Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"Whispers of the Dead"

Spencer Kope is the Crime Analyst for the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. Currently assigned to Detectives Division, he provides case support to detectives and deputies, and is particularly good at identifying possible suspects. In his spare time he developed a database-driven analytical process called Forensic Vehicle Analysis (FVA) used to identify the make, model and year range of vehicles from surveillance photos. It's a tool he's used repeatedly to solve crimes. One of his favorite pastimes is getting lost in a bookstore, and he lives in Washington State.

Kope applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Whispers of the Dead, and reported the following:
Oh, a lot of fun things happen in the first 69 pages of Whispers of the Dead. After solving a brutal murder in the first chapter, the FBI’s elite Special Tracking Unit finds itself in El Paso, Texas, where Special Agent Jimmy Donovan and his partner, Magnus “Steps” Craig, are expected to unravel the story behind a rather peculiar find.

It seems someone doesn’t like Judge Jonathan Ehrlich. This is not surprising to those who know the judge, but then no one has ever expressed their displeasure by leaving a pair of severed feet on the judge’s living room floor. To sort out who might be targeting the judge, Steps and Jimmy must first figure out who the feet belong to.

What they can never reveal, not even to Diane Parker, the team’s top-tier intelligence analyst, is that Steps is a fraud. Oh, he can track like no one else in the world, but he doesn’t use traditional man-tracking methods.

When Steps was eight years old, he got lost in the Cascade Mountains and was clinically dead from hypothermia by the time they found him. After he was revived, he found that his eyes didn’t work like they used to. He could see what some might call the human aura, something he came to call “shine.” The interesting thing about shine is that it’s like DNA or fingerprints: no two are alike. It also attaches itself to everything one touches, which means Steps can walk onto a crime scene and see who walked across the floor, who turned the doorknob, and who held the knife.

The only problem is trying to figure out who the shine belongs to.

By Page 69 of Whispers of the Dead, Steps knows that the suspect, already dubbed the Ice Box Killer, has an ice blue shine. The team is also one computer search away from identifying the first victim ... and that’s about the time the next shoe drops ... so to speak.
Visit Spencer Kope's website.

Writers Read: Spencer Kope.

--Marshal Zeringue