead bodies in a tableau evoking a Nordic funeral. The gruesome images match a recent crime scene. But before the police can investigate the killer’s connection to Louisa’s father, Ward Hancock vanishes.
Sports bar owner Conor Sullivan wants nothing more than to spend his life with Louisa. Devoted and protective, he refuses to leave her side after her father’s disappearance. When a troubled young boxer he’s been coaching is suspected of the murders, Conor is pulled in even deeper. Desperate, Louisa and Conor take it upon themselves to find her father, but soon another ritualistic slaying makes it clear there’s a Viking-obsessed serial killer on the loose. And he has a new target: Louisa.
Melinda Leigh recently spent some time discussing her latest novel, MIDNIGHT OBSESSION, with The Big Thrill.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
MIDNIGHT OBSESSION explores the darkness in humanity and how one person’s choices can spiral out of control and have tragic consequences far beyond their expectations.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
I love to cross genres.MIDNIGHT OBSESSION brings elements of thriller, romance, drama, and even horror together into one package.
Was there anything new you discovered, or surprised you, as you wrote this book?
This book required an enormous amount of research that never made it into the book. Being a total geek, I enjoyed every minute. The Vikings had a fascinating culture. Viking women could own property, divorce their husbands, and demand their dowries back if the marriage ended. Despite their reputations as fierce warriors, Vikings were primarily farmers, and they did not wear horned helmets in battle.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
There’s a very dark scene toward the end of the book that I was afraid my editor would ask me to cut. To my surprise, she actually wanted me to go into greater detail.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
The first author who had a major impact on me was Stephen King. I first read Salem’s Lot as a freshman in high school. Unlike every book assigned to me by my English teacher, I couldn’t put King’s novel down. By the time I’d reached the middle of the book, I was sleeping with the light on. The whole idea that words on a page could elicit such a visceral response intrigued me. I’d never read anything like it. I was completely immersed. My eyes were opened to a whole new world of fiction.
“Any time you see Melinda Leigh’s name on a book cover, you know you’re in for a sexy, sinister, twist-ridden read.” – USA Today
“Leigh faithfully delivers animated characters, chills, thrills, and a plot that quickens the pulse all in one shot.” 4.5 Stars, RT Book Reviews
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh is a fully-recovered banker. A life-long lover of books, she started writing as a way to preserve her sanity while raising her kids. Over the next few years, she learned a few things about writing a book. The process was much more fun than analyzing financial statements, and she decided to turn her hobby into a career. Melinda’s debut novel, She Can Run, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. She is a RITA® Award Finalist and has earned three Daphne du Maurier Award nominations, two Silver Falchion Awards, and a Golden Leaf.
Melinda holds a 2nd degree belt in Kenpo Karate. She’s dabbled in Arnis stick fighting, studied Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and taught women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband, two kids, a couple of shelter dogs, and two rescue cats who clearly run the show. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination.
Find out more about Melinda by visiting her website.