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Synopsis

Doug Campbell goes to visit his father, Senator Robert Campbell. The Senator is in bed. Dead. Murdered? Doug thinks it looks that way.

But who did it? And why? Was it personal? Or political? The Senator has his share of enemies. Both at home and in Washington. Doug vows to find the killer.

His young mistress, Princeton Professor of Political Science Katherine Antonopoulos, already knows who murdered the Senator. No vows or investigation needed. She knows Doug murdered his father.

Patricide? It happens, and not just in Shakespeare’s plays.

Murder One is a mystery, a thriller, a cat and mouse game, a psychological tour de force, and an almost tender love story all rolled into one. Nothing is as it seems. Not a word anyone utters, or even thinks, can be trusted.

Doug Campbell tells his readers he has kidnapped his father from the beach-front family vacation house in Kennebunkport Maine, hauled the old Senator down to Jersey, and locked him in the attic keep in the Campbell mansion. He’s done this, Doug tells us, to exact revenge for crimes his father committed against the family.

Katherine Antonopoulos tells her readers she and Doug brought the old Senator back to Jersey of his volition and with his complete cooperation. She says it was the Senator’s idea to hide out on the family’s estate with the goal of turning his long-held Senate seat over to Katherine.

Who’s telling the truth? Which version is accurate? What’s it all about? Why all the angst and animosity? All the lies and deception?

Only one thing is certain–Senator Robert Maxwell Campbell is dead. Stone dead.

Author’s View

Thomas William Simpson headshot

I have long found a close correlation between love and hate. Of course, a lover loves his lover. But at times he quite hates her, too–when she makes him jealous, when she won’t bestow her physical favors, when she condescends or treats him like a fool. All these occurrences can, in a heartbeat, turn love to hate.

And then, just as quickly, a kind word, a kiss, a roll in the hay, and love returns as a tempest.

Love and hate–they play havoc upon one another. Especially in Murder One: A Love Story

This novel began its journey a dozen or more years ago (I write this in late May of 2017). It grew longer and ever more complex with each edit. Two different editors had a say in the psychological nature of the characters and the direction of the plot. Essentially, it was the story of a man (Doug Campbell) inflicting his will upon a woman (Katherine Antonopoulos). Their journey together began when Katherine was just a child and grew and deepened as she matured into a beautiful and brilliant woman. Their unusual relationship drove the plot with its perversion, love, lust, hate, and dependence.

That novel may eventually see the light of day. In the meantime, we have Murder One: A Love Story. It, too, stars Doug and Katherine, but in this much shorter and more plot-driven version, their long and peculiar history is merely alluded to rather than fleshed out in detail.

We get both Doug’s side of the story and Katherine’s. But like any close relationship, especially one involving sex and romantic love, nothing either of them says can be fully trusted. There is a mystery here to be sure–who, if anyone, murdered the old Senator?–but the real essence of the novel lies in the psychological, passive/aggressive battle between Doug and Katherine.