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Marc DiGiacomo – What Bothers Me About Crime Fiction?

What bothers me about crime fiction?

by Marc DiGiacomo

Lots of things, but for starters, there is no such thing as a gun clip. There are hair clips, paper clips, even horse clips but there are no clips for guns. A magazine is the correct term to describe the bullet holder that enters the magazine well of a firearm. I cannot tell you how annoying this term is to a trained professional police officer or military personnel. It ranks amongst the worst incorrect descriptions for an inanimate object. Our countries leaders have all used this lingo to inaccurately describe gun magazines. But it’s not just them, others are guilty of this word misuse who should know better. Writers are investigators, they research a topic for correct information yet somehow it doesn’t end up accurately portrayed in their novels.

I often read crime stories by the most famous authors with great anticipation only to feel let down when I read something that is completely false. I understand the task of taking your reader on a journey throughout the book but not sticking to accurate police protocols absolutely annoys me. The story can still be exhilarating for the reader without injecting “Hollywood” nonsense into the story line. For me, this is the kiss of death; for the reader, they may not know any better but why fool them with false tactics and crime scene blunders. I really enjoy a good cop movie or show but can’t stand when the actor/actress pulls out their weapon with a finger already on the trigger. This is not how real cops do it. Or walking into a bloody crime scene with no paper booties on the bottom of their shoes, instantly contaminating a crime scene. This is not how the professionals do it and this is not the way authors should write it.

A properly informed reader will appreciate the law enforcement community even more for their service and maybe it will interest someone into choosing police work as a profession. The world will always need good people to become police officers and authors need to portray this heroic job as accurately as possible for the betterment of everyone.

I write what I know based on my experience and training. Since I’ve been retired I always confer with my colleagues when I am not sure about specifics. Besides they are good for new ideas especially since no two police calls are alike. Sure there are similarities but never does the same exact situation occur twice. This is one of the reasons I became a cop. The rush of adrenaline you experience responding to a high level call is second to none. Slapping handcuffs on someone who caused harm to the innocent is exhilarating. You really feel proud of your accomplishments and that next promotion is always around the corner. For me personally, all I ever wanted was to become a detective. That reality came to fruition and the investigations I was assigned to were everything I could have hoped for and more. Working for a small town has its limitations but working for an affluent community invites dirtbags. My superiors never let our town be victimized without justice. These were the best days of my life. But now they are just memories that pave the way for my novels.

So the next time you read a crime novel, pay attention to the author’s descriptions of police tactics. Watch how they describe investigating a crime scene. Are they wearing gloves while handling evidence? You can learn a lot from a book but let’s write police work as truthfully as possible.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Thriller

Rating – R

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