The long curve of the river. Harper as an intern. Miles as night- shift photographer. To her, this was just home. Harper glanced at her watch: She had eighteen minutes to let Baxter know if she had to hold the front page. She had a thing for murder. Some people called it an obsession. On the street, the warm, humid air smelled of exhaust and something else— something metallic and hard to define. Like fear. In the dark, the flashing lights were blinding.
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Pulling out her notebook, Harper jotted down what she saw. Blue jeans and Nikes, baggy T- shirt riding up over a lean, dark- skinned torso. Large bloodstain forming an uneven circle on the pavement beneath him. The face was hidden from view.
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Nearby, the ambulance was parked with its back door open, sending light flooding out onto the street. A team of paramedics was working on the two living shooting victims— plugging fluids into them, stopping other fluids from leaching away.
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Both wounded men looked like teen agers. The one closest to her still had baby fat in his cheeks. Miles appeared across the road, crouching down on one knee to get a shot of the body. She knew both men from previous crime scenes. Detective Ledbetter was short and portly, with thinning hair and a kind smile. The other detective was Larry Blazer.
Tall and thin, with dark blond hair going artfully gray, he had cheekbones to die for and eyes as hard as copper pennies. Absorbed in their work, neither man noticed as she navigated the shadows until she was close enough to eavesdrop. He was green. This could even have been his first shooting. His words poured out in an excited rush. They give any idea where they went? The officer shook his head.
He was tall, just over six- one, and he used that height to intimidate, looming over her. Shedding DNA all over the place. Who was he trying to kid? The cops cared no more for a dead gangbanger than Baxter did. Names of the victims? Number of suspects? Still, Harper gave it one more try. Should local residents be concerned?
I have no official statement at this time. Now, kindly get the hell out of my scene before I have you arrested. When she made it back to the ambulance, Miles was leaning against it casually, checking his shots on the camera screen. She owed me a favor. Melissa had a wonderful honeymoon. She was very chatty today. Also, apparently, an up- and- coming heroin dealer. The two wounded victims are his known associates. Suspects are three black men, slim, two are average height, T- shirt and jeans, one is short and stocky, wearing a bandanna around his neck.
All are late teens to early twenties.
Suspected members of the East Ward gang. Harper scanned the paper quickly, seeing nothing that said page one. As soon as they reached the Mustang, she called Baxter to give her the bad news. Turning the wheel, he began to pull out of the parking space before braking hard to let a white van creep by. Harper barely looked up.
The best surprises add significant insights to the characters involved in that surprise, while setting up future suspenseful situations. For example:. As my year-old mother and I inched across the mall parking lot that winter, she confided that she hated walking like an old lady, always on the lookout for black ice, always wearing sensible shoes. She wanted to stride along with the movers and shakers wearing the high heels that showcased her million-dollar legs.
That my mother slipped is a surprise. I foreshadowed it a bit, but there was no particular reason for you to see it coming. That unexpected turn of events is a hallmark of surprise and helps differentiate it from suspense. To keep your readers on the edge of their seats, you need to integrate surprises that lead slowly, inexorably, and with deadly calm, to suspense. In order to do so, you need to understand what makes a surprise effective. There are good surprises, like an unexpected visit from a much-loved distant friend or relative, and bad surprises, like an unexpected cancer diagnosis.
The trick is to set them up so they feel fitting, not merely plunked down for effect. The surprise felt appropriate because it was logical given the situation. To ensure surprises feel natural, while still astounding your readers, think opposites. What can your character do or say that is opposite to what is expected?
The opposite is clomping along in sturdy shoes and slipping anyway. Surprises delight readers, but they must be formulated with care. You need to maintain the integrity of your story and your characters. You also need to ensure you avoid out-of-nowhere situations. The principle of keeping readers as informed as possible not only applies to crime fiction, but to all writing, including memoirs, such as the one about my mom.
The call informing me my mother was en route to the hospital came from a firefighter. My mother fell in front of the firehouse near her Boston apartment.
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A man named Alex McKnight. Livermore means nothing to McKnight, but it soon becomes clear McKnight means something to Livermore In a hunt that will take him across the country and to the edge of his limits, McKnight fights to stop a vicious killer before he can exact his ultimate revenge. And his grand finale will cut closer to home than he ever could have imagined. Suspense Radio Inside Edition August 18th, Facing life alone, they turned to crime together. Dolly Rawlins, Linda Pirelli and Shirley Miller are left devastated when their husbands are killed in a security van heist that goes disastrously wrong.
When Dolly discovers her husband Harry's bank deposit box, containing a gun, money - and detailed plans for the hijack - she realises that she only has three options: 1. Give up and forget she ever found them; 2. Hand over Harry's ledgers to the police, or to the thugs that have been hassling her for information they think she has; 3. She and the other widows could carry out the robbery themselves Novices in the craft of crime, the three women make their preparations.
Along the way they discover that Harry's plan required four people, not three. But only three bodies were discovered in the carnage of the original hijack - so who was the fourth man, and where is he now? Recruiting hooker Bella O'Reilly as their fourth, the widows are determined to execute their plan. Facing mounting pressure from DI Resnick, and local thugs Arnie and Tony Fisher, can they stick together and finish the job their husbands started. The Story Blender with special guest Nicolas Obregon. His insights are invaluable for storytellers of all bents, and especially for anyone thinking of writing a novel.
Visit www. Also please know that all shows are brought to you by Suspense Magazine and Suspense Publishing, please visit www. You can email the show at radio suspensemagaizne. Suspense Radio Inside Edition August 4th, Laurell K. But this time there's a monster that even she doesn't know how to fight A remote Florida island is the perfect wedding destination for the upcoming nuptials of Anita's fellow U.
Marshal and best friend Edward. For Anita, the vacation is a welcome break, as it's the first trip she gets to take with just wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it's not all fun and games and bachelor parties In this tropical paradise Micah discovers a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations.