As we move closer to the time when you can read Seeing Double and embrace a whole new cast of characters to love, I find myself drawn to the horrors of what constitutes the new Middle East. As if the violence and cruelty of Sadam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, al Queda, Hamas, Hezbollah and all the other violent radical factions wasn’t enough, we now have ISIS which has taken Islamic extremism to an extreme the world hasn’t seen for hundreds of years. This group takes us back to early civilizations when there was no regard for human life, no concept of ‘family values’ or ‘social values.’ This group has no meaningful guidelines by which to regulate personal or social behavior. Like a rage-filled, adolescent, psychopathic gang they are bent on destruction for the sake of destruction. Even our lower functioning primate cousins have more clearly developed behavioral sanctions and social rules than these guys. Protect the young would be one imperative. While there are occasions when a violent ape tribe member crossed that boundary, it is nonetheless a clearly understood principal among primates that this was bad behavior. The young are always to be protected. It’s a zoological imperative. It’s inbred; something every species has hard-wired into their brains.
ISIS as a collective seems to have a few of those brain cells missing. Actually, quite a lot of them. The news this morning reported that ISIS has ‘put a price’ on children, whole huge groups of them are now for sale. Nothing covert about these guys! Not like our sneaky pedophiles, who horrify us by kidnapping one kid at a time. Boca Harem move over, today’s award for the cruelest and most heartless transgressors against children goes to ISIS. You are now the official worst of the worst. Congratulations!
It’s easy to sympathize with Gina, to support her and cheer for her as she copes with her fears and summons up the inner resources to confront them. It’s easy to admire Elisabeth as the strong, caring therapist and leader she is, but what about some of the other characters that make Relentless the compelling novel it is?
What, for example about Custer? A sad, victimized character caught up in a whirlwind of forces and events he never seems to understand. One of my favorite characters to write about, Custer, was totally unplanned. He just happened. A fledgling character, he epitomizes the foundational conflicts embroiled in the plot. Identified with the underdog, Custer just wanted to belong somewhere, but found himself swept along with the forces of evil as he automatically replayed his childhood roles trying to appease the alpha dogs and stay out of the line of fire. His inner dialogue offers an accurate perspective of gang dynamics as he observes his ‘buddies’ struggle and tries, ineffectively, to guide the powerful psychopathic gang leader in different directions. Custer is fundamentally a likeable guy with a good heart who is ultimately controlled by his fears and insecurities. In the plot, he serves as the truth-teller, given other life circumstances he would have turned out differently. In the end, Gus speaks to the character’s essence as he wonders ‘what would have happened if he had given the kid a little job’ in his diner. Good point, Gus, that’s something we can all wonder about.
Selma is a must see movie that speaks to the explosive power of social change characterizing the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. It speaks to the charisma, vision and indisputable eloquence of Martin Luther King, Jr. who’s oratorical and leadership skills remain unparalleled in US history. As a man, King embraced not only the faith and hope of his people but also their needs. He felt, deeply felt, their need for social equality. He felt their pain as a disadvantaged minority. He knew that the key to social change rested in the hands of the President and the Congress. He knew that true equality, social and political justice can never exist without sufficient and adequate laws to support it. He knew that the power to create legislative change required enormous public pressure. And he knew that the way to create public pressure started with feet on the ground in Selma, Alabama.
A few months have passed since RELENTLESS, An Elisabeth Reinhardt novel hit the marketplace and perhaps loyal fans and followers of Elisabeth Reinhardt, PhD have been wondering what’s next for the famed psychologist aka head of a secret underground rescue organization. Well, wonder no more. Coming soon to an Amazon.com near you is SEEING DOUBLE. In this adventurous spy thriller, Elisabeth continues to go beyond the call of duty for her patients and this time it’s way beyond as she and her crew, evade extremist pursuers and head toward the Middle East where they become entangled in the complex world of jihadists, Mossad, covert Russian arms dealers and foil a madman’s ill-conceived plot to destroy the known world. SEEING DOUBLE, the second book in the Elisabeth Reinhardt series, will introduce you to the charismatic characters who take the lead in our spin off series The Olive Branch, which will focus on the multifaceted, fast-paced and dangerous world of nations in conflict.
You’ll meet new and compelling characters and become invested in their lives and fates as this complex plot unfolds from page to page. SEEING DOUBLE will compound your reading pleasure in more ways than one, just you wait and see!