Describe the plot of ‘Fatal Decree.’
It’s about a serial killer who has shown up on Longboat Key and murders a resident, and the woman’s body is placed where Longboat Key Police Detective Jennifer Diane “J.D.” Duncan is bound to see it. It turns out that the killer has left the same signature that he had left on four women in Miami 12 years before, when J.D. was younger.
Some of the characters are based on your friends, such as Logan Hamilton and Jock Algren, who have died since you began writing the series. Do their characters continue to evolve?
I think of them in a sense as being preserved in amber. They were what they were the day they died. Their personalities are set in stone, but more of them might be revealed.
Some of Matt’s favorite places, such as Tiny’s, have closed and the inspiration behind many of his friends have died. What would Matt think of Longboat Key today?
I think Matt would be cognizant of the changes. We’ve lost a lot of good restaurants and bars and a lot of people who would have been Matt’s friends. Matt, I think like all of us, would look back and think how great things were a few years ago. But I think he would have embraced (the changes). For him, one change was when J.D. showed up.
Many of your characters are based on real people. Where do you get the inspiration for your bad guys?
My wife says those are the product of a sick mind. She may be right. I’ve never known people like that.
Would you ever consider writing a novel with a different cast of characters?
I’m about halfway through a book like that that takes place in Europe. I’ve been working on it for three or four years. I sit down and start writing, but then I miss my Longboat characters and I write another Longboat book.