By Shane Gericke
Our den mom, Kelli Stanley (right, in orange chapeau), who a little over a year ago organized this tuna boat of love we call CM (well, I do, anyway; the others are much more sophisticated than me), arranged for us to brunch at a lovely restaurant in San Francisco, one of the world's true garden spots. We sat outdoors. It was breezy and nice, and near the water, and across from this weirdly wonderfully big rocket statue, and there was a view of the bay and bridge.
And now, what you've all been waiting for, this week's topic, "Why would your protagonist be arrested?" . . . in Shane-o-Vision!
BOOK HER, DANNO--FELONY DEFLOWERING
It's kinda weird, arresting a cop.
But it's Chinatown.
Her name is Emily Marie Thompson. Em for shoret. She's a Naperville Police detective. She has the right to stay silent, to have an attorney present during questioning, and all that.
Only in Naperville ...
The tony Chicago suburb in which I live prides itself on its pride. In real Naper-life (as opposed to in my books, where mayhem flows like whisky and platitudes at book convention) there is very little "real" crime: murders, rapes, arsons, like that. So, our 150,000 citizens have a fairly low trigger on what constitutes a reason to call to 911 in a lather. In Chicago, 30 miles to the east, a call to 911 for, say, a noisy motorcycle will get you laughed at openly. In Naperville, that's practically a felony, and demands a police response. Yes, we have high, uh, expectations, of our boys and girls in blue.
So, who did poor Detective Thompson kill to get herself put in the literary pokey?
From TORN APART, where a serial killer has just kidnapped a young girl and shot two citizens and is being chased on foot through a neighborhood by Emily and her partner, SWAT commander Annie Bates:
“People are running through my yard,” the woman complained. “They made a mess of my chrysanthemums. I want you to arrest them.”
“What do they look like, ma’am?” the dispatcher said.
“Well, they’re purple and yellow and in very full bloom—”
“The runners,” the dispatcher interrupted. “Describe the runners.”
“Oh,” the woman said. “There’s two. One’s a short blond, the other’s brunette—”
“I found ’em,” the dispatcher shouted.
“Why do you keep interrupting me?” the woman said. “Don’t you know I pay your salary?”
Like I said . . .
Shane Gericke (pronounced YER-kee) is the national bestselling author of TORN APART and other crime novels. His work is in translation worldwide, and Suspense magazine calls him “one of the twenty-first century's favorite authors.” Past chairman of ThrillerFest and an original member of International Thriller Writers, Shane was a senior editor at the Chicago Sun-Times before switching to fiction. He lives in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, where his series is set and is also the home of famous crime-fighter Dick Tracy. He does not resemble Detective Tracy in any way except square jaw and steely glint. Catch him at http://www.shanegericke.com He mentions this here because Shane has only told you about himself 75 or so times, and he knows that repetition is the key to having someone besides his mom buy his books.