The Deaduction Agency follows a team of psychics, telepaths and remote viewers who investigate several cases of disappearances, murders, and missing persons. This is a thrilling paranormal mystery novel. What was the initial spark for this book and how did that develop as you were writing?
I empathize with psychics, whose skills gained credibility as I read about them in series such as Psychic Detectives. The willingness of the police and detectives to appear in the shows, often after retirement from the force, speaks volumes for their appreciation of the skills of the psychics they employed. What also emerged was the need of the program makers to pad out the stories of psychic detectives with endless repeats of the facts. This is because the crimes are resolved in such a straightforward manner that it makes regular policing look tedious – which it is.
The first case, of a complex divorce, took longer to resolve because it did not require psychic abilities. I used it to contrast the differences in time to describe regular, traditional policing and those cases that require the skills of a psychic.
To my regret, some reviewers failed to understand why this approach was taken.
The book covers several different cases which range from quick and easy to edge-of-your-seat thriller. My favorite was ‘Case of the Prodigal Son’. What was your favorite case?
The same ‘Prodigal Son’, plus ‘The Honey Trap’, where Richard’s possessive and devious nature is revealed to the full.
The psychics at this agency have skills and near-future technology that give them powers beyond what psychics can do now. What were the limitations you needed to keep them believable and what was something that you absolutely had to have for them to be interesting?
I accept psychic skills as they exist now, and have no patience with skeptics who try to fool around with their sensory perceptions, to prove they are frauds and have no special skills. However, in the book they had to be fully capable of reading minds, in order to be foolproof in their assessment of criminals. Even so, some reviewers failed to understand this, and judged the psychic teams to be behaving unacceptably in passing sentence on some criminals. Why, if they can read minds and know the vile nature of the people they are categorizing? It is hardly as if they are executing them! The aim is to re-incorporate them into society, with their souls purified.
This story is ripe with paranormal activity, remote viewing and the powers of the mind. Which power and character do you identify with?
Telepathy, having experimented with it in front of others, as a young teenager. I identify with Richard and Chuck and Joe, in different ways.
A final, general observation on the review itself. The opening scene is criticized for its excess of descriptive detail, That is almost a verbatim criticism made by another reviewer, Marta Cheng in 2015, who stated: In some places, such as near the beginning of the book, there is an inordinate amount of detailed explanation provided as to the set up of the agency’s offices – details that detract from the momentum of the story. In response, I cut down the detail to a mere 360 words, which is hardly inordinate! It also became apparent that Marta (who got fond of changing her surname to put me off the scent) had not read the book in its entirety and was intent on having a dig at another reviewer from the same stable as herself.
To emphasize why it was done, I then suffixed the description with the following sentences:
Richard, the most senior partner in the agency, was busying himself constantly re-arranging brochures on a side table in the waiting area in reception. It was a quirky habit of his that Honey found most annoying. It also reflected his fussy preoccupation with orderliness and exact measurements.
Naturally, he was the architect of the office layout, which Honey was often tempted to rearrange, solely to unsettle him.
Love scenes soon followed as well! Some of this preoccupation is revisited later, as part of Honey’s tangled love life. What more can an author do?
Witness at first-hand a group of specialist investigators, as they set up and run a new, innovative crime fighting agency. They are dedicated to the resolution of criminal cases using paranormal assistance. This will be a new, innovative and emerging brand of policing designed to protect the citizens of our country.
Read how they deal with the anti-social, disturbed behavior of a wayward, divorced husband, who is on the verge of destroying the lives of his ex-wife and their two young sons.
Read how they identify the members of a murderous ring of pedophiles from relatively few clues, and bring them to justice.
Read how they move from ineffectively resolving one case at a time, and onto tackling multiple cases with far more beneficial results to society.
Read thereafter how they clear the penitentiaries of criminals, starting with the most dangerous inmates, using novel means to cleanse their souls of sin, and equip them for new roles in life in special clearing centers. The objective is to reintegrate them into society, rendered capable of performing straightforward tasks and genuinely purified, via the novel process of atonement.
Read how they find one talented young man who was lost, presumed dead, and reunite him with his family. Thereafter, as agents of change, they help launch him on the path to stardom.
This is not a simple, gory, two dimensional book, but an exploration into the timely use of mediums in crime detection. It can pay dividends in assisting the fight against crime.
They use the latest techniques and technology in a future world that is not far removed from that which exists today.
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Author Interview with Ian Patrick
Plain Dealing is a suspense novel about a group of cops in South Africa that are caught executing criminals and then must try to cover it up. This is the third book in the The Ryder Quartet series. What is the central theme that you have tried to carry through all four books?
The central theme I have pursued through the four books is about crime, justice and morality: at what point do the police (and many readers) eschew morality for the sake of retribution? What is the tipping point for officers of the law when the institutions of law and justice are unable to contain heinous crime?
The story takes place in South Africa. I enjoyed the detail of that backdrop, it seemed more exotic than most urban cities. What was the decision for that setting?
The decision for the setting of the four books in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, is that many people consider this area to be the crime capital of the world (with the dubious distinction, in recent years, of having the highest murder rate for a country not at war).
Plain Dealing addresses the emotional and ethical choices that law enforcement officials handle on a daily basis. Were there any elements in the story that you pulled from real life, or was it all just fiction?
Although the books are fiction, almost every single crime depicted in the books has its counterpart in real life. Thorough research was undertaken, including tours to the front line of crime and discussions with forensics experts, detectives, and victims of crime. Almost every crime scene was personally visited by me in order to check on the veracity of the physical descriptions.
In the story, six cops execute some criminals and Detective Jeremy Ryder must try to stop them. What was your inspiration for Jeremy Ryders character and his approach to solving crimes?
My inspiration for the character of Jeremy Ryder was multifaceted. My father was a police detective. I have interviewed many detectives. And I have been influenced over many years by characters that I have enjoyed in literature. There is in Jeremy Ryder a little of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character, a little of my father, a little of my wife, a little – I suppose – of myself. But he is in essence entirely a character of fiction. I took great care to ensure that he is not guilty of typical macho or even misogynist behavior. One way I have tried to do this is to depict his wife and other women in the stories as strong, perceptive, and original thinkers and women of action.
The Ryder Quartet is a collection of 4 books. Death Dealing being the last one out. Do you see a chance to continue the story in a different storyline or are you working on a completely new novel?
I am currently working on a fifth novel that is set in the same location. This one is based around one of the characters that we meet in the quartet, but it will not involve Ryder and his companions. I will, though, return to Ryder and his colleagues in a future work. He is now under my skin and I think of him daily.
After midnight on a moonlit beach six policemen led by a top detective execute four criminals who have perpetrated the most heinous rape, mutilation and murder of a young woman. The police are unaware that there is a witness to the executions. The action that follows is set against dubious tactical, ethical and sometimes criminal choices faced by the central characters. The reader is left with a stark image of moral ambiguity as the police struggle to maintain courageous and precarious control of the crime that engulfs them, and the work of ‘plain dealing’ cops comes under scrutiny.
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Blood Tail is a murder mystery novel set in Canada with twists at every turn and the plot going deeper than just who killed who. When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?
I took the advice from one of my favorite authors Janet Evanovich. I do a rough outline of most of the novel, including dropping a red herring, or some foreshadowing that may or may not happen. But, in the writing, things do change and I have to modify as the tale progresses.
I enjoyed the depth of the main character, Lieutenant Beaudry. What was your process to bring that character to life?
I planned a series knowing that the main characters would appear regularly. I wrote a short background and description for each, more in depth for Beaudry. I’m still adding details that make him bigger that life (no pun on his size).
Did you do any research for this novel? Regarding crime and murder and how the police department handles those things?
I don’t read, I devour mysteries from many top selling authors; it’s the best way to learn the craft. I also had the opportunity to attend The Writer’s Police Academy (www.writerspoliceacademy.com) where I gained a wealth of hands-on knowledge from experts in law enforcement and seasoned police instructors. As I write, if in doubt, I Google to check the facts.
Blood Tail is the first book in the Lieutenant Beaudry series. What can you tell us about what’s next for Lieutenant Beaudry and when the next book will be available?
Each Beaudry adventure is a ‘stand-alone.’ Reading the prior one is not required (but would be nice). His next is ‘Folded Dreams’ a bit more violent as Beaudry vents some of his frustrations at losing his wife. He’s in a gun battle with —- Oh, can’t spill the beans. The novel is available on Amazon Kindle and print. Next one up is ‘Twice Dead’ publication in May 2016.
Lieutenant Beaudry inherits a bloodbath in upper Westmount, the richest postal code in Canada. A prominent lawyer and TV host was beaten and shot, his bodyguard hacked to death. A Russian money-laundering operation, a psychopathic Korean playboy, a sleazy private eye, and an international hit team are somehow connected, and Beaudry must close the case without shooting anyone. Meanwhile, his ex-wife has run off in his vintage muscle car, and Internal Affairs is poking around—in other words, he’s having a normal week.
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