Saul Kissling, loner, has done everything in his power to attract the love of his father, even when that meant killing his own brother. The legacy of that murder is a scar. A scar that has started to talk to him. A scar that has come up with a plan to garner his father’s love and teach all those that mocked him. Saul plays a game, his opponent, unknowingly is chosing the place of his next victim.
Quinn Tempest-Stewart is thrown into an investigation of a series of seemingly random murders: A traffic warden, a politician, a porn star. The only links are the viciousness of the weapons used. His investigation leads him into the virtual world of Second Life and the online gaming environment of World of Warcraft.
If that was not enough the murdered politician has links to the mysterious East India Company, who want to keep the politician’s secrets secret...
Serial killers offer a fascinating insight into the psyche of a murderer. Having an antagonist of this psychological deficiency allowed me to balance the killer’s psychological gratification and mirror Quinn’s own psychological misgivings.
What really interested me, apart from getting inside the killer’s psyche, was the not just the why, but the how. How do you raise the stakes as serial killers go?
Raising the violent nature of this crime would be a cop out. I wanted to explore the avenues open to a serial killer in order to playout his deprived fantasies.
I had experimented with the virtual world of Second Life and was fascinated by the disjoint between real life and the virtual world. The more time I spent in Second Life the more I became intrigued with not whom I was interacting with, but as to who was really behind the Avatar. This fixation became the initiator for my character and the differentiator from other novels. What better place for a killer to hide than an anonymous virtual world.
This virtual World, although not part of my generation, led me to research the PlayStation generation, fully immersed and as one with the virtual reality that augments their pleasure. Those, of an age, that have missed the wonderful pleasure of playing cowboys and Indians, or football, in that mysterious world known to me as the great outdoors. With the adoption of multiplayer environments, conventions and social media outlets, a whole virtual community has been built around what are essentially zero’s and ones (con)fusing real life with their virtual lives.
The Latvian Gambit is named after a chess move and you will need to read more to find out how this plays out in the novel.