Have you noticed that every time a device comes along to make life easier someone always finds a way to us it against us?
Electronic banking was supposed to make moving money around easier and more secure. Now there’s more theft – and it’s not only money they’re stealing. Although, ultimately, it’s always money they’re after. It might not be your money but it could be your identity they want to use to get someone else’s money.
Relax. It’s not my intention to deter you from shopping online. There are plenty of safeguards in place. You know the drill – keep your internet security software up to date, shop on secure sites, and don’t click on links or open attachments from suspicious emails.
What I want to share, from a crime writing perspective, is an insight into the impact of computers on police work – an entry from the other side of the ledger.
Whistleblower: someone who informs on a person or organisation engaging in unlawful or immoral acts.
We hear about the more sensational whistleblowers, like Edward Snowden, who take their stories to the media. Most public service whistleblowing is nothing like that. It’s routine and done behind closed doors far away from the media spotlight.
Whistleblower starts with the routine reporting of a suspicion that something is not quite right in the Office of State Supply. However, the whistleblower makes a mistake that alerts those involved and puts him in harm’s way.
The story explores a simple premise: the whistleblower has his own secret that leads to his death after he lifts the lid on the secret dealings of the Office of State Supply.
But, as anyone who’s read the other books in this series will know, it won’t be that simple. You will find several stories wrapped together in this tale of murder and intrigue. Continue reading “Reading Whistleblower”
The initial thought behind the writing of Holy Death was imagining a victim of child sex abuse taking the law into his own hands and dealing out retribution, and wondering what would happen after that.
One complicating factor I decided to include was having two victims of the same perpetrator take action independently on the same night, using very different methodologies.
One takes direct action and murders the abuser priest. The other takes a more indirect approach and kills the abuser’s closest friend, another priest, hoping to inflict a sense of the loss he has suffered. Continue reading “Reading Holy Death”
The Holiday came from me wondering what would happen if an old man and a young boy took off for the weekend without telling anyone, in the hope that their action would bring the boy’s parents back together, and then everything goes wrong.
To help things go wrong, I gave the old man, Kieran Moore, a dark history that puts his great-grandson, Toby, in danger through being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kieran gets killed. Toby gets kidnapped because he’s a kid and Kieran’s killers can’t bring themselves to kill a ten-year-old boy. This storyline ultimately leads to Clare’s story, which we will come back to in a minute.
Yes, it has a crime and a police investigation with complicating factors, and it’s a murder mystery with all the twists and turns you might expect. But, the police investigation plays second fiddle to the main story, which is Paul’s story.
While Inspector West and his team work on solving the mystery of Josie Ford’s murder, you’re taken into the world of Paul Ford to explore the impact an unexpected death has on the family of the victim. Continue reading “Reading After”
Stella Bruno Investigates is a series of six books telling seven stories.
Each title in the series is dedicated to a particular crime, but the seventh story, Stella’s story, is interwoven through the six stories that make up the series.
To fully appreciate the gradual unfolding of Stella’s story, you’ll need to read the series in book order.
Set in and around Adelaide, South Australia, the stories open a window into Australian life and policing that allows you to explore life down under, without making the long-haul flight required to get there. That has to be a bonus.
All of the places mentioned in the stories exist – you can look them up using your search engine of choice. And, you can enjoy a meal at any of the restaurants where Stella and Shaun eat – if you ever make that long-haul flight and come to Adelaide. You might even spot me at one of the tables.
Australians are fairly informal in their working relationships, even within the confines of the rigid hierarchy of a police force. Working relationships are built on trust, and it’s not uncommon for officers of differing ranks to treat each other as equals – as Stella and Brian do. Of course, there is also a place for respecting rank, which is why Stella has a different relationship with DI Frank Williams, who is still coming to terms with the reality of his most competent detective sergeant being a woman. He gets better as the series progresses.
The other man of interest across the series is Shaun Porter. He works for the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions but that is secondary to his role as Stella’s new love interest. Yes, police officers have a life outside of investigating crime, and one of the joys of writing the series was witnessing the development of the relationship between Stella and Shaun. I hope you enjoy their story.
If you’re wondering what makes Australian crime stories different, Stella Bruno Investigates gives you the opportunity to find out in six quick reads.
Amazon isn’t the only bookstore in town. There are lots of others.
I’ve decided to make all my books available across a wide range of online bookstores, including my ownStreetLib Store.
That means the Stella Bruno Investigates series, which I released exclusively with Amazon, is becoming available across that range of stores.
In fact, The Identity Thief and A Gun of Many Parts have already escaped into the wide. The other titles in the series will be running free over the next couple of months as their exclusive time with Amazon expires.
It’s a fun process distributing a book. It’s a process built on trust and it takes a little time for a book to make its way into stores across the globe – sometimes even I don’t know where the titles are available for purchase.
To celebrate Stella’s escape into the wild, The Identity Thief, the first book in the series, is now FREE in all stores.
Stella Bruno Investigates is a series of quick reads – books designed to be read in one sitting.
They’re stories designed to be consumed in one irresistible gulp. The kind you can read on the way to work or before you go to sleep. Something addictive to distract you while you wait in line. Intriguing mysteries to enjoy on the train, in the car, or on a flight for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee, with ten times the kick.
Set in and around Adelaide, South Australia, the stories focus on the criminal investigations led by Detective Sergeant Stella Bruno.
Stella is assisted by Detective Constable Brian Rhodes, who’s approaching retirement, harassed by Detective Inspector Frank Williams, and distracted by Shaun Porter from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In addition to all the crime, the stories follow Stella’s developing relationship with Shaun and provide insights into her life as a single mother with a teenage son. You’ll also discover some of the benefits she enjoys being part of an extended Italian family.
If you’ve never been to Australia, this series will give you a little taste of life ‘down under’ where you can experience the North Wind as hot and blustery, and winters without snow and ice.