Do you really know your neighbours?

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A friend of mine has been engrossed with the news of Ariel Castro, the monster in Ohio who held three women captive in his house for ten years. She admits to finding it morbidly fascinating and cannot comprehend how he could have gotten away with it for so long.

As I pointed out to her yesterday, there is no telling how many other people are getting away with things, because truth is, unless they are caught we will never know. And as another friend added, people talk about the perfect murder, but if it has been committed we wouldn’t know, because if we did it would no longer be perfect.

It serves to prove that we really don’t know what our friends and family; neighbours and work colleagues are up to behind closed doors and as a writer with a highly imaginative mind, I find it intriguing.

The sweet little old lady shop assistant who serves me in the supermarket, how do I know she doesn’t keep her husband’s body hacked up in pieces in her freezer, having once poisoned his morning cup of tea?

The taxi driver who gave me a lift home last night, perhaps he sometimes likes to drive out to the woods, strip naked and howl at the moon.

The nerdy guy at work, who is always in such a rush to cycle home, is it because he has to feed the woman he has chained up in his house?

And how about the dog walker who passes my house twice a day? He looks innocent enough, but how do I know he doesn’t sleep in a coffin and keep vials of blood in his fridge?

It is fascinating trying to figure out what makes people tick and as a thriller writer it gives me plenty of material to play with.

Of course, the only crimes I commit are on paper.

Now I must go, I need to sharpen my knives… sorry, I mean my pencil.