by Marilyn Meredith
This week we have a review of Running With Wild Blood by Gerrie Ferris Finger, along with an interview with Gerrie. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, along with a link to purchase the book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Running With Wild Blood: a Moriah Dru/Richard Lake Mystery By Gerrie Ferris Finger
Review by Marilyn Meredith
Finger never disappoints, and Running with Wild Blood is no exception.
The official blurb says: Richard Lake of the Atlanta Police Department gets a cold case when a witness suddenly gets his memory back. Lake recruits Morah Dru to look into the murder of Juliet Trapp, 16 when she died, and a student at Winters Farm Academy.
Juliet Trapp told her mother she was going to Bike Week with Wild Blood, an outlaw motorcycle gang, over the Christmas break. The police are unable to solve Juliet’s murder after interviews with the bikers. The case roars into high gear when Juliet’s father, Sherman Trapp, is murdered in Chattanooga where Wild Blood is the predominant motorcycle club. Dru discovers that Trapp was trying to find his daughter’s killer, but got too close.
Yes, that’s the overview, but this mystery is so much more.
Dru is a licensed private detective and the owner of Child Chase, which specializes in finding missing children. She and Richard Lake are romantically involved which adds a bit of spice, especially when FBI Agent, Grady Locke, becomes in involved in the investigation and takes a liking to Dru. Besides descriptions of mouth-watering meals eaten by Dru and Lake, the couple’s involvement and riding with motorcycle gangs during the investigation, will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next – and yes, there are some great gun battles. Dru is no wimp when it comes to hand-to-hand combat or handling a gun.
I loved everything about this book. The dialogue and action ring true and it’s obvious the author knew what she was writing about.
Interview with Gerrie Ferris Finger
KRL: How long have you been writing?
Gerrie: That’s an easy one. As long as I can remember! I never kept a diary, per se, but scribbled a lot of ideas and stuffed them in drawers. In elementary school I was always the first one done with my story, and the last one to turn in my arithmetic (is it still called that?) I went on to a career as a newspaper journalist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called and a little about it?
Gerrie: Look Away from Evil was published in 2000 and was the first in the Laura Kate O’Connell Series. Three other books succeeded that: When Serpents Die, Honored Daughters and Wagon Dogs. I have the rights from the publisher and have made all four available as e-books on Kindle. In this series, Laura Kate is called home after the deaths of her uncle and aunt to care for her cousins on a plantation in South Georgia. As southern “aristocracy” people will tell her things that she needs to know in order to solve the mysteries going on around her, including, of course, murder.
KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not what else have you written?
Gerrie:As a columnist for the newspaper I had a book compiled from my columns, but after I retired from writing and editing newspaper copy, I’ve written only novels in the mystery/thriller genre. I think all books contain mysteries, whether non-fiction, mainstream fiction (literary), or genre fiction.
KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series? Please tell us a little about the setting and main character for your most recent book.
Gerrie: Running with Wild Blood features Moriah Dru and Richard Lake. Dru is a private detective and her agency is Child Trace, Inc. Lake is with the Atlanta Police Department.
Lake gets a cold case when a witness suddenly gets his memory back. He recruits Moriah Dru to look into the murder of Juliet Trapp‚ sixteen when she died‚ and a student at Winters Farm Academy. Juliet Trapp had told her mother she was going to Bike Week with Wild Blood‚ an outlaw motorcycle gang‚ over the Christmas break. The police were unable to solve Juliet’s murder after interviews with the bikers.
The case roars into high gear when Juliet’s father‚ Sherman Trapp‚ is murdered in Chattanooga where Wild Blood is the predominant motorcycle club. Dru discovers that Trapp was trying to find the killer of his daughter‚ but got too close. Dru and Lake join forces with a wary Wild Blood to solve the murders and clear the club. To their peril.
There are sub plots in the story: Where is Bunny Raddison, Juliet’s best friend? What role do a few male instructors at Winters Farm Academy play in Juliet’s and Bunny’s tragic lives? Why is Grady, the FBI agent, sticking so close to Dru?
Other books in the series:
#1 The End Game: Two sisters disappear. Dru learns they are bound for the overseas sex slave trade, and someone in their neighborhood has to know how and who.
#2 The Last Temptation: The case takes Dru to the California desert where the glitzy characters of Palm Springs have a lot to hide, and bury.
#3 The Devil Laughed: The grapes of wine country hold secrets of a past where four people and a sailboat disappeared four years ago.
#4 Murmurs of Insanity: Art as murder; murder as art. Dru must learn the path to both.
KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?
Gerrie:I have a theme, but mostly to entertain. See the answer above where I write a few lines about the first four books in the series. In Running with Wild Blood it’s about misconceptions of people like bikers. The majority is happy to live within their culture unaffected by the general public’s notions of them– while in the midst of wealth and luxury there resides an unfathomable evil hard to comprehend. That’s all I can say.
KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?
Gerrie:I write every day, usually in the afternoon when all the “chores” are out of the way and I can concentrate on creating or editing.
KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?
Gerrie:I do not outline, per se, but I have a general idea where the plot is going and who the victims and bad buys are. It can be difficult, but that’s what revising and editing are all about. You don’t want to mention something or refer to someone in a chapter when you haven’t set the stage or introduced the character yet.
KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Gerrie:Like everyone I’ve garnered my share of rejections.
KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?
Gerrie:I entered the Malice Domestic/St. Martin’s Best First Traditional Novel contest in 2009 and was accepted for publication at Minotaur by renowned mystery editor, Ruth Cavin.
KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?
Gerrie:I’ve been rained out by a hurricane in Del Ray Florida–shut out, no one appears–and been told by buyers that they would be buying online after reading half the book. No kidding, a woman in Barnes & Noble took the book to the cafe and, over coffee, read (or skimmed) half of it, even dog-earring the page where she quit. She brought me a piece of notebook paper to sign. I did. I do more regional signings, book fairs and large festivals. I’ve gotten to know the booksellers in my area (the South) and they are happy to host me any time I’d like to come and meet and greet and sign for their buyers. It’s more intimate and rewarding.
KRL: Writing heroes?
Gerrie: Many including Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, William Shakespeare, Patricia Wentworth, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Greg Iles, Dennis Lehane, P. D. James, Henry James -Joyce Carol Oates–the list is truly endless.
KRL: What kind of research do you do?
Gerrie:Whatever it takes–call people, internet, library, go to the scene.
KRL: What do you read?
Gerrie: Anything and everything from community newspaper ads to New York Times best sellers–mainstream or genre, fiction, non-fiction and blogs.
KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?
Gerrie: Do not give up. If you’ve just started writing, don’t automatically succumb to publishing the book yourself. Go the traditional route first. Try for an agent. Listen to their criticisms and then self-edit. When you think your book is just about perfect, hire a professional to edit it.
KRL: How do you feel about the growing popularity of e-books?
Gerrie: I’m all for them. There is no bad book; there’s bad writing, though, and unedited e-books can be problematic. My novels are all available as e-books and sell well as such. My publishers are the best when it comes to copy editing. I read on Kindle.
KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?
KRL: How do you compete in an overcrowded market?
Gerrie: Like most authors in the business: the web, blogging, social networks, advertising by getting my name in the newspapers where I’ll be and when, getting to know local librarians and getting a publicist.
Today, even the biggest publishing houses don’t shell out the money they used to in order to promote their authors. And since books don’t sell themselves (unless you’re a really big name) we authors have to engage in self-promotion. (And hope we don’t turn off potential readers by over-doing it.)
To enter to win a copy of Running With Wild Blood simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Running,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 28, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
Use this link to purchase a copy of the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore: