No More Lies by Robert Crouch
Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track.
And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident.
Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide?
Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched.
The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie.
Tea and murder – the classic combination
– a guest post by Robert Crouch
So, I’m sitting in the busy café of a local garden centre, pitching the idea for my next novel to a detective sergeant from the Major Crimes Team.
She doesn’t look like a detective or a police officer – just an ordinary, everyday woman dressed in casual clothes, her hair pulled into a loose ponytail. She sips her tea, looking thoughtful and considered as I relate the idea for my next novel.
And then I realise she’s weighing me up – the way police officers do. It’s a casual observation made with keen eyes that give nothing away. She seems relaxed and at ease, but she’s concentrating, taking in all manner of small details, memorising them as she’s trained to do.
It’s a skill I’m desperate to perfect, but my mind can rarely focus for long enough. Everything around me, whether it’s a sound, something visual, a delicate fragrance or the sticky feel of the table beneath my fingers is potentially an idea, a description, something for my novels.
That’s what I’m awake and alert to – though you’d never know it while I’m waxing lyrical about the plot for the next novel.
As I draw close to the end of my account, pausing briefly to frame the final summary line, I realise I’ve never spoken to anyone who investigates murders in the real world.
My murders are fictional. They’re contemporary murder mysteries that pay homage to the classic whodunit by authors like Agatha Christie. The police don’t generally feature that much as my sleuth is an amateur detective.
That’s not an excuse for laziness though. Accuracy in all details equates to pride, to caring about readers, the places and subjects I cover. Moreover, it’s about credibility. I don’t want to be known as an author who brushes aside procedure because it doesn’t help my story or because it deadens the excitement.
Many readers may be unaware of procedures governing the gathering of evidence, the interview of suspects and the many myriad rules and procedures that make up the justice system. As an environmental health officer, I enforced all manner of laws, sometimes prosecuting people or companies in court. I’ve attended a Coroner’s Inquest on several occasions, given evidence in court and interviewed suspects under caution.
That’s how I know about PACE – the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and the codes law enforcement officers have to follow.
This post was meant to feature on the blog tour organised by the amazing Caroline Vincent. However, a plethora of crazy life moments and illness prevented me from posting on my day. Sincere apologies to Caroline and Robert, life is hopefully back on an even keel and I can catch up with my posts.
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