Home‎ > ‎Author & Book Insight‎ > ‎

Choice of Darkness - Character Development

The Killer:  Unnamed throughout most of the story, the mysterious antagonist longs to discover his identity.  Constantly reminded by a deteriorating mind of a childhood filled with cruelty and ostracism, he finds temporary release from his torment after he unexpectedly kills a young child.  Sensing insight in such dark actions, the killer embarks on a journey of self-discovery that brings him to Harrisburg, PA.  Fully described late in the tale, the character’s dead eyes allude to the indifference, impulsiveness, and social ineptness of a disorganized killer.

Thomas Payne:  Commander of the newly created Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) within Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), the main protagonist enjoys considerable respect and success in his career, while simultaneously stumbling socially following the death of his beloved wife.  A tall, muscular, forty-year-old man with dark hair and green eyes, Thomas possesses the necessary tools to move on romantically, but not the desire.  Mired in self-pity, he must confront the ghosts of his past in order to unite and guide the members of his new team and ultimately stop a killer.

ROBBY FRANKLIN:  A member of the new task force, Robby remains Thomas’ closest friend.  Socially adroit, his zest for life provides a reminder to Thomas of all that he has lost.  Styled as a racial mix of black and white, Robby shares age and build with Thomas, but remains unique with dark eyes and close cropped hair.  Known for his investigative perseverance, Robby dutifully accepts the added responsibility to pull Thomas from his lingering despair.

STAN BROWN:  The oldest member of the task force at forty-eight years of age, Stan enjoys international recognition as an expert in the fields of criminal assessment and offender profiling.  A huge ebony mountain of a man, Stan’s physical size conceals his true strength, an analytical mind.  Tasked with anticipating the killer’s next move, Stan demonstrates the ability to excel at his job while simultaneously providing support for a partner facing professional burn-out.

Ronnie Sanchez:  Stan’s new partner, Ronnie has spent the majority of her thirteen-year career investigating and prosecuting sex crimes.  Facing a personal crisis as a result of internalizing her victims’ pain, a two-year reprieve in undercover work only serves to defer her turmoil.  Returned to investigative work, the beautiful Hispanic agent now wages battle on two fronts, one professional and one personal.  Fortuitously, her pairing with a new partner provides unforeseen solace as she finds his intimidating size seemingly contradicted by the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon.

BILL TRAVIS:  Bill possesses an eidetic memory and the youthful exuberance of a junior detective.  As described by a more seasoned investigator, he looks like Harry Potter.  Teamed up at various points with tech-wiz Doc Patel, who has limited investigative experience, and Detective Terry Hassinger, an old gumshoe, Bill doles out and receives more than his fair share of practical jokes, while maturing and ferreting out the clues to stop a killer.

DOC PATEL:  An unlikely team member, Doc graduated from the Ivy League into a successful start-up tech company.  Recently a multimillionaire following the sale of his company, the thirty-year-old Indian discovers a passion for investigative work.  Combining his proven talent developing computer hardware and software with his new interest, Doc provides the task force with an arsenal of unique investigative tools with which to fight crime.  Portrayed as initially uncomfortable with his new environment, Doc’s world slowly expands in terms of friendships and interests.

MAGGIE BENNETT:  The office manager for the new task force, Maggie shares the tragedy of a spouse’s death with Thomas.  Having succeeded in tempering the pain of her heartbreak, Maggie resolves to help Thomas do the same.  Described as a blond tornado, Maggie’s motherly, yet volatile, personality provides the anchor stabilizing the task force through the waters of political and personal intrigue.