An Astrological Omen Portends Murder in A Full Cold Moon

To hunt down a brutal bludgeoner, Buffalo Detective Lauren Riley must travel to Reykjavik, Iceland, in the latest Cold Case Investigation mystery by Lissa Marie Redmond. At age 22, Redmond passed her police exam while still a student at the University of Buffalo.

An Astrological Omen Portends Murder in A Full Cold Moon

Lissa Marie Redmond explores trauma’s toll in her latest crime thriller.

To hunt down a brutal bludgeoner, Buffalo Detective Lauren Riley must travel to Reykjavik, Iceland, in the latest Cold Case Investigation mystery by Lissa Marie Redmond. At age 22, Redmond passed her police exam while still a student at the University of Buffalo. Soon, she found herself on patrol with a badge, a gun, a bulletproof vest. Twenty-two years later, she retired as a detective to start her new life writing crime thrillers. In A Full Cold Moon, Redmond illuminates the page-turning plot with her own deep knowledge of crime and trauma.

What do your law enforcement friends think about your writing career?

Before my first book was published, I was terrified that the cops I’d worked with would hate it. But I was pleasantly surprised at all the phone calls, text messages, and emails I received, along with the positive reviews they left online. I not only heard from cops, but judges and lawyers that I’d met over the years. Some of them even said they loved it.

How does storytelling talent help a police detective?

In my case, it helped me to think outside the box. Tunnel vision can be a real problem for police detectives. You have to be open to all possibilities, and visualize many different scenarios to be a good detective. The key to solving cases is following the evidence, no matter where it might lead. It might even get you in trouble. It did for me in real life and it certainly does for my fictional detective, Lauren Riley.

Are there similarities between solving a crime and inventing a plot? 

Both are intricate puzzles that have very specific rules and need to have logical conclusions. Readers want to be able to follow the detectives as they unravel information. A good police file should read like a mystery novel—spelling out exactly how the detectives got from the crime scene to the arrest.  

The star detective, Lauren Riley, recently survived a stabbing. What support is available to law enforcement officers after violent encounters?

There are peer counselors and mental health professionals available to cops who have encountered high stress situations. The problem is that a great many cops refuse that help for fear of seeming weak. There has to be more emphasis on the fact that asking for support is brave. There is no need to suffer in silence. But Lauren Riley does exactly that. The only person she trusts to confide in is her partner, Reese.

How can we do more to help local police with the emotional stress of their jobs?

We need to recognize that police officers are normal people thrown into situations that are anything but. We hurt, we cry, we get frustrated and yet we still want to do our jobs. The vast majority of police want to serve the public, and hate bad cops as much as citizens do.

From the start of this series, I tried to show the physical and emotional toll the job takes on a person. As the series goes on, even Lauren’s appearance changes in response to the trauma she’s been through. But she’s a strong woman, stronger than she realizes, and finally learns to take it in stride as the reward for surviving another year on the job. Personally, after twenty-two years in the Buffalo Police Department, I’m grateful for every wrinkle I have.  

Last year, Library Journal interviewed a reformed burglar who is now an author with Severn House. What is the essential connection between crime and fiction?

Every fiction book is a mystery because you don’t know the ending until you read the last page. Crime and fiction go hand in hand because everyone has been wronged in some way at some time, and can identify with wanting justice to be served. People also want to get into the heads of criminals to see what makes them tick. The idea of living outside the law is fascinating. That disconnect with polite society is also great fodder for stories. Readers want a peek into the dark corners of the world. 

Who plays Lauren in the movie and why?

Emily Blunt. She has the quiet strength and confidence of Lauren Riley. She also has children in real life and could relate to Lauren’s conflict of seeing her daughters go off to college. I think she’d bring the emotional facets of Lauren’s character to life.

 

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