Book: The Case of Marc Keller by R.M. Mzalecategories: Book, Fiction, Paranormal, Psychological, Thriller, Crime, Detective, Mystery
R.M. Mzaleabout this book: Being an African, I struggled a lot with deciding to write this book. Mostly because nobody expects a story written by an African to -not- be focused on education the masses to the depravities and difficult way of life most African countries experience. This story is written by a 22 year old (at the time of publication) Tanzanian guy with the simple goal of pulling Africa out of struggle literature.
The Case of Marc Keller is a novella that aims to bring together a cliché plot about a detective trying to catch a killer before his early retirement. With the cliché in place, I wanted to bombard it with so much uncertainty, twists, and turns that by the time you reach the epilogue you won't be able to remember how things escalated so far out of proportion from how the story starts.
I was inspired by Dan Brown's pacing, where every chapter feels somewhat like an episode off of a TV show. The novella is short, no doubt, but I didn't want to add more than I needed to. Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger and things go from bad to worse for the protagonist. There is also a good use of italics in the story, I urge readers to pay good attention to what Marc is thinking; it is a great way to keep up with his mental state, that slowly deteriorates as the story progresses.
About the story: The Case of Marc Keller is a story written using the first person perspective of detective Marc Keller, who decides to go on early retirement after witnessing the execution of a serial killer, The Needler. Marc played a huge role in the Needler's capture, but he suffers from intense nightmares after the execution. A few weeks shy of his early retirement he gets a call to investigate the murder of a little boy.
From there, things take a dark and paranormal turn as the victim tells Marc (post-mortem) that the Needler has returned and the truth lies in "the place he holds dear." Marc is now faced with a case that shakes the balance of what is real and what isn't. Is the Needler really back? Could it just be a copycat? What is the dark presence the is stalking him, why does it get so violent as he gets closer to solving the case? These are the answers that should keep the page turning till you reach the epic conclusion.
The cover was chosen because it sets the mood for the story. It is simple, clean, yet ominous. You are not quite sure why a murder mystery novella would have a simple cover of black smoke with a white background.
The biggest challenge I faced writing this book was the style of writing I chose to go with. The protagonist, Marc Keller, doesn't get a lot of description. I don't mention his race, nationality, how tall he is or what car he drives to work. My editor wasn't a big fan of the idea but I wanted to let the readers adopt their own image of Marc Keller in their head. The story is about him, it's read through his perspective, it really is up to you to decide how he looks like. The only description I provide is his fashion sense.
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