Retribution, The Deer Killer Series by Wendy Whitman
Author Interview + Book & Author Info + Pet Corner!
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Revenge can take a lifetime.
After the shattering conclusion of Cary’s quest for justice for the victims of a suspected serial killer in Premonition, Retribution picks up with her cohorts continuing their own investigation to hunt down the person responsible for the heinous murders. The man the media has dubbed the “Deer Killer” continues to haunt bucolic Connecticut—but now, his true agenda has been revealed.
As more innocents fall victim to his prey, Detective Hank Nowak’s father enters the picture, only to become entangled in the murderer’s diabolical plot. The past informs the present as Hank, private detective Vito Loggia, and Sergeant Joseph O’Malley race against the clock to stop the killings.
Who will be next? More importantly, who will come out on top in this deadly game of vengeance?
To purchase Retribution, click on any of the following links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, BooksAMillion.
Interview with Wendy Whitman, author of Retribution
Retribution is set in “bucolic Connecticut.” I love the juxtaposition of that location and the violent crimes that take place. Tell us about that environment and how that backdrop impacts the events in the book.
Fairfield County is the real life name of the area of Connecticut where the novel is set. It is basically a suburb of New York City, but relatively rural by comparison. People generally feel safe in this type of environment. But as we all know, awful things can happen where you least expect them to.
The tragic murders in Newtown, Connecticut are an unfortunate example. The contrast between “bucolic Connecticut” and the events in the book show that there is no place where your safety is guaranteed. When people have their guard down it makes it that much easier for a killer to find their victims.
When I began writing Premonition, I automatically set the narrative in my own backyard. Retribution continues the story in the same setting. But the third book may surprise everyone.
Retribution picks up where your first novel, Premonition, ends. Is there anything you’d like readers to know from the first book?
I have been asked in interviews if Retribution can be read as a stand alone book. That is always a difficult question to answer. It can but obviously some things from the first novel might be lost in translation if someone only read the sequel.
Premonition sets up the plot and main characters that Retribution plays off of. It includes back stories on the protagonist and other people in the book. I would highly encourage people who plan on reading Retribution to take a look at Premonition first. Otherwise you’re jumping into the story in the middle and although I explained things from the first book in the second for just that reason, a book series needs to be read in its entirety.
There are three investigators featured in Retribution, what’s the dynamic between the men? Why did you choose to include all three in the race to catch your villain?
I love the characters I created in this series and feel they all play well off each other.
Vito Loggia, a private detective, is like a father figure to Harriet “Hank” Nowak, who followed in her real father’s footsteps, becoming a detective as well.
Hank’s dad and Vito have been lifelong best friends and therefore, Hank has a deep affection for Vito.
Sergeant Joseph O’Malley enters the picture, overseeing the “Deer Killer” investigation. There is a bit of tension between him and Hank, as they were romantically involved in the past.
Each of these three characters has a distinct relationship with the other two and interesting dynamics occur between them. The three of them work to solve the murders in their own unique ways, setting up some potential conflicts. Vito is very protective of Hank and occasionally this gets in the way of his objectivity regarding the case, as well as creates some tension with O’Malley, who is still in love with Hank.
How does your background in true crime impact your fiction?
My years at Court TV and on the Nancy Grace show covering high-profile murders, is what led me to start writing crime fiction in the first place.
I had so much knowledge about particular murder cases and the legal system in general and wanted to share what I knew with readers in an entertaining way; writing crime thrillers fit the bill. The tagline on my website is Bringing True Crime Experience to Crime Thrillers. I think those words sum up my journey from true crime producer to author. I incorporated about twenty true cases into the narrative of Premonition, mostly through the protagonist’s thoughts.
I think this is pretty unique and sets my books apart from the average crime thriller. Including bits of true murders throughout both books gave them a touch of realism that other crime novels might lack. I also took the opportunity writing these two books to highlight a couple of cases I became obsessed with and felt didn’t get the attention they deserved from the media. One is the case of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, the other the Carr brothers murders in Wichita, Kansas.
Even though my novels are fiction, referencing some true crime case in them worked well for me.
What can we find you doing when you aren’t writing or reading about crime?
I love to travel and was recently in Kauai, and Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. I plan on going to Italy in the fall and Turkey and Jordan next year. I find that nothing adds to your life like traveling.
I also have gotten very involved with several organizations dedicated to stopping the Dog Meat Trade in Asia. I had the honor of going to LAX in April to help with and greet twenty-two lucky dogs who had been rescued from slaughter and flown to America to start their new lives. This cause means the world to me and I plan on devoting as much of my time as possible to it when I’m not writing.
What are you working on now?
As soon as I finished Retribution I began working on the third book which would make the story into a trilogy. I also have some ideas for non-fiction crime-related books but not sure yet if I would ever go in that direction.
Author Pet Corner
We lost our family dog Norton last September. He was a rescue and such a precious soul. We miss him so very much.
My sister recently adopted a dog saved from Afghanistan, Oktay. I love being a dog “aunt” and spend as much time as I can with her.
She is absolutely the most incredible dog, very special.
I’m so sorry for your loss! But congratulations on becoming an aunt.
Wendy Whitman, author of Retribution
Wendy Whitman has a unique background through her decades-long work as an executive and producer for Court TV and HLN, covering almost every major high-profile murder case in America.
Through her knowledge of the most detailed aspects of the crimes, Ms. Whitman has become an expert on the subject of murder in America.
Before attending Boston University School of Law, Whitman worked for comedians Lily Tomlin and George Carlin. After graduating from law school, the author embarked on what turned out to be a twenty-year career in television covering crime.
She spent fifteen years at Court TV and another several at HLN for the Nancy Grace show, where she appeared on air as a producer/reporter covering high-profile cases. Whitman received three Telly Awards and two GLAAD nominations during her tenure at Court TV.
Since turning her attention to writing, Whitman has published two crime thriller novels: Premonition and the sequel, Retribution, due to be released on July 25, 2023.
To learn more about Wendy Whitman, click on any of the following links: Website, Instagram, Facebook.
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