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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.—Mahatma Gandhi
When I write a novel I want to have a theme woven within the plot. A theme could be thought of as the soul of a story. Or maybe the skeleton. A foundation on which you build the structure.
People sometime bristle at the idea of having a theme in a thriller. After all a thriller is supposed to be action packed or filled with brooding psychological suspense. A page turner. There’s no time or room for a theme. Think a sudden stoppage of the action for some character to come forward and, with the piety of a preacher about to excoriate his parishioners for their long held sins, tell you, the reader, how you should live, what you should do, or what you must stop doing.
That’s not how theme works. Particularly in a thriller. And I don’t write like that.
A judicious application of make-up should enhance the wearer’s positive features without calling attention to itself. Theme works the same way. It should help propel the story forward in an interesting way without shouting, “This is the theme!” in each chapter.
Themes, although not shouted from the rooftops of books, can be very powerful. They can prick the conscience, move the reader to reconsider a belief, or help shore up a long held opinion.
The best way to read a thriller with a theme is not to consciously search for the theme but to let it seek you out. Don’t worry over what deep meaning the author is trying to convey. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy the ride.
In my novel, Lethal Paradise, the theme is articulated best in the above Gandhi quote which also appears in the front-matter of the book.
I hope you get a copy, read the quote and store it in the back of your mind, then strap in for a rollicking ride. Later, maybe, recall the quote and theme. It just might change your life.
Rising like an emerald from the azure Caribbean Sea the island of Mousseux is an exotic getaway spot of sun, sand, and surf for visitors, sure to elicit unforgettable times of excitement and balmy relaxation.
The above could be an ad agency’s copy for a promotional campaign touting the benefits of vacationing on the fictional Caribbean island of Mousseux, the main setting for my new novel, Lethal Paradise.
Mousseux is a tiny island with a mountainous spine in the center. And like all islands in the region it was created by a volcanic eruption, the lava based soil insuring lush green vegetation from the tip of it’s mountain peaks to the edge of the sparkling beaches.
Speaking of beaches, they are the island’s biggest attraction. It became legend that a French explorer, one Pierre Leclerc, on discovering the island, stated that the beaches sparkled in the tropical sunlight. He therefore dubbed the island “Mousseux”, which means sparkling in French. The name stuck and tourism blossomed and grew in the late twentieth century. Days of lounging on the beach in the warm tropical sun and of sipping Pina Coladas in the cool of the evening flowed.
But, the very attraction to tourists is, ironically, the very reason that Mousseux has a sinister underbelly. The island is a divided nation. On one side of the rising jungle spine is a tropical tourist paradise of luxury hotels, five-star restaurants, and pristine sparkling private beaches. All this is supplemented by a corporate giant of a pharmaceutical company. This side practically oozes money. On the other side of that mountainous divide lies the rub. There, in small clearings within the jungle, are tiny villages containing the island’s poor. They eek out a living by taking menial jobs and gleaning whatever meager natural resources are available. Their beaches are not as pristine. In fact they are rocky.
But, those rocky beaches hold potential for the rich. They can be cleaned up and new hotels, casinos, theme parks, and corporate offices can be constructed along those beaches making the rich even richer.
And the poor are now a liability. A liability to be exterminated. Refuse to swept away by a diabolical act of terror.
Who will stand in the gap for those poverty stricken islanders? Is there anyone willing to risk everything to set things right?
This is the background of my new thriller, Lethal Paradise, a novel of intrigue, cover-ups, and heroism. Please, take a look at it. I think you’ll enjoy a thrilling read.