He has seen his share of crime, deceit, struggles between good and bad and both the strength and weakness of individuals. A retired Deputy Commissioner for the Pennsylvania State Police is now writing about it all. In December, Jon Kurtz released "A Choice of Darkness," what he calls a "pragmatic police novel" set in Harrisburg.
"I love to read. I love to read crime novels. But I've always been somewhat disenchanted with the storyline in many of the books because it just wasn't real," Kurtz said on Good Day PA on abc27.
So Kurtz set out to tell a realistic story with the Midstate of PA as its setting. "A Choice of Darkness," in Kurtz's words, "chronicles the evolution of a budding serial killer and the tribulations of the men and women tasked with bringing him to justice." Readers experience two points of view -- that of a want-to-be serial killer and that of police officers involved in the investigation.
"By giving those two perspectives, I wanted to be able to give the reader a chance to really learn a little about those characters," Kurtz explained. "What I really try to get across is the reality of the characters, their behaviors, the situations, the equipment, the technology."
Kurtz delves into what drives a killer. For instance, he might have had a bad upbringing, a history of abuse and violence or time in foster care. Kurtz also shows the fallible nature of officers and how one's personal life outside of police works plays a role on the job and uses his 27 years with the PA State Police as food for his fiction.
"I try to bring that experience and those experiences to bear in the book."
Readers will enjoy the Midstate connections in the story and will recognize Harrisburg streets and landmarks. For more information, visit: www.jondkurtz.com.