We are thrilled to have T. Orr Munro, author of the incredibly gripping new crime novel Breakneck Point, on the blog to share her experiences as a CSI ‘SOCO’ – that’s Scenes of Crime Officer to you and me! – and how this influenced her writing.
As soon as I decided to write a crime novel about a CSI, I knew I would have to delve into my own experiences as a Scenes of Crime Officer many years ago and revisit the minor and major crimes that I attended; crimes I haven’t thought about in a long time.
Firstly, in terms of the science, having done the job definitely gave me the confidence to write about it. I know what a crime scene examination looks like and what forensic tools are at the SOCO’s disposal, so I was able to add those details to Breakneck Point and hopefully add some authenticity to my story.
Secondly, I have been asked how much of Breakneck Point is real. The truth is the scenes that Ally Dymond attends are collages of scenes that I have attended with a heavy dose of imagination – thankfully murders are few and far between in this country! I attended a number of sudden or suspicious deaths, but few turned out to be murder.
However, what is real are the emotions that Ally feels when she attends the scene of a major or minor crime. Once I started thinking about my time as a SOCO, I was surprised at how quickly the memories and the feelings came flooding back. I expected the sadness that I felt for the lives that had been destroyed, often by seemingly minor crimes. However, what surprised me and what I had forgotten was the anger that I also felt at that time. I often felt quite helpless. If I was lucky, I could catch the culprit and stop them causing more hurt and misery, but I couldn’t undo the terrible damage that had already been done. It is those feelings, among others, that I have taken and channeled through the character of CSI Ally Dymond.
We hope you love meeting CSI Ally Dymond in T. Orr Munro’s debut novel Breakneck Point. Will you #FollowTheEvidence?