Ali Karim: The Soul Collectors is the fourth novel featuring CSI specialist Darby McCormick, and she has become a very popular character in the genre. I would suggest that her appeal comes from her conflicting mix of vulnerability and strength. Would you agree?The Page 69 Test: The Missing.
Chris Mooney: I think that’s accurate. I didn’t want her to be as emotionally remote as another popular character I wrote about in Deviant Ways (2000) and The Secret Friend (2008), the former profiler wanted by the FBI, Malcolm Fletcher. What I find interesting about her is how she tries to rein in her emotions--and hide them--in the male-dominated world of law enforcement. I also wanted her to be as physically tough and aggressive as her male counterparts, which can make for an interesting paradox. What I think readers respond to, though, is the passion and, you might say, obsessive thinking and focus she brings to her job. Who wouldn’t want to have someone like Darby fighting for you?
AK: In The Soul Collectors we are introduced into a very dark world, and like many of your books it features physically (as well as mentally) scarred people. What is the attraction of the “dark side” to you as a novelist?
CM: I have this quote I always say to my wife: “You can really never know another person.” I firmly believe that. People have the face they wear around others, and the inner lives they keep hidden from everyone. I’ve always been fascinated with people’s inner lives. Villains have very interesting inner lives, because they don’t think the way we do. What makes serial killers, mass murders--any sort of villain, really--so interesting is...[read on]
My Book, The Movie: The Secret Friend.