The Ash and Bones Blog Tour

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Blog Tour With Crime Thriller Girl

About Crime Thriller Girl:

Crime Thriller Girl (aka Steph Broadribb) leads a double life …

By day I’m a corporate suit, but by night (and early morning) I’m a writer, avid reader, and book reviewer of all things crime thriller.

My debut novel – DEEP DOWN DEAD – will be published by Orenda Books in early 2017. And I’m repped by Oli Munson at AM Heath.

I was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of my working life has been spent between the UK and USA. I’m an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and trained as a bounty hunter in California. Currently, I live in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens.

GUEST POST: MIKE THOMAS TALKS THE

10 PHRASES EVERY COP HEARS IN THEIR CAREER

Ash and Bones

Today I’m delighted to be handing the controls of CTG HQ over to Mike Thomas. Mike’s novel ASH AND BONES is out now and, having served in the police he’s just the right person to talk about the ten phrases every cop will hear during their career. So, over to Mike …

Thirty years is a long old time to be a copper. What makes that length of service feel even longer are the stock phrases you hear day in, day out. Some of them come from your ‘customers’ (or criminals, in old money). Some will drift from the mouths of your colleagues. And a few will be heard from normal MOPs (Members of the Public) who you interact with at incidents and general patrol – if you’re not sitting in the parade room filling in interminable forms for six hours, that is – during a shift. All of them are guaranteed to make you roll your eyes and curse inwardly, and wonder why on earth you ever signed up to be a plod.

  1. What’s your number, I’m going to have your badge

An old favourite of villains. Usually spouted by one of them after the police have had the temerity to arrest him for violently assaulting his girlfriend, his mother, and then several MOPs who intervened, before headbutting, kicking and spitting at the arresting officer, who was forced to wrestle him to the ground and handcuff him, all the while trying not to go overboard (reasonable force, y’see) or hurt him at all. This, of course, is police brutality in his tiny little mind, and now the man wants the arresting officer’s force number so that he can have them sacked and their warrant card –‘badge’ – taken away.

  1. Of course I loves him/her, I f*** him don’t I?

You go to a Domestic Dispute, and find the male and female have spent the day drinking litres of Spar super strength cider in their garden – it’s not raining that much, so of course it’s okay to sit in deck chairs amongst the weeds and those rusted car wheels – before deciding to spend the evening punching one another in the face really, really hard, while calling each other some rather choice names which people living three streets away could hear. Neither party wishes to make a complaint, arguing that they love each other, and when you question this that phrase above comes out. So you attempt to arrest the male, just to get him away from the house so the fighting stops and everyone within a two mile radius can get some sleep. Then, of course, they turn on you, and start punching you in the face really, really hard.

  1. If you weren’t in that uniform I’d fight you right here, right now

A strange one, this. Criminals or angry drunks seem to think that if you were to quickly change into a tee shirt and jeans it would a) suddenly make you weaker than if you were in uniform and b) mean you were no longer a police officer, just because you are out of ‘the cloth’. After a few years it had got to the point that I’d offer to strip naked to see if people still wanted to carry out their threat. Oddly, not one of them did.

  1. I’ve just got a quick call for you, it’s on the way back to the station

Ah, the control room. Sometimes called Ops Room, or if you’re feeling fancy,The Public Service Centre. Woo. Anyway, typically a windowless hive of workstations, staffed primarily by female civvy (civilian) controllers, who spend twelve hours a day/night handling endless calls from the public, liaising with other emergency services, and dishing out incidents to police officers via the radio system. Working there is a thankless, stressful nightmare, and they all deserve a medal. But this is the one phrase that gets those cop eyes rolling – thanks to GPS and other tech gubbins, the controllers know exactly where you are, all the time. And that incident they have on their list, the one that’s been hanging around for hours because nobody wants to do it, because it’s absolute rubbish? They’re now giving it to you, because it’s at a house on your route back to the station at the end of a tour of duty. Just a quick call. Just to pop in and see if elderly Mrs. Jones is okay. Just to clear that pesky incident from the computer screen. So you go, and you find Mrs. Jones dead, and she’s been dead for a month, and your first finish on time for two weeks goes south because now you’re the OIC (Officer in the Case) for a Sudden Death which sees you dealing with grieving relatives and mountains of paperwork and a trip to the mortuary and handling the putrid remains of a human being. Oh, and working an extra six hours on top of the ten you’ve already done. But hey, at least you’re still sucking air.

  1. There we are then

You’ve just heard that phrase from Number 4. You don’t want to do that ‘quick call’: you have seventeen incidents to update on the Niche computer system, your notebook to write up, the sergeant to liaise with, and it’s your daughter’s fifth birthday and you are not – under any circumstances – going to a call that has been sitting on a computer terminal in Ops Room since yesterday. You are going home on time for the first time in an age, dammit. So you touch the transmit button on your personal radio and explain, a tad grumpily, and ask them to pass it on to the next shift. The terse reply: ‘There we are then.’ And you sigh, and do you know why? Take a look at the first letter of each word she just transmitted across the airwaves. See what they spell? That’s what she’s just called you.

Thomas, Mike

  1. Can I wear your hat?

If I had a pound, et cetera. Friday night? Working the dreaded ‘After Dark’ shift, where you’re drafted into a city centre to police the thousands of revellers who have flooded into its pubs and clubs? You will hear this question every half an hour. You will, when new to the Job, let them wear your hat, even pose for photographs with smiley men and women – many of them drunker than you’ve ever been – while they laugh and giggle and try on your police helmet. Then, after a few years of it, and after that one time when a young whippersnapper ran off, laughing gleefully, with your ‘lid’, something inside you will snap. And you will refuse. You will ignore the drunk-yet-polite men and women, and come across as a right miserable old bugger. And you will walk away, ignoring their pleas for a picture while they wear your Custodian helmet, and you will find a dark, drizzly corner to stand in, and you will breathe a sigh of relief while contemplating your lot, and hope nobody ever finds you again, until five minutes later when, from beside you, you will hear: ‘Can I wear your hat?’ See also: ‘Are you the strippagram? A-hahahahahaha!’

  1. Why don’t you catch some real criminals?

Never understood this. What is a real criminal? The kingpin of a massive drugs importation gang? A murderer, or rapist? Someone who traffics children into sexual slavery? Or perhaps someone who repeatedly – and deliberately – kicks the wing mirror off their neighbour’s car due to a long-running and terribly petty dispute over parking spaces? It’s all crime. Kicking a wing mirror off iscriminaldamage. Hence, you are a criminal. The police are going to arrest you for it. There is no point whatsoever saying this phrase as they are placing you into the back of a prisoner van, hands cuffed to the base of your spine. It just sounds like you’re whining, so stop it. Nobody cares.

  1. What’s the problem? Is it going to take long?

See those bright yellow cones, and that fluttering police tape, and the half dozen police cars and two ambulances and a fire truck inside the cordon, plus that – look, up there! – crying man sitting on top of a twelve storey office block, legs over the ledge, face ashen and eyes on the ground all that way below as he mulls over whether to jump and end it all because he’s lost his job and his wife has left him and taken the kids and he has nothing whatsoever to live for? But anyway, we’re REALLY, REALLY SORRY for closing the road while our negotiator tries to save his life and it means you have to queue for ten minutes or – heaven forfend! – find an alternative route into work.

  1. This is harassment, bro

A close relative to number 7, and usually followed by Number 1. Frequently uttered by career criminals and recidivists, as if in astonishment that you have arrested them – again! – for burgling another house, or hitting their partner for the third time this week, or selling yet more dodgy E tabs that sent a clubber into a coma from which they will never awaken. The police are not harassing, you, for goodness’ sake. They are doing their jobs. If you don’t like getting lifted by the Old Bill, STOP DOING CRIMEY THINGS, THEN.

  1. I pay your wages

Wait, you personally go into my bank each and every month, fill out a deposit slip with my name and account details, write down the requisite amount, and hand it over to the cashier so they can give me all your money? THANK YOU SO MUCH, YOU ARE VERY KIND.

A big thank you to Mike Thomas for sharing the ten phrases every cop will hear during their career with us. As you can imagine, Mike’s novel ASH AND BONES is a truly authentic police procedural, and the beginning of a new series featuring DC Will MacReady.

Here’s the blurb:“At a squalid flat near the Cardiff docks, an early morning police raid goes catastrophically wrong when the police aren’t the only unexpected guests. A plain clothes officer is shot dead at point blank range, the original suspect is left in a coma. The killer, identity unknown, slips away. Young and inexperienced, Will MacReady starts his first day on the CID. With the city in shock and the entire force reeling, he is desperate to help – but unearths truths that lead the team down an increasingly dark path …”

You can buy ASH AND BONES from Amazon here

And be sure to check out Mike’s websitewww.mikethomasauthor.co.uk and follow him on Twitter @ItDaFiveOh

Read Crime Thriller Girl’s original post, here

Blog Tour With Reading Room with a View

About Reading Room with a View:

My name is Lisa, I live in the beautiful Kent countryside, with lots of small children, lots of dogs, lots of chickens and a long-suffering husband. I love to read books, eat cake and drink wine. Author of #1 bestseller BETWEEN YOU AND ME.

At a squalid flat near the Cardiff docks, an early morning police raid goes catastrophically wrong when the police aren’t the only unexpected guests. A plain clothes officer is shot dead at point blank range, the original suspect is left in a coma. The killer, identity unknown, slips away.

Young and inexperienced, Will MacReady starts his first day on the CID. With the city in shock and the entire force reeling, he is desperate to help ­- but unearths truths that lead the team down an increasingly dark path…’

FINALLY –  a police procedural that doesn’t involve an old, jaded, got-his-demons detective on the cusp of retirement! I loved the fact that our main detective in this novel is “the new guy” – I loved his insecurity, his slightly rogue attitude to the way he does things, and the fact that he’s yet to be swallowed up by the usual crap that sucks the life out of most detectives we meet in these kinds of books.
The premise was a good one – one that had me hooked pretty much from the off – and at first I thought there was no way every thing was going to tie together, so I was pleased when the ending gave me answers to all the questions I had hovering in my head.
This is a class example of how a police procedural should be written – fast paced and edgy, with believable characters and a plot that sucks you right in. I’ll be waiting impatiently for the next in the series…
Ash and Bones is out on 25th August and you can get it here; https://www.amazon.co.uk
**My thanks to the publisher for my ARC**

Read Reading Room with a View’s original post,  here

Blog Tour with Col’s Criminal Library

About Col’s Criminal Library:

Gender MALE
Industry Manufacturing
Occupation DISTRIBUTION CONTROLLER
Location Lives in……..Leighton Buzzard, Beds, United Kingdom
Introduction 50 plus years old – getting on, happily married (28 years – woo hoo), 3 children, 2 dogs,
Interests books, books, books, bit of TV – Justified, Homeland, The WIRE, football – Luton,Celtic, REP.of Ireland, sleeping
Favourite Films LA Confidential, Fargo, Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading
Favourite Music Them Crooked Vultures, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam,Stereophonics, Ocean Colour Scene, Linkin Park, Nickelback
Favourite Books Hmmm…..

A cop killer on the loose in Cardiff – introducing a dark and gritty new voice in crime fiction, perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and David Mark


At a squalid flat near the Cardiff docks, an early morning police raid goes catastrophically wrong when the police aren’t the only unexpected guests. A plain clothes officer is shot dead at point blank range, the original suspect is left in a coma. The killer, identity unknown, slips away.


Young and inexperienced, Will MacReady starts his first day on the CID. With the city in shock and the entire force reeling, he is desperate to help – but unearths truths that lead the team down an increasingly dark path…

Mike featured on the blog a bit earlier this week with a spotlight on his two previous novels – Pocket Notebook and Ugly Bus……….. 2 BY MIKE THOMAS.

Looks like I’ve got three interesting books to choose from!

Mike was kind enough to humor me with some answers to a few questions………..


Is the writing full-time?

It is. Finally. It took a long time to get to this point: fifteen years of juggling writing with full time shift work in the police. I earned my stripes doing unpaid news pieces for the local free paper – agricultural events, half marathons, anything to get a byline on the page or something for the CV. Travel articles, too. I’ve been all over the world via Word documents. Things got too complicated – and far too busy – after my first novel, so I took a sabbatical, which I kept extending until finally I decided to hand in my epaulettes in 2015. Just gave it all up: salary, pension, the lot. It was a risk, money-wise, and there have been some hairy moments, but I have no regrets. Policing can be a thankless job. And I hate wearing a tie.

What’s been the most satisfying moment of your writing career so far?

Most people would expect you to say, ‘When my debut novel was published’ or being longlisted for something or other. But do you know what? Just finishing my first novel was a wonderful feeling. Absolutely wonderful. The sense of achievement at banging out 100,000 words, and most of them making sense. The story making sense. The characters coming to life and staying fully-fleshed. That first time was way back in 2003, and I remember printing the MS out, then putting it on my dining room table and – with my wife – staring at it while we supped wine and wondered if that four inch thick ream of A4 would ever be accepted by a publishing house. If it would change our lives. It was rejected by everyone, of course. But I still relish that small moment now – when you sit back, and take a deep breath,  and type ‘The End’ – because writing a book can be lonely and tedious and take a very, very long time. Time that I’d rather spend drinking whisky and lying down.

Ash and Bones is your third published novel, was it an easier or more difficult book to write than the first two?

A little of both. My first published book was written in an absolute rage – because of my job, mostly – so it poured out, but it was exhausting writing around full time work, plus I had two kids under three and a Master’s degree to contend with. By the time Ash and Bones came around things were a lot calmer, but I soon realised spending twenty years as a plod doesn’t mean writing a crime novel will be an easy task. You’ve got to have an actual plot, and twists, and all this really hard stuff.

How long did Ash and Bones take from conception to completion?

First draft? Around ten months. Then it had to find a home. Then throw in edits from the publisher, then further edits and proofreads right up until the ARC is ready, and you’re talking about three years.

Are there any unpublished gems in the bottom drawer?

Not sure about gems, but I have three complete novels tucked away, all of which I regard as part of learning the trade. I pilfer from them occasionally. A line here, a police joke there. I have a novel that I return to every now and again, my little secret sanity-saver when things are dragging with the crime books. I’ve been writing it for three or four years, just enjoying it, no pressure or deadlines. I love it though. It’s a black comedy about a Special Constable who is a bit of a Walter Mitty type. I hope it sees the light of day at some point.

What’s your typical writing schedule?

Some writers have an up-and-at-em, attack the day attitude, banging out a thousand words before breakfast, but I am not a morning person and even thinking about doing that makes me feel rather unwell. It should be illegal to wake before ten thirty a.m. So I tend to do admin, and articles for my ‘other writing job’ – still the old travel pieces and web content. Anything to get the brain’s rusted cogs going. I’m much more productive in the afternoon. I tend to lose time and have been known to bang out four or five thousand words in a session, then find my family went to bed two hours earlier and I hadn’t even noticed.

Do you insert family, friends, and colleagues into your characters?

Never. I wouldn’t be able to afford the attendant court costs. Perhaps a phrase someone has come out with, or a tiny tic that they have which I’ve noticed but never commented on might make it into a draft, but that would be it. For characters I people watch, and listen a lot. Good habits for a writer.

Are there any subjects off limits?

Personally? No. This is crime we’re talking about, and crime involves some terrible people doing terrible things. Sometimes good people doing horrible things in the heat of the moment. Human beings are capable of monstrous acts, frequently over the most mundane of incidents. My first murder was a wife who’d stabbed her husband to death because he wouldn’t give her one of his cigarettes on the way home from the pub. But do I think about the readers, and what might be considered too grotesque or outlandish? Of course, so that affects some things I write about. It’s difficult for me, because I’ve seen so much in the police and you become inured to the horrific stuff, and I have to try very hard to gauge whether what I’m writing is too stomach-churning. You’re talking about a guy who barely flinched when he saw a dead woman whose face had been eaten by her dog, so it’s safe to say my radar is a little off in that respect.

What are the last five books you have read?

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge. The Revenant by Michael Punke.Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary.Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock. An eclectic mix. I read at a glacial pace – always making notes, underlining phrases, dialogue, whole paragraphs – so I choose very carefully.

Who do you read and enjoy?

I don’t read a lot of crime, because I spent so many years working inside the criminal justice system and to go home after a ten hour shift and read about police work would have tipped me over the edge. I do enjoy John Sandford, though. Love his characters, Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers. I enjoy a lot of American writers.Daniel Woodrell, Frank Bill, early Chuck Palahniuk.Tobias Wolff is a favourite, his short ‘Bullet in the Brain’ is just masterful.

Is there any one book you wish you had written?

Mailman
by J. Robert Lennon. It’s superb.

Favourite activity when not working.

Murderous rampages on first-person shooter video games. I’m forty-five, and should know better really.

What’s the current project in progress? How’s it going?

I’ve just finished the second MacReady novel, so am prepping the third. The basic plot is there, but it’s that brief, happy in-between-books period where your head is empty for the first time in two years. My favourite time. I love an empty head.

What’s the best thing about writing?

Being paid for making stuff up. And I can wander the house in my underwear all day, and – after too long spent bowing and scraping to useless police bosses – don’t have to answer to anyone.

The worst?

I’m quite outgoing, so the isolation can be a little much sometimes. But see above – there’s not a lot to moan about with this gig.

In a couple of years’ time…

I just hope the MacReady novels are going from strength to strength, and I’m still fortunate enough to be doing this full time. Even if it is articles about tractor races…

Thanks for the Q & A, Colman – thoroughly enjoyed it!

Mike Thomas has his website here and you can catch him on Twitter@ItDaFiveOh

Thanks to Mike for taking the time to indulge me.

(BORING ASIDE….I’ve only read Pollock’s Knockemstiff from Mike’s last 5 reads. From his favourite authors, I’m similarly a fan of John Sandford,Daniel Woodrell and have just readFrank Bill earlier this month. I think I’ll take a pass on Lennon’s Mailman. And I’ve just downloaded a copy ofBullet in the Brain here.) 

Thanks to Emily at Bonnier-Zaffre for setting this up and for the copy ofAsh and Bones!

Read the original post on Col’s Criminal Library, here

Blog Tour With bytheletterbookreviews

About bytheletterbookreviews:

Hi I’m Sarah and I LOVE to read. Due to my love of reading I thought I would start my own blog so I could share my thoughts of all the books I read with other readers/bloggers/authors and publishers.

I read many genres of books, new and old. The only ones you may not find me reading many of are fantasy and sci fi as unfortunately they are not my cup of tea.

I’m a member of Netgalley as well as Bookbridgr where you can request new books by different authors and publishers to read in exchange for an honest review before they hit the ‘shelves’.

Hope you enjoy my posts.

HAPPY READING EVERYONE

I am delighted today to be one of two stops for the Ash and Bones blog tour. The blog tour also stops with my #BBFF over at Crime Book Junkie so don’t forget to drop by. For my stop, Mike Thomas has done a brilliant guest post about Ten Unusual Things Found On A Prisoner. What a fantastic post, don’t you agree? Today also just happens to be the day that Ash and Bones gets released, so Happy Publication Day Mike, hope you and your book have a fabulous day.

Blurb:

A cop killer on the loose in Cardiff – introducing a dark and gritty new voice in crime fiction, perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and David Mark

At a squalid flat near the Cardiff docks, an early morning police raid goes catastrophically wrong when the police aren’t the only unexpected guests. A plain clothes officer is shot dead at point blank range, the original suspect is left in a coma. The killer, identity unknown, slips away.

Young and inexperienced, Will MacReady starts his first day on the CID. With the city in shock and the entire force reeling, he is desperate to help ­- but unearths truths that lead the team down an increasingly dark path…

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Guest Post:

Ten Unusual Things Found on a Prisoner

As a cop you deal with some very odd situations and even odder personalities. Many times, typically during a ‘Stop Search’ or just after an arrest when you want to make sure your detained person – who has warnings for mental health issues/violence/is known to assault officers – is not hiding a machete up his sleeve, it will involve you putting your hands into other people’s pockets, or rucksacks, or even their nice muddy trainers and sopping wet socks. Most of the time you will don a pair of latex gloves because, y’know, some people can be quite lax in the hygiene department and catching scabies is a rather unpleasant experience. And most of the time you will empty a prisoner’s pockets and find nothing but the mundane: smartphone. Wallet or purse. Some loose change. House keys. Maybe a pack of smokes and a lighter. But there are other times – and not as rare as you’d think – when you dip into someone’s jeans, or carrier bag, or hood, and find the utterly bizarre… and not a little troubling. So here are ten pretty unusual things found on a prisoner. Some of these are mine, the rest are from other officers who I worked alongside (including my wife, before she became my wife…). All of them really happened. And a warning – one or two of these are quite graphic…

Drugs are Bad, M’Kay? Once, in the small hours of a night shift and when I was still wet behind the ears, I found a male hiding in the back garden of a house, and noticed he was a little worse for wear. During a quick search of his pockets I found –ta-daaah! – a little green tablet, which he obligingly told me was ecstasy. My first drugs arrest! As the male was unfit to be interviewed, I spent three hours preparing a full ‘handover package’ for the morning crew, complete with statements, an in-depth summary of the case, the ecstasy tablet bagged and labelled, and everything else they would need to ensure they could interview him when sober, and that he ended up with a charge sheet for possession of Class A. When I returned to work that night, I found he had been released NFA (No Further Action) and my handover file had been shredded. In my paperwork drawer I found the ecstasy tablet, with a note from my irritated colleague: ‘This is a Cloret mint, you idiot.’

A Man’s got to Eat. People like to have a good time. Blow off some steam. Let their hair down. I’ve stood on street corners with my silly helmet on at three in the morning on a cold, miserable Saturday while women flash their chests at me, and men take turns to either gurgle something incomprehensible or offer to fight me down a side alley. One of those men – extremely polite, but as drunk as I’ve seen anyone before or since – muttered something about ‘getting some munch’ and wandered off into the night. I found him, four hours later, asleep in a bush outside a hotel. I couldn’t rouse him, so brought him in as Drunk and Incapable, just to make sure he survived (it was freezing at this point) and in the custody suite I conducted the routine search all people undergo. Shoved down the front of his underpants was a whole 24 oz. T-Bone steak. We duly bagged it as his property, and let him sleep off the drink. When he was released without charge later that morning, he ate the steak while waiting to be picked up by his parents.

Perfect Candidate. Want to join the police? Fight crime, serve your community, try and make your little corner of the world a better place? There are ways to go about it, and ways to avoid. Another drugs arrest of mine, this time of a twentysomething guy who’d just left university, and who’d badly assaulted somebody while high on amphetamine. He was quite miffed at being searched, and even more miffed when I arrested him for possessing the large amount of speed I found in his coat pocket. And in his rucksack: the application pack for my police force. Completed. Ready to be posted. Never posted in the end, because he was sent to prison several months later.

Do You Have the Time, Officer? All police areas have their regular callers. People who will ring 999 several times a day, or pop into their local police station to complain about aliens interfering with their TV. One such person, a woman who was a nuisance of epic proportions and who often attacked officers who attended her home, was arrested during one of her ‘episodes’ in order to prevent a Breach of the Peace. During the journey back to the police station she urinated all over the back of the police car, then over the officers themselves. Once in the custody suite, she was searched to make sure she had no hidden weapons. No weapons were found. Instead, secreted inside her private parts, was an antique pocket watch.

All the Fun of the Fair. Every year Cardiff hosts The Big Weekend, a carnival of funfair rides, excellent live music and ridiculously loud fireworks. It’s free, and it’s fun, yet there’s always one who has to play silly beggars. Like the teenager who, upset that he was too short to go on one of the rides, decided to turn arch criminal. When he was stopped, the cops found eighteen goldfish in his pockets, all swimming about in sealed plastic bags. He’d never been given a goldfish as a child either, apparently. The horror.

Memento. One colleague of mine arrested a male for some petty matter a few years ago. As is routine, he was searched after being detained. In his trouser pocket were his grandfather’s false teeth, in a very fancy presentation case. When asked why he was carrying them about he became quite uppity, pronouncing that ‘It is none of your business whose teeth I carry.’ Which is a fair comment, really.

We Don’t Serve Lamb Here, Sorry. If you are drunk, and wandering the streets of an afternoon, at a loose end and a bit bored, it is always advisable to steal from a farmer’s field, isn’t it? Then, when you are being pursued on foot by police officers, it is best to run for about four miles until you come to a Nando’s restaurant, where the officers will catch up with you, and you can open your jacket and lob the live lamb you’d hidden there at horrified diners just for shits and giggles. This is what happened a few months ago in a South Wales Valleys town. Had to be sheep related, didn’t it?

Always Game. Cardiff, like every major city, has its dodgy areas. One of those is alongside the River Taff, on an embankment opposite the Millennium/Principality Stadium, where no matter the weather the local drinkers will congregate to swap bottles of meths, get a winter tan by lying in the snow, and spend several hours shouting at themselves. On one such occasion two drunken pugilists were arrested for battering each other, and duly taken to the custody suite. Where, interestingly, one of them produced a live pheasant that he had shoved down his trouser leg.

Now Wash Your Hands. People do desperate things not to get caught doing naughty stuff. A handover prisoner I dealt with – a woman in for drug possession – was a tough lesson for me in this respect. The handover package itself was rubbish, with the arresting officer doing the bare minimum: all I knew was that the woman was in for possessing Class A (heroin, in this instance), and the one exhibit was a strange conical pod, about three inches in length, hollow in the middle, and fashioned out of lengths and lengths of Sellotape. During the course of the interview – during which she was open and honest and admitted she’d had the gear on her for personal use – I was touching and holding the Sellotape cylinder, rolling it between my fingers, waiting for the exact moment to ask her what it was for. And then I did. And she replied, ‘I hid the drugs inside it then shoved it up my bum.’

And Finally… Don’t Read on if of a Delicate Disposition (you have been warned!) This is the one incident that makes me wince, and feel very glad I didn’t have to deal with it. A colleague and close friend of mine – who is still, to this day, traumatised by what took place – was called to Cardiff city centre after reports of a distressed male staggering around in the late evening, blood all over his coat and hands. He wouldn’t let anybody near him, and was close to attacking several members of the public. When my colleague arrived he was unable to calm the male down, so – reluctantly – arrested him just to be able to take him away and find out what was wrong. Before he was placed in a police car the search was carried out. In the man’s jacket pocket were his own testicles. He was suffering from mental health problems, and had travelled from England to Cardiff on the train. During the journey he’d used a fingernail to rip himself open, such was his distress. I’m not sure what happened to him afterwards, I never heard. But this is one of those that never goes away.

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Mike Thomas was born in Wales in 1971. For more than two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff’s busiest neighbourhoods. He left the force in 2015 to write full time. Mike is in a unique position to write a truly authentic police procedural since he has more than twenty years’ experience in the force.

Mike has previously had two novels published and was longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year and was on the list of Waterstones ‘New Voices’. His second novel, Ugly Bus, is currently in development for a six part series with the BBC.

Ash and Bones is gritty British crime novel for readers of Stuart MacBride and Peter James.

Read original post from bytheletterbookreviews, here

Blog Tour With CrimeBookJunkie

About CrimeBookJunkie:

My name is Noelle and I am in my 40’s. I am an avid reader and by that I mean I am never without a book! By day I am a Senior Probation Officer and by night I read all things crime!! My fascination for books started at a young age and I truly feel withdrawal symptoms if I am unable to read for a few days hence the name#crimebookjunkie! I am interested in many genres, my faves being Grit Lit, psychological thrillers and all things murder. I do enjoy Police Procedurals and legal/action thrillers as well. I tend to keep away from Chick Lit and Erotica…however, if forced at gun point I may give just about anything a read. I tend to review on Goodreads, Amazon UK and .com, Netgalley, BookBridgr and share reviews on Twitter/My CBJ facebook page, Facebook via THE Book Club, Crime Book Club, Book Connectors and other various clubs I am a member of. I also review for Caffeine Nights Publishing and Carina Crime Club and have been fortunate enough to be put on a few Publishers reviewing lists.  I have had a brief but wonderful stint as a Book Publicity Assistant for the fantastic Maxine Groves of Booklover Catlady Publicity & Reviews, but a FT job and a busy blog has meant I can only dip into this now and again!  To say I was excited would be an understatement!

Thrilled to have been asked to take part in Mike ThomasAsh and Bones blog tour!!  I have included a synopsis of this book, before I hand you over to the man himself for a pretty damn good Guest Post!!  Woohoo!!

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Synopsis:

A cop killer on the loose in Cardiff – introducing a dark and gritty new voice in crime fiction, perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and David Mark.

At a squalid flat near the Cardiff docks, an early morning police raid goes catastrophically wrong when the police aren’t the only unexpected guests. A plain clothes officer is shot dead at point blank range, the original suspect is left in a coma. The killer, identity unknown, slips away.

Young and inexperienced, Will MacReady starts his first day on the CID. With the city in shock and the entire force reeling, he is desperate to help ­- but unearths truths that lead the team down an increasingly dark path…

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Guest Post: Five Ways Being a Writer is Like Being a Police Officer

1. Endless paperwork, reams of notes and duplication. Despite what shows on the goggle box would have you believe, a good eighty percent of your time as a plod will be spent filling in forms. Or writing statements. Or filling in forms. Or typing reports for the CPS/Inspector/Social Services. Or, y’know, filling in forms. There are hundreds upon hundreds of forms in the police, from MG case file paperwork to Domestic Violence pro formas to tiny evidence labels that you will stick or staple to exhibit bags, stolen property and even your colleague’s sunglasses when she’s out of the parade room. Then you will have to duplicate everything – your pocket notebook, your FT65 accident booklet, your MisPer report – when you type it onto one of the six or seven different systems the force runs, from Niche to Captor to VISOR to HOLMES2 and beyond, just so you cover yourself and don’t get into bother with the Command Team. Once you’ve done all this you can go to a call, where the member of the public will complain about how long it took you to arrive and that ‘all you coppers just sit around in the station all day’. Which is nice.
2. Isolation. As with writing – sitting alone in your garret flat, honing your literary masterpiece while eating cold beans straight from a tin – police work means spending a lot of time on your own shoving awful supermarket sandwiches into your face. Solo patrol in van or response car. Guarding a crime scene overnight. Waiting for relatives to turn up at a Sudden Death. Sitting in a sweltering side room in Magistrates, waiting for the Very Important Solicitors to finish arguing about the case, which they will then settle before trial even though they cancelled your one day off that month to ensure you were on hand to give evidence. Just in case, like. You have to enjoy your own company with police work. Yes, there’s camaraderie, and the occasional bit of fun to be had – usually at the expense of senior management – but you need to like yourself quite a bit. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with you. And you can’t text people, or read a book, or practise the Macarena, as a member of the public will ring 999 – the emergency line! – to complain about you. And then your inspector will punish you by making you guard a crime scene overnight, thereby continuing the cycle of solitude plus aching feet/legs/lower back.
3. Tea or coffee. Writers can down significant amounts of caffeine-infused hot drinks. ‘Couple of espressos and I’m ready for that manuscript!’ they tweet. ‘2k words done, time for tea and cake! #cake’ is another one. Police officers are no different. Start of the shift? Pot of tea for the crew. Twenty minutes later and it’s the end of the briefing? Another pot of tea. First call of the night completed? Back to the nick for a brew, lads! Drop a file off at HQ? Cafeteria for a hot mug of java. This results in many a plod resembling a bloated, skin-covered tea urn, stomach swashing and gurgling while they deal with your Theft of House Plants incident. The upside for all coppers is that they possess massively impressive bladder control, and on a rare evening off can easily down sixteen pints of lager, go to bed, and not have to get up for a wee. All. Night.
4. Critics. My thoughts on writing and putting it out there? You stick your head above the parapet, you’ve got to take whatever comes at you. Bad reviews. Glassy eyes and yawns during a reading. Nobody turning up to your book signing because you’re ‘a bit boring, really.’ I’ve learned to shrug and accept it as part of the biz called ‘show’. I’ve also – after twenty plus years as a cop – learned that whatever you are and whatever you do, some people will just not like you very much. The difference with the police is the scale and level of vitriol, and the fact that people hate you and want to seriously harm you… just for wearing a silly hat. You can argue that you were only seven when the Miners’ Strike took place. That you are a Liverpool fan and it was your twelfth birthday when Hillsborough occurred. That you weren’t involved in the Stephen Lawrence investigation, and you didn’t push Tomlinson over nor shoot De Menezes dead on the Tube. That you’ve been assaulted six times already this year, that you’re late for a burglary call because you’ve just been telling a young couple that their baby has died in hospital, that your wife has run off with the next door neighbour because the only time she ever saw you was when you were sleeping off one of your shifts. Nobody cares. This has been an invaluable lesson, and prepared me for life as a writer. Rejections? Whatever, you’ve spent years being told to fuck off by members of the public. Scathing reviews? Beats someone trying to bite the end of your nose off during a pub brawl. Stuck at the dreaded 35,000 word point where you have literally lost the plot of your novel and can’t even recall your protagonist’s name? Beats skin slippage! (see below, if you dare)
5. The reeking corpse of the first draft. I hated Sudden Death calls. Especially the fruity ones, when you rock up at a house where the neighbours haven’t seen the occupant for weeks and your heart sinks when you see the pile of unopened letters on the floor in the hallway and a hundred bluebottles swarm against the front window, desperate to escape the foul stench within. Picking up corpses, I’ve had putrid skin slough off under my fingernails (if you’re a bit weird, Google ‘skin slippage’). An arm come off at the shoulder. A dog eat its deceased owner’s face and throat, until it could bury its snout into her chest cavity. This is a terribly dramatic way of telling you that I compare all my first drafts to rotten cadavers that – even after weeks of them festering on my hard drive – I do not want to lay hands on. They are bloated, vile, gas-filled lumps – but they are not real bloated, vile, gas-filled lumps. Nothing compares to that. So I tell myself that I have dealt with far, far worse than the 100,000 word mess in front of me, and it drives me on, and I gingerly prod and poke (hoping that nothing pops or runs or bursts open and showers me with the unimaginable) until before long I am like a pathologist. Cutting, stripping, weighing and measuring. Getting right to the guts of it. Taking it all apart and examining everything, before putting it all back together again – neatly, cleanly, professionally – so the people who matter can see it with their own eyes.

Thanks, Noelle! Hope you enjoy…
Best wishes,
Mike

AWESOME post!  Thanks so much Mike!  I cannot wait to read this beauty!  Not long now!  And if you like what you have read, click the image below!

Read original post from CrimeBookJunkie, here

Blog Tour With Liz Loves Books

About Liz Loves Books:

So a little about me..I’m an avid reader of anything. I tend to love crime fiction, anything ever written by Stephen King, Young Adult books, Post apocalyptic stories, Urban fantasy, psychological thrillers (most especially those with a twist in the tale)  and Science Fiction. But give me anything and I’ll try it at least once – I have recently gained a new respect for literary fiction and that terrible term “chick lit” as people will keep making me read things and I find myself unexpectedly enjoying it! I am a Mum with two little boys and one big girl, a de facto single parent who also works for Tesco (Every Little Helps) in a job that I love.  All reviews are my genuine thoughts and feelings about the novels I have read, my blog also has regular ongoing reading type features and the odd drop in guest post and many other things.

Today MORE than happy to welcome Mike to the blog talking about his top 5 dodgy cops ahead of the publication of his new novel “Ash and Bones” tomorrow which features its own dodgy cop – a book that is glaring at me from my tbr pile having loved Ugly Bus I shall no doubt be reviewing Ash and Bones very soon. Before that though – this…

Top Five Books about Dodgy Cops – Mike Thomas

Police officers. There are a lot of them in fiction, mainly heroic, dogged ‘tecs out on the streets kicking ass and taking names, albeit while battling a drink problem, or the effects of multiple divorces, or some other off-the-shelf trope that seems to afflict the vast majority of protagonists in contemporary crime. I’ve read many such novels and enjoyed them all, but the common complaint about ‘flawed cops’ being a cliché is not something I agree with – I spent more than two decades in the Job and every single person I worked with had, shall we say, issues of some kind, so the imperfect detective/uniform narrative rings true. My complaint is that these fictional damaged cops aren’t damaged enough. I’ve witnessed how the Job can grind you down. Wear you out. Tip you over the edge. I’ve experienced it myself; I was rather unwell for a period after the turn of the millennium and it forced me to ask the question: do you really want to be a police officer anymore? The answer: no. Which is why I now sit at a desk and make stuff up. My first two novels, Pocket Notebook and Ugly Bus, focus on the ugly side of police officers and policing. So what are the novels that do the same, that ring true to me? What are the ones that contain the dark humour, the crazy incidents, the mentally ill plods, or the occasional monsters in cheap CID suits that, unfortunately, I recognise from my time ‘in the cloth’? Let’s begin with one of those monsters…

Filth by Irvine Welsh

A book I came late to, but loved immediately, because the main character – venal, scheming, sexually-deviant, coke-snorting, talking-tapeworm-owning Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson – is frightening and hilarious and the literary equivalent of a car crash. You can’t help but stop, and gawp, with your mouth flopped open. And, as I learned during my twenty years in the Job, there’s a ‘Robbo’ in every nick: a slimeball wrapped in a shiny-arsed Next two piece, always on the make, always shifty, always playing ‘the games’, and always the one you’d do anything to avoid working alongside. Or leave alone with your wife. Or children. Or pets. Welsh’s classic begins with a murder, but what follows is not a by-the-numbers investigation. Instead it is a journey – graphic, excruciating, comical, extraordinary – into the darkest of dark hearts and an unflinching portrait of a man freefalling into the abyss.

Manners by Robert Newman

Little-known but deserving of a much wider audience. Written by Robert ‘Rob’ Newman – of Newman and Baddiel fame – it charts the downfall of the titular police constable, John Manners, who is not so much a bent cop as an irreversibly damaged one. Via first person narration we see Manners on patrol in North London, searching out suspected serial rapist Lee Andrew, whom he confronts – then beats to death, his colleagues finding a wild, blood-soaked Manners pummelling Andrew’s corpse. What follows is a brilliant, emotionally draining tale of Manners’ mental disintegration: suspended, he takes to patrolling the streets alone in his uniform, adrift from the Job, adrift from everyone, working through his past, present and lack of future, all the while listening in to emergency calls and determined to stop a planned murder… not realising who the intended victim actually is. A huge influence on my first novel.

The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh

Wambaugh has written plenty of novels that open up the oft hermetically-sealed world of policing, but for me his best will always be The Choirboys. Focusing on ten cops working the Wilshire Division of LAPD in the Seventies, the work is as authentic a book as I have read in terms of the camaraderie, black humour and general ‘feel’ of being a copper. Where it differs, however, is that I have never known an entire relief to end each shift in the local park, getting very drunk and indulging in group sex (perhaps I was just never invited). Wambaugh’s hellions dub these events ‘choir practice’, a term still used today by cops to describe rowdy off duty get-togethers. The Choirboys themselves are not bad men, necessarily – save perhaps for the awful, bullying Roscoe Rules, who could have ‘handed out towels in the showers at Auschwitz’ – just mostly young men hardened beyond all recognition by the Job and doing what they have to do to survive the daily/nightly grind. His characters’ behaviour and complaints about the hierarchy and the ungrateful public they serve still ring true to most serving cops today.

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson

Published to some controversy in 1952, Thompson’s dark tale is as hard-hitting now as it was back in the day. Lou Ford is sheriff of a small town in the US state of Texas, seemingly normal and dedicated to his job. In a loving relationship, dependable, just a little bit… average. What we learn, however, is that beneath this bland exterior there lies one of those monsters I have mentioned. Ford is a sociopathic, sexually deviant ball of repressed rage, a rage which spills out in terrible fashion when he becomes involved with a prostitute who brings out his sadomasochistic urges – ‘the sickness’, as Ford calls it. The novel is a downward spiral from this point: blackmail, murder, and Ford’s disgusting history come to the fore, with the nadir a stomach-churning beating handed out by the increasingly deranged sheriff to one of the women in his life. It’s safe to say he’d never get a Chief Constable’s commendation. Ever.

LA Confidential by James Ellroy

A sprawling, tightly-plotted slab of Fifties-set noir, this is the third of the Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction’s LA Quartet and is packed with spartan prose, multiple plot lines, double- and triple-crosses and a riveting look at sleaze in high – and frequently gutter-level low – places. And it’s not just one dodgy cop here: the novel reeks of corruption, from the uniforms on the beat to the powers-that-be in the upper echelons of the police, the government and the entertainment industry. Three very different characters – careerist Edmund Exley, the brutal Wendell ‘Bud’ White, and Hollywood schmoozer Jack Vincennes – are drawn together following a multiple homicide at a coffee shop – and they uncover a conspiracy which is bigger than they ever imagined. A genuine masterpiece, with the film version as good as the novel that preceded it. Seek them both out.

Honourable Mentions

Red Riding Quartet by David Peace

Miami Blues by Charles Willeford

Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane

The Business of Dying by Simon Kernick

I Was Dora Suarez by Derek Raymond

Thanks Mike!

About the book:

Ash and Bones

In a remote corner of Lagos in Nigeria, a stranger delivers a homeless boy to an orphanage, where the welcoming staff hide a terrible secret.

At a squalid flat in the docks area of Cardiff, an early morning police raid goes catastrophically wrong. A plain clothes officer is shot dead at point blank range. The killer slips away.

Young and inexperienced, Will MacReady starts his first day on the CID. With the city in shock and the entire force reeling, he is desperate to help – but unearths truths that lead the team down an increasingly dark path..

Find out more HERE

Follow Mike on Twitter

To purchase Ash and Bones clickety click right HERE

Follow the Tour!

Happy Reading!

Read Liz Loves Books original post, here

Blog Tour (Day One) With crimeworm

About crimeworm:

I’m a long-time fan of crime fiction, although I try (emphasis on try!) to read other genres, like quality fiction, and some popular history. I particularly like to support Scottish crime writers, small imprints, and new authors, although I do enjoy high-profile books too. Right now, anything with a psychological aspect to it, and I’m happy. Favourites include Denise Mina, Ian Rankin, Kate Atkinson, Erin Kelly, Jane Casey, William McIlvanney, Ben Macintyre (from the UK), and Michael Connelly, Joseph Wambaugh, George Pelecanos, Laura Lippman, James Lee Burke, James Ellroy (from the US), plus a smattering of Nordic Noir, other Euro Crime, plus I love to discover crime fiction set in countries I’ve never read about before. At the moment I’ve got a real buzz about Irish crime fiction – there are so many great Irish writers working at the moment! Contact me through Twitter @crimeworm1 or at lindaboa1972@gmail.com. It’s such a bad idea to use your birth year in your e-mail address…;-)

Product DetailsImage result for mike thomas

BLURB: A cop killer on the loose in Cardiff – introducing a dark and gritty new voice in crime fiction, perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and David Mark

At a squalid flat near the Cardiff docks, an early morning police raid goes catastrophically wrong when the police aren’t the only unexpected guests. A plain clothes officer is shot dead at point blank range, the original suspect is left in a coma. The killer, identity unknown, slips away.

Young and inexperienced, Will MacReady starts his first day on the CID. With the city in shock and the entire force reeling, he is desperate to help ­- but unearths truths that lead the team down an increasingly dark path…

I really enjoyed this new (to me, at least) voice in crime fiction. As it was written by someone who was on the job for more than 20 years, you know that all the nuts and bolts of police work are in their correct places (see below for Mike’s excellent list of screw-ups he’s come across in crime fiction – I came across number 6 just last week, but I won’t name and shame anyone!) It’s more than that though – he’s got an interesting, and plausible plot, which kept me guessing til the conclusion. In Will McReady, he’s got a sympathetic lead character, who, when the book begins, is on his first day in CID. He’s got an interesting backstory, in that he could – potentially – have ended up in trouble himself. His father, a violent bully to Will and his brother when they were younger, is now “over the wall” for murder, and his brother looks like he’s got the same temper as his father. Will is often being called out by uniform to his brother Stuart’s house, as the neighbours have rang them due to Stuart and his other half screaming and fighting with each other, with their three small children in the middle of it all. This invariably means Will has to put him up until things calm down – much to Megan’s chagrin. Will also bails them out by paying half their rent each month, and that, coupled with the money he and his wife Megan have paid out for IVF, has left him skint. He and Megan are drifting apart due to his inability to father a child – the one thing Megan desperately wants.

But enough about Will himself – to the story! It opens, intriguingly, in Nigeria, with a young man delivering a boy – for payment – to an orphanage called the Baobab Tree House – a place with a reputation of having less than altruistic motives. There’s further small portions throughout the book following the boy’s story – in a clinic in Portugal; on a private plane…But it’s in Cardiff where the vast majority of the action takes place. The cop who was shot, Garratt, had a reputation for going off and doing things solo – well, almost solo, so he could lap up the accolades. For example, on that bust, which was meant to bring in one of the city’s most wanted, Leon King, there were only three of them – no back-up, and no armed response. King wasn’t thought to have access to firearms. But someone in the house did, and shot Garratt dead, as well as shooting Leon King, leaving him in a coma and unable to help the police out (although doubtless he wouldn’t have, anyway!)

One of their few leads is that the DNA of a young man called Jermaine Tate was found in the flat in question, but there’s no way of knowing how long it’s been there. Other evidence taken from the flat leads them to another young man called Dane Sillitoe, but he’s been out of trouble for 14 months and claims to have gone straight, working for his father’s limo and private ambulance firm.

Will does “go rogue” a few times, but it’s nothing too unbelievable – he just thinks outside the box a bit; uses local knowledge he gained while in uniform; and looks at conversations as possibly having another meaning than initially assumed. The team are also a likeable lot – DI Fletcher and DS Beck are interesting characters with great potential, whereas DC Harrison can’t resist any opportunity to eat. Touches of humour throughout and banter between colleagues lighten up the story.

The final, short part, appropriately titled Things Fall Apart, given that we started in Nigeria, and that things really do go to hell in a handcart in this part, had me frantically turning the pages to get to the conclusion – a definite sign of quality in crime fiction.

There’s plenty of potential here, so it’s great to see it’s the first in a series featuring Will. Also, another of Thomas’s books, Ugly Bus (no, me neither!), is in development with the BBC to become a six-part series. It looks like Mike Thomas will definitely be a name to watch, so do the sensible thing and get in there at the start! You know you want to!

Keep following the Blog Tour, which will be stopping off at the fabulous lizlovesbooks.com tomorrow!

Now, Mike has kindly contributed his (very amusing) list of:

Ten Things To Avoid In Crime Novels

I spent more than two decades as a cop, and read little in the way of crime – after a twelve hour shift, reading the latest grisly police procedural was about as appealing as dealing with another Sudden Death incident where the putrid corpse was a sunk-into-the-carpet three month old mess. Now I’m no longer a plod, and writing them myself, it’s been interesting to see the police patois and terminology that ends up in contemporary UK crime novels. How much of it rings true? What should you avoid for your next twisty-turny magnum opus? What words or phrases are guaranteed to jolt me out of an otherwise deftly-plotted thriller? Here’s some – hopefully – helpful pointers from a cop-turned-crime-writer.

  1. ‘Squad car’. You mean a response car, response vehicle, or an IRV (Incident Response Vehicle or Immediate Response Vehicle). Cops just don’t call their patrol vehicles ‘squad cars’. You can still use ‘panda car’, as it is still heard on occasion. Squad car? Nope.
  2. He turned and handed the file to a WPC.’ WPC? Woman Police Officer? Female coppers haven’t been referred to as WPCs for twenty years now. So don’t use the prefix in your book, okay? Okay.
  3. Lawyer. ‘She asked for her lawyer.’ ‘He refused to speak until he had a lawyer.’ This ain’t America, dude. British cops and robbers rarely use lawyer in this context, because the term refers to the bewigged barristers who love to hear their own voices in Crown Court, not the slick-suited men and women who turn up at custody suites at all hours, laden with fags and ‘sammiches’ for their clients. Instead, use ‘solicitor’, ‘defence solicitor’, ‘sol’, ‘defence sol’ or even ‘brief’.
  4. Be mindful of force areas and boundaries – it jars when your protagonist (who works for, say, Hampshire Constabulary) is investigating a large scale incident in Bristol at the start of your novel. This would never happen. It would be an Avon and Somerset matter (it is their ‘patch’), and quite possibly involve drug dealing (Bristol city centre) or something to do with worrying livestock (everywhere else in their force area).
  5. Vernacular for rank. Get it right. I read a (best-selling) crime novel recently that had a Police Sergeant being referred to as ‘Ma’am’. Femaleinspectors are called ‘Ma’am’, or often just ‘inspector’. A police sergeant, regardless of gender, is ‘Sarge’. And cops never, ever refer to senior ranks as ‘superiors’ – this is a real no-no. ‘Senior officers’ will do. Or, with a curled lip, ‘rankers’. Yes, it rhymes.
  6. The Detective Superintendent looked at him and said, ‘You keep this up Sergeant, and I’ll promote you to inspector.’’ Aaaargh. This would NEVER, EVER HAPPEN. Supers can’t promote anyone. Inspectors can’t promote sergeants. Sergeants cannot promote constables. Exams and promotion boards are the only way. If your protagonist is a detective constable, they will have to sit and pass the sergeant’s exam, then face a board, and if promoted to sergeant spend at least a year back in uniform on response – if there are any vacancies across the force – to learn the roles and responsibilities of the new rank. Only then can they apply for CID, and will only get a post if they pass an interview and if there is a vacancy. This can take a couple of years. So, in short, your detective has to jump through a lot of hoops (and suffer at least a year ‘back in the cloth’ of uniform) to attain the next CID rank.
  7. Interviews. You can’t just ‘have a quick chat’ about their involvement in the case with a suspect in the back of a car, or in his cell, or while sitting in one of the station’s designated interview rooms (never ‘interrogation room’, which I have read in published novels). They must be formally arrested and cautioned, or at the very least cautioned before questions are asked and notes taken. They must have the offer of a ‘brief’ to look after them. These ‘quick chats’ lead to complications later on if it goes to court, when cases can be thrown out due to failure to comply with PACE (the Police and Criminal Evidence Act).
  8. The Detective Sergeant sat in the public gallery of Crown Court Five, listening as his Inspector gave evidence. Nervous that he was up in the witness box next.’ Your DS hasn’t given evidence yet? Then he wouldn’t be allowed in the courtroom. Those TV shows that have the entire investigating team sitting and nodding along to the prosecution barrister, even before they’ve sworn on the good book? Never happen.
  9. You can’t have your grizzled, grumpy yet straighter-than-straight Detective Chief Superintendent threaten your cunning yet iconoclastic hero cop protagonist – because, you know, they’re always butting heads – with ‘If you keep this up you’re finished in Cardiff. I’ll transfer you to Hull.’ Even the Chief Constable can’t do this. The Home Secretary can’t do this, for goodness’ sake. It involves different forces. Different stations, shifts, workloads. Cops aren’t pawns on a big crimey-crime chessboard thing, endlessly moveable or disposable. This, again, would never, ever happen.
  10. Forensics. You’ve got a great scene: your Detective Inspector protagonist, perched on a settee in her expensive pant suit, is staring at the body on the lounge floor while ruminating on the depravities human beings are capable of, her mind whirring as she tries to fit together the clues, the civvy CSIs moving around her, taking photos, videos, dusting for latent prints oh no sorry she wouldn’t even be there. Get her out of the room – she’s contaminating the crime scene. Crime scenes are sacred. Everyone who is allowed to enter will be wearing paper booties, hair nets, face masks, gloves. A uniform on the door will sign everyone in and out. If you have no business being there, you won’t be allowed in. So that lovely, moving chapter where your DI walks the house, checking every room, absorbing it all? Nope. See also: detectives picking up pieces of evidence WITH BARE HANDS, looking at it closely (breathing on it, dropping saliva and skin flakes and hairs), then PASSING IT TO A COLLEAGUE SO THEY CAN DO THE SAME. No. Just no. Always remember Locard’s Principle. And never have your hero contaminate the scene. A good cop – hopefully your cop in your story – would never do it.

Read crimeworm’s original post, here

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