Saturday, December 13, 2014

Kathy Bennett Guest Post

I want to thank Tasha for having me as a guest on her blog. I love talking about how I came to be a writer and how I put my stories together.

My promise to my readers is that I write authentic crime while telling arresting stories. As a retired twenty-one year veteran of the Los Angeles Police department, I weave small bits and pieces of my experiences as a police officer into the stories I write.

Police work is not always pretty and sometimes the reality can be troubling to those who don't wear the badge. Those who do wear the badge usually learn coping mechanisms for the evil acts people inflict on one another. Most police officers like to think they are trained to handle whatever the streets throw at them – and usually they are prepared.

However, a year or so ago, police officers all over Southern California and, in particular, the LAPD were on edge – and with good reason. A former LAPD officer felt he'd been wrongly fired from the department and wrote a rambling statement outlining his grievances. He named the people he held responsible and threatened to murder them. Not satisfied with documenting how he felt he'd been wronged, he went on a killing spree. He started with the daughter of an LAPD captain and the daughter's fiancĂ©. Then he declared war on police officers and started killing them.

Law enforcement officers are conscious of the fact they have an imaginary target painted on their backs. Their uniforms and marked vehicles are intended to identify who they are and what they do. But in this instance, officers in Southern California were being hunted by a former cop, someone who knew their tactics and how police would respond.

After identifying the suspect, law enforcement officers all over the country were on the lookout for the former cop, and the whole Southland was on edge. It was this fear and anxiety consuming the community and law enforcement that I wanted to capture in my book, A Deadly Denial.

I was already retired from the LAPD when the manhunt occurred, but my husband was still an active LAPD officer. On the night when the disgruntled cop's so-called 'manifesto' was discovered on Facebook, my husband came home and told me that he'd known that particular officer while the suspect was a recruit. The recruit officer had injured himself during training and he had been assigned to my husband's unit, to assist in preparing shooting targets for other recruit officers.  

After my husband told me the story, together we read on Facebook the long-winded writings of the revengeful former officer. The more I read, the more alarmed I became. My home office faces the street and I sit in front of a large window. I reached over and pulled down the window shade. My husband thought I was over-reacting. But as we would later learn, the fugitive's crime-spree continued and police officers from other law enforcement agencies paid with their lives.

In my book, A Deadly Denial, LAPD officers are being murdered every few days. While my novel doesn't mirror the actual event, I think I've captured the mood and intensity of the search for a suspect who has committed multiple murders – including those of police officers. While cops are specially trained for emergencies, crimes, and disasters, having another officer intent on murdering you is not taught in the police academy – at least not prior to the actual incident I've just recounted.

Cops killing cops is the stuff that's supposed to be fictional, but I'm sad to say in Southern California we learned all too well it can happen. Hopefully from now on, the only place we'll see a police officer killing another cop is in a fictionalized account…something that an author, like me, would write.  

 Details for A Deadly Denial

Title: A Deadly Denial
Series: LAPD Detective Maddie Divine, Book 3
Release Date: July 30, 2014
Pages: 293 pages
Publisher: Kathy Bennett
Age: Adult! These books feature commonly used street language and violence. 
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Book Summary:
Someone is killing cops in Los Angeles. Detective Maddie Divine is assigned to the elite Robbery Homicide Division to join the hunt for the cop killer. With officers being murdered every few days, the suspect list grows longer as secrets, deceit, and denials are uncovered.

Maddie Divine – Maddie's keeping a secret and if her co-workers knew, they'd put her in a padded cell and give her a rubber gun. Meanwhile, her former partner, Cash McCool, has some explaining to do. But will she accept his justification for his actions? 

Cash McCool – He and Maddie were on the brink of a relationship. What drove him away, and how does he react when he and Maddie are assigned to track the cop killer together?

Rex Rango – Why can't this newlywed cop say no to a female deputy chief and stay out of her bed? He thinks he's gotten away with his betrayal, but he's wrong.

Jill Rango – Two months after her wedding, personal and professional scandals have Jill fighting to hang on to her husband and her badge. When one of her secrets is exposed, she's suddenly on the short-list for a murder rap. 

Holly Banks – Married to an older man, Holly has manipulated men all her life. As her list of lies increase, the LAPD's suspicions grow that Holly is involved in something a lot more serious than artful string-pulling. Holly says she's innocent…but is she telling the truth?

Edison Watts – The early-morning radio 'shock-jock' fans the flames of alleged police corruption, while protecting his reputation, king-sized ego, and secrets of his own. Will his whole empire be lost as a result of one drunken mistake?

Jacqueline Girrard – After turning in a key piece of incriminating evidence in a murder investigation, the statuesque stunner sets her sights on Maddie's partner. Will the easy-going detective jeopardize the investigation by falling victim to Jacqueline's charms?

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About Kathy Bennett:
Kathy Bennett is no stranger to murder and mayhem. She served twenty-nine years with the Los Angeles Police Department – eight as a civilian employee and twenty-one years as a sworn police officer. While most of her career was spent in a patrol car, she’s also been a Firearms Instructor at the LAPD Academy, a crime analyst in the “War Room”, a Field Training Officer, a Senior Lead Officer, and worked undercover in various assignments. Kathy was honored to be named Officer of the Year in 1997.
On the personal side, she’s married to a Los Angeles Police Officer, Rick and they have one daughter and one granddaughter. Kathy likes to go hiking with Rick and their two Labrador Retrievers, incorporating photography into many of their adventures. Attempting to recapture some of the excitement of working the streets, Kathy can periodically be found in Las Vegas risking a few bucks.  


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