FIVE THINGS BEING CRIMINAL LAWYER TAUGHT ME ABOUT WRITING

FIVE THINGS BEING CRIMINAL LAWYER TAUGHT ME ABOUT WRITING

FIVE THINGS BEING CRIMINAL LAWYER TAUGHT ME ABOUT WRITING Complexity of Characters The need for complexity in fictional characters extends to criminal characters. Crimes are not the exclusive realm of one-dimensional individuals. I learned as a criminal defense lawyer that being charged with a crime shakes people to their core. The prospect of spending a […]

How True Crime and Fiction Intersect

How True Crime and Fiction Intersect

We’re Having a Collision here! How True Crime and Fiction Intersect In preparing to teach a class next semester on popular fiction—including science fiction, mysteries, horror, thrillers, and fantasy—I’m learning and thinking a lot about these genres, even after having written a novel marketed as a psychological thriller and another described as a mystery. Studying […]

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DVD Review– The Witness

DVD Review– The Witness The story of Kitty Genovese is supposedly well known. A young woman was brutally murdered in the middle of the night in New York. Well over thirty people witnessed the attack, but nobody did anything. The crime became a symbol of the city’s moral decay, the people who refused to get […]

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The Chicago Police and Five Unsolved Mysteries

The Chicago Police and Five Unsolved Mysteries It may be hard to imagine, but the Chicago police department is probably better respected today than they ever were before. Of course, this isn’t saying much. In the 1800s, they had a reputation for spending most of their time “interviewing” bartenders, and a consultant hired to look […]

On the Frontline: Fighting Crime in the CID

On the Frontline: Fighting Crime in the CID

On the Frontline: Fighting Crime in the CID FROM 87th PRECINCT TO DOWNTOWN DEARNE VALLEY (YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND) I have lost count of the number of dead bodies I have seen! I have fought with drunks, wrestled thieves to the ground, and been threatened by a knife-wielding burglar on the run, and I’ve experienced the adrenalin […]

Ten Ways to Die in Turn-of-the-Last-Century New York

Ten Ways to Die in Turn-of-the-Last-Century New York

Ten Ways to Die in Turn-of-the-Last-Century New York The first decade of the twentieth century in New York City was a time of crowded tenements and splendid mansions, of extraordinary inventions and ubiquitous fraud, of widespread corruption and reformist zeal. It was, in short, a time of contrast and conflict on a grand scale—making it […]

The Secret Life of Undercover Agents

The Secret Life of Undercover Agents

  The Secret Life of Undercover Agents You might read about them in the newspapers, probably because they get caught. You might read their autobiographies, probably because they are unhappily retired. But you don’t read about them when they perform their duties for years in enemy territories, serving undercover in the most perilous situations. They […]

Ten of the Best Fictional Crime Novels Inspired by News Stories

Ten of the Best Fictional Crime Novels Inspired by News Stories

Ten of the Best Fictional Crime Novels Inspired by News Stories Megan Abbott, The Fever (2015) The inspiration for Abbott’s The Fever was a 2011 mass-hysteria case in LeRoy, New York, when Tourette-like symptoms afflicted a dozen high school girls. Abbott’s novel explores both communal hysteria and the fevered delusions of adolescence, which magnify everything […]

The Mystery Murder Case of the Century

The Mystery Murder Case of the Century

The Mystery Murder Case of the Century If I were asked to select one case in the history of our justice system that epitomized the essentials and professionalism of a ministry of justice in terms of tempestuous drama, personal anguish, garish confrontation, and, yes, divine intervention, unhesitatingly, I would answer: the Wylie-Hoffert rape murders. Here’s […]

An Interview with a Killer

An Interview with a Killer

From outside its main gates, the jail looked like an abandoned car-repair shop. It had razor wire on the perimeter walls but, then again, just about every wall in the city of David, Panama, is topped by rings of razor wire. There was a line of visiting women, a few of them holding parasols. I saw a […]

Ten True Crime Political Thrillers

Ten Books Books That Will Explain Current Strife in the World

Ten Books Books That Will Explain Current Strife in the World I write military counter-terrorism thrillers, which, by design, have to parse the world into neat shades of black and white, with perhaps a touch of gray thrown in. My protagonist, Pike Logan, has to have a clear antagonist and must solve the problem all […]