Diversity in this Action-Packed Thriller

Jul 1, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Sue Hinkin

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of The Burn Patient and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

The Burn Patient is a gritty, action-packed L.A. thriller featuring African-American TV reporter, Beatrice Middleton, and her photographer partner, Lucy Vega. It’s the third in the Vega & Middleton series with a fourth scheduled for release in 2021. If you like Rizolli & Isles, you might enjoy this series, too.

The relationship between Vega and Middleton is based on my real-life partnership many years ago when I was a rookie TV news photog hired by a Midwest station with two FCC sex discrimination suits against them. They badly needed a female hire so I became the token woman in the tech department and my female reporter colleague was the only person of color employed by the station. As the two outliers, we’re often thrown together on assignments.

A feature that makes my work somewhat different than others in the genre is that my stories are very multi-cultural with diverse characters. Beatrice Middleton is from an African-American family in Savannah, Georgia. Lucy Vega was born and raised in Southern California by a Mexican mother from Guadalajara and a Norwegian father from Oslo. After the family was killed in a car accident, Lucy’s uncle and his housekeeper took over her upbringing. I’ve found many authors afraid of writing characters of different races, sexual orientation, religions, and ethnicities from their own—afraid of a making a mistake that reveals a hidden bias or unrealized prejudice. Criticism can be harsh. But that’s our world today—a huge, wonderful melting pot—so I want to embrace it even if I screw up or stumble across my own areas of ignorance and insensitivity. It will be an opportunity to learn. As Tananarive Due, author and American Book Award winner says, “‘Diversity’ should just be called ‘reality.’ Your books, your TV shows, your movies, your articles, your curricula, need to reflect reality.” Overall, I think compassion and due diligence in research are the most important parts of writing about anyone well.

Sue Hinkin

The Burn Patient’s protagonists, Lucy and Bea, are smart, passionate, a little reckless but very effective at what they do. Both have great integrity, hearts of gold, and would risk anything for family and friends. Despite differences in age, race, and experience, their values are such that they are true sisters under the skin. I have been blessed with wonderful women friends and colleagues from whom to draw inspiration.

The Burn Patient Plot Summary
?Lucy thought she’d seen her uncle’s murderer Gary Mercer, Hollywood bad boy and black tar heroin czar, die in Guerrero. Incinerated in a Jeep explosion while trying to put a bullet through her head; she didn’t know officials never found his body. ??Now, back from the dead with a new face, his perverted sights are set on Bea’s beautiful, naïve teenage daughter, Alyssa. Trafficking her into the porn industry would be the perfect instrument of revenge.??While Alyssa sneaks off to audition for the music video that will result in her ruin, Mercer’s henchmen start a brush fire on Lucy’s Malibu ranch. She and Bea struggle to save Alyssa, the ranch, and end Mercer’s reign of terror before it’s too late.

More on The Burn Patient and other books by the author at www.suehinkin.com.
FB: Facebook.com/Sue Hinkin Author
Pinterest: Sue Hinkin Mystery Writer
Podcast with the author: The Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers: It’s a Podcast ?
The Burn Patient is Free on Amazon on July 2Amazon Redirect: The Burn Patient (A Vega and Middleton Novel Book 3)

To enter to win a copy of The Burn Patient, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “patient,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 11, 2020. U.S. residents only for print copy, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A new episode went up last week!

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Raised in Chicago, Sue Hinkin is a former college administrator, TV news photographer, and NBC-TV art department manager. She was a Cinematography Fellow at the American Film Institute. Her debut novel, Deadly Focus, a thriller featuring Los Angeles TV news journalist Bea Jackson and photographer, Lucia Vega, was a 2018 International Book Award finalist. The second book in the series, a Reader’s Choice award winner, Low Country Blood, set in Savannah, GA arrived April 1, 2019. The Burn Patient was released mid-pandemic in April 2020. See more at www.suehinkin.com. A long-time California resident, Hinkin now lives in Colorado.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Love Rizzoli and Isles – Read all
    of the series and watched their
    TV show. Would like to try
    this series. thanks

  2. New series for me , sounds like a good one! tWarner(at)aol(dot)com

  3. We have a winner!


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