The Big Thrill Discusses A KILLER APP With Linda Lovely
Kylee Kane, a security consultant for Welch HOA Management, finds the first victim, Andy Fyke, crumpled at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Kylee suspects his fall’s no accident and is tied to Andy’s campaign to prohibit rentals in his Hilton Head Island community. Yet, Andy’s obvious enemies have ironclad alibis.
When another Lowcountry HOA retiree dies in a hit-and-run boat tragedy, Kylee begins to think the incidents are linked—even though the victims and their assailants have little in common.
The link is the Chameleon, an Artificial Intelligence expert, who can create a deepfake of almost anyone—living or dead. Even more frightening is the Chameleon’s ability to seek out disturbed souls and laser-focus their rage. A talent employed to compel subjects to act as surrogate assassins.
When Kylee begins to pursue the Chameleon, the AI expert decides it’s time to groom an assassin to permanently sideline Kylee.
Linda Lovely recently sat down with The Big Thrill team to discuss book #3 in her HOA mysteries, A KILLER APP.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I watched a side-by-side comparison of President Obama videos. One was authentic; the other a deepfake. Had I not known I might have accepted the deepfake as authentic. This made me consider implications beyond political dirty tricks. What would happen if unscrupulous AI experts used their talents for personal profit and/or revenge?
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?
I pictured a fit athletic heroine in her fifties with the requisite life experience and investigative knowledge to be a credible kick-ass sleuth. As a bonus, my ex-Coast Guard investigator lives on a sailboat. Since water covers almost half of her South Carolina county’s nine-hundred square miles, my heroine can choose to sail to the rescue when a villain strikes or hides on one of the scattered islands.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I hope to encourage digital scrollers to become more discerning about the online texts, images and videos that bombard us. I also hope they’ll be skeptical of new “friends” who push them to join private groups that claim to have insider knowledge and, too often, a sense of rage.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
I’m working on Kylee Kane’s fourth investigative adventure in the South Carolina Lowcountry. While working for an HOA management company with a dozen clients, Kylee has ample opportunity to encounter colorful characters, bitter conflict and well-disguised villains.
Linda Lovely’s A KILLER APP is her eleventh published novel. A journalism major in college, Lovely spent decades handling corporate PR, including penning hundreds of feature articles for business, trade and travel magazines. Today, her focus is fiction. Her mysteries, historical suspense and contemporary thrillers share one common element—smart, independent heroines. A member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, she also serves as secretary for Mystery Writers of America’s Southeast regional chapter. For many years, Lovely helped organize the Writers’ Police Academy.
To learn more about the author, please visit her website.
A KILLER APP With Linda Lovely