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Jul 21, 2020

WOW! Debut novel blew me away – Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk

Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk is an amazing, top shelf, must read suspense thriller that will have you wondering, will the prey become the predator. I can hardly believe Method 15/33 is a debut novel for Shannon Kirk, it is so damn good!

Winner Of 2015 National Indie Excellence Award For Suspense!

Finalist in the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition as novella 15/33. Method 15/33 is now a full-length novel coming from Oceanview Publishing.

Add me to Goodreads now.

ABOUT METHOD 15/33

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published by: Oceanview Publishing

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Number of Pages: 258

ISBN: 1608091457 (ISBN13: 9781608091454)

Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble

MY REVIEW

I heard about Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk through a friend and reached out to her. The novel sounded like one of my favorite type of reads and I could hardly wait to pick it up. The suspense had me holding my breath, rooting for her, then afraid of her.

She is a pregnant teenager, abducted and held captive. Her mother had filled her with self esteem and confidence. Is she a sociopath? She is able to turn her feelings on and off, like a light switch. As Shannon describes her attempts to mimic feelings and doing the right thing, it makes me think of Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory.

The vivid detail of the trip to her cell makes me able to picture the wild daisies and devil’s paintbrush on the side of the road. I felt the breeze as she prepared to exit the van. I could smell his stale body odor and his sewer breath.

No matter, she loves her baby and will not give up. She has hope. Her hurt and rage would help her to do what is necessary to exact her revenge. Escape wasn’t enough. They would pay and pay dearly.

My first asset is terra firma…thus begins her plotting – Escape/Revenge Plan 15.

It had been 20 days, but she was constantly thinking, planning. As she runs through scenarios, it made me think of the computer in Person of Interest, going through scenarios, changing them, ruling one out and trying another. She knew she could outwit him.

Alone, locked in a cell, praying the butterfly in the window will calm her, save her. She doesn’t know what loneliness feels like, is this it?

Butterfly (c) Sherry Fundin

Butterfly (c) Sherry Fundin

She may have her issues, but I love her. My empathy is such, that I want to wrap my arms around her and offer her comfort. She tries and means well…sometimes. Isn’t that what we all do? Even dysfunctional families have their moments of humor, love and togetherness.

Shannon Kirk’s words allow me to feel HER pain, HER loneliness, HER anger and HER rage. I want to scream, yell and cry with her.

FBI Special Agent Roger Lui and partner, Lola were assigned the case. They have been together for five years and know each other better than a spouse would. He is a flawed hero, carrying heavy baggage with his failure to find Dorothy Saluce, an abducted, pregnant teen, deja vu. Lola is someone I can relate to, a tough, no nonsense, one of the guys kind of woman.

She counts seconds, minutes, steps, inches, plotting, planning…a piece of elastic, a pail handle…She didn’t know what would be valuable, so she collected it all. I wonder if she used to watch MacGyver too.

The kidnappers…a fantastic surprise. Twisted. Evil.

She makes herself sick and Shannon Kirk’s mastery of words makes this so gross and disgusting it makes me want to puke too.

33 is water. You will be surprised at its use and importance.

They escape, but OMG, Shannon, you didn’t. My heart fell. I can’t believe it. What an awesome twist. I felt complete terror for her, wanted to yell, hurry, hurry, what the hell are you waiting for? As if it isn’t bad enough, Shannon makes it even worse. How can that be? It just keeps coming and coming, the badness rolling over me like a tsunami wave. Overwhelming, the pacing gripping me as if I’m on a runaway train and hanging on for dear life.

Method 15/33 keeps getting scarier and scarier, the badness goes on and on…out of the  frying pan and into the fire.

I love the characters, right to the end, especially HER. This 16 year old sociopath stole my heart.

I don’t know what to say about the emotion roiling inside me as I reach the end. I can’t help but just sit…thinking…thinking…

Shannon wove an awesome story that has left me screaming for more.

To love someone so much you are heartbroken just to look at them.

This, is to have a child.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos   5+++++

I received a copy of Method 15/33 from Shannon Kirk in return for an honest review.

GUEST POST

I am so excited to have Shannon Kirk here today. I love her debut novel, Method 15/33 and I could not help but fall for the main character, Lisa Yyland. I also, would like to congratulate Shannon on Method 15/33 is being devloped for a feature film. How cool is that? I, for one,  can hardly wait to see it!

LET’S TALK ABOUT PSYCHOPATHS

-By Shannon Kirk

Let’s talk about psychopaths. Or, maybe you prefer sociopaths. I’m no psychiatrist, so what I’m talking about are persons whose brains are physiologically wired in such a way that they do not experience emotions as others feel joy, fear, excitement, happiness, remorse, guilt. I’m not talking about people who may be deemed “sociopaths,” not from the physical construction of their brains, but because of environment, a traumatic childhood for example.

What I understood from reading the non-fiction book, The Sociopath Next Door, is there are persons who simply do not understand the sensation of effervescent bubbles rising in your chest when a baby giggles at you, and you giggle back. They might, however, understand the action of smiling in reaction to a baby smiling, the simple physical learned act of social parroting, which is very different from feeling the urge to giggle or smile because of that elusive thing called happiness.

As a lay person, far from being a licensed psychiatrist, I had to read articles and books of the very real medical condition of psychopathy so as to form some basis for the main character in Method 15/33. She holds the traits of a clinical psychopath; for example, she disassociates, lacks empathy, feels no remorse, and plans actions in a way to benefit herself and minimize risk. She’s exceptionally practical in all she does and thinks.

We see this type of character all over popular culture. Hollywood just loves the psychopath. But psychopaths are very real, and indeed, as suggested in The Sociopath Next Door, could be living right next door. The book suggests that some folks who seek out management and politics might hold the common traits of the psychopath or the sociopath. Is this any surprise? How could a billionaire business baron axe 25,000 jobs and the next day be golfing in Tahiti, a smile on his face, and a mai tai with umbrella in his hand? I’m not saying all bosses and all politicians are psychopaths, but when I’ve raised this premise to any group, someone always raises their hand and says, “Oh damn, that’s my boss. He totally fits those traits.”

What got me thinking after reading articles and books on psychopaths was how this condition can exist simply by how someone’s brain is constructed. And if that is so, what natural variations exist in our population? We know that not all psychopaths are “evil,” not all kill women for sport, and not all stalk and kill bad guys according to some “code” (Dexter). So is there a spectrum of psychopathy? On one end you would have Heath Ledger’s Joker or Christian Bale’s American Psycho, on the other you’d have Ms. Whiney Crybaby. You know, the girl who cries at every Kleenex commercial, who yells and stomps and throw pillows and jewelry if her man so much as looks at another woman. No emotion vs. Too much emotion. So what’s in the middle of the spectrum? Normalcy? There must be a middle and ripples from there. This idea, I got stuck on this idea.

I wanted to explore the idea of a spectrum of psychopathy in a fictional way. For example, what if a psychopath was wired in such a way that she could choose to feel emotions? If a person can be wired in a such a way that they physically cannot feel emotions, then why couldn’t a person exist who can control when they feel certain emotions? Also, what if there are people who sometimes slip into a form of psychopathy, while at other times are fully emotionally functional. Have you ever been so absorbed in a work project that you cannot understand why a person is crying in your doorway about the same work project until you stop what you’re doing, calibrate your mood, take a minute to absorb, and then when you take a breath or two, you finally empathize? If that is possible for most everyone, then what if such moments of disassociation are prolonged in certain people? I have to believe this is possible. In the very least, the idea, this spectrum of possibilities with psychopathy, is a breeding ground for fiction.

In my novel Method 15/33, I chose to contort the medical condition of psychopathy and create a character that controls emotions. She often chooses not to feel any emotions, and because of this, like true psychopaths, has had to “learn” appropriate social reactions. I then wanted to meld with this condition another condition in psychology having to do with “cross modal neuroplasticity”—essentially, how a person who loses one sense, gains a “super” sense in something else, such as how a deaf person might have exceptional eyesight. What I wanted to explore, again entirely on a theoretical fictional basis, basically I just made it up, was a psychopath character, who controls emotions, and her emotions are “senses”, such that since she often lacks them, her other senses are somewhat enhanced. For example, although she is blindfolded, because she is not experiencing fear or any other emotion, her smell of the air and her feel of the temperature, the precise weight of her steps on the ground, tell her the type of terrain she’s on, how long a stretch of forest is through which she is forced, what specific trees scrapes her arms, and what the nature, climate, look, and use of the land is where she is taken, as if she were seeing it with her very eyes.

So while any psychiatrist could probably poke a thousand million holes in my writer’s theory, I do actually believe that in our world, there is a wide spectrum of psychopathy, of cross-modal neuroplasticity, and that emotions just may be some form of “sense.” Who knows if we’ll ever crack the code to our brains, and frankly, I hope we don’t. It’s just too much fun to make up stories, twisting the boundaries of psychology we think we know.

SYNOPSIS

Kidnapped, pregnant teen turns the tables. Who is the victim and who is the aggressor?

.

Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who’s just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van. Kidnapped…

Alone…Terrified.

Now forget her…

Picture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy. She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn child and to exact merciless revenge.

She is methodical—calculating— scientific in her plotting. A clinical sociopath? Leaving nothing to chance, secure in her timing and practice, she waits—for the perfect moment to strike. Method 15/33 is what happens when the victim is just as cold as her abductors.

The agents searching for a kidnapped girl have their own frustrations and desires wrapped into this chilling drama. In the twists of intersecting stories, one is left to ponder. Who is the victim? Who is the aggressor?

Praise

“Method 15/33 is crowded with fascinating characters—even the spear carriers pop off the page—but the standout is the kidnapped pregnant teenager. Her captors want her baby. Little do they know they’ve brought an insanely brilliant, angry, vengeful, borderline sociopath under their roof. Somebody’s in big trouble… and it isn’t the teenager.” —F. Paul Wilson, New York Times best-selling author of Santa Jack

“Completely original and totally kick ass! Shannon Kirk pulls no punches in this adrenaline rush of a thriller where the victim is the one to watch, while the kidnappers learn to fear. Loved it!” —Lisa Gardner, New York Times best-selling author of Fear Nothing

“What happens when infant traffickers kidnap the wrong pregnant teen? You get Method 15/33, a cross between The Lovely Bones and Silence of the Lambs. Shannon Kirk’s debut thriller is a dark, literate page-turner, utterly compelling. I read it in one sitting.” —Leonard Rosen, Award-winning author of All Cry Chaos and The Tenth Witness

“Wow. Ridiculously good. Crazy good. Brilliantly heart-stoppingly nail-bitingly original, this is a true thriller tour de force. Shannon Kirk is an instant star.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan Agatha, Anthony winning author of Truth be Told

ABOUT SHANNON KIRK

Shannon Kirk

Shannon Kirk is a practicing attorney and a law professor. She attended West Virginia Wesleyan and St. John’s Universities, is a graduate of Suffolk Law School, and was a trial lawyer in Chicago prior to moving to Massachusetts. She has been honored three times by the Faulkner Society in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, a physicist, and their son. Method 15/33 is her first novel.

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GIVEAWAY

Shannon Kirk is offering a a print autographed copy of Method 15/33 to a US or Canadian resident.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY AT THE LINK BELOW:

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