Murder by Degrees, The Origin

Author: Victor Knight

Murder by Degrees by Victor KnightMurder by Degrees’ had two origins. The first was that, as a student and then while working amongst academics, I was often struck by the discrepancy between an admirable minority and the majority when it came to intelligence and human virtues. Many of the majority obviously thought themselves admirable. I perceived a variant of an old joke (and the old ones are the best) - Question: what’s the difference between God and a professor? Answer: God knows he’s not a professor. Academics have been the target of satire for generations, and I wanted to add my arrow to the quiver. So I wrote, just for my own amusement, a few satirical scenes.

But a collection of scenes needs a thread. Murder suggested itself. In common with many people I have occasionally mused on how pleasant it would be to bump off selected colleagues. But mere irritation would not suffice as the basis of a plot. A serial killer in real life needs just a lunatic obsession; in fiction he needs a game-plan. I wondered - What might that be?

On those two impulses - the desire to mock people who had it coming to them, and the harmlessly fantasy of rubbing a few of them out - I constructed ‘Murder by Degrees’. I prefer to say no more, because that would give the plot away.

All this does, of course, beg the question as to why I want to write at all. I do not know the answer.

Victor Knight is the author of 'The Witch of Glarus' and 'For the Greater Good' and has now teamed up with i2i Publishing to bring you 'Murder by Degrees'.