Lisa Black spent the five happiest years of her life in a morgue. As a forensic scientist in the Cleveland coroner’s office she analyzed gunshot residue on hands and clothing, hairs, fibers, paint, glass, DNA, blood and many other forms of trace evidence, as well as crime scenes. Now she’s a certified latent print examiner and CSI for the Cape Coral Police Department in Florida. Her books have been translated into six languages and one reached the New York Times mass market bestseller’s list.
Black's new novel is Close to the Bone.
From the author's Q & A with Sandra Parshall for The Big Thrill:
CLOSE TO THE BONE is a perfect title for a story in which Theresa MacLean’s workplace colleagues are being murdered and she could also be a target. What inspired you to start killing off people who work in the forensics department?Learn more about the book and author at Lisa Black's website.
I try to keep the books very true-to-life, and give an accurate portrayal of how things actually work in the field of forensics. Despite that, my forensic scientist always seems to spend more time out of the lab than in it, which is not at all realistic, so I thought if I could set a story right in the lab, that problem would solve itself. Besides, what better way to make my character vitally, and very personally, involved?
Why do you set your novels in Cleveland, where you worked previously, instead of in Florida, where you live and work now? Is there something about Cleveland that makes it a better setting for the kind of stories you want to tell?
I think so, because Cleveland has more variety in terms of age, culture, urban areas, history, and current events. Where I live in Florida we have a high percentage of retirees and tourists and the ground is flat with a lot of open area. It’s just hard to picture danger and menace in a place where happy people are cavorting in the brilliant sunshine all the time.
Theresa is very protective of crime scenes when police officers are on hand and might inadvertently contaminate evidence. Does this reflect your own experience? How do the roles of forensics investigators and police differ at crime scenes?
Everyone’s job at a crime scene is...[read on]
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