The scene of the crime


CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS / @CSI?cafe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In order to write a good crime scene, I believe that you should think of it as making your own set of Clue cards.  You, of course, have who, with what, and where.  Once you have established these criteria, you can get on with the story.  The first murder scene in my novel, The Corporate Whore of Babylon, is in the bedroom of William Babble, a multimillionaire.  Now, the next thing that has to be established is with what.  To determine this, you would have to examine the corpse.  In the beginning of my novel, the what is unclear as the main character, Detective James Gladd finds out.  The what is provided by the coroner, Doctor Ned Chang.  Mr. Babble had been murdered by a combination of drugs which are administered to Death Row inmates by lethal injection.

I used this means for the primary murder for several reasons.  1.) I don’t ever remember this being used as a murder weapon before, 2.) it is a means of introducing other characters, or suspects, into the story, and 3.) the fact that these chemicals are not being produced for this purpose as they used to be.  The third fact helps the main character narrow down on possible suspects.

The third fact is also relevant because the producers of the chemicals are in different states.  Once the places that have been identified as producers have been contacted, Gladd is in a position of trying to decide whether to go to these states or simply try to speak to the company owners.  One of the producers is located in Georgia and, at this point in the story, another important character is introduced.  His name is Alex Dali, a techno geek with a penchant for disguises.  When these two characters finally meet,  it is decided to sent Dali to Georgia posing as a potential investor.  While in Georgia, Dali visits the Georgia Guide Stones, a monument which he discovers may have some sort of connection with William Babble’s murder.  So, one thing leads to another, and the clues are all set in place.



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