Murders of deaf students inspire new release novel by father-son writing team

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A new thriller novel launched on Amazon this month was inspired by the true-life murders of students at Gallaudet University, one of the world’s premiere learning institutions for the deaf and hard of hearing, in Washington, D.C.

Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes), by New Zealand father-and-son writing team Lance and James Morcan, has been dedicated to the many millions of deaf people around the world and was written under the guidance of one of the world’s leading deaf storytellers working in film, television and other creative mediums.

The actual crimes that provided the inspiration for the novel occurred at Gallaudet University between 1980 and the early 2000’s.

The 1980 murder saw one student stab another to death on August 16th of that year. The ‘dual’ killings two decades later gripped America from the time of the first of those murders until an arrest was made following the second some five months later. Washington Metropolitan Police didn’t know if these were ‘inside jobs’ and for a time nearly everyone connected to Gallaudet was under suspicion.

When the Morcans learned of the murders a decade ago, they came up with the idea of a novel set in a university for the deaf. It has, they say, been a labour of love ever since.

Speaking from his home in Papamoa, New Zealand, Lance Morcan says while Silent Fear could have been set just about anywhere in the civilized world, he and his son chose to set it in London.
“We felt the thriller genre suits London,” he says. “This story has a very British feel to it and we set it in the upmarket Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.”

Morcan says members of Gallaudet’s senior staff are aware of the novel and requested an advance reading copy of the manuscript. No comment has been received back from them at the time of writing.

“Writing Silent Fear certainly presented challenges as neither James nor I were familiar with deaf culture or with the unique issues facing members of the deaf community. To this end we owe a debt of gratitude to deaf filmmaker Brent Macpherson, our number one collaborator, who figuratively held our hands throughout the entire lengthy endeavour.

“Brent educated us on the unique challenges facing the deaf community and he corrected potentially embarrassing errors in our portrayal of deaf and hard of hearing people. His commentary on Silent Fear from a deaf reader’s viewpoint is included at the end of the book.”

The premise of Silent Fear, in brief, is:
Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the Deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more Deaf students are murdered, it becomes clear there is a serial killer operating within the sealed-off university. A chilling cat-and-mouse game evolves as the unknown killer targets Valerie and the virus claims more lives.

The paperback version of Silent Fear is available now and is exclusive to Amazon. The Kindleebook version is available via Amazon’s Pre-order Program, and will be auto-delivered to buyers’ Kindles on October 31.

The Morcans, who are also screenwriters and filmmakers, are, in league with Macpherson, developing a feature film adaptation of Silent Fear. The following trailer promotes the novel and planned film:

The Amazon Kindle link for Silent Fear is:

About us:
Sterling Gate Books Ltd. is a New Zealand-based independent publishing company formed exclusively to publish fiction and non-fiction books written by father-and-son writing team Lance and James Morcan who have so far co-authored more than 20 books.

Media contact:
Sterling Gate Books Ltd.
Papamoa, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Morcan blog:
About author: Kathiresan

The Amazon Kindle link for Silent Fear is:


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