Have you read any of Harlan Coben’s books? He’s sooo good. These mysteries have great depth of characterization as well as intricate plotting.  I’m most interested in his series featuring Myron and Win. Myron is a sports agent who used to be an FBI agent and before that a promising pro basketball star until his knee blew out. In each of the three books I’ve read in this series, other characters describe Myron as the best man they know, as noble, good, and by the way very good looking. Oh, and he still lives with his parents even though he’s financially successful and well adjusted and does well with women. He just likes mom and dad’s company.

Myron’s best friend Win is, hmm. Many things. Filthy rich, enormously gifted physically and mentally. Perhaps, however, stunted emotionally. Hard to say. His own buddy Myron describes him as a sociopath, yetWin has a real affection for Myron, would protect him with his life, all that. Win also has a vicious streak and enjoys the violent encounters when he can decimate a bad guy, but they are always bad guys whom he decimates. And unlike Dexter, bless his heart, he doesn’t seem to go looking for the bad guys. He’s just ready and willing to erase them when he gets the chance.

One aspect that interests me about Win is this idea that he’s a sociopath. The profile of sociopaths/psychopaths indicates these people are so entirely self-centered, malignantly narcissistic, that loyalty and adherence to a code of ethics is not possible. But in many stories the authors present a complicated character like Win or Dexter Morgan. They are entirely believable killers with, somewhere in there, a sort of goodness.

Which leads to one of my life-long fascinations: how do people manage to split their lives, their psyches, so that you have, maybe, a Nazi prison camp guard who is brutal to the prisoners but goes home at night to a cozy family life? Or a Tony Soprano who ices his competitors but seems to love his wife and children? The text books I’ve read indicate the sunny, loving side of those personalities is a façade. That’s not what I see in Dexter or Win, however. And who could not believe Dexter Morgan’s angel side is real? And Win’s sense of justice and commitment to his friend? Ah, the mysteries of the human mind – and of great fictional characters.

About glcraig

Gretchen Craig’s lush, sweeping tales deliver edgy, compelling characters who test the boundaries of integrity, strength, and love. Told with sensitivity, the novels realistically portray the raw suffering of people in times of great upheaval. Gretchen was born and raised in Florida. She’s lived in climates and terrain as diverse as the white beaches of the Gulf Coast, the rocky shores of Maine, and the dusty plains of Texas. Her awareness of place imbues every page with the smell of the bayous of Louisiana, the taste of gumbo in New Orleans, or the grit of a desert storm. Rich in compelling characters and historical detail, Always and Forever is a sweeping saga of Josie and Cleo, mistress and slave. Amid Cajuns and Creoles, the bonds between these two remarkable women are tested by prejudice, tragedy, and passion for one extraordinary man. Gretchen’s first novel won the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence for Mainstream with Romantic Elements and was chosen as an Editor’s Pick in the Historical Novel Society reviews. Ever My Love, winner of the Booksellers Best Award from the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America, continues the story of Cleo and Josie’s families, of their struggle for principle, justice, and love in a world where the underpinnings of the plantation culture are crumbling. Crimson Sky, inspired by the pueblos, mountains, and deserts of New Mexico, evokes the lives of people facing neighboring marauders and drought. Now the march of Spanish Conquistadors up the Rio Grande threatens their homeland, their culture, and their entire belief system.
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