Frozen Minds (DI Winter Meadows Mystery Book 2)
Published by Accent Press
Ebook : 14 October 2016
It’s my turn today on the Frozen Minds blog tour and I’m delighted to welcome Cheryl to the blog with a guest post.
The Crime Scene
by Cheryl Rees-Price
While on the prowl for some forensic information for my latest book, I came across a site offering the chance to take part in a crime scene investigation. Intrigued I hit enter and eagerly scanned the information. I didn’t want to register so browsed the examples. Not at all what I hoped to find!
The site offered the participant a chance to play detective with a 360 degree view of a crime scene, compete with blood splatters, and chalked outline of the body. Following this was TV footage of a reporter outside the house where the crime took place, as she gave details of the grisly murder a body bag was carried out of the front door. Next up were transcripts of interviews with suspects and various bits of evidence found at the crime scene. While all this looked like a bit of fun to while away a few hours, the acting left a lot to be desired and the story line was a bit generic.
Before leaving the site for some serious research I scrolled to the bottom of the page and was surprised to find that you could purchase forensic supplies, anything from fingerprinting equipment to crime scene tape, and evidence bags. And to what purpose? Just imagine sealing off your kitchen with crime scene tape, dusting down the cupboards for finger prints, then gathering the family, Agatha Christie style, to reveal who stole the last Kit Kat. (This would usually be me.)
While all this was a source of amusement it did highlight the fact that readers are now forensic savvy. Programmes like CSI, Forensic files and Silent witness offer the watcher a glimpse into the world of forensic science. Then there is the mass of information on the internet. I have forensic references books and the complete collection of CSI. (I can watch this and say I am working!) So how far should a writer go when it comes to forensics?
Fictionally a crime scene can be anywhere you choose. A public place gives scope for a lot of samples to muddy the investigations. Shoe prints, fingerprints, hair, and discarded cigarette butts that could have been left at any time, all have to be collected and tagged. Even if it is a remote setting the collection of samples doesn’t aid catching the perpetrator unless their fingerprints or DNA is in the Database.
It is when there is a suspect that the forensics really play a big part, it is here that the writer has to give careful consideration on how much of the research information to use. Technical detail can weigh down the narrative but enough has to be given to make the investigation credible. After pondering this problem for some time I realised the answer was obvious.
My detective, much like myself, is not a forensic expect. Mike, my forensic officer, however is brilliant at his job. As he knows what he is doing I leave him to relay the important forensic facts of the case which leaves my detective free to do what he does best.
About the book:
When a man is found murdered at Bethesda House, a home for adults with learning difficulties, local people start to accuse the home’s residents of being behind the killing. The victim was a manager at the home, and seemingly a respectable and well-liked family man. DI Winter Meadows knows there’s more to the case than meets the eye at first, though. As he and his team investigate, Meadows discovers a culture of fear at the home – and some very sinister dealings going on between the staff. Does the answer to the case lie in the relationships between the staff and the residents – or is there something even more sinister afoot?
About the author:
Cheryl Rees-Price was born in Cardiff and moved as a Young child to a small ex-mining village on the edge of the Black Mountains, South Wales, where she still lives with her husband, daughters and two cats. After leaving school she worked as a legal clerk for several years before leaving to raise her two daughters.
Cheryl returned to education, studying philosophy, sociology and accountancy whilst working as a part time book keeper. She now works as a finance director for a company that delivers project management and accounting services and sits on the board of a local circus company.
In her spare time Cheryl indulges in her passion for writing, the success of writing plays for local performances gave her the confidence to write her first novel. Her other hobbies include walking and gardening which free her mind to develop plots and create colourful characters.