– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Crime and Justice’ blogtour, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Martin Bodenham is the author of the crime thrillers The Geneva Connection, Once a Killer, and Shakedown. Crime And Justice is his latest novel.
After a thirty-year career in private equity and corporate finance in London, Martin moved to the west coast of Canada, where he writes full-time. He held corporate finance partner positions at both KPMG and Ernst & Young as well as senior roles at several private equity firms before founding his own private equity company in 2001. Much of the tension in his thrillers is based on the greed and fear he witnessed first-hand while working in international finance.
What if we could no longer trust DNA profiling, the silver bullet of our criminal justice system? For years, we’ve relied on it to solve decades-old crimes, convict the guilty, and liberate the innocent from death row. But what happens to that trust when a crime lab scientist is leaned on to manipulate the evidence or, worse still, lose it altogether?
Ruthless Seattle mayor, Patti Rainsford, announces her candidacy for state governor. She’ll do anything to succeed. When her son is arrested for the rape and assault of a seventeen-year-old girl, Rainsford’s political career is in jeopardy.
Detective Linda Farrell is assigned to investigate. After twelve years working in SPD’s sexual assault unit, her career is drifting, not helped by the single-minded detective’s contempt for police protocol and the pressure of her failing marriage. The high-profile rape case is a rare chance to shine and maybe even get her life back on track. Nothing will stop her seeking justice for the young victim.
With a mountain of personal debt and his wife’s business on a knife-edge, Clark Stanton is facing financial meltdown. Then a stranger offers him a lifeline in return for a favor. As the manager of Seattle’s crime lab, all Clark has to do is make the rape kit evidence against the mayor’s son go away.
Published in paperback and digital formats by Down and Out Books on 16th August 2020.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I came late to writing. I’d always wanted to write novels, but the career I entered on leaving college soon became all-consuming, leaving little time for anything else. I was a corporate financier and private equity investor, which involved putting together corporate acquisitions and financings, mainly in London.
It was the greed and fear I saw in the financial markets that inspired my first novel, The Geneva Connection. In it I tell the story of a private equity firm that discovers when it is too late that its largest investor is a front for a brutal Mexican drug cartel. I guess you’d describe it today as Breaking Bad meets Wall Street! I wrote that novel as I wound down from my career in finance. In 2013, my wife and I moved to Canada. Shortly after, I found a New York agent and took up writing full-time. My first three novels were financial crime thrillers. Crime And Justice is my fourth novel and is a new direction for me, in that it is a political corruption/detective story.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
My favourite books as a teenager were the adventure novels by H. Rider Haggard. They were set in another era (late 19th century), mainly in Africa. King Solomon’s Mines and Nada The Lily were the ones I remember most vividly.
Today, my favoured author is John Grisham. I love how he uses the knowledge gained from his first career as a lawyer to inform his legal thrillers. His writing looks easy. Believe me, it is difficult to create that breezy, easy-flowing style.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
It would have to be John Grisham. I’d really like to understand how he achieves a balance between adding sufficient legal content into his stories so as to be authentic and not over-burdening the reader with technical jargon. That was something I found tricky when I wrote my first financial thriller.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s)) would you like to invite for tea and why?
It would have to be Detective Linda Farrell, who heads up the investigation into the rape allegation against the mayor’s son in Crime And Justice. I love her rebellious character, her disdain for arrogance, and her unstinting search for justice. While she makes mistakes and takes decisions that appear reckless at times, her heart is always in the right place. I’d like to ask her what other cases she has on her desk as I’m hoping to make her a serial character for future novels.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Because I used to commute into London for many years, I am an early riser. Most of my writing is done in the mornings, often before 8 a.m. when the phone isn’t ringing and there are few disturbances. When I am writing the first draft of a novel, I set myself a target of 1,000 words a day so I can finish the rough version in three months. I have tried writing with the radio on, but it prevents my thought process. I prefer complete silence or quiet instrumental music in the background. My one rule is that I must have a strong espresso around eleven each morning to keep me going.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Some of my ideas have come from my first career in corporate finance. The corporate takeover world is full of big egos and larger than life people. Some of their characteristics I have “borrowed” for characters in my novels. As for storylines, I like to read news headlines and obituaries, both of which are great sources for plots and character arcs.
When I came up with the idea for Crime And Justice, I had recently seen a documentary on the use of DNA matching and its use in exonerating people in old cases. It made me realise how much we have come to rely on that forensic process, almost without question. I wondered how easy it might be for the results to be manipulated.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am very much a plotter. Once I have a story idea, my next step is to create a paragraph or two for each of the fifty or so chapters. That becomes the outline of the story. I spend quite a lot of time at this stage, reordering the plot, looking for gaps and thinking of twists. Only when I have a complete outline of thirty pages or so, do I begin to write the novel. That way, I know I have a story that hangs together. Usually, as I write the book, new thoughts come to mind, which I try to weave in for greater depth. The outline has to be an organic thing. It cannot be too rigid. Some of my best plot twists have come from new ideas as I write the book.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do it for fun, not money. Most writers don’t earn more than minimum wage!
Enjoy the process. Listen to editors. Don’t be precious about your work. None of us has a monopoly on good ideas. Editors can turn a good story into a great one.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I am working on the edits for book five. It doesn’t have a firm title yet, but it is about a woman stalker and is based on Vancouver Island. It’s quite dark and written mainly from the point of view of her male target. My publisher has it scheduled for publication in 2021.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Crime And Justice, although based around a charge of sexual assault, is really about Detective Linda Farrell’s search for truth and justice in the face of political corruption and corrupted evidence. If you like Lynda La Plante’s Jane Tennison, you’ll love Detective Linda Farrell.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Martin Bodenham.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!