On the other side of the crime tape with T. Orr Munro

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?

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