Book: Killerwatt by Sharon Woods Hopkinscategories: Book, Women Sleuths, Suspense, Muscle Cars, Female Protagonist, Terrorist Thriller, Cozy Suspense, Mystery Thriller
Sharon Woods Hopkinsabout this book: Killerwatt is the first book in the Rhetta McCarter Mystery series. Rhetta is a mortgage banker and insurance agent in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, who is curious about the mysterious fatal accident involving a client, a Muslim doctor. When she investigates the wreck she stumbles upon a schematic which leads to a terrorist plot to take out the Midwest electric grid. No one believes her, not the FBI, police, and at first, not even her husband. Soon everyone who has seen the schematic meets with a fatal accident. When her husband nearly dies in a very similar accident to that of the Muslim doctor, her associate, a former marine named Woody, finally believes her, and the two of them set out to stop the terrorists. Woody gets shot, and is unable to continue, so she is left alone to stop them.
I had the vision for the story from an experience that happened at my real job. I'm a mortgage banker, and in processing a mortgage refinance for a Muslim client, my associate received a strange telephone voice mail. This entire scene catapulted me into the story. I thought, what if there was a terrorist cell operating here in our area in Southeast Missouri? What would they plot to take out?
I reproduced the scene in the book almost exactly as it happened. Of course, the names are changed. The story flowed quickly. I was fortunate to have a good friend who recently retired as General Maintenance Manager from the local Rural Electric Co-operative. From him I was able to explore all the possibilities for vulnerability within our rural electric grid. It took about ten months to write and publish the book. The title, Killerwatt, came to me when I decided what it was that would be vulnerable to a terrorist attack-the power substations, and thus the power grid. The picture for the cover, the double lightning strike was taken by my husband standing on our porch during a fierce electrical storm. The substation is a key part of the story. And on the back, is pictured the nose of my own 79 Camaro, who becomes a key "character" named Cami in the story.
I find my readers to be those who like clean, fast-moving, suspenseful mysteries. The entire story takes place over a 72 hour period, so it moves quickly.
The surprising thing I learned from Killerwatt, is how invested my readers are with the characters, especially Cami. When my second book, Killerfind, came out, I received a lot of emails from those readers who were surprised and happy at the resolution, because it did involve Cami. At first, I didn't have Rhetta driving the 79 Camaro. Since I'd love to be able to drive my own Camaro every day, I decided to make Cami a part of the tapestry of the story.
"Killerwatt" is a high-voltage, high-speed adventure--with humor, heart, and a frighteningly realistic story!" Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Macavity and Agatha-winning author of the currrent best-seller, "The Other Woman."
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