True Crime Meets Giallo
The genesis of Modulator began with a documentary called Fear City. The premise was about how the FBI took down some of the heads of the five NYC mafia families by bugging their properties. The interesting thing was the audacity of the steps the agents took to install covert listening devices. They had to either break in or pretend to be repairmen to install the bugs.
I became fascinated with the surveillance equipment from the 70s. The range was roughly 50 meters, so the receiver had to be near the potential crime. The transmitter would be hidden in something electric or an electronic device like a television. I wrote down some ideas as there was so much potential in setting a story about forgotten equipment found years later.
I then went down the rabbit-hole of the Crypto Museum. It is an online museum based in the Netherlands that has information on all past spying instruments and equipment, as well as details on how they work.
A modulator is an electronic circuit that superimposes an information signal onto a carrier signal by modifying its amplitude, frequency, or phase for transmission. Once detected and received, a demodulator circuit decodes the masked signals.
The set-up that intrigued me was a SRT-91 transmitter with DP (Dirty Pulse) audio masking, a SRR-90 A/B surveillance receiver, a SRR-145 down-converter module, and a pulse demodulator module.
As cool as the old tech is, I remembered an interview with Stephen King about the place of research in writing. He said something along the lines of how the research is important to know how things work, but it belongs in the background so as not to bog down the characters and story. Although it is integral, I tried to keep the tech in line with the overall plot with that sound advice in mind.
The mafia connection also found its way into my story with some colorful characters, and it played well into the Italian giallo angle. My goal was to create a horror crime thriller, one worthy enough to dedicate to the master of horror, Dario Argento, and I feel like I have.
I am proud of my scrappy little story.
Please check out the Crypto Museum at www.cryptomuseum.com.
If you hear the sound, it is too late.
Intrigued by a found covert listening device, Guy and Enola set out to solve a mystery. Strange wiring, hidden recordings, a boy witness, and an eerie modulation noise are clues to past murders, but time is running short as an escaped lunatic is also on the loose. Will they uncover the secrets of the past, or will they become the next victims?
A new giallo in digital and print.
September 6th, 2022