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Hi! My name is Rick Gangraw. I live with my wife and children on the East coast of Florida, and I wish that…  Read More →

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Deathly Silent


Erik Johnson – works at a funeral home, wants revenge against the men who ruined his life, can’t remember details of what happened to him, has terrible headaches, husband of Kiersten, father of Britta, short hair, brown beard, tanned skin with wrinkles around his eyes.

Kiersten Johnson – Erik’s wife, Britta’s mother, strikingly beautiful, Swedish features, red nail polish, quiet, attentive to Britta, loving to Erik.

Britta Johnson – pre-school aged daughter of Erik and Kiersten, fun-loving and playful, rolls down the hill in the parks, enjoys playing on the swings.

Tami Anderson – young police officer, attractive features, hidden beauty in police uniform with hair pulled up, respected and well-liked at work, brave but with realistic fears based on the horrors she has seen on the job, John’s partner.

John Hultgren – tall, muscular, military style police officer, Tami’s partner, booming voice and laugh, boisterous and demanding, friendly but secretive.

Bill Ljunglof – young priest at large church, had issues as a teen but straightened out his life and went into priesthood, constantly reminded by his past that he’s not good enough to be a priest, that he’s a hypocrite, used to have a crush on Tami when they went to school together but now respects her as a friend.

Rick’s Inspiration

With my first novel, Secrets in the Ice, I wanted to keep the identity of the killer a surprise until the very end.  With Deathly Silent, however, I decided to introduce the killer in the first paragraph, taking the reader on a journey to find out what could make this person become so cruel.  I also wanted to see if a person in that state of mind could actually see what he had become.  The story is loosely based on an actual event, but the main character in real life did not come after the guilty parties with a vengeance.  I wanted to see what would happen if that person, who had lost almost everything, had given in to the temptation to get back at those people.  Could such a wonderful person really have such a dark side to him if everything important to him was taken away?

I was actually working on another novel, when the idea for this came to me while visiting the setting for the story.  I put myself in this person’s position, and wondered if I could have forgiven those who covered it all up and set him up to take the fall.  After exploring my own feelings for a month or two, comparing them with the right response and other possible scenarios, the entire story came pouring out so fast I dropped the other novel to keep up with this new idea.  I could never even consider doing what the main character does, but I could see how someone could get into that state of mind and take things into his own hands when nobody else would seek justice for him.

It surprised me to find out how dark some parts of the story could become, so I had some beautiful scenes of the main character with his wife and daughter to help show the love that this man still possessed, even through such terrible events.  Those scenes are some of my favorites in the story, and they ended up becoming such key components to make it all fall in place the way I wanted them to in the last few chapters.