Author Guest Post
Research for the law enforcement impaired
I know you'll be shocked to hear this, but I'm not a cop. So when I set out to write DEADLY LIES, a suspense novel featuring police characters investigating crimes, I knew I had a lot to learn.
I don't meet a lot of law enforcement types working in hi-tech. And while I have friends whose neighborhoods are full of cops (not in the television “Cops” show kind of way) mine is not.
So how does a small-town, peace-loving Canadian girl like me learn the finer points of crime and punishment? Sure, like everyone else, I watch police shows on television, and I’ve developed what my husband considers an unhealthy addiction to Psycho TV (a.k.a. The Investigation and Discovery Network), but I knew I had to dig a little deeper. So when the going gets tough, what do we Type-A’s do? We take classes.
In that spirit, back in 2010, I applied for the spring session of Seattle's Citizen's Police Academy. Set deep down in the gritty heart of Seattle’s Sodo district, I attended an eleven-week course at one of the department’s training facilities, which covered a wide array of law enforcement topics ranging from criminal justice to arson to SWAT and more. Bar none, my favorite class was firearms night. I know what you’re thinking – a shooting range full of cops showing civilians how to become Dirty Harry overnight. Not quite.
The class was split in half, and we were walked through a number of real-world scenarios, where you're forced to make split-second decisions about a situation with very little background. You have to figure out if the situation is dangerous or benign.
So brimming with enthusiasm, and armed with a fake Glock strapped to my hip, I step up, a willing test subject. Adrenaline buzzed pleasantly through my veins and I’m feeling good about this. Really. How hard can this be? Then the classroom lights click off.
BEGIN SECENARIO: It’s dark and I see a suspect trying to break into the backdoor of a business located in a mini-mall. I swagger up to the scene. Shine my flashlight on the suspect. Identify myself as a police officer. And, BAM! I’m shot dead in three seconds flat. I don’t know for sure, but I think that's some kind of class record.
Another favorite of mine was arson and bomb squad night - just me, a few lawyers, and a bunch of cop wannabes checking out the Bomb Squad rig. Totally cool tech. We got frisked by the bomb-sniffing dogs, goggled the all hi-tech gadgets, and watched the robot in action.
So there we are on break, standing around, excitedly chattering about what we learned, when one of my fellow classmates asked me if I had applied to the Police Academy. I slapped a hand across my mouth and only just barely stopped coffee from shooting out my nose.
"Me? A cop?” I choked, clearing my throat and blinking back tears. “Hell, no. I'm a writer."
The classes were fun and informative, taught by some really great Police Officers. Not only did I come away armed with the absolute certainty that law enforcement is not the career path for me, I developed a deep respect for the men and women of the Seattle Police Department.
In my debut novel, DEADLY LIES, Detective Alex Shannon, embodies some of the best characteristics exemplified by the officers teaching our classes, including a deep sense of duty, honor, and loyalty – characteristics that put Alex directly in conflict with his wife, Jill, and presents him with an impossible choice.
If you're interested in learning more about the inner workings of the police force and meeting some great law enforcement professionals, sign up for one of their sessions. Many cities host this kind of community outreach program.
The Seattle’s Citizen Police Academy is just one piece of the research I conducted while writing the book. I’ve listed more great resources on my website at: http://chrispatchell.businesscatalyst.com/research.html
About The Author
When Chris Patchell isn't hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn't steal them from comic books.
Years later, Chris spent long afternoons managing her own independent record store and writing romance novels. After closing the record store and going to college, Chris launched a successful career in hi-tech. She married, had kids but amid all the madness, the itch to write never really went away. So she started writing again. Not romance this time - suspense filled with drama, and angst, speckled with a little bit of blood.
Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. "My stories are based on scenarios I see every day, distorted through the fictional lens. And my stories come with the added bonus of not having to be restrained by socially acceptable behavior."
Deadly Lies by Chris Patchell
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: December 15, 2013
Format: Paperback - 368 pages
Kindle - 977 KB
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller
Buy The Book:
Barnes & Nobles
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.
"Chris Patchell's debut novel, DEADLY LIES, is a taut, fast-paced thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn't let go. Patchell is a master storyteller with a real talent for creating pulse-pounding suspense." ~ Kevin O'Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of TELL ME YOU'RE SORRY
Husband and wife stand on opposite sides of a divide created by lies and rooted in a dark and deadly past…
As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather's cruel abuse. Now as an adult, Jill's made it - she has a successful career and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon. Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle.
The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim lies dormant - until one day a reporter lures her to his hotel room under the pretense of an interview - and suddenly all of it comes rushing back. Jill seeks revenge on the reporter, triggering a series of events that leads Jill down a wormhole of retribution, forcing her to spin an ever-widening web of lies.
Meanwhile, Alex is pulled into a case of a series of murders that began as cyber relationships. There seems to be a familiar fingerprint on these crimes, but Alex refuses to believe the murderer could be someone close to him.
My Book Review:
In her debut novel, Deadly Lies, author Chris Patchell weaves a fast paced riveting psychological thriller that takes the reader on an exhilarating roller coaster ride full of drama, gripping suspense, and intriguing twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing and sitting on the edge of their seat.
As Jill Shannon's career begins to rise in the corporate world, her five year marriage to Alex Shannon a detective for the Seattle Police Department is stagnating. As Alex conducts an investigation into the murder of a local teen, Jill doesn't expect the ripple effect that could expose her hidden secrets and lies, and destroy them both.
This riveting and complex multi-layered story follows Alex's investigation of an ex-girlfriend's murdered sister, as well as his involvement in solving a series of killings that could be linked to someone he loves. As Alex digs deeper into the investigation, the reader also gets a glimpse into the victimization of Jill as a teen, and her passionate need for revenge not only against a rapist but against those involved in a sex-video ring. Jill is plagued by an abusive past, and as her world turns upside down, she gets caught up in a web of secrets, lies, and deceit that leads her to take justice into her own hands with deadly results.
Deadly Lies is one hell of a thriller that cleverly weaves together a clandestine affair, secret meetings, and cyber sex crime. With every riveting twist and turn in the story, the intensity and suspense mounts until the climax ending that will leave you completely spent.
RATING: 5 STARS
Virtual Book Tour
Click on the above link for a list of the tour participants.