The Face of Death
It's funny, and I don't know if it works that way for all authors, but I tend to put a book out of my mind once everything is done with it. Oh, I'm still involved with it, but it's like a lover who's now become a friend. The intimacy is not the same as when you're writing it. Then it will come out in hardback or paperback, or someone will email me about it, and all that intimacy returns.
The Face of Death was my second novel, and it was a hell of a hard book to write. It turned me into a cliche' as a writer - I drank, I was troubled, I didn't sleep well. It was an obsession, and it consumed my life. It was fantastically trying, for all kinds of reasons. The fact that it was a second novel was pressure enough, but the book itself, the dark places it took me to... yeah. It left me twisting in the wind on some cold nights.
Briefly: The idea of the book is simple. What if a serial killer, instead of killing many victims of the same physical type, left his primary victim alive? What if he followed her throughout her life, killing anyone and everyone that she ever loved? It was a diabolical idea that came from God knows where.
Now that I've had some time and distance from the book, I look back at it and I have a certain level of pride. I never arrive at a place where I have certainty on the quality of my writing (and perhaps I never should), but I'm... pleased with The Face of Death. I think it stands on its own.
And I hope those who haven't read it yet will give it a shot now that it's out in paperback, and let me know if you agree.