As you can see from my photo, Damien Degenhart is a pseudonym. I am a retired college professor, and I live in Oswego, New York, where I taught Criminal Justice for 32 years. I have a Ph.D. in German Literature and a J.D. degree, and I was a criminal court judge for about two years.
I read all sorts of literature, both fiction and nonfiction. I am a big fan of mystery fiction, and some of my favorite authors are Ruth Rendell, P.D. James, Patricia Highsmith, Stephen Booth, and Henning Mankell. Recently I have been reading a lot of 19th century literature. My favorite author is Anthony Trollope, who wrote the Barsetshire Chronicles. My all-time favorite books, however, are John Galsworthy's Forsyte novels, all nine of them.
Since my retirement I have learned to play tennis and am learning the classical guitar. Studying Latin online is still on my to-do list. My interests include tennis, reading, listening to music, mostly classical, and exploring nature. The area where I live is particularly interesting as a landscape formed by glaciers in the last Ice Age.
I am very interested in psychology, and I am fascinated by the nature of identity, e.g., do you alone create your identity or do other people also play a role? Is it possible to have two characters in one body and not have multiple personality disorder? That is, can both characters be aware of everything that the other one does? In cases of multiple personality disorder, when the person dissociates, he/she has no memory of what another personality may have said or done. In Merchant of Lies, however, one person has two personas or characters using the same body, which is quite a different thing. These are some of the things I was thinking about when I wrote Merchant of Lies.
Right now I am working on a second Renny Doyle thriller called Risky Business.
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Merchant of Lies
by Celia Sgroi
A taut, fast-paced psychological thriller that mixes suspense with black humor. Renee Dolan, beset by tragedy, troubling secrets, and a near-rape, tranforms herself into Renny Doyle, a fearless young man who accepts few limits. He soon becomes involved in illegal activities, including freelance jobs for a mysterious mobster. Then he turns to murder to solve his problems. Can Renee regain control?
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