The Big Thrill Discusses DEAD KEEN with Anise Eden
Con O’Brien returned to Ireland to help solve a medical mystery that could destroy his brother’s life. He brought along his new girlfriend, Neve, to introduce her to his family and the country he calls home—and to put an ocean between her and the dangers still lurking in Washington, DC.
Neve Keane is convinced that the key to curing a baffling illness lies with an elusive video game designer in Galway. But getting his help means overcoming bad blood and broken hearts—and so far, he won’t answer his phone.
When you’ve gained the favor of an ancient god, nothing and no one can stop you from getting what you want—even if you demand the ultimate sacrifice.
In their race to uncover sinister secrets, Con and Neve get trapped with their backs against the wall, and the water is rising. Now they must find a way to save themselves, rescue innocent victims, and stop a deadly evil in its tracks—all before sunrise tomorrow.
Anise Eden recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest romantic suspense, DEAD KEEN.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
In my role as a mental health social worker, I thought a lot about the need for trauma-informed mental health care, as well as the stigma and biases attached to mental health diagnoses. In DEAD KEEN, there is a medical/psychological mystery at the centre of the plot involving a woman who is self-injuring, but the reasons and triggers are unclear. She is portrayed as being treated in a very trauma-informed setting, but still she deals with the biases of staff members regarding her individual diagnosis. These are issues I would love to see addressed more, so I decided to bring them to light in my novel.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
This is the second book in the Things Unseen Series. The first book, DEAD SOUND, followed the same main characters, Cornelius and Neve, through a spine-tingling medical and political thriller set in her hometown Washington, DC. I knew while writing that book that I wanted the sequel to be set in Cornelius’s hometown in County Cork, Ireland. Moving to Ireland myself shortly after starting the first draft had a major influence on the plot, as well. My passion for this couple and the work they do in mental health kept me fueled!
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
Protagonist Neve Keane is a mental health social worker and a psychotherapist on the psychiatry floor of a major Washington, DC hospital. While there are many portrayals of mental illness in crime literature and thrillers, I wanted to share the perspective of a professional treating a fully sympathetic patient who is instrumental in solving the core mystery. As both a former psychotherapist and someone who has struggled with mental health issues, I wanted to pull back the curtain on what is sometimes a mysterious world of diagnosis and treatment.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
Right now I’m working on the third and final book in the series, DEAD LATE. This novel will be set in Cork, Ireland and like the other installments, will weave together a mental health mystery and edge-of-your-seat suspense. I can’t say much more without giving away spoilers, but this book will put Neve and Cornelius back in the sites of a villain the thought they had left in the past. Stay tuned!
ANISE EDEN is an Amazon bestselling writer of award-winning thrillers and romantic suspense novels. A former psychotherapist, she is now a social work educator and mental health advocate. Anise’s writing has won several awards, including the FCRW National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, the Sheila Contest, and the Catherine Contest. In addition, her medical thriller, DEAD SOUND, was a Page Turner Award finalist. When not writing, Anise can often be found sipping coffee while binge-watching dog rescue videos. Originally from the mid-Atlantic US, Anise lives “across the pond” in beautiful County Cork with her Irish husband and her small but mighty canine writing companion.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.
DEAD KEEN with Anise Eden