I am excited that the new novel is moving towards a Halloween release. Sam and Bob return for another adventure fighting against the forces of darkness. Sam is hired as an attorney to represent a client with agoraphobia charged with murder. The centerpiece for this tale is a haunted mansion with a dark history. Yet, this is not your typical haunted house mystery or horror story. Yes there are ghosts and black magic but there is far more than that.
I write books primarily for the purpose of entertaining my readers. At the same time sometimes I have to dig beneath the surface of society. Habitat for Human Remains is about the history of Illinois and the United States as a whole.
When I was in college at the University of Wisconsin they were filming the movie Back to School (The movie is hilarious). I was with a group of people who walked over to meet the great comedian Rodney Dangerfield. He was asked how he liked Madison. His response, “Nice place to fly over”. Of course he was a comedian making a joke. Yet, the Midwest is often ignored in the world of literature and film.
Habitat for Human Remains discusses some of the history of Champaign County and the State of Illinois. Abraham Lincoln and the civil war play a role in the history of the mansion known as the Frost Home. In addition the book talks about Native American Chief Black Hawk and the westward expansion of the country.
The issue of mental health is also explored. Why has the court system failed to evolve over time? Why are we incarcerating the mentally ill rather than treating the accused for the underlying illness? Are people using drugs, legal or otherwise to treat un-diagnosed illness?
The role of magic vs. science is another debate captured within the pages of this novel. Can magic be used to alter the rules of nature? Do we mistake science for magic. Do we ignore magic because it lacks a scientific explanation. Are the rules of physics absolute? What would Newton or Einstein think of magic, and witches on broomsticks?
Sam is just an ordinary guy once again thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Sam is cast into the world of the paranormal and asked to fight the forces of evil without superpowers or special training. In this book Sam is asked to unravel a mystery that goes back to the beginning of time. He must discover how the remains of a human body found a resting place on the floor of a locked room on the second floor of a haunted mansion.
The characters living in the mansion are as strange as the house itself. There is a mute butler, a blind woman, an angry maid and an agoraphobic man accused of the murder. Could anyone of them be the killer? One thing is clear this case is a lot bigger than murder.
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