Friday, July 8, 2016

Jennifer Chase Debuts New Lead Character - A Forensic Scientist - in Body of the Crime

I HATED THE CURIOUS AND often skeptical looks, which came from the audience in the gallery. I gently eased my body into the chair and faced them directly. It felt more like I was a participating target in a firing squad than a courtroom Shifting from side to side in the cushioned seat, I fidgeted with my tie. It was the only thing I could do under the circumstances. I waited patiently trying not to nervously tap my fingers. At least the chair was comfortable as I rested my forearms and hands on the armrest. It was not easy to avoid looking at the two burly sheriff deputy bailiffs stationed at the back corners of the room. They watched everyone with an extreme somber, statue-like presence. I was not even sure if they actually blinked or not.

 All eyes in the courtroom fixated on me. The room fell into complete silence. The audience readied themselves waiting for the show to begin. At least that was what I had imagined in my own mind.

I realized when the prosecutor had finally called my name to testify and the bailiff escorted me into the courtroom that I had forgotten to change my shoes. Dirt and mud had affixed deep into the crevices of the heavy-duty rubber soles, which donated little chunks of dried soil as I walked from the back of the courtroom to the witness area. There were little piles of mountain soil left behind with every stride. It looked like I had stolen shoes from a homeless person.

It was only yesterday that I had taken an extra-long walk down a wooded path that was barely passable even for the native wildlife, but I did not let the rugged terrain scare me out of adding another specimen to my collection of California sediment. In the process, my shoes sunk deep into the mud. At one point my foot had slipped from the left shoe and then plunged my sock-clad foot directly into the sticky muck.

I was all too aware of how disheveled I looked only two months before my fortieth birthday. It was not appealing. My appearance did not give the impression that I was an expert at anything, but somehow I managed to muddle through with an air of authority.

Crime scenes never lied, and it was my job to explain the scientific facts to the non-scientific community; but in the end, it was up to the jury to make the right choice of guilt or innocence. Twelve good people ultimately shouldered the justice burden, and I was just the messenger of facts— good or bad.

Body of the Crime:
A Chip Palmer Forensics Mystery

By Jennifer Chase

Whew! Jennifer Chaser has given us a winner with the debut of her new Chip Palmer Forensics Mystery series! It didn't take me long to recognize the main character possessed  some of the characteristics of the "King of the Lab Hodges from the Bones TV series...The main thing is that once you get Hodges involved with the Lab specimens for a case, you can't stop him from talking and working to fit the forensics puzzle together. Chip Palmer is an introvert by nature and by his job requirements. He has withdrawn from the world, lives in a home where nobody knows where it is and, of course, have never been invited there. It has been Palmer's effort to keep himself alive, since his forensics testimonies has caused many criminals to want him dead...

And one of those criminals has given his hitman the job...They call him "The Piper..."
Notoriously known as Peter “The Piper” in and around the underworld of mobsters and their minions, he relished the moniker. It fit him perfectly. He loved to be up close and personal with his targets and chose a pipe as his means of persuasion.

Readers will enjoy meeting 
The Piper... if you like serial killers...

But he's not the "main" serial killer of the story...

Ok, intuitively, I picked this killer out when he was first introduced... but that didn't mean I didn't keep second-guessing my choice. The book is complex; the characters are even more complex! Actually, we get not one, not two, but three psychopaths... Let's call the primary killer in the book Dexter for now... 

Along with a senior officer, Murphy, we meet a new officer who has been assigned to the case...

Special Investigator Kate Rawlins...and she was assigned to work with Chip Palmer rather than Murphy...She quickly figured out that Murphy didn't especially like Palmer and she, as the newbie, was the answer for get the good doctor off his back...
The killer’s mind waffled back and forth, fighting itself. He wanted to burn the body and toss it down a ravine where it would never be discovered. The insatiable need also plagued him to meticulously prepare the body for the police and watch them fumble in their investigation— as they mostly did on other homicides. Soon the case would turn cold— they always did. That aspect excited him.
The woman was in a carefully posed position that told the story of an organized killer who was in complete control, but that was where the structured behavior of the murderer abruptly stopped. In a disturbing contrast, the horrifying viciousness of what was left of the bottom half of the body was the aftermath of a long, torturous assault from someone completely out of control. It suggested a perpetrator who lacked any impulse control and mental stability.

The cold cases were now back in the hot seat of the investigative division. Murphy had no choice now. The Flower Girl Murders had come back to haunt him. The day became worse, much worse.

Special Investigator Kate Rawlins
entered the conference room and

 immediately all heads turned in

 her direction. She was accustomed
 to people looking at her with
 curiosity. She knew the questions
 that were usually asked about
 her.   “ Did you know that you
 don’t look like a cop,” or 
“Did anyone ever tell you that
 you look like a model?"
Kate had heard it all before, and 
 was not interested in the 

 attention or useless flattery. 
She had paid her dues and
 worked her way up 
through the ranks...
I loved watching the developing relationship between Chip and Kate, and I used another fictional character, Kate Beckett, as the perfect woman to play this part! Kate is a gung-ho officer that moved quickly to get into her new case. But immediately Kate did see why Murphy paired her with Palmer... He had some idiosyncrasies that took time to get used to. But once Chip got into the case specifics, she could see the brilliancy of his mind as he went through the details of both the present and the cold cases that were discovered to be from the one killer and dubbed The Flower Girl killer who left a different type of flower held by each woman he'd killed...and posed... 

Soon they were easily working together and both were wondering about the other from a personal side. Chip more than Kate was fearful she wouldn't even consider him, given her beauty and expert work plus his job, his interests, and his personality issues... I am sooooo looking forward to seeing them in future books!

Both Kate and Chip are in personal danger while they are working on The Flower Girl Killer! Action is hot and heavy and readers will have to be on their toes to keep up with who is doing what to whom! Bad guys characters are easily asking to be hated while Kate, Chip and Murphy are each uniquely drawn and demanding of readers' attention!

And wouldn't you know it, Kate is the first-ever visitor to Chip's home!

Of course, it's not the murders that are so intriguing--it is Chase's spin on her characters, how they play their roles, and how they work to solve the case... After all, it is all in the body, that will lead to solving the mysteries! Loved this one--one of Chase's best, especially for a new series!


Jennifer ChaseThe love that author Jennifer Chase has for books and writing began with the weekly trips that her mom would take with her to the local library. Jennifer would load up her arms with books and spend the week pouring over them until the next visit brought the opportunity to discover even more authors and stories. Before long, she was taking pen to paper and a lifelong connection with creating characters and plotlines was made.

Jennifer has found her niche in the writing world by integrating another passion, criminology, into her work. She holds a bachelors degree in police forensics and a masters in criminology, academic pursuits that developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. She also holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling and is a proud member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

This research background has assisted Jennifer in writing multiple crime thrillers, including Compulsion, Dead Game, Silent Partner, Dark Mind and Dead Burn, earning multiple readers' choice awards and other accolades along the way, including a recent gold medal awarded for Dead Burn by a panel of professionals in the publishing industry as part of the International Book Awards. She also has published a non-fiction book, How to Write a Screenplay, which offers a step-by-step guide to this special craft. In addition to her own writing work, Jennifer does some consulting work in the criminology field.

Jennifer Chase was born and raised in California and still lives there with her husband, dogs and cats. In addition to writing and consulting, Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, both at the beach and hiking, and engaging in some amateur photography.

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