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The Front Line of Crime

Author Interview with Ian Patrick

Plain Dealing is a suspense novel about a group of cops in South Africa that are caught executing criminals and then must try to cover it up. This is the third book in the The Ryder Quartet series. What is the central theme that you have tried to carry through all four books?

The central theme I have pursued through the four books is about crime, justice and morality: at what point do the police (and many readers) eschew morality for the sake of retribution? What is the tipping point for officers of the law when the institutions of law and justice are unable to contain heinous crime?

The story takes place in South Africa. I enjoyed the detail of that backdrop, it seemed more exotic than most urban cities. What was the decision for that setting?

The decision for the setting of the four books in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, is that many people consider this area to be the crime capital of the world (with the dubious distinction, in recent years, of having the highest murder rate for a country not at war).

Plain Dealing addresses the emotional and ethical choices that law enforcement officials handle on a daily basis. Were there any elements in the story that you pulled from real life, or was it all just fiction?

Although the books are fiction, almost every single crime depicted in the books has its counterpart in real life. Thorough research was undertaken, including tours to the front line of crime and discussions with forensics experts, detectives, and victims of crime. Almost every crime scene was personally visited by me in order to check on the veracity of the physical descriptions.

In the story, six cops execute some criminals and Detective Jeremy Ryder must try to stop them. What was your inspiration for Jeremy Ryders character and his approach to solving crimes?

My inspiration for the character of Jeremy Ryder was multifaceted. My father was a police detective. I have interviewed many detectives. And I have been influenced over many years by characters that I have enjoyed in literature. There is in Jeremy Ryder a little of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character, a little of my father, a little of my wife, a little – I suppose – of myself. But he is in essence entirely a character of fiction. I took great care to ensure that he is not guilty of typical macho or even misogynist behavior. One way I have tried to do this is to depict his wife and other women in the stories as strong, perceptive, and original thinkers and women of action.

The Ryder Quartet is a collection of 4 books. Death Dealing being the last one out. Do you see a chance to continue the story in a different storyline or are you working on a completely new novel?

I am currently working on a fifth novel that is set in the same location. This one is based around one of the characters that we meet in the quartet, but it will not involve Ryder and his companions. I will, though, return to Ryder and his colleagues in a future work. He is now under my skin and I think of him daily.

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Plain DealingAfter midnight on a moonlit beach six policemen led by a top detective execute four criminals who have perpetrated the most heinous rape, mutilation and murder of a young woman. The police are unaware that there is a witness to the executions. The action that follows is set against dubious tactical, ethical and sometimes criminal choices faced by the central characters. The reader is left with a stark image of moral ambiguity as the police struggle to maintain courageous and precarious control of the crime that engulfs them, and the work of ‘plain dealing’ cops comes under scrutiny.

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A Lieutenant Beaudry Novel

Michael Kent authorBlood Tail is a murder mystery novel set in Canada with twists at every turn and the plot going deeper than just who killed who. When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?

I took the advice from one of my favorite authors Janet Evanovich. I do a rough outline of most of the novel, including dropping a red herring, or some foreshadowing that may or may not happen. But, in the writing, things do change and I have to modify as the tale progresses.

I enjoyed the depth of the main character, Lieutenant Beaudry. What was your process to bring that character to life?

I planned a series knowing that the main characters would appear regularly. I wrote a short background and description for each, more in depth for Beaudry. I’m still adding details that make him bigger that life (no pun on his size).

Did you do any research for this novel? Regarding crime and murder and how the police department handles those things?

I don’t read, I devour mysteries from many top selling authors; it’s the best way to learn the craft. I also had the opportunity to attend The Writer’s Police Academy ( where I gained a wealth of hands-on knowledge from experts in law enforcement and seasoned police instructors. As I write, if in doubt, I Google to check the facts.

Blood Tail is the first book in the Lieutenant Beaudry series. What can you tell us about what’s next for Lieutenant Beaudry and when the next book will be available?

Each Beaudry adventure is a ‘stand-alone.’ Reading the prior one is not required (but would be nice). His next is ‘Folded Dreams’ a bit more violent as Beaudry vents some of his frustrations at losing his wife. He’s in a gun battle with —- Oh, can’t spill the beans. The novel is available on Amazon Kindle and print. Next one up is ‘Twice Dead’ publication in May 2016.

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Blood Tail (Lieutenant Beaudry Novels Book 1)Lieutenant Beaudry inherits a bloodbath in upper Westmount, the richest postal code in Canada. A prominent lawyer and TV host was beaten and shot, his bodyguard hacked to death. A Russian money-laundering operation, a psychopathic Korean playboy, a sleazy private eye, and an international hit team are somehow connected, and Beaudry must close the case without shooting anyone. Meanwhile, his ex-wife has run off in his vintage muscle car, and Internal Affairs is poking around—in other words, he’s having a normal week. Buy Now From

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