Five Minutes with Douglas Kruger on his new psychological thriller Character Scan
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Read an interview with Douglas Kruger on his new novel Character Scan!

Katrina Hunt can ‘read’ the intentions of others. Douglas Kruger tells us more about this fascinating character – and the nail-biting adventure that awaits readers of this psychological thriller.

The main character, Katrina Hunt, can ‘smell corruption in others’. Where did the idea for this ‘super’ power come from?
Imagine two young men trying to seduce a teenaged girl. But imagine if she could sense their every intention. No space for lies. How might that play out? I wanted to know, and I also wanted to know who this young woman would grow up to be. That sounded intriguing to me. Dark, but fascinating.

Is it possible for Katrina to have any successful relationship (including friendships)? She will always be aware of/know of others’ wrong doings, won’t she?
Katrina is haunted by what she knows. Every thought, every feeling, every subtle shift of intention in the souls of others – it’s all laid bare for her. It makes relationships a nightmare. Until she learns to use it.

And doesn’t Katrina ever have feet of clay?
Katrina is achingly human. She’s fallible. She grew up in poverty in a series of trailer parks across the American Southwest and initially has no idea how to use her skill. Even when she masters it in the service of good, it places her loved ones directly in danger.

Your book is set all over; why is that?
It’s actually global. Much of it sweeps through Texas, but we also visit rain-drenched Edinburgh, stop in at 10 Downing Street, visit a men’s prison and then a mental asylum, and, for reasons close to the heart of our evil antagonist, we take an ill-fated walk through a park in DC with a prostitute. I wanted the tale to have a sprawling, blockbuster feel – small, intimate moments, immense consequences.

In your opinion, why should someone read this book?
I loved every moment following the twisty nightmares of this tale, and my goal in writing it was to take you as far away from the ordinary as possible. This is a wild rush of a story, though one with frighteningly real political elements. More than anything, I hope you’ll love the people you meet as much as I loved spending time spying on them. Character Scan is frightening. It’s not for the fainthearted. But … there may be light at the end of the tunnel.


Character Scan is out now.

This article was originally published in The Penguin Post, a magazine about books for book lovers from Penguin Random House South Africa.   

Categories Fiction South Africa

Tags Character Scan Douglas Kruger Interviews Penguin Random House SA The Penguin Post

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