Where Crime Meets Horror: Inside the Mind of a Killer
Today I bring you a guest post by a wonderful author who immediately caught my attention a year ago with her story, The Doll. Her name is J.C. Martin and she is absolutely someone to watch. Her debut novel, Oracle, has just been released and is sure to be a huge success. I’m sure you’ll love her work as much as I do. So little hunters and huntresses, with great pleasure, I bring you J.C. Martin. Take it away…
Although my main genre is crime and thrillers, I adore scary stories, and enjoy dabbling in horror fiction. As a fan of both genres, I find many parallels between crime fiction and psychological horror, and nowhere else are these similarities starker, than when one looks inside the mind of a killer.
In this post, I discuss certain elements of a villain’s psychology—using some mildly clever subtitles—that could be every bit as spooky as one of Poe’s poems.
Eyes without a Face
In my books, I often write a few chapters from the point of view of the antagonist. Oracle is no exception. By getting inside the villain’s mind, readers will gain a different perspective on the crime. To the killer, it’s not just a murder. Depending on their twisted logic, it could mean so much more: personal gratification, retribution, a work of art, divine sacrifice, even an act of heroism for the good of all.
By seeing the world through the killer’s eyes, readers, though they may not agree with his methods, may sympathise with his motivations. We may share the same views as a psychopath. The only difference is that they act on their compulsions.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
The nature versus nurture debate in behavioural psychology fascinates me. Personally, I believe a psychopath is borne from an unfortunate combination of both: traumatic experiences and difficult circumstances, coupled with and an innate neurological malfunction, could well be the recipe for a serial murderer.
The antagonists in my stories aim to address this question of how a killer came to be. In Oracle, we visit the Oracle’s childhood in an attempt to understand the factors that triggered his psychotic behaviour.
Whilst experiencing past and present events through a madman’s eyes can be a creepy experience in itself, the scariest thing about killers, particularly serial killers, could be this…
They Walk Among Us
Many psychopaths appear to lead completely normal lives: Ted Bundy was a promising law student; Ian Brady was a quiet, unassuming office clerk. Could that nice young man in the cubicle next to yours be a serial killer in training? You may never know…
For me, more unnerving than their twisted psyche and murderous capabilities, the fact that you can’t tell a psychopathic murderer from the average Joe, is the scariest thought of all.
Through writing or reading from the perspective of a psychopath, we get to explore the darkest recesses of the human psyche. This walk on the dark side, together with the knowledge that these real-life monsters are indistinguishable from the everyday man, is what makes writing serial killer fiction so horrifyingly intriguing.
How do you find a serial killer in a crowd? You don’t. They find you.
What compels YOU most about the mind of a killer? In your opinion, who is the scariest serial killer of all, real or fictional?
About J.C. Martin:
J.C. Martin is a butt-kicking bookworm: when she isn’t reading or writing, she teaches martial arts and self-defence to adults and children. A writer of dark mysteries and gripping thrillers with a psychological slant, her short stories have won various prizes, and have been published in several anthologies. Oracle, released by J. Taylor Publishing, is her debut novel.
Born and raised in Malaysia, J.C. now lives in south London with her husband and three dogs.
As the countdown begins, the body count rises.
With London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn’t need a serial killer stalking the streets. They’ve got one anyway.
Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police are no closer to finding their latest murderer than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter’s disability.
Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential next victims.
One of whom could be his own daughter.
Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer’s only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene.
Available wherever e-books are sold. Click on any of J.C.’s links throughout the post to learn more or pick up your copy today!