My next release which came out in April 2011, was inspired by a number of things. AA group of Amber Quill authors were developing a PAX, a collection of five tales with a common theme. This one was called Crime and Punishment. Perhaps influenced by Nora Robert's enigmatic or paradoxical titles, I came up with Guilty by Innocence as a vignette of a man waking in the midst of a horrific crime scene and no memory of what has happened there only to be arrested for the grizzly murders surrounding him.
The detective has a heap of unanswered questions about the scene--he stepped out of some shadows shortly after that first scene appeared to me--and a gut feeling the obvious culprit is really not guilty but he is also determined that no one will escape justice on the basis of bad police work on his part. Thus the stage and conflict is set.
I've written a lot of "police procedural" fiction over the years. My yet unfinished trilogy written as Gwynn Morgan, The Copper Stars of Cochise (Penny's Luck and Mollie's McGuire, both now out of print) were early efforts in that vein. My late husband was in or near law enforcement for much of his working years and my middle step-son went into corrections and is now the senior sergeant in the Cochise County, AZ jail staff so I heard a lot of tales and had some technical advisers handy. My youngest brother was also an attorney and just getting into defense and criminal work at his untimely death, another resource.
My late hubby got really incensed at the flamboyant and preposterous stuff presented in many movies and TV shows and even in some books. As a result I have avoided those fifty car chases clear across Texas and most of the "Dirty Harry" drama. This may make some of the stories less thrilling but at least I know they are pretty realistic. While some scenes, especially some of the legal proceedings, may take some liberties with fact and common practice, the actual police work is pretty close to being dead on. Detectives are not always doing glamorous and exciting stuff and there is a lot of blood and guts to deal with in these violent times. I set this story in El Paso, TX which has become a battle ground for the drug cartels and smuggling issues with shooting wars sometimes spilling across the border. I think most of the officers who work there would nod at my portrayal of their city. It isn't pretty. Guilty by Innocence is one of my grittier works but of course it is a romance and thus has a happy ending, or at least happy-for-now.