“This is a startling document,” says Patrick Quinlan, president of Strawberry Books, the publisher of Diary. “There’s a lot of anger in it, and why not? The bankers have been getting up to all kinds of mayhem for a long time. A lot of jobs have gone overseas. Let’s face it: we’ve all been waiting for a novel where an ordinary working person decides to strike them back.”
In the story, an unnamed middle-aged man has lost everything – his family, his job, his very life. His humiliation becomes anger, which boils over into a murderous rage. He turns it toward the people he blames for his predicament – the very wealthy, who so often profit from the misery of working people.
The man is a military veteran and has wide ranging technology skills. He doesn’t go berserk. Instead, he slowly and methodically begins to choose targets, stalk them, and kill them. Most of the book takes the form of a diary, in which the man – who renames himself Spartacus, after the leader of the Roman slave revolt – records his preparations for each murder, then describes the murder itself in graphic detail. Readers embark on a vicarious kill spree, hunted by both the FBI and an elite secret society.
“People worry about Islamic terrorists from the Middle East,” says author Chuck Darwin. “I think they’re looking in the wrong direction. Who do you think is joining these terrorist organizations in the Middle East, the poor? That’s wrong. Study after study shows that terrorist groups recruit from the same pool as the American military – people from the former middle class who no longer have other options.”
According to Darwin, it’s only a matter of time before well-educated, once middle class people in America begin to turn their daunting skill sets against their oppressors. Who are their oppressors? The ones who sent their jobs to low-paying countries so the company could reap bigger profits.
“My hero is a guy whose life has been ruined. He has no prospects. It’s really the end of the line for him. But he has a lot of skills. He knows how to use weaponry. He knows how to use technology. He knows how to plan and how to cover his tracks. He’s patient. He’s ambitious. He has determination. All those good American things. He starts picking soft targets, wealthy people, ones he has no obvious relationship to.
“How do you stop someone like this, once he gets going? Simple answer: you don’t.”
Diary of an American Terrorist is available for pre-order at Amazon.