Today I have a real treat for you for the A to Z Challenge. You have all met my good friend and fellow author, Susan Matthews. Well, she has asked the hero of her newest release, The White Carnation, Book One in the Harvester Series, Detective Rob Halliday to drop by for an interview.
Rob is in the middle of a brutal case that honestly sends chills down my spine. He doesn't have much time to spend with us so let's get right to it.
An Interview with Rob Halliday, main character in The White Carnation, Book One in the Harvester Series...
Nancy: Good morning, Detective. Thank you for joining me today.
Rob: It’s a pleasure to be here, Nancy. Thanks for having me.
Nancy: It’s always nice for my readers to meet a hero. Now, tell us a bit about your career with Boston PD.
Rob: I started as a street cop. Eventually worked my way up to Narcotics where I did some undercover work, followed by a short term posting in Major Crimes and then four years ago, I did a stint in Vice. I was promoted to Homicide eighteen months ago. There isn’t much about Boston’s underbelly that I don’t know or haven’t seen.
Nancy: I understand BPD is working a joint case with the FBI and you’re the liaison.
Rob: That’s right. We’re working the Harvester murder case together.
Nancy: (shivers) The Harvester is the most prolific serial killer around here since the Boston Strangler. How many bodies has he left for you?
Rob: Three to date, but we’ll catch him. Every criminal gets cocky and makes a mistake, and when he does, we’ll find him.
Nancy: I heard there are eerie details about the body, some kind of ritualism?
Rob: You know I can’t answer that, Nancy, but I will say there are rituals involved in every serial killer case. They’re part and parcel of the killer’s MO.
Nancy: I understand all of the victims had given birth shortly before their deaths. Can you comment on that?
Rob: That’s correct. The medical examiner believed the women gave birth prior to their deaths and physical evidence indicates they nursed the infants.
Nancy: Have you found the children’s bodies?
Rob: There’s nothing to suggest the children have been killed. The theory we’re working on right now is that this is in part a baby mill, and the children are being sold for adoption on the black market.
Nancy: That’s terrible.
Rob: It is, but it’s a practice that’s been going on for years. Healthy white babies command the highest prices. The FBI has a task force working with Interpol and other overseas law enforcement agencies. If we can find the children, we’ll find the Harvester.
Nancy: You don’t sound too optimistic.
Rob: Well, the first child’s been missing a year. The more time passes, the harder it is to find a trail.
Nancy: I see. One last question. Eighteen months ago, you were engaged to Faye Lewis, the former Boston Examiner Crime Beat reporter involved in that scandal. Rumor has it you had something to do with the story she filed.
Rob: No comment. This interview is over. I have to go.
I guess I asked one to many questions. :(
Susanne did leave behind a blurb and excerpt of The White Carnation. I can't wait to read my copy and find out why asking about Faye Lewis had Rob running scared.
Official blurb for The White Carnation
The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.
For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée.
Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?
Excerpt # 3 The White Carnation
Twenty minutes later, the unmarked police sedan pulled up behind the black and white outside the brownstone. The paramedics were parked farther along the street, just ahead of the police car, reducing traffic to a single lane. The coroner’s van pulled up behind them. Rob got out and approached the coroner.
“Amos, I didn’t expect to see you here so soon. I called for a bus, not the meat wagon.”
“Paramedics were nearby so Logan got here quickly. He radioed in—exsanguination due to a lacerated throat. He’s still up there. Nothing he can do for the victim, but your fiancée is taking it hard.”
“The victim was like a second mother to her.”
Your fiancée—Amos’s words were true once, but never again. There was no way Rob would hitch his wagon to a woman who could believe he’d betray her like that, a woman who’d put her job so far ahead of him, he’d barely been on her radar at times. The sex had been great, but love was supposed to be more than that. Still, she’d reached out to him. He took the stairs to the brownstone two at a time, his lean, muscular body having no problem with the climb. He flashed his badge at the officer who stood guarding the door. “Anyone showing any interest?”
“No, Detective. According to the concierge, the people in number five are in Europe, and I don’t think the rest of the residents are home from work yet. Looks like a robbery—the place has been tossed pretty good—and there’s no damage to the door, so she must have let them in. Logan says her throat’s been slit from behind.”
“Where’s Ms. Lewis?”
“In the living room with Logan. He wanted to take her to the ER—claims she’s in shock. I told him she had to stay put until you arrived. He’s pissed at me. Says I’m interfering with his job. He seems pretty friendly with her. I heard she’s some big shot investigative reporter.” He chuckled. “Some crime reporter—she’s puked a couple of times already.” He continued to laugh. Rob’s face must have reflected the anger moving to the surface because the guard choked it off.
“Rick Logan is one of the best paramedics we have. For the record, McMillan,” Rob read the nameplate on the policeman’s uniform, “the next time he says someone has to go the ER, you’d better damn well listen to him. And as for Ms. Lewis, the victim was a personal friend. It’s different when the victim’s someone you know.” His voice was clipped, his displeasure obvious.
Rob turned and entered the apartment. He’d learned the need to remain objective in order to do the job properly, but as he’d told the young officer, it was different when it was personal. Not only had the victim been an acquaintance, Faye was in there. He swallowed and tried to find the emotional distance he needed.
The place was a mess, just as the officer had said. He looked around quickly, his trained eye taking in everything in an instant—the wallet on the table, money on the floor mixed with the victim’s blood, the take-out bag, Faye’s purse and its scattered contents. Whatever this had been, it hadn’t been a routine robbery. Someone had been looking for something other than the usual snatch and grab items, so what were they after? What could Mrs. Green have that was worth dying for?
He found Faye sitting on the living-room sofa with Logan. Her face was red and blotchy, her blue-green eyes mascara-rimmed from her tears, and her clothing disheveled and covered in blood. She stood and moved forward, stopping before she reached him. Wrapping her arms around herself, she looked young and vulnerable, not a bit like the bitter, angry woman she’d been the last time he’d seen her.
About the author:
Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
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The White Carnation is available in e-book form from most major retailers. Visit my website http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/ for direct purchase links to this and the rest of my books.
I can't thank Susanne Matthews enough for twisting Rob Halliday's arm to give us an interview. If you have any questions for Susanne, Rob or her exciting new Romantic Suspense,The White Carnation, please just drop her a line in Comments before.
Have a wonderful day.
Hugs to all,
Nancy C. Weeks