Thursday, April 27, 2017

List of Research for Fatal Fall

I've been working on the next Shandra Higheagle Mystery. While I thought the plot was simple with some interesting twists, I've discovered there are many elements needed in the story that I've had to research.

It started out with having an elderly woman who needed her nephew who is a doctor near because of her health. But then he also has a condition he's researching to live longer than his male heirs before him. I gave the elderly woman COPD. I'd discovered there are various breathing diseases that required the patient be on oxygen. I wanted that to be part of the murder. Yes, the poor old lady gets murdered.

I did research on albinos. The doctor mentioned above has a disease that gives him some traits of an albino.

Then there was researching more cop talk and legal steps the police have to go through. This story gives Detective Ryan Greer more of a role in the story. Therefore, I needed to have more police information.

I needed a timeline on things like fingerprints, how long to capture them and connect them to someone. But what if the person didn't have fingerprints in the system? I learned then there is no way of tracking them.I also learned there are many occupations that require fingerprinting. Child Care Workers, Teachers, Taxi Drivers, Fire Fighters, Security Guards, Special Police Officers, health care, basically any job where you deal with people, pharmaceuticals, or money.  The fingerprints are taken and sent to a data base- AFIS- to see if the person has a criminal record.

My story also required information on bruising of the elderly and how a person could be researched, either by a lay person or law enforcement. An ME on the Crimescene loop I belong to answered the bruising questions and a member of  law enforcement answered my questions on researching a person.

There is a system the police use and a regular person can use if they pay a good sum of money to find people and learn everything about them. I was told all that needs to be known is their last name an initial of the first name and one place where they've lived and all people of that name who had lived in that area come up and the police filter through the names until they come up with one that matches the criteria they are looking for. While Detective Greer is using this system, my amateur sleuth, Shandra Higheagle is reading old newspapers to find an estranged relative of the murdered woman and Detective Greer is using his means to find out who paid a suspect a large sum of money.  Do you think they will come up with the same person?  Who do you think will find the answer first?

Fatal Fall the 8th book in the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series will be released in June.

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