As with all my novels, The Housewife Assassin’s Terrorist TV Guide began with an alluring “what if” premise. Mine came when researching improvised explosive devices—also known as IEDs.
Made to go undetected, IEDs are used as roadside bombs in military theaters of operation. Others are hidden by terrorists in public places. Tragically, not only do these bomb attacks kill the perpetrator’s enemy, they also claim the lives of innocent victims, often in areas of the world already devastated by war.
That said, the particular article that drew my attention appeared in the UK Mirror. It’s title:
Breast Bombers: Doctors Trained to Plant Explosives Inside Chests of Female Suicide Bombers
This very brief feature claimed the United Kingdom’s intelligence agency, MI6, as its source. It also quoted a briefing paper from the United States’ National Security Agency.
Further research brought me to a BBC article on the same subject.
It sounded plausible. But, is it possible?
As of the publication date of this book, there have been several known cases of body cavity bombs—that is to say, bombs embedded or inserted into willing humans and (I presume, unwilling) animals.
As of this day, there have been no known reports of successful breast implanted bombs.
Ah, but, just the thought of such an audacious plan was a perfect story device for the Housewife Assassin series.
Thus, my plot challenge:
How could a jihadist cell make the most of its opportunity to terrorize Americans?
Right then and there, the idea of having this ominous act take place on television was born.
To make the scenario more enticing, the terrorist would seek out a show with a viewing audience that watched a live broadcast. And ideally, the show would have a device to create ongoing audience interest and support for its cast. For these reasons, I made it an unscripted reality program that chose everyday families that the audience could root for, or boo. (We all know a Penelope Bing, am I right?)
This would also give the terrorist a shot to infiltrate the show.
And yes, so could Donna and Jack.
Of course, bringing back Addison Montague (Book 7: The Housewife Assassin’s Hollywood Scream Play) as the show’s producer gave them a leg up—or so they hoped.
Now, couple this with the means to kill innocent victims in the most vicious of ways—planting a device that blows them up from the inside—and the terrorists can wound the American psyche as well.
The sacrifices we are willing to make for love—of self, mission, money, fame, and more—is the overriding theme of this book. It is what drives the contestants to try out and compete for a spot on the show; and why they are manipulated into doing and saying things to their neighbors and their loved ones—not to mention millions watching at home.
Unfortunately for Donna and Jack, this time their quest to uncover the terrorists puts them in the public eye: something all spies loathe in covert operations. The fact that it turns their children’s world upside down is, of course, equally upsetting.
Each of the competing families has something in their backstory to lead you to suspect them. And by keeping the terrorists’ plan of attack a secret until the show’s last episode, Donna and Jack never know who is their real suspect—
Until you do.
I hope you enjoyed this latest Housewife Assassin tale as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.