The first step in writing a new story for me is coming up with the concept or the overall idea of the story. In the Nate Richards series, my goal was to bring my readers inside the cop mind. I’ve read many cop books and have seen cop movies that deal with the other cop “stuff”; you know guns, handcuffs and bullets. But, I wanted to deal with the emotional and psychological aspect of being a police officer as he relates to the people in his world.
The first book, NHI, dealt with the “us v. them” mentality in the cop world, the idea that some people or certain people groups can be seen as less than human, (i.e. No Humans Involved).
The second book, DRT: Dead Right There, deals with the sudden and intense violence the police officer lives with on a regular basis and how he copes with those pressures while still serving his community faithfully.
The third installment, IAI: Internal Affairs Investigation, deals with the feeling of betrayal an officer goes through as he experiences suspicion and accusation directed by the very system he has sworn to protect.
DRT pages 1-9( 4/9)
(Chapter One Cont…)
Wheels crunched in the snow as the paramedic van pulled up and rolled to a stop just outside the crime scene. The overhead lights flashed brilliantly against the snow perforating the velvet drape of the night sky. The already too bright landscape sparkled like an over-sized diorama as the red and white lights of the van played against it. The driver, a middle age balding man, stepped from the van. “What’d’ya got?” he asked nobody in particular.
Nate dipped his chin toward the body. He looked back at the driver and shook his head from side to side in a slow sweep.
Pulling on rubber examination gloves, the paramedic bent over and examined the four-inch gash in the temple of the victim, paying particular attention to the jagged edge. He stood and whistled, blowing air through pursed lips. “Wow, that’s…,” he began. “That’s…. That’s bad.” He looked over his shoulder at his partner who was quickly pulling gear from the van. “Bag it, Jeff, this one’s DRT. Better call the coroner, Nate.”
Mac finished talking to the witness and, after getting his contact information, released him to leave. Turning to face the group of officers, he jogged-skidded his way back across the thin sheet of ice on the street to join Nate and the others near the body.
Nate locked eyes with Mac before they both turned to face Baraza. The veteran street cop pulled his note pad from his breast pocket and frowned as he prepared to check his information against what the detectives already had.
“The old guy,” he said indicating the RP (reporting party), “called in a medical assist- man down- at about twenty-fifteen hours…just after the first call came into dispatch about what sounded like a single gunshot being fired.”
Nate looked back at the body of the unidentified man lying face down in the snow. “Anybody pull I.D. yet?”
“Naaa, it was obvious he was dead. Thought we’d wait for five-one to call it, and of course you guys.”
“So you’re a doctor now, Baraza,” Mac chided.
Baraza frowned, feigning injury. “You don’t need an M.D. in front of your name to know you can’t live with a hole like that in the side of your head. I’m thinking long gun, twenty-two caliber maybe.”
“That much damage from a twenty-two?” Mac asked, arching a brow.
“Heavy load, low velocity at close range,” Baraza finished. “Maybe a tumbler. Of course it’s just my guess. But I’m only a lowly street cop not like you bright boys up there in Criminal Investigation Division.” He smiled sarcastically and with a tap of his fingers tucked his pad back into his jacket pocket.
Nate cupped Baraza on his shoulder and pushed him causing him to slide on the ice, barely managing to keep his balance. “I’ll see you in the morning, wise guy.”
Baraza laughed. “Heck, we’ll be back for morning briefing before you even finish your paperwork.”
The men laughed and Nate turned his attention back to the dead man, belly down in the snow. Looking up, Nate saw the coroner’s van pulling into the intersection. The deputy coroner, a tall dark haired man in his mid to late twenties got out and prepared to bag the body.
“Hold on there, Cowboy,” Mac called to the deputy coroner.
Nate waved a hand to get the coroner’s attention. “We haven’t finished here yet… crime scene’s still mine.”
“Works for me, I’ll wait in my wagon. Too cold out here for me anyway,” he said and hefted his bulk back into the van.