Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Guest Post : Code Runner by Rosie Claverton

Book Two of The Amy Lane Mysteries
Ex-con Jason Carr has faced down the toughest thugs in Cardiff, but being assistant to a brilliant, eccentric hacker who hasn’t been outdoors in ten years has its own challenges. Still, he and Amy Lane can solve cases even the cops can’t crack. And when a corpse washes up on a beach, Jason can’t resist chasing the clues—or defying Amy by infiltrating the very gangs he once escaped.
Amy is distraught when Jason’s pursuit gets him framed for murder. He’s thrown back in prison where he’s vulnerable to people who want him dead. He needs Amy to prove his innocence. Fast.
But Amy hasn’t been honest with him—her panic attacks aren’t getting better. And now, with everything that makes her feel safe ripped away, she must stand alone, using her technological skills to expose a baffling conspiracy and a new kind of online crime. Can she clear Jason’s name before danger closes in?
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                                                             Guest Post:
The Search History of a Crime Novelist

It is a long-running joke among writers that their Google search history must have landed them on several government watchlists. Here are some of the highlights from writing Code Runner, Book Two in The Amy Lane Mysteries:

"liver temp in submerged bodies"
My reason: I wanted to know how accurately time of death could be calculated in a body found underwater. As it turns out, time of death is a pretty inexact science in the first place and water, particularly seawater, complicates things further. 
Watchlist reason: This woman is clearly trying to dispose of a body in water.

"preserving wet paper as evidence"
My reason: My detectives find a wet piece of paper and they need to preserve it. I asked Dr Laura Walton-Williams and Dr Claire Gwinnett, lecturers in underwater forensics at the University of Staffordshire, to help me out with this and other tricky questions. Apparently, the key is to flatten the paper by weighting the corners BEFORE it dries. This maximises the chances of preserving the evidence.
Watchlist reason: This criminal is either trying to destroy evidence with water or recover something incriminating.

"ankle GPS tracking device"
My reason:  My hacker Amy Lane loves GPS trackers. She exploits them in devices that already possess them - phones, tablets, etc. - and she plants them on her nearest and dearest to make sure she can find them again. Which basically means her assistant, Jason Carr. I was investigating all the different ways one might plant a GPS tracker - including subdermal - and this was one of them. It is also, of course, used by law enforcement to ensure criminals keep to curfews and geographical restrictions.
Watchlist reason: This spy is attempting to track down our citizens.

"illegal firearms uk"
My reason: It's good to know exactly how much your bad guys are breaking the law when they act out. Have they stolen someone's legitamate shotgun? Do they, in fact, have a licence? Or are they using a weapon that is completely and utterly illegal, like a complimentary search I performed: "uzi submachine gun". That's all. Honest, guv.
Watchlist reason: The terrorist is obtaining weapons! MOVE IN!

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