Insight into the Life of a Detective-Turned-Author

Are any of the characters or cases in your novels based on real-life experiences?
All of my characters are of a type or types of cops I worked with, but there’s no direct lifts – they’re all fictional. The cases in my novels are not based on real crimes, but the atmosphere and process of investigation are completely based on reality.

How does it feel to be responsible for a team, knowing that their lives could be in danger?
You don’t think about it – everyone knows their jobs and the risks involved. Sure, being in the police can be a dangerous job, but at the end of the day we’re not going into combat in Helmand Province day after day, where sudden death isn’t just a vague possibility – it’s a reality. I wouldn’t want to insult our servicemen and women by giving the impression I risked my life daily as they do.

How does it feel when you know you’ve found the perpetrator/killer?
It’s always a buzz to get your man or woman, but when it’s a murderer, there’s a special kind of buzz – like you’ve caught some particularly dangerous type of wild animal. There’s a heightened sense of nervous excitement, surrealism at first, but that soon fades and everyone gets on with the job.

How does it feel to really know what a dangerous place the world is?
I don’t see this as particularly dangerous world, or country at least – I’m just aware of the risks and can sense when something or someone is not right. I love it. I feel awake, alert and as a consequence my fear of crime is very low, because it’s realistic and I know how to avoid becoming a victim. I’d rather be able to see the dangers than be blind to them. Wouldn’t you?

Is it impossible to stop thinking like a detective – even now that you’re out of the force?
Completely, but who would want to stop thinking like that? Not me!

This blog post was originally posted on the Killer Reads blog on August 23rd, 2013.


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