Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Worst Kind of Truth

 
Detective Katie MacLeod has her hands full.

It has been four years since her promotion to detective, and after paying her dues in property crimes investigations, she has made it to the Major Crimes unit. This is where the highest profile cases land—homicides, robberies, serious assaults, and sexual assaults.

Katie catches two rape cases almost back-to-back. One victim is a prostitute with an unknown suspect… who Katie fears may be gearing up for more assaults. The other victim is a college student who has accused her boyfriend, a popular baseball player, of raping her at a party.



Both cases have their own set of perils. Katie juggles her time investigating each one, encountering many obstacles—a lack of evidence in one, and wondering how to parse conflicting statements in the other.

As she battles past these difficulties, Katie faces another fact… that both cases hit home with her in very different ways. Solving them becomes more than just a job for her, but something deep-seated and personal… something that may exorcise some of her own demons from the past.

Or will they consume her?

read an excerpt... 

Katie looked at her. “This wasn’t your fault, Nicole. I wish I could change that it happened to you but I can’t. But I am going to do my best to catch the man that did this to you.”

You’ll catch him,” Nicole said.

"I’ll do my best,” Katie repeated. She knew better than to make promises to victims, no matter how tempting it was.

“You’ll catch him,” Nicole repeated. “I know it. You’ve done it before.”


Katie cocked her head. “What do you mean?”

Nicole looked at her intensely. “I know who you are. I recognized your name as soon as you came in.”

That didn’t surprise Katie. She’d been involved in a number of high-profile incidents during her career. The media coverage wasn’t always favorable, either. But Nicole’s stare didn’t have the anger or blame that came with that sort of attitude. Instead, it resonated with belief.

“This happened to my mom,” Nicole said. She looked away to pluck more tissues and wipe her eyes. “A long time ago. I was fifteen at the time.”

Katie did some quick math. That meant her mother was assaulted in 1996 or 1997. And ninety-six was the year of—

“What’s your mother’s name?” Katie asked. Her heart-rate quickened as she waited for the response. Her mind flashed back to that case, back when she was a patrol officer. She ran through the names of the victims of that man, all of them indelibly imprinted upon her memory… and then she knew what Nicole would say.

“Maureen Hite,” said Nicole, just as Katie expected. “She was attacked by him. The Rainy Day Rapist.”

“I remember,” Katie said, quietly. Images of her and Thomas Chisolm searching a parking lot on the north side flashed through her mind. Of her finding Maureen Hite huddled near the front wheel well of a Chevy Blazer. She could still see the stark blue and white stripes of the quarter-panel and the door beside the woman. Maureen’s baffled expression, lost and fearful. “How is she now?”

Nicole shook her head. “She died six years ago. Pills.”

“I’m… I’m sorry.”

“She never really got over it,” Nicole said.

Katie nodded. “I don’t think it’s something you get over. It’s not a cold. You just learn to live with it.”

“Yeah, well, she didn’t really learn how. Or only for a while.”

“I’m sorry, Nicole.”

“Don’t be. It wasn’t your fault. You caught him. You caught him and you killed him.” Nicole’s jaw was set and her eyes burned brightly. “I know you’ll do the same for me.”

Katie Macleod stared back at her, unable to answer.


about Frank Zafiro...


Frank Zafiro writes gritty crime fiction from both sides of the badge. He was a police officer from 1993 to 2013, holding many different positions and ranks. He retired as a captain.

Frank is the award-winning author of over three dozen novels, most of them crime fiction. These include his River City series of police procedurals, Stefan Kopriva mysteries (PI), SpoCompton series (hardboiled), Jack McCrae mysteries (PI), and Sandy Banks thrillers. He has also co-authored multiple series with other authors, including the Charlie-316 series (procedurals with Colin Conway), Bricks and Cam Jobs (action, dark comedy with Eric Beetner), and the Ania series (hardboiled with Jim Wilsky).

In addition to writing, Frank hosted the crime fiction podcast Wrong Place, Write Crime. He has written a textbook on police report writing and taught police leadership all over the US and Canada. He is an avid hockey fan and a tortured guitarist. He currently lives in the high desert of Redmond, Oregon.

 

Buy/pre-order The Worst Kind of Truth: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B72GF6SW

Website:  http://frankzafiro.com

Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/dfab1c274c36/zafironewsletterhome

Blog: http://frankzafiro.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FrankZafiroAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Frank_Zafiro

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/frankzafiro370/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/frank-zafiro


more personal "stuff" about Frank Zafiro...

Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?

“Special” might be a stretch, but this book does represent a slight shift in my approach to the series. This is the first River City novel that I’ve written from a single point-of-view. Every other installment has had at least two, and usually an ensemble cast (even though Katie MacLeod was often the one with the most screen time). For The Worst Kind of Truth, I began and ended with Detective MacLeod, and every scene is hers.

This made for a tighter novel. If I wrote this one in the same ensemble manner as I have in the past volumes, it would have been another twenty or thirty thousand words long, as events other characters experienced were explored. Instead, everything that happens is filtered through Katie’s eyes. The reader still gets all of the information, but only through one lens. Granted, there are fewer details. I’ve discovered that less can be more, sometimes.

Where do you get your storylines from?

Sometimes it starts with a “what if” question. “What if someone wanted to break out of jail today? Or more precisely, how would they do it?” and then the story emerges.

Other times, it is the character who comes first, and the storyline evolves from what about that character makes me especially curious.

Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others?  Why?

It was actually a little easier, because I tightened the scope of the storytelling with the singular POV. But it still wasn’t “easy.” The subject matter is sensitive, and writing about it in a respectful, honest way that still jibed with police procedure was a line I constantly checked to make sure I was still straddling.

Do you only write one genre?

Not even close. Under my Frank Zafiro pen name, it all falls under Mystery and Suspense, but I am all across the subgenres—police procedurals, private investigators, hard boiled, and action/thrillers. I also write under my given name—Frank Scalise. Those books are more eclectic, ranging from heartwarming humor to sports to alternative history and more. In the future, I will move into fantasy, as well.

Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?

I’ve got a corner bedroom of our small house, converted into a study for my wife and I… though I spend far more time here than she does. Because it is small, it is cozy, with a couple of bookshelves and our desks. The walls are covered with a range of hangings—diplomas, awards, art. My guitar is on a stand just outside of arm’s reach. And lying on the floor behind my chair, there is almost always a dog.

And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?

No. I have always thought of myself as a writer, even before I was published. I think the best way to explain it is to think of it in the same terms as a musician. It’s just something that has always been a part of me. My dream as a child was to write books full time. It took another forty years or so to realize that dream, now I am writing full time, with more than forty books to my credit. Dreams can come true.

 

AN X-TRA FREEBIE... 

An excerpt...from The Worst Kind of Truth...

 

“Thanks,” Nicole said.

Katie looked at her. “This wasn’t your fault, Nicole. I wish I could change that it happened to you but I can’t. But I am going to do my best to catch the man that did this to you.”

“You’ll catch him,” Nicole said.

“I’ll do my best,” Katie repeated. She knew better than to make promises to victims, no matter how tempting it was.

“You’ll catch him,” Nicole repeated. “I know it. You’ve done it before.”

Katie cocked her head. “What do you mean?”

Nicole looked at her intensely. “I know who you are. I recognized your name as soon as you came in.”

That didn’t surprise Katie. She’d been involved in a number of high-profile incidents during her career. The media coverage wasn’t always favorable, either. But Nicole’s stare didn’t have the anger or blame that came with that sort of attitude. Instead, it resonated with belief.

“This happened to my mom,” Nicole said. She looked away to pluck more tissues and wipe her eyes. “A long time ago. I was fifteen at the time.”

Katie did some quick math. That meant her mother was assaulted in 1996 or 1997. And ninety-six was the year of—

“What’s your mother’s name?” Katie asked. Her heart-rate quickened as she waited for the response. Her mind flashed back to that case, back when she was a patrol officer. She ran through the names of the victims of that man, all of them indelibly imprinted upon her memory… and then she knew what Nicole would say.

“Maureen Hite,” said Nicole, just as Katie expected. “She was attacked by him. The Rainy Day Rapist.”

“I remember,” Katie said, quietly. Images of her and Thomas Chisolm searching a parking lot on the north side flashed through her mind. Of her finding Maureen Hite huddled near the front wheel well of a Chevy Blazer. She could still see the stark blue and white stripes of the quarter-panel and the door beside the woman. Maureen’s baffled expression, lost and fearful. “How is she now?”

Nicole shook her head. “She died six years ago. Pills.”

“I’m… I’m sorry.”

“She never really got over it,” Nicole said.

Katie nodded. “I don’t think it’s something you get over. It’s not a cold. You just learn to live with it.”

“Yeah, well, she didn’t really learn how. Or only for a while.”

“I’m sorry, Nicole.”

“Don’t be. It wasn’t your fault. You caught him. You caught him and you killed him.” Nicole’s jaw was set and her eyes burned brightly. “I know you’ll do the same for me.”

Katie Macleod stared back at her, unable to answer.



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