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A Darling Obsession by S.R. Murray

@Archaeolibrary, @s_r_murray,

#Horror, #Psychological, #Thriller,

In 1899, an unspeakable crime was committed by a mob in the town of Guinevere Beach, Florida. Eighty or so years later, someone reopens a long-closed hotel on the site of the crime. The city, now called Sandy Beach, has a history of violence; some say it's a curse. But Detective Robert Justice begins to see a pattern when he connects horrifying deeds to the hotel. His investigation uncovers not just murders that span decades but the haunted source of the evil that visits Sandy Beach and its residents, leaving a trail of bodies and broken lives in its wake.

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AUTOBIOGRAPHY I’m 45 years old and was born in New Orleans, but live in Mississippi with my Family and I work as an IT specialist at a NASA facility. I’ve often had ideas for characters and stories, and finally decided to write one down. A Darling Obsession is my debut novel, and I’m still focused on getting it out to the world. However, I’m putting the finishing touches on a family drama. Some might even call it a contemporary fantasy. I actually started writing it before A Darling Obsession. It’s a story that’s very important to me. I definitely plan on publishing it.

ANALYSIS AND OVERVIEW There are two brothers in this story, Chase and Hunter Lovell, who are based on the Stayner Brothers––Steven & Cary. One story from the 70s (a kidnapping) and the other in the 90s (A Killer).

A doctor named George Darling who is based on a man named Carl Tanzler who fell in love with this young Cuban girl in the 1930s and became obsessed with her. When she died from tuberculosis, he took her corpse and lived with it for seven years. That story gets even crazier when you get to his childhood and read about his dead aunt coming into his dreams, telling him he would marry a beautiful dark-haired raven. So, he saw her as his destiny. I wanted everything to occur within a specific timeframe. So, the kidnapping and the murders didn’t happen concurrently as I have it but It was those three real-life people that gave me the wacky idea for the book. I also added some smaller stories from the news. Most of the characters have a little truth to them in some way or another, to varying degrees, such as Lee Earl Elwood, based loosely on Steven Stayner’s kidnapper – Kenneth Parnell.

The genesis was I remember watching a documentary about Carl Tanzler, and a day later or so, something about Steven Stayner was mentioned on TV, and I remembered his movie as a kid. I decided to look online and see if there were any recent stories about him. I found out that he died in a motorcycle accident about 10 years after he returned home and that his older brother became a serial killer!! And killed four women!! I couldn’t get those stories out of my head. I told people about them, and I decided to take those stories and put them into one big one! Man, it sounded easy in my head but writing a big plot-driven story like this is tough! Especially when multiple characters and storylines have to intertwine.

It’s not really supposed to be a ‘mystery’ about who’s doing it, but why is it happening and how will it end? I’m asking the reader, are there evil forces in the world that make us do evil things? Or are humans just evil in nature? Easy to say someone is crazy. Maybe they are. Maybe some things can’t be explained, and there is no answer. You make the choice of which one it is.

Then you can get into the deeper meaning of the title. It wasn’t just Dr. Darling who had his “Darling Obsession” was it?

S. R. Murray is from New Orleans, Louisiana, but lives in Mississippi, with his wife and two children. He always had ideas for characters and stories, and is privileged to share his work with a large and welcoming audience

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