DRILLING THROUGH DISCOVERY is the most expensive of the 5 TWO FACE books, but at 259 pages, it’s also the longest. It was by far the most difficult to write simply because so much information had to be assimilated, filtered, transcribed and then analyzed.
Sometimes when you analyze information there’s nothing in it. There’s an aspect to that in Watts’ interview with the FBI. Large segments of monologue start to feel like circular hogwash that doesn’t get you or take you anywhere. It feels bland, even boring.
What made the fifth narrative so difficult was not simply rehashing everything we already know. Instead I wanted to look for new information hiding [or withheld] in the discovery. I wanted to see the negative space between the stars and dots of data and see if something was hiding there.
What was incredibly compelling, was approaching the FBI interview and the subsequent interrogation from the perspective of law enforcement. How much did they really know and how soon did they know it? What didn’t they know? How did they decide to deal with this guy? What was their strategy? When exactly did they decide to tell him what [or some of what] they really knew? How should they say what they needed to say to get him to start giving them something they could really use, instead of endless bullshit?
It was also weird how I initially regarded Agent Coder as the “bad cop” in the interrogation, and Agent Lee as the friendlier, more benign “good cop”. But as the interrogation goes on, Coder seems to soften, and Lee seems to harden. It’s amazing to follow and watch, and readers are recommended to click on the many links provided at crucial parts of the questioning process.
The other aspect that was difficult but very meaningful was putting the timeline pieces into place. This contextualized the puzzle and makes many things that are puzzling or strange, less odd. For example, Watts seems to be one of the dumbest criminals in high-profile true crime history. But a cursory look at the timeline reveals an obvious and understandable reason for why he made some elementary mistakes.
It was also interesting to see where the research took the original theories, such as the contentions that the children were murdered first, and that Shan’ann was murdered earlier in the morning, not later.
It’s taken a long time, and it should, but after five narratives we’re only starting to figure out the enigma that is Chris Watts. What I didn’t expect was for a psychological symptom many of us are [or were] very familiar with to reappear in this story. It seems all this talk of narcissism has blinded us from something else all of us know all too well, not only about ourselves but each other.