Category Archives: Michael Robotham

Now, Can You Tell Me What’s Ailin’ Me?*

Visiting the doctor is a really interesting phenomenon. Apart from the odd power relationship, there’s a deep and private communication that goes on between doctor and patient. In fact, those communications are protected under privacy laws except under very specific and unusual circumstances. An appointment with a doctor can be routine or can be highly charged. Either way, it’s a part of life.

Doctor appointments can make very interesting plot moments in crime novels, too. They can serve to move a plot along, or to add character layers. They can be important aspects of a plot, too. Here are just a few examples; I know you’ll think of others.

In Agatha Christie’s One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (AKA The Patriotic Murders and An Overdose of Death), we are introduced to a dentist named Henry Morley. One particular morning, he has several patients, including Hercule Poirot. Late in the morning, he is shot in his surgery. Chief Inspector Japp investigates the case, and we soon learn that this could be a complicated situation. It seems that another of Morley’s patients that day was a powerful banker named Alistair Blunt. He’s made several enemies, and it’s not outrageous to believe that someone might take advantage of the vulnerability a person has while in the dentist’s chair. Then, another patient of Morley’s dies of an overdose of anaesthetic. And another goes missing. As though that’s not enough, Japp is pulled off the case, because it may have something to do with an espionage operative whose identity the Home Office needs to protect. But Poirot is not similarly restricted, and he continues to investigate. In the end, he finds that this case is both simpler and more complex than it seems. And it’s interesting to see how the different characters react to being in the doctor’s office. I see you, fans of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

One of the main plot lines in Ruth Rendell’s Simisola begins with a visit to a doctor. Inspector Reg Wexford visits his doctor, Raymond Akande. It’s a normal sort of visit – Wexford’s health isn’t in jeopardy. But not long afterwards, he gets a call from Akande. It seems that Akande’s daughter, Melanie, went missing after a visit to the local employment bureau, and she hasn’t been home since. At first, Wexford isn’t inclined to panic. Melanie is twenty-two – an adult who could have any number of reasons to go somewhere else for a few days. But Akande persuades Wexford to at least look into the matter. Not long afterwards, the woman with whom Melanie had her employment bureau appointment is found murdered. Then, a young woman is found dead in a local wood. At first, Wexford thinks it might be Melanie. It turns out to be someone else, though, and now Wexford has three difficult cases to solve.

Michael Robotham’s The Suspect introduces his sleuth, Dr. Joe O’Loughlin. He is a psychologist whose profession often gets him involved in cases. He also has Parkinson’s Disease, which means he goes for regular visits to a neurologist, Dr. Emlyn Robert ‘Jock’ Owens. Jock is a no-nonsense sort of a doctor, who knows his patient quite well. As a matter of fact, they mix socially; O’Loughlin’s wife, Julianne, even dated Owens at one point. It can be a tense relationship, especially when Julianne is discussed, or when Jock has bad news to share. But it’s also a really interesting look at one side of O’Loughlin’s character.

In Annie Hauxwell’s In Her Blood, we meet London investigator Catherine Berlin. Among other things, she is a registered heroin addict who’s supplied by Dr. George Lazenby under the registered addicts’ program. In one plot line of this novel, she goes to his office early one evening to keep a regular appointment. When she gets there, she finds that he’s been murdered, and she’s been set up as a likely suspect. What’s worse, with Lazenby dead, she now has no legal supply of heroin until she finds a new doctor under the program. This leaves her with only a week’s supply of the drug. This case is very probably related to another case Berlin is working. She’s been investigating a loan-shark operation run by Archie Doyle. Not long ago, she was working with an informant who called herself Juliet Bravo. Then, Bravo was murdered, and her body found in Limehouse Basin. Berlin wants to find out who that killer is, and how it’s related to Lazenby’s murder. But she’s going to have to act quickly, because there are some dangerous people who don’t want her to succeed.

And then there’s Eoin Colfer’s Plugged. Daniel McEvoy is ex-pat Irish, who worked for a time as a Middle East peacekeeper. Now, he works security at a sleazy nightclub called Slotz, in the fictional town of Cloisters, New Jersey. In one plot thread of this novel, he goes to visit his friend and hair replacement doctor, Zebulon ‘Zeb’ Kronski, whom he met while he was in the Middle East. While he’s waiting for Kronski, McEvoy encounters Macey Barrett, an ‘enforcer’ for local gangster Mike Madden. It’s obvious that something is going on between Madden and Kronski, but McEvoy doesn’t want to get involved in that mess. He has no choice, though, when Barrett tries to kill him, and his only option is to defend himself. Now, he’s got a tough, powerful gangster after him. What’s worse, Kronski’s gone missing. McEvoy will have to try to stay alive long enough to clear his name and find his friend.

Meetings in doctors’ offices can lead in all sorts of directions. And they’re a part of most of our lives. Little wonder that they show up as they do in crime fiction.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Rudy Clark and Arthur Resnick’s Good Lovin’.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Annie Hauxwell, Eoin Colfer, Michael Robotham, Ruth Rendell

After All This Time You’re Still Asking Questions*

Even after a jury renders its verdict, that doesn’t mean a case goes away. The real truth about some cases doesn’t always come out, which means there are lingering questions about its outcome. We’ve certainly seen that in real life. For example, in 1892, Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Borden was acquitted of murdering her father and stepmother. And there are several theories as to who was really responsible. But at the same time, plenty of people continued to believe she was guilty. And there are historians who think the same thing.

The same questions come up in crime fiction, and it’s interesting to see the roles they can play in the genre. Those lingering questions can be the basis for a legal appeal. Or, they can prompt Cold Case teams to look into the case again. Sleuths, too, can be drawn into cases because of those questions.

For instance, in Agatha Christie’s Five Little Pigs, famous painter Amyas Crale is poisoned one afternoon. His wife, Caroline, is the main suspect, and she certainly has motive. She is tried for the crime, and is defended by a very skilled lawyer. But she’s found guilty and sent to prison, where she dies a year later. Most people don’t question the jury’s verdict, either. But years later, the Crales’ daughter, Carla, does. She believes that her mother was innocent, and she questions the outcome of the trial. She hires Hercule Poirot to take the case and find out who the real killer is. Slowly, he learns that there were a few questions at the time, but even those who thought Caroline Crale might be innocent faced one major challenge: if it wasn’t Caroline, then who else had a motive? Poirot gets written accounts of the murder from the people who were there at the time; he interviews them, too. That information leads him to the truth about the murder.

In Reginald Hill’s Recalled to Life, Superintendent Andy Dalziel returns to a 1963 case – the murder of Pamela Westrup. At the time, Cissy Kohler was arrested, tried, and convicted in connection with the crime. But there were always some questions about whether she was guilty. Now, she’s been released from prison, and the questions continue to mount. There’s talk that she was innocent, but that the investigator in charge of the case, Wally Tallentire, hid evidence that would have supported her case. Dalziel is sure that’s not true, though, and it’s no small matter that Tallentire was his mentor, so he has a personal stake in the case. Dalziel goes back over the events in questions, and slowly gets to the truth about the Westrup murder.

Michael Robotham’s Lost features the case of seven-year-old Mickey Carlyle. Three years earlier, Mickey went missing. Everyone thinks that she was abducted and killed by a paedophile named Harold Wavell. In fact, Wavell was arrested, tried and imprisoned for the crime. But there are still questions about the case. Was Wavell really guilty? If not, what happened to the child?  Detective Inspector (DI) Vincent Ruiz is looking into the case, when he is badly injured. After the injury, he has little memory of what happened. But, with help from psychologist Joe O’Loughlin, Ruiz slowly begins to recover his memories of the case. Once he does, he is able to find out the truth about Mickey.

Paddy Richardson’s Wellington-based journalist Rebecca Thorne learns of lingering questions about a case in Traces of Red. Connor Bligh has been in prison for years for murdering his sister, Angela Dickson, her husband, Rowan, and their son, Sam. Only their daughter, Katy, survived, because she wasn’t home at the time of the murders. There are lingering questions about the case, though. Was Bligh really guilty? There is some evidence that suggests he might be innocent. If he is, then this could be the story to ensure Thorne’s place at the top of New Zealand journalism. She starts looking into the case again and finds herself getting much closer to it than even she thinks is wise. In the end, she learns the truth, but it’s definitely at a cost.

In Sue Younger’s Days Are Like Grass, pediatric surgeon Claire Bowerman returns from London to her native Auckland with her partner, Yossi Shalev, and her daughter, Roimata ‘Roi.’ She’s not particularly eager to make the trip, but it’s important to Yossi, so she goes along with the plan. There’s a good reason, too, for which Claire doesn’t want to go back to Auckland. In 1970, her father, Patrick, was arrested and imprisoned in connection with the disappearance of seventeen-year-old Kathryn Phillips. There was never enough evidence to make a conviction stick, so he didn’t remain in prison. But there are still plenty of people who think he’s guilty. And there are a lot of questions about the trial and about the disappearance. Still, Claire goes back to Auckland with her family. Then, she gets involved in a very high-profile case. A two-year-old in her care is diagnosed with a tumour. His parents object to any surgery on religious grounds, and this puts them squarely up against the hospital. It’s a difficult matter, and it puts Claire in exactly the situation she didn’t want: under the proverbial microscope. Her father’s case is made much of in the media, and all of the questions surrounding it are dragged out again.

There are certain cases like that, though – cases where there’s been an arrest, and possibly a trial and conviction, but there are still questions. Such situations can make for interesting plot lines in a crime novel. And in real life, those cases can make for much speculation.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Goldfinger’s Anything.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Michael Robotham, Paddy Richardson, Reginald Hill, Sue Younger

Still Trying to Clear My Name*

One of the tropes we see in crime fiction is the plot point where the sleuth is accused, or at least, suspected, of the crime that’s under investigation. It’s not easy to pull off, since readers know that the sleuth is not likely to be guilty (and didn’t Agatha Christie turn that one on its head!).

When it’s done well, though, having the sleuth suspected of crime adds tension to the story. And it gives the sleuth an added incentive to investigate. This trope turns up in all sorts of crime fiction, too. Here are just a few examples.

In Agatha Christie’s Death in the Clouds (AKA Death in the Air), Hercule Poirot is on a flight from Paris to London when one of the other passengers, Marie Morisot, suddenly dies of what turns out to be poison. The only possible suspects are the other people in the cabin, so Chief Inspector Japp concentrates his attention on them. It’s not spoiling the story to say that Poirot isn’t guilty. But at the coroner’s inquest, he’s considered quite a suspicious character, and the jury returns a verdict against him. The coroner doesn’t accept the verdict, and Poirot is at no risk of being arrested. But, as he says,
 

‘‘…I must set to work and clear my character.’’
 

And that’s exactly what he does.

In Simon Brett’s What Bloody Man is That?, Charles Paris gets a new acting job – a ‘play as cast’ part in the Pintero Theatre’s upcoming production of The Scottish Play. One day, rehearsals go particularly badly, and the entire cast goes out to drown their sorrows. Paris comes back to the theatre afterwards, quite a bit the worse for wear, and falls asleep there. He wakes up just after three in the morning, to find that he’s been locked in to the building. And then he finds the body of Warnock Belvedere, who had the role of Duncan. Paris knows that things don’t look good for him. He’s innocent, but he doesn’t expect the police to believe him. So, he avoids them as much as he can, for as long as he can. He also starts looking for the real murderer, so he can clear his name. It’s not going to be easy, though, as just about everyone in the production had a reason to want the victim dead.

In Michael Robotham’s The Suspect, we are introduced to psychologist Joe O’Loughlin. When the body of a former patient is pulled from London’s Grand Union Canal, Inspector Vincent Ruiz investigates. As it happens, O’Loughlin was close to the scene when the body was discovered. And the victim is someone he knew. So, Ruiz asks for his help in finding a possible motive. But the more evidence he finds, the more it seems that O’Loughlin knows more than he is saying about this murder. Then, there are other murders, and O’Loughlin is implicated. Now, he’s going to have to find out the truth and persuade Ruiz of it if he’s to clear his name. And that truth turns out to be very dangerous.

Denise Mina’s Maureen ‘Mauri’ O’Donnell begins with Garnethill. In it, O’Donnell wakes up one morning after a long night of drinking. She discovers the body of her former boyfriend, Douglas Brodie, in her living room. It’s not long before she comes ‘a person of interest,’ and then an official suspect, in the case. For one thing, there’s the obvious: the body was found in her home, and she can give no explanation. For another, she’d recently found out that Brodie was married. And then there’s the fact of her fragile mental health. She knows that the police aren’t going to believe she’s innocent, and that she’ll likely end up in prison. So, she decides to find out who the killer is, so she can clear her name.

When we first meet her, in The Salaryman’s Wife, Sujata Masesy’s Rei Shimura is an antiques dealer and expert who lives and works in Tokyo. She also teaches English to help make ends meet. She decides to treat herself to a New Year’s holiday at a traditional B&B near Shiroyama, in the Japanese Alps. All goes well enough until the morning when Shimura discovers the body of Setsuko Nakamura, one of the other guests. Captain Jiro Okuhara is assigned to the case, and he and his team begin their work. Shimura is a ‘person of interest’ to begin with, since she discovered the body. And Okuhara isn’t entirely convinced that her account of what happened is really the truth. Still, there are several other suspects, and Shimura isn’t immediately accused. Soon, however, another guest, attorney Hugh Glendinning, is. In fact, he’s charged with the crime. He says he’s innocent, and Shimura wants to believe him, not least because she is attracted to him. Partly to clear her own name, and partly to clear Glendinning’s, if he is innocent, Shimura starts her own search for the truth. And it turns that search is a lot more dangerous than she’d thought.

And then there’s Cathy Ace’s The Corpse With the Silver Tongue, which introduces her sleuth, Caitlin ‘Cait’ Morgan. She’s a criminologist and academician who teaches at the University of Vancouver. When an injury leaves a colleague unable to deliver a paper at an upcoming symposium, Morgan takes his place. The symposium is in Nice, so she’s looking forward to the trip. While she’s in Nice, she encounters a former employer, Alistair Townsend. Townsend remembers her, and invites her to his wife, Tamsin’s, birthday party. Morgan doesn’t want to attend, since her relationship with Townsend was not at all a pleasant one. He insists, though, so she finally agrees. During the party, Townsend collapses and dies of what turns out to be digitalis poisoning. Captain Moreau and Lieutenant Bertrand take over the investigation. Morgan is the only ‘outsider.’ She had no regular access to the victim (and so, would take advantage of an event like the party) and has made no secret of the fact that she hated him. So, the police pay a fair amount of attention to her as a likely suspect. Mostly to clear her own name, Morgan starts asking questions, and finds that plenty of people had a good reason to want Townsend dead.

Being accused of murder can add a strong motive for the sleuth to investigate. And it can add tension to a story. There are plenty of examples in the genre; these are just a few…

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is the title of a song by Chris Rea.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Cathy Ace, Denise Mina, Michael Robotham, Simon Brett, Sujata Massey

Unknown Enemy*

There are a number of ways to build tension and suspense in a crime novel. And that suspense is an important part of keeping the novel engaging for readers. One of the approaches crime writers sometimes use is to include what you might call an unknown enemy.

I’m not talking here of the evil villain out to take over the world. Rather, I mean situations where a character is targeted by an unknown person. If you think about it, that is an eerie feeling. Most of have a fairly good sense of who might be gunning for us. But what if you had no idea who was targeting you? That anxiety, and the wondering whom to trust, would likely add to your unease.

We see that in a lot of crime fiction. For instance, in Agatha Christie’s The Moving Finger, we are introduced to Jerry Burton and his sister, Joanna. They’ve recently moved to the village of Lymstock, so that Jerry can continue his recovery from a wartime injury. They’ve not been there long when they receive a vicious anonymous letter that suggests they are not siblings, but lovers. Soon, the Burtons learn that they’re not the only victims. Other people in town are also receiving such ‘poison pen’ letters, and it’s got everyone upset. Then, a letter to a local solicitor’s wife leads to a suicide. And then there’s a murder. Miss Marple takes an interest in the case when the local vicar’s wife, who knows her, suggests she might be able to help. Part of the tension of the novel comes from the fact that people don’t know who this unknown enemy is, and why that person might be targeting them.

There’s a similar plot point in Nicolas Freeling’s Double Barrel. Amsterdam Inspector Piet Van der Valk is sent to the small town of Zwinderen to help with an unusual problem. Several people in town have received ugly anonymous letters. This is the sort of town where everyone knows everyone, so one’s local reputation matters a lot. The tension caused by the letters is so high that the result has been two suicides and a mental breakdown. The local police haven’t made much progress, so it’s hoped that Van der Valk will be able to help. And in the end, he and his wife, Arlette, find out who wrote the letters and why. One important cause of unease in the novel is that the local residents don’t know who their enemy is, if I may put it that way.

In Michael Robotham’s The Suspect, we are introduced to London psychologist Joe O’Loughlin. He gets involved in a murder case when the body of a former client, Catherine McBride, is pulled from Grand Union Canal. Detective Inspector (DI) Vincent Ruiz wants whatever insights O’Loughlin may have about this case, so he persuades a very reluctant O’Loughlin to help out. Then, there’s another murder – one that very much implicates O’Loughlin. Now, Ruiz actively wonders whether his consultant may know more about the case than he’s letting on. What’s more, the leads that O’Loughlin has given Ruiz don’t seem to pan out. Before long, it’s clear that someone has set O’Loughlin up, and is framing him for multiple murders. The problem is, O’Loughlin doesn’t know who would deliberately target him. He’ll have to go back to his own past, and go after a very dangerous killer, if he’s going to clear his name. And part of the suspense as he does so comes from the fact that he doesn’t know who’s after him.

Neither does Merete Lynnggard, who is featured in Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Mercy (AKA The Keeper of Lost Causes). In the novel, Copenhagen homicide detective Carl Mørck is assigned to head up a new police initiative, ‘Department Q.’ This new department will be devoted to cases ‘of special interest’ (i.e. cold cases), and is at least in part designed as a way to demonstrate that the police take all of their investigations seriously. Shortly after Mørck and his assistant, Hafez al-Assad take up their duties, they begin to look into the five-year-old disappearance of Lynnggard, who was a promising politician. Everyone thought that she went overboard in a tragic ferry accident. But new evidence suggests that she may still be alive. If so, Mørck and Assad may not have much time to find her. I can say without spoiling the story that part of its tension comes from the fact that Lynnggard didn’t even know who was targeting her.

And then there’s Lynda Wilcox’s Strictly Murder, the first of her series featuring research assistant Verity Long. She works for famous crime novelist Kathleen ‘K.D.’ Davenport, who uses old cases as inspiration for her novels. When Long goes house-hunting, she discovers the body of well-known TV presenter Jaynee ‘JayJay’ Johnson. Badly shaken up by the experience, she’s happy on one level to let the police handle the investigation. At the same time, though, she found the body, so like it or not, she is involved. And she’s both curious and skilled as a researcher. So, she starts to ask questions. And it’s not long before she runs into serious danger. More than once in the story, it’s clear that someone is targeting her. And part of the suspense comes from the fact that she doesn’t know her enemy.

There are, of course, a lot of other crime novels in which someone has a secret enemy. That plot point can add suspense, even drama, to a story if it’s done effectively. And it can add to character development.
 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is the title of a song by CKY.

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Filed under Agatha Raisin, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Lynda Wilcox, Michael Robotham, Nicolas Freeling

We Know That It’s Probably Magic*

As this is posted, it would have been Jim Henson’s 81st birthday. As you’ll know, Henson was a creative innovator who pioneered an entirely new sort of character –  the Muppet. He was also instrumental in creating children’s television programming that reflected a diverse audience.

But it’s Henson’s way of reaching out to children that stays with me more than anything else. If you’ve ever seen episodes of Sesame Street (or, for the matter of that, any other of the various Muppet-based shows), you’ll already know that those shows respected their audiences. They addressed children’s real concerns about things as varied as starting in a new school and coping after death. There were segments that included children from many different socioeconomic and ethnic groups, too. Henson and his team communicated with their young viewers in real ways. And viewers responded. They still do.

Lots of famous people guested on the show, too, and allowed young people to see the range of creative talent out there. Among the famous visitors were Maya Angelou, Paul Simon, Meryl Streep, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Robin Williams, and Billy Joel. Yes, he visited several times. Yes, I watched those episodes. What?!   😉

Being able to reach out to children, to treat them with respect, and communicate with them, isn’t always easy, in real life or in fiction. But sometimes, children have important things to say. In some crime fiction, for instance, children may hold clues to investigations. Or, they may be deeply affected by something that’s happened, and need to be supported. So, being able to reach out to them can be a particularly valuable skill.

Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware, for instance, is a child psychologist. He’s therefore quite skilled at getting young people to talk, and helping them work through the things that they need to face. And it’s sometimes quite difficult. For instance, in When the Bough Breaks, Delaware’s friend, L.A.P.D. detective Milo Sturgis, asks for his help with a particularly challenging case. Psychiatrist Morton Handler and his lover Elena Gutierrez have been murdered. The only witness is seven-year-old Melody Quinn, but she can’t provide much information, and what she does say isn’t particularly coherent. Sturgis is hoping that Delaware will be able to get the child to open up and say what she saw. But that’s not going to be easy. Melody has been diagnosed with ADHD and other learning difficulties, so she’s heavily under the influence of Ritalin and other medications. What’s more, her pediatrician, Dr. Lionel Towle, isn’t willing to reduce her medication so that she’ll be able to communicate with Delaware. But Delaware manages to form a sort of bond with her. He even persuades her mother to reduce her medication somewhat, so that he can talk to the child in more depth. Then, Melody begins having nightmares. Her mother and Towle won’t let Delaware have any more access to the child, but he’s learned enough to start on the right trail. And it leads to the past, and to a secret that some people share.

Fans of Michael Robotham’s psychologist sleuth Joe O’Loughlin will know that he, too, has a special way of getting young people to talk to him. At the very beginning of The Suspect, for instance, he’s up on the roof of London’s Royal Marsden Hospital, trying to persuade a suicidal teenager not to jump. He’s successful, and just wants to get back to ‘normal’ life. But that’s not to be. Shortly thereafter, he’s drawn into the investigation when the body of a former client, Catherine McBride, is pulled out of the Union Canal. Detective Inspector Vincent Ruiz is soon convinced that O’Loughlin is, at the very least, a ‘person of interest.’ And the longer things go on, the more drawn into the case O’Loughlin is. He soon sees that if he’s going to clear his own name, and catch the killer, he’s going to have to confront someone from his own past, and it could get very dangerous for him.

Kishwar Desai’s Witness the Night introduces readers to Delhi social worker Simran Singh. She is persuaded to return to her home town of Jullundur, in the state of Punjab, when the police there are faced with a horrible and baffling set of murders. Thirteen members of the Atwal family have died of poison, and some of them have also been stabbed. The house has been set on fire as well. The only survivor is fourteen-year-old Durga Atwal, but it’s hard to tell from the evidence whether she is responsible for what happened, or was also a victim who just happened to survive. And Durga isn’t talking to anyone. It’s hoped that Singh will be able to break through and get Durga to tell her what really happened that night. Things don’t go well at first. Durga doesn’t trust Singh, and it’s soon clear that there are plenty of people who do not want the truth to come out. Little by little, though, we learn what really happened at the Atwal home that night – and why.

And then there’s Dr. Helen Blackwell, whom we first meet in Rennie Airth’s River of Darkness. She’s the local GP for the village of Highfield, at a time (just after World War I) when there were few female doctors. One night, Colonel Charles Fletcher, his wife, Lucy, their maid, Sally Pepper, and the nanny, Alice Crookes, are all brutally murdered. The only survivor is four-year-old Sophy Fletcher; she hid under a bed, and the killer didn’t find her. Sophy has been through quite a lot of trauma, and in any case, isn’t very articulate, because of her age. Still, Blackwell works with her and, little by little, gets her to remember what happened. And it turns out that Sophy has some very important clues to the killer.

There’s also an interesting example of reaching out to children in Gail Bowen’s A Killing Spring. In it, political scientist and academician Joanne Kilbourn gets involved in investigating the murder of a colleague, Reed Gallagher.  At one point (and it’s not, admittedly a major part of the plot), Joanne and her adopted daughter, Taylor, are invited for dinner at the home of Ed Mariani and his partner, Barry Levitt. As it happens, Mariani and Levitt happen to have a painting done by Taylor’s biological mother, Sally Love. Mariani finds a way to reach out to Taylor by offering to let her see the painting. It gives her a connection, and reinforces her own interest in, and talent at, art.

Sometimes children do have important things to say. But it’s not always easy for adults to reach out in effective ways and hear it. That’s why people who can interact with children are so valuable. We miss you, Mr. Henson.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from John Williams’ and Kenneth Ascher’s The Rainbow Connection.

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Filed under Gail Bowen, Jonathan Kellerman, Kishwar Desai, Michael Robotham, Rennie Airth