CHECKMATE by Jean Hackensmith: “…a sadistic game of cat and mouse.”

The idea for “Checkmate” was spawned by one of those true crime shows on Court TV. Actually I guess it’s called “True TV” now, but it will always be Court TV to me. The report dealt with a man who had tied up his wife and kids, locked them in a windowless pantry, and set the house on fire. They all died. He’s on Death Row. The story stayed with me for days. I was both horrified and fascinated. Then I began to think about what might have happened if the family had lived.

Okay, so the guy would go to prison. That’s a given. Realistically, though, the system couldn’t keep him locked up forever. So, I asked myself, what would this maniac do when he got out? He had tried to kill his wife and kids in the most horrible of all ways. Would he harbor a grudge or just let bygones be bygones? He was the typical abusive husband: overbearing, controlling, possessive, sadistic. Oh, yes. He would definitely harbor a grudge—even after eighteen years. He wanted his family dead the day he put them in the bathroom, and he wants them dead now. The kids are grown, though. They don’t even live in the area. The ex-wife does, though—and she’s got a boyfriend. Unacceptable. She has to die, and so does her lover. Of course, she has to suffer first. She deserves it, after all. She and she alone was responsible for him spending eighteen years of his life behind bars—eighteen years that he’ll never be able to get back. But how to do it? What to do. He comes up with a plan; thirteen moves in a sadistic game of cat and mouse that will end when the game reaches Checkmate.

Jean Hackensmith is the author of CHECKMATE. You can visit her website at


4 thoughts on “CHECKMATE by Jean Hackensmith: “…a sadistic game of cat and mouse.”

  1. Thank you to The Story Behind The Book for hosting me today! I can’t tell you in words how much it is appreciated. Without the help of such web sites as this, we authors would have a lot tougher time getting the word out about our books and our lives. This is such an excellent way to communicate with prospective readers. Thank you again!

    Jean Hackensmith

    • Wow i loved your book!! my mom let me read a book that u hade signed for her, u might know her as snow??? maybe? well anyways it was a papper back book and oh my goodness this book is so good i just couldnt put it down!! well keep wrighting more books like that!!
      Love Malyssa

  2. Jean,

    Interesting to learn the questions you asked yourself as a writer as you developed your story. That’s what I find the most satisfying part of writing – delving for those answers.

    Much success on your tour,

    Karen Harrington
    Author, Janeology

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