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Burdened by Guilt: Classic Fiction Collides with Modern Mystery in Murderous Debut Novel by Michiko Katsu

Three dead bodies, a guilt-ridden detective and an alluring female professor whose insights may prove more dangerous than helpful – ‘Burdened By Guilt’ has it all. Author Michiko Katsu deliberately weaves her razor-sharp narrative around the literary customs of yesteryear, in an attempt to keep history’s great tiles alive in the public’s eye.


Phoenix, AZ -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/10/2014 -- While most authors write books to serve their thirst for notoriety and fame, Michiko Katsu has a goal that’s more admirable and uplifting; to draw attention to the literary classics of bygone generations. In her latest release, Katsu melds a fast-paced narrative with a premise that pays homage Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell and Deborah Crombie.

‘Burdened By Guilt’ will have readers on the edges of their seats as each character becomes a suspect and anything is possible. It’s all part of the author’s commitment to keep crime fiction’s heritage alive.


Detective Mike Anderson must rely on the insights of sexy English Professor Suzanne Kelly to help him solve the mystery when the dismembered body of a murder victim is found with a note from a classic work of literature. Drained of blood and chopped into pieces the note is his only clue. He is desperate for her direction but she keeps him in suspense when she warns this may not be the last. Although impressed with her knowledge, her resemblance to his murdered wife unnerves him and he steels himself against the potential of an inappropriate and untimely romance.

Confused by the clue’s relevance he struggles to find the killer while saddled with an overly enthusiastic rookie partner, Kevin McKay. Handpicked by the Lieutenant with whom he shares a mutual hatred, Mike wonders where Kevin’s loyalties lie. Add on an Internal Affairs investigation and he doesn't know who to trust.

Compelled to see her again, a second body with a second note gives him the excuse he needs. But after his second visit, someone attacks Suzanne in her office resurrecting the guilt he feels over not saving his wife and the fear he may be responsible for endangering Suzanne. Unable to resist her vulnerabilities he spends a passionate night with her compromising himself and the investigation.

Her attack uncovers a violent past and stolen identity linking her to the two murders. When children discover a third body and a witness places a woman fitting Suzanne’s description at the scene, Mike knows he’s been had. There are no coincidences in a murder investigation and his paranoia grows as Kevin was the one who recommended her.

This close to finding his killer, I.A. stops Mike dead when the mystery of stolen evidence from his previous cases conveniently matches evidence in his triple homicide making him a suspect in his own investigation. Suspended and without support Mike must clear his name and find the person responsible. But when both Kevin and Suzanne mysteriously turn up missing he fears he may have let the two prime murder suspects go free.

“To be honest, these days, most people are bored by classic books and have no interest in reading them. This is a great shame as time eradicates their footprint. I’m bringing these traditional undertones to a modern society to prove they can still be popular. I’m not expecting everyone to rush out and purchase Shakespeare’s complete works, but I do have a passion for compelling people to explore some of yesterday’s timeless classics,” says Katsu.

Continuing, “That’s the great thing about self-publishing; I can make a contribution to literary history without having to jump through the red tape that traditional publishers put up. I know many would run in the opposite direction at the sight of a ‘modern classic’ novel, so self-publishing has allowed me to follow my passion. I didn’t cut any corners, either. Everything is professionally designed and edited – possibly more so than the classic novels I am trying to draw attention to!”

To date, the novel has garnered favorable reviews. For example, Joao Cardeira Jorge comments, “This is a fine thriller by a new author. The plot is well thought out, the pace is decent and the characters are interesting. The idea of a serial killer leaving literary passages behind in his victim's corpses was very interesting. The investigation is compelling, with many twists and you always want to see what will happen next.”

S. Saldanha adds, “This is an exciting action/adventure mystery. It will keep you guessing until the end of the story. The mystery kept me engrossed for hours. It is very hard to put down. I quite liked this book.”

‘Burdened By Guilt’ is available now: http://amzn.to/1o3IfP4. For more information, visit: http://www.michikokatsu.com.

About Katsu
I started writing stories as soon as I could hold a crayon and though I’ve matured in both style and content, I still love the simplicity of a good story. Life is complicated enough and there’s nothing better than disappearing into different worlds and different lives and following along through their adventures.

Although I earned my B.A in English Literature and appreciate the classics (if you haven’t read Jane Eyre or East of Eden you must add them to your reading list!) I’m still a sucker for a great mystery. I grew up reading Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and enjoyed the challenge of putting together clues they laid masterfully on each page in what was usually a futile attempt to identify the killer. They were studies of people and how they interacted with each other and their environment under harsh circumstances. Many failed miserably, as so often happens, while other rose to the occasion surprising everyone including themselves.

I also loved historical romances and consumed them like Lay’s potato chips. I could never read just one! A few years back I donated over a hundred mass market romance novels I finished, in many instances, in one sitting. What can I say, I’m a woman who loves the idealized story of getting swept off her feet by the strong and handsome man of her dreams who would kill or die just to have her. Real or not what woman doesn’t like that?!

Each of my books is an homage to character driven mysteries where people are tested through difficult circumstances focused on a single or multiple murders. I love to push the boundaries of friendship and family dynamics by always asking the question: what if?