Karin Schaeffer thought she had already defeated evil.But there was more.
Three years ago, Detective Karin Schaeffer wanted to die when a madman murdered her family—and she would have if her partner, Mac MacLeary, hadn’t pulled her back from the edge of the abyss. Now they are married, with a toddler son, and Karin is learning to live again.
Then Mac’s parents are slain in a brutal home invasion . . . And Mac vanishes . . . And a new nightmare begins.
Karin is determined to do whatever it takes to find her husband. But the answers waiting for her in the shadows are almost as unbelievable as his disappearance. Karin pursues the truth—leading her away from her home in Brooklyn to the terrifying heart of the Mexican drug wars to Cape Cod in winter—as dark secrets about the man she loves are revealed. . . .
Karin’s transformation from the beginning of your first book, YOU ARE NEXT, to the end of your second book, NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME, is pretty amazing. What’s it like to write a character that changes so dramatically?
Very satisfying. Like most people, Karin is resilient, but what sets her apart is that her life has suffered blows worse than most of us can imagine. She has had to endure terrible loss and pain, and yet she finds a way to endure, even when it seems she can’t or won’t. For me, it’s Karin’s weaknesses and vulnerability together with her fearlessness and courage that make her so compelling. When something bad happens to Karin she feels it, she’s terrified, but she rarely turns away from it…she will always do what it takes to help or save a loved one, despite her fears. But she’s human; she isn’t static. Experience to experience, scene to scene, book to book, she evolves. At one point in NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME she decides not to take a risky trip to search for Mac because it could leave their son an orphan if she doesn’t return. Karin is fearless and courageous, but she isn’t a fool, and she learns from life. Just like getting to know a friend, the more time I spend with Karin, the more I look forward to seeing how her life will evolve in the future.
Karin’s stubborn streak is a defining characteristic. Explain how this plays a role in the story.
If Karin wasn’t stubborn and impulsive, along with being unreasonably comfortable with risk, she would stay home and bake banana bread like the rest of us. But she isn’t like the rest of us. Her life has thrown her shocking curve balls, which has hurt her and also enraged her. She’s highly trained through her time in the Army and on the police force, and life has taught her that she had better think for herself. Because of her unique mix of skills and life experience, once she’s made up her mind to do something, she goes for it with confidence.
As a writer, you really put Karin through A LOT of turmoil. What was it like to create a character strong enough to withstand all of this?
Exhilarating. Karin is my alter ego. She’s tall and blond because I’m not. She’s powerful and courageous because I’m a fearful worrier. And she has come face to face with evil in a way that I never have and hope I never will. Karin is better thank I will ever be, and she has experienced worse things than I ever will. Creating Karin Schaeffer, moment to moment, book to book, makes me feel strong and hopeful. She’s the kind of person who can, and will, change the world for the better.
Do you have any future plans to Karin Schaeffer?
Yes! A few months after finishing NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME, I realized ho much I missed Karin and Mac, and knew I had to follow them into a third novel. I’ve already started writing it.