When writing partners M.J. Anderson and Richard Rossner read a newspaper article about “honor killing” several years ago, they were shocked. It’s an old custom in some Middle Eastern countries whereby if a daughter commits any “unchaste” behavior, the father is required to kill her to restore the family honor. The behavior can be as innocent as dating a boy, holding hands, or any act that the culture considers immodest.
Different cultures often have practices that seem bizarre to outsiders, but this one had Anderson and Rossner horrified and upset. And the fact that many Westerners had no idea this was happening was an intriguing challenge.
How could this cruel practice be given more exposure, with the hope that more awareness could somehow help girls and women who were being brutalized by “honor killing”?
As film and TV writers, the answer seemed obvious: write a compelling fictional movie that would capture people’s interest. However, the writers realized that making a film would take a long time and significant funding. Instead, they decided to write the novel and they enlisted novelist Mike Robinson to work on it with them. Since having three authors on the cover would be unwieldy, the screenwriting team used the pseudonym of M.J. Richards.
Their mystery-thriller novel, Dishonor Thy Father, is now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions at dishonorthyfather.com and will soon be on other platforms and in stores.
Spanning three decades and two continents, the story boldly explores contemporary issues of ethnicity, sexism, spirituality, and social mores in today’s complex and heated political environment.
It begins as a 15-year-old Iranian girl is viciously attacked by her father for holding a boy’s hand. In running to escape certain death, she undertakes a dangerous journey to a new land with unfamiliar customs, where she must hide the truth from everyone she meets.
Twenty years later, amid racial tensions in a Los Angeles hospital, a female Muslim doctor is murdered. As the lead detective Michael Tucci investigates various suspects, he finds himself compromising both his job and his life by having a tumultuous affair with the beautiful Dr. Tara White, the victim’s associate – who could be the killer’s next target.
Phyllis Chesler, noted feminist and author of the bestselling Women and Madness and A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killing says: “This dramatic, fast-paced novel tells a dangerous tale like real ones that take place in Iran, Turkey and even sunny Southern California. The female characters are well-educated and dimensional, and an obsessed LA detective is on the case—here they all are, in living, cinematic color!”
Yasmine Mohammed Ex-Muslim, Human Rights Activist, Founder of Free Hearts, Free Minds said about the novel: “Though this story is fictional, thousands of women across the globe are real life victims of honor violence and honor killing every year. Hopefully Dishonor Thy Father will help shed some light on this atrocity that is rarely addressed.”
Prepublication reviews have been excellent:
“From beginning to end, Dishonor Thy Father is an intuitive and riveting novel… that explores sexism, racism, and bigotry through a fresh lens…” -San Francisco Book Review
“A persistently suspenseful crime drama…” -Kirkus Reviews
“…an intricate murder mystery with edge of your seat suspense…abounds with twists and turns, leading to a stunning final reveal!” -Paul Bernbaum, Writer/Producer, Hollywoodland, starring Ben Affleck
“Dishonor Thy Father is a great read. It’s a fascinating thriller with romance that takes the reader on a journey across cultures and continents.” -Carole Isenberg, Associate Producer, The Color Purple
The authors are available for interviews.
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Dishonor Thy Father – About the Authors
Mike Robinson is a novelist, screenwriter, and literary editor, based in Los Angeles. His novels include The Enigma of Twilight Falls trilogy, The Prince of Earth, Skunk Ape Semester, and The Atheist.
M.J. Richards is the pen name for the screenwriting team of M.J. Anderson & Richard Rossner. They are writer-producers of film and television with several movies and TV Series to their credit. M.J. wrote multiple episodes of Friday the 13th – the Series. Richard Rossner co-hosts several podcasts, including The Dark Side Of and Unexplained Mysteries.