It is always a tragedy when anyone dies untimely and expectedly. But when the ultra wealthy die under unusual circumstances, their untimely demises often do not evoke pathos. Rather, their deaths elicit shock – how could that happen to someone so rich – followed by much speculation and gossip. Thrown into the mix is always a little Shadenfroid, the little something in the back of one’s mind that says that the rich had it coming.
I had these various themes in mind when I penned the novel, Blindman’s Bluff. When real estate developer Guy Kaffey and his beautiful wife, Gilliam, are brutally slaughtered in their own multi-acre ranchero in the valley of Southern California, the press and street talk imply that the billionaire had it coming. To amass such a gargantuan fortune, Guy had to have amassed a slew of enemies and one of them took revenge in the most ghastly of ways.
But my main protagonists, LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker and his wife, Rina, know that as often as not, vicious homicides are not perpetrated by the embittered, murderous outsiders, but rather, the killings are the outcome of someone closer to the victim, someone who has been sitting on top of years and years of suppressed rage. Decker knows that while it is true that Guy Kaffey had plenty of business detractors, he had also failed his family. Through his intensive investigations, Decker discovered that Guy, not surprisingly, had bad temper problems, ranting and exploding on a daily basis. He pushed his weight around, bullied those that surrounded him, cheated routinely and regularly took out his frustrations on his hundreds of employees, his brother/business partner, Mace and his two loyal sons – Gil and Grant. Could it be that one of those who knew Guy most intimately suddenly became enraged, unglued and murderous?
Blindman’s Bluff is a novel that explicates how little things can often affect irreparable changes. Through Decker’s meticulous eye, it is the details as opposed to the big picture, that tell the story.
Blindman’s Bluff is publshed by HarperCollins