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A Cool Motivation For A Serial Killer

Daniel McKay Author Interview

The Black Swan Killer follows a philosophical detective who is hired by the police to consult on a serial killer trying to prove humanity is selfish and thus deserves to die. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The Black Swan Killer was my attempt at writing what I know. I’ve done some fantasy books before but I thought I’d have a go at something I have some more expertise in and I’m a philosopher for my day job, so it seemed like a natural fit. Then it was just about making a story that was fun. I had been marking essays on psychological egoism (the idea that everyone is ultimately self-interested) and the idea of falsification at the time and together they seemed like a cool motivation for a serial killer.  

John Consequent is a unique detective unlike any I have read about before. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

To hear my friends (and wife whose name is Sophia) tell it, I just put myself in the book. That isn’t true, but it isn’t entirely untrue either. I feel like I took elements of my personality and magnified them in order to make John, though I’m borrowing a little from House and a few other similar characters.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I mean there’s a few obvious ones with self-interest, the meaning of life, and arrogance being chief among them. But the value of the impractical (or, maybe the non-instrumental) and what people are entitled to in a relationship and in the breakdown of a relationship come up too. 

What is the next book in the series that you are working on, and when will it be available?

The second book “The Heavens Fall” just came out a few days ago. It has John trying to defend two people for murder charges amongst other legal shennanigans. I’ve started the third book, but that could be a way off at this point.

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John Consequent is the world’s only philosophical detective. He can’t tell you whether your wife has been cheating or find the Maltese Falcon but if you need someone to convince you that your wife exists or find the true nature of consciousness, he’s your man.

So, when the police hire him to consult on a serial killer that’s trying to prove that humanity is ultimately selfish, it’s not his usual sort of case. To make matters worse, a group of nihilists are out to kill him for explaining the meaning of life to one of their buddies.

John’s going to need more than a clever argument and a comfy armchair to get out of this one.

The Black Swan Killer

The Black Swan Killer by Daniel McKay is a thought-provoking mystery novel that follows John Consequent, a philosophical detective, on a mission to save someone. This sounds fairly standard, as far as crime novels go, but the path that winds through this novel is anything but standard. And the beauty of the story is the way in which the author flips the genre and its familiar detective archetype on its head. When John eventually teams up with Detective Maria Salazar they initially clash but eventually combine their expertise. When they’re tasked with finding a serial killer who wants to be caught and have something proven to him (a bit like Batman’s Joker), John must be willing to break the rules to solve the case. He’s determined to solve the case even as the danger increases, threatening his life and those closest to him.

The author has a creative way of building unique characters and I absolutely loved it. John Consequent was such a compelling character, and sort of reminded me of Tim Roth’s character in the TV show Lie to Me. Although The Black Swan Killer is much more cerebral and a bit mind-bending if you think about it too much, as I uncovered multiple layers to this fascinating story and I wasn’t sure if it was part of the story or just in my head. Or maybe that’s what John Consequent does? In any case, this is a stimulating novel with a unique character driving it forward.

If you’re reading another mystery novel, stop it. Pick this one up. It’s better.

Containing some philosophical musings, an intriguing mystery and an original protagonist, this is a story that long time mystery readers will find refreshing. This was a surprisingly fun story that uses sharp writing to tell a story that is entertaining from start to finish.

Pages: 193 | ASIN: B0BG6188RS

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