Book: Honor Code by Cathy Perkinscategories: Book, Detective, Police Procedural, Family, Family Relationship, South Carolina, Army, Art Theft, Small Town, Novella, Mystery
Cathy Perkinsabout this book: I've always been a little awed by short story writers. In just a few pages, they set up a conflict, shape a character and deliver a twisty ending. And don't get me started on song lyrics—whew, a complete story in less than four minutes.
Writers seem to fall into one camp or the other—long or short—without much cross-over. I figured I was firmly in the "long" camp. I love writing twisty, multiple suspects, numerous red herrings plots with a few subplots just in case things aren't already complicated enough. But a funny thing happened this summer. I was completely blocked on a story. Convinced I'd never write another word that wasn't garbage. Painfully creeping to the first turning point. As in, nothing positive was happening. Then one day, a character from The Professor cleared his throat and said, "Get over here and pay attention."
And I discovered novellas can be fun to write.
Novellas fill that gray area (whatever shade you want it to be) between short story and novel. While I usually write complex subplots, with this novella, I stripped those out to focus on the central story and theme. In HONOR CODE, the story revolves around the way the three main characters choose to live their lives—their code of honor.
Or lack of one.
The layers of complexity in a novella must serve multiple tasks, both driving the story forward and defining the characters.
In a small southern town where everyone knows each other's business, veteran detective Larry Robbins must solve the disappearance of eighty-year-old widower George Beason.
When evidence arises that Beason may have left town on his own, it would be easy for Robbins to close the case, but his gut instinct tells him more's at stake. As he uncovers clues about Beason's deceased wife and his estranged daughter, Robbins must untangle conflicting motives and hidden agendas to bring Beason home alive.
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