Bowling Green’s David Bell will release his 13th novel, “Kill All Your Darlings,” on July 6.
The USA Today best-selling author’s latest suspense novel is described by publisher Berkley Publishing as a “proactive thriller for the #MeToo era.” It will explore the world of contemporary academia while focusing on subjects like sexual harassment, the publisher said.
Bell said the book was mostly written during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. He completed the story’s initial outline before March 2020.
“I hope people were able to spend more time reading during the pandemic,” Bell said. “That may have been a silver lining of the past year. A suspense novel may offer an adequate escape (from the pandemic).
“My hope for this book was to obviously make an entertaining story. But the best stories shed a light on important topics at the same time. This will in part look at the power dynamics in play with students who are sexually harassed,” he said.
Bell is a professor of English at Western Kentucky University, where he co-founded and directs the Master’s in Fine Arts program in creative writing.
He said the inspiration for the story came from his time both as a student and a professor at a number of universities.
The novel follows fictional English professor Connor Nye who, after years of struggling to write after the deaths of his wife and son, publishes his first novel – a thriller about the murder of a young woman.
Bell said “Kill All Your Darlings,” is told from multiple points of view and with a non-chronological sequence of events.
“It’s a complex story, and the reader is experiencing the process of piecing the story together while the characters are as well,” Bell said. “I had never written a novel like that before, so that was a big challenge for me. I think it worked pretty well.”
At what Bell said will be about 400 pages, “Kill All Your Darlings” will “hopefully” feel just four pages long for readers who will be swept up in the story, he said.
“I think the suspense novel is clearly meant to grab a reader right away, and make sure a reader cannot put the book down,” Bell said. “The mark of success for a suspense novel is when a reader can’t stop reading it. I’m looking forward to everyone having a chance to read this book.”
– To learn more about Bell, his previous works and “Kill All Your Darlings,” visit www.davidbellnovels.com.
– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.