SAMANTHA CODY TRILOGY GIVEAWAY begins today, 6-30-14, and will run until 7-7-14.
WATCH THE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ld274tnVrI
SAMANTHA CODY TRILOGY GIVEAWAY begins today, 6-30-14, and will run until 7-7-14.
WATCH THE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ld274tnVrI
Cop Town by Karin Slaughter
June 24, 2014
Unblinking and in your face
Karin Slaughter writes tough, gritty crime fiction. Unblinking and in your face. Always filled with tough and committed characters who are deeply flawed. Her villains are always well-drawn, evil, and totally believable, with clear agendas that drive their actions. Cop Town is such a story and just might be her best yet.
Set in 1974 among the mean streets of Atlanta and within the corrupt, racist, sexist Atlanta PD, the story revolves around two female officers, one seasoned, one a rookie, who essentially serve as co-protagonists. Each has easily exploited weaknesses, while possessing skills and a toughness that drives the story.
Maggie Lawson comes from a cop family. A family that is dysfunctional on many levels. Maggie tries to live up to the standards demanded by her hard-nosed uncle and brother while trying to retain her own humanity. She is thrust into the chase of a brutal cop killer, whose motives aren’t readily apparent, the only thing known for sure that he will kill again. The clock is ticking and Maggie feels the pressure at every turn.
Entering this pressure cooker is first-day-rookie Kate Murphy. Jewish, strikingly beautiful, privileged from her tony digs in Buckhead Atlanta, and completely over her head. Yet, when she and Maggie team up, they create a powerful symbiosis that proves to be more than capable in the good-old-boy world of Atlanta cops.
The story is fast-paced, with unexpected twists and turns, and a climax that is shocking yet inevitable. A great read.
Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m. PDT, join DP Lyle and Jan Burke as they learn about the art and science of interrogation from renowned expert Paul Bishop, who will also tell us about his long and successful career as a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, where he worked in the Anti-Terrorist Division and in the investigation of sex crimes.
BIO: A thirty-five year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, Paul Bishop’s career has included a three year tour with his department’s Anti-Terrorist Division and over twenty-five years’ experience in the investigation of sex crimes. His Special Assaults Units regularly produced the highest number of detective initiated arrests and highest crime clearance rates in the city. Twice honored as Detective of the Year, Paul also received the Quality and Productivity Commission Award from the City of Los Angeles.
As a nationally recognized interrogator, Paul starred as the lead interrogator and driving force behind the ABC TV reality show Take The Money And Run from producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Based on his expertise in deception detection, he currently conducts interrogation seminars for law enforcement, military, and human resource organizations.
Paul has published twelve novels, including five in his L.A.P.D. Detective Fey Croaker series. He has also written numerous scripts for episodic television and feature films. He currently writes and edits the Fight Card series of hardboiled boxing novels under the pseudonym Jack Tunney.
Paul Bishops’ Blog: www.bishsbeat.blogspot.com
Fight Card Books: www.fightcardbooks.com
Paul Bishop on Twitter: @BishsBeat
The Los Angeles Police Department Website http://www.lapdonline.org
Take the Money and Run http://www.tv.com/shows/take-the-money-and-run-2011/
How Police Interrogation Works: http://people.howstuffworks.com/police-interrogation.htm
Behind the Scenes of Take the Money and Run: http://bishsbeat.blogspot.com/2011/08/behind-scenes-take-money-and-run.html
Find Law: FAQs: Police Interrogations: http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/faqs-police-interrogations.html
NPR: “Beyond Good Cop/Bad Cop: A Look at Real-Life Interrogations”: http://www.npr.org/2013/12/05/248968150/beyond-good-cop-bad-cop-a-look-at-real-life-interrogations
TED Talks Video: Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are
Nonverbal Communication: Improving Nonverbal Skills & Reading Body Language: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm
PLOS One: Richard Wiseman, et al: The Eyes Don’t Have It: Lie Detection and Neuro-Linguistic Programming http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0040259
Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming in the Interview Room (From FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, August 2001) http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/fbi/nlp_interviewing.htm
The Police Chief Magazine: Perspective on Neurolinguistic Programming (December, 2011) http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2268&issue_id=122010
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence: Karen Rich and Patrick Seffrin, “Police Interviews of Sexual Assault Reports: Do Attitudes Matter?” http://www.oaesv.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Police-Interviews-of-Sexual-Assault-Reports-Do-Attitudes-Matter.pdf
Terminal City by Linda Fairstein
June 17, 2014
A wickedly intelligent thriller
International bestseller Linda Fairstein’s newest novel, starring Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper, is a winner on every level. A wickedly intelligent thriller that crawls through the underbelly of NYC as well as the courts and law enforcement agencies of the Big Apple. Alexandra is a wonderful series character that reflects Fairstein’s own career as Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit for the Manhattan DA’s Office. She knows of what she writes. This story begins with a carved-up corpse in a high-dollar suite at New York’s posh Waldorff Astoria Hotel. And from there it only gets worse. A thrill ride that is not to be missed.
The Farm by Tom Rob Smith
Grand Central Publishing
June 3, 2014
If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son.
Tom Rob Smith is a great storyteller. Hie first novel, Child 44, was an amazing work of fiction that won much critical acclaim, including the Thriller Award. He completed that trilogy with two other excellent books: The Secret Speech and Agent 6. The Farm is another great story.
From a technical, writerly point of view, this is an interesting work. A small story with big themes, it is essentially told entirely in narrative form—-yet it reads like action, dialog, and all the other elements of storytelling. The first 80% is essentially a mother telling her son a story. Don’t let that fool you. The story races along and once you begin, you can’t put it down. That’s great writing.
Daniel is preping for a trip from London to rural Sweden to visit his parents, Chris and Tilde, on their new farm. He has put off the trip to avoid telling his family of his lover Mark. A relationship he is sure they will not approve of. But when his father calls, saying the his mother is ill, mentally ill, he must now make the trek he has avoided. But before he can climb on his flight, he receives a message from his father that Tilde has left the mental hospital and is headed to London. And indeed she arrives.
Back in his apartment, Daniel does the listening, his “mum” Tilde the telling. And what a tale. A story of child abuse, betrayal, and murder. A conspiracy involving the rich and powerful and even his father. But is it true? Could it all have really happened as Tilde describes? Is his mother insane as so many say, including his father.
As the “telling” unfolds, the reader will be whiplashed back and forth. Is the evidence Tilde posses in her satchel proof of unspeakable crimes or are they meaningless bits that are only evidence in his mother’s mind?
This story will stay with you long after you read the final page.
Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo
. . . murder and mayhem among the peaceful world of the Amish . . .
Painters Mill’s police chief Kate Burkholder is back in this wonderful tale of murder and mayhem among the peaceful world of the Amish. Kate, raised in this world, long ago left for the secular world of law enforcement, and is now confronted with a murder of diabolical proportions. The story opens with a horrible accident. An Amish father and his children, returning home in their horse-drawn buggy, are demolished by a speeding car that flees into the night. A scene that is so harrowingly rendered it’s as if the reader is an eyewitness.
But was it an accident? Or was it a murder of horrific proportions? If so, why? What’s the payoff for annihilating these innocents? Nothing is apparent and as Kate digs deeper into the family and the community, a community that still resents her departure from the fold, she uncovers dark deeds and motives that defy understanding.
Kate’s continuing and growing relationship with FBI agent John Tomasetti only complicates her life and skews her choices. Choices that could end her career. John’s too.
This is an excellent series and Her Last Breath is one of the best.
How DNA Testing Helps Determine Paternity
The impetus for determining the paternity of a child likely dates back to the most primitive tribal cultures. Particularly in patriarchal cultures where females were regarded as the property of males, it was deemed important to ensure that a man’s “property” had not been shared, and that the virtue of the female was beyond question. As societies became more sophisticated, the need to establish paternity became as much an economic issue as a moral one. In modern cultures, paternity testing is used primarily to establish whether or not a man is responsible for providing financial support to a child, as well as determining whether the child carries any of the father’s genetic predispositions for health challenges.
Physical appearance – In more primitive cultures (some of which continue to flourish), the objectives behind determining the paternity of a child were culturally and/or emotionally based. If a child was born who lacked identifying characteristics of either parent, it was frequently assumed that the father was someone other than the woman’s mate. The repercussions to the mother were quite severe, often culminating in her death. Unfortunately – especially for the women – the comparison of obvious physical traits was highly subjective, and many women suffered dire consequences, even if their husband/mate was indeed the biological father.
Blood typing – With the early 20th century discovery that different individuals had different blood types, and the recognition in the 1920s that those blood types were genetically inherited, a more accurate means of determining paternity came into common use. It was discovered that by comparing the parents’ blood types, it was possible to determine the most likely blood type of the child. While this was admittedly a step above the “he has his father’s eyes” paternity test, it was still only about 30% accurate.
Serological testing – It was discovered in the 1930s that specific proteins not considered during blood typing could establish the presence of genetically inherited antigens that would more accurately identify the child’s biological father. Unfortunately, serological testing only improved the accuracy of paternity testing to about 40%. Hardly conclusive evidence.
Tissue typing – In the 1970s, the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) was discovered in abundance within white blood cells. When samples of this genetically inherited antigen taken from the mother and child were compared to the sample taken from the father, paternity could be established with roughly 80% accuracy. While this was a significant improvement over previous methods, the collection procedure itself was unpleasant, and the size of the sample required made it hazardous to the child, particularly if the child was less than six months old. Obviously, more work needed to be done.
DNA testing (RFLP) – In the 1980s, the technique called restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) was discovered that looked at a significantly wider spectrum of variables in the blood than had been analyzed with earlier techniques. It was discovered that the offspring of two parents would have half the unique characteristics of each parent. This technique elevated the accuracy of paternity testing to the level of statistical certainty. Unfortunately, the amount of blood required for accurate sampling was, like tissue sampling, large, posing potential problems for the child. In addition, the potential for genetic mutations in the child could render a false negative, indicating that neither the woman or the man was the child’s biological parents. For these reasons, RFLP testing has been all but abandoned.
DNA Testing (PCR) – By the 1990s, the RFLP testing was replaced by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. This technique involves the computerized replication of DNA collected from even a minuscule sample that is collected anywhere on the individual’s body, then comparing the subjects’ profiles. In addition to requiring a very small sample (typically via an oral swab), the subject is not submitted to discomfort as in earlier test techniques, and the computerized analysis takes far less time, while still providing accuracy at the level of statistical certainty, 99.99%.
Author: Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from www.ArrestRecords.com and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 6-14-14 at 10 a.m. PDT, join DP Lyle and Jan Burke in conversation with Robin Burcell, who is the author of award-winning crime fiction — including this year’s The Kill Order, featuring FBI Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick. Robin also spent nearly three decades working in law enforcement: she has worked as a police officer, a forensic artist, a hostage negotiator, and a detective.
Robin Burcell’s Website: http://www.robinburcell.com
How Stuff Works: Hostage Negotiation: http://people.howstuffworks.com/hostage-negotiation.htm
PoliceOne.com: Hostage negotiations: Psychological Strategies For Resolving Crises: http://www.policeone.com/standoff/articles/1247470-Hostage-negotiations-Psychological-strategies-for-resolving-crises/
International Association of Hostage Negotiators: http://www.hostagenegotiation.com
Time: 6 Hostage Negotiation Techniques That Will Get You What You Want: http://time.com/38796/6-hostage-negotiation-techniques-that-will-get-you-what-you-want/
Hostage Negotiation: Psychological Principles and Practices: https://www.psychceu.com/miller/Miller_Hostage_Neg.pdf
Psychology Today: Active Listening Techniques of Hostage & Crisis Negotiators: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-words/201311/active-listening-techniques-hostage-crisis-negotiators
International Association for Identification: https://theiai.org
Crime Library: Forensic Art: http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/forensics/art/1.html
History of Forensic Art: http://www.forensicartist.com/history/
You Tube: Forensic Art: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T_2YCpZMyA
Forensic Faces Institute: http://forensicfaces.weebly.com/index.html
Suspicion by Joe Finder
May 27, 2014
Decisions always have consequences
Decisions always have consequences. Some positive; others less so. Some for all the right reasons; others born from darker motives. Some lead to happiness and fulfillment; others to loss, guilt, and recrimination. And still others open the door to a hellacious series of events.
Author Danny Goodman made a decision. A big decision. And for the right reasons. As a single father, he would do anything for his teenage daughter Abby. Even borrowing money from uber-wealthy Thomas Gavin, the father of Abby’s best friend and classmate at Boston’s uber-exclusive Lyman Academy—a place Abby loved, even needed, but Danny couldn’t come close to affording.
First a small loan for a class trip to Italy, then a larger one for the tuition that was far beyond Danny’s means. But it was for his daughter after all.
But in Joseph Finder’s hands nothing is as it seems. Danny finds himself in a trash-compactor of fear and danger and a world of crime and retribution he never knew existed.
This story will pull you in and carry you on a journey of ups and downs and twists and turns that you, and Danny, never see coming.
The next time you’re in deep thought imagining what your protagonist can do next to draw readers in to your plot, think not only of ‘whodunnit’, or ‘what happened’, but also, ‘who is it’? Many a successful storyline has been written about the first two, but not so many where the mystery is solving WHO this John Doe really is. For now, let’s just explore some details of how forensic identification really works. Here’s how it started out for this forensic odontologist.
In the spring of 1983, I began to assist the newly appointed state medical examiner with the identification of a ‘John Doe’, whose body had been pulled from the murky waters of the Cumberland River, here in Nashville, Tennessee. The badly decomposed body was bloated, discolored and bore an odor that would choke most. Visual identification would be impossible. Fingerprints were long gone. DNA had yet to be perfected. Fortunately, the decedent bore a mouthful of expensive gold inlays in his molars that would uniquely differentiate him from any other person. That was my baptism in the world of forensic identification.
Barely two years later, I testified in Tennessee’s first criminal trial where human bite marks would be admitted in a court of law. Opposing my testimony as expert witness was Dr. Richard Souviron, Chief Forensic Odontologist for Miami/Dade County Medical Examiner’s office. Fresh off his appearance in the now world famous Ted Bundy trial, Dr. Souviron later became a lifelong friend and mentor. Bundy had become the first person in US history sentenced to death where all evidence was circumstantial except for the damning bitemark he left on a victim. All Tennessee eyes were on Souviron’s testimony, since Bundy had become well known for his serial killing rampage of over a hundred women from Seattle to Tallahassee. Souviron’s testimony was pivotal in obtaining a guilty verdict. The fact that Bundy had been employed at a suicide prevention hotline desk made this case all the more daunting.
Another notorious case in middle Tennessee involved the mysterious disappearance of the wife of a prominent Nashville attorney. Janet March suddenly disappeared in 1996, and her body has never been discovered.
Missing persons departments have worked tirelessly for decades. Since media presence was so high, any time bones were found, our medical examiner’s team was called to the scene. Many times, it was animal remains, but every time it was a dead end. After over a decade, her husband was the first Tennessean to be convicted of a capital offense without ever producing a body. Just when you think it is not possible, then the truth often takes a mysterious turn! It proves that oftentimes, the truth is stranger than fiction.
No forensic experience, however, would surpass the enormous identification task while working with victims of the 9-11 attack of the World Trade Center. I had the privilege of assisting the New York Medical Examiner’s Office in the identification of those victims. Over an eleven month period, forensic scientists identified 1,000 of the roughly 3,000 victims of that horrific event. A large majority of those ID’s were done by dental record comparison. As recent as May 10, 2014, random identifications are made, over a decade since the attack. There are still almost 8,000 remaining unidentifiable body parts stored at the ONYME. http://news.msn.com/us/9-11-remains-returned-to-world-trade-center-site#tscptme
There are three basic methods used to confirm the identity of an individual. Fingerprints have been used the longest and have become a very reliable method of identification. It makes one assumption: fingerprints are like snowflakes, in that there are no two that are exactly alike. But fingerprints are not durable in weather and environmental factors, and will disintegrate within days in the hot summer.
Around 2000, DNA became, and is now, considered the gold standard for identification. DNA’s reliability is unquestioned, especially since it is the only scientific method able to quantify the accuracy of its determination. There is one major drawback. The microscopic evidence is very sensitive to the elements. There are several types of DNA, and most are easily destroyed and can be lost within days after elemental exposure.
The third method is that of dental characteristic comparison. Like all methods, it requires the comparison of a known sample to an unknown sample. We must have dental records and/or xrays of an individual who authorities think it might be. The advantage that dentistry has over the other two methods is that human teeth are virtually indestructible. Most all petroleum based fires will not burn enamel, the hardened outer covering of our teeth. The dental restorations are equally as durable and will withstand all environmental decomposition.
Forensic dentistry has been used to confirm identity of some rather notorious individuals. Back in 1998, I was consulted by the state medical examiner’s office to confirm a dental ID on James Earl Ray, the confessed killer of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Even though he died of hepatitis while in prison, and his face was readily identifiable, our medical examiner wanted certainty. He remembered the controversy with Lee Harvey Oswald’s body just eighteen years after JFK’s assassination. Naysayers claimed conspiracy, so forensic dentistry reconfirmed his identity following an exhumation in Dallas.
What case is the most bizarre mystery I’ve worked? It spanned over a decade and resulted from the murder of a John Doe whose body was placed in a car, burned beyond recognition, while the killer staged his own death. When his plot was later foiled, it took years to determine the victim’s identity. It was the first time in Tennessee courts of law where a capital murder hearing took place and no one in the courtroom had any idea who the victim was! Think about that for a minute!! This mysterious convoluted storyline gave birth to my first forensic novel, based on this case entitled ‘Walk of Death’.
Why do you do this? I get that question a lot. ‘I don’t see how you stand being around all that stuff all the time!’ Not sure I have a really good answer. The grossness of the endeavor is without question, but that is something that you can overcome. You almost have to look at the project as if you were dissecting a frog in biology class. I don’t mean to trivialize death but by keeping it clinical, the process is more manageable.
Although it sounds somewhat like a cliché, the one redeeming factor in forensic identification is the fact that we are able to finally bring closure to the families whose lives have already been turned upside down from the disappearance of their loved one. The confirmation that truly the ‘search is over’ is somehow able to bring some measure of peace to those families, is an element that probably cannot be completely understood, unless you walked in their shoes. The peace, that’s what I’m after!
Dr. Mike Tabor has served as Chief Forensic Odontologist for The State of Tennessee Office of the Medical Examiner since 1983. He is past President of the American Board of Forensic Odontology and Section Chair and Fellow for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, as well as past president of the Tennessee Board of Dental Examiners.
He assisted the NYC medical examiner’s office after the 911 event.
Dr. Tabor is the author of his first forensic novel, “Walk of Death”, the story of a cold case murder involving forensic dental identification that took over a decade to solve. His second in the Chris Walsh series is entitled “Out of the Darkness”. Since entering the writing phase of his career, Tabor has become a member of the Mystery Writers of America, as well as the International Thriller Writers Association.
For more info on Dr. Tabor’s work, he can be reached at: