What do you mean, my characters aren’t developed?!

Here’s a not-so-good review of Too Much Blood, which is the subject of this blog and self-flagellation.

REVIEW:
TOO MUCH BLOOD, A THRILLER in which author, Jane Bennett Munro takes the main character, Toni Day and wakes her in the middle of the night. An autopsy needs to be performed on a low life attorney, Jay Braithwaite Burke. In the investigation to find out what killed the lawyer, Day discovers quite a few people who had a reason to take him out.
 
On the list are most of her friends from the hospital where she works, her neighbors and many more.Burke was involved in some not so kosher deals which drew the attention of FBI agents.  He was also father of many children with many women. He leaves an odd condition in his will so the  children will be taken care of.
this is one big web.  Along with the low life lawyer, Day has an idea her husband is not being so faithful. Looks like the pathologist has a full plate.

 Ms. Munro herself is a 34 year pathologist, so writing the medical parts of the book are second nature to her.
The author wrote a good thriller with lots of webs to untangle.I only have one complaint with the book.  too many characters to keep up with.  There wasn’t time and room in the book to go into depth on most of the characters.

This was a good read but there just wasn”t enough depth on the characters and the story kept going back and forth all the time, never giving a chance to get to know the characters and their real situations.

I would give this book 3.5 STARS.

Well, I guess that’s better than no stars at all. I’ve sent my books out to be given honest reviews, and that’s what I wanted to get. I shouldn’t complain when I get constructive criticism because that’s what I wanted to get. Most of my reviews have been 5 stars so far, so getting one for 3.5 stars is a bit of a dash of cold water in the face. No matter. It’s life for an aspiring author.

My first reaction was What do you mean, my characters aren’t developed? Of course they’re developed. I spent lots of time developing them. But wait. I did that in Murder Under the Microscope. I didn’t re-do it in Too Much Blood. That’s probably a common mistake inexperienced authors make when writing a series. They assume everybody’s read the first one. But they haven’t.

Oops.

Besides which, there are an awful lot of characters in Too Much Blood. Many of them are children, who are peripheral. Why did I make the Maynards and the Burkes so prolific in the first place? I’m not a mother, so I didn’t give Toni children. I didn’t think I’d be able to make her convincing as a mother. So I gave the kids to her best friend and next door neighbor, Jodi Maynard.

I didn’t need to give Jay Braithwaite Burke so many children. I did so to make him look like more of a sleaze, leaving not only his wife but four children besides.

Mea culpa.

It’s too late to do anything about that in Grievous Bodily Harm; it’s already in publication. But I took the criticism to heart. In Death by Autopsy, I’m developing the pure living bejeezus out of my characters, just as if it were the first book in the series.

Let it never be said that I can’t learn from my mistakes. Thanks Goodreads, for setting me straight.

 

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The Killer Pathologist

 

No, this is not about Jack Kevorkian. This is about reasons for hiring a pathologist to kill someone, on the premise that a pathologist might be able to commit the perfect murder in which there would be no trace of any usable forensic evidence.

NCIS fans will remember Abby threatening to kill McGee (or was it Tony?) without leaving any forensic evidence. Someone like Abby might just be able to pull that off. A pathologist, however…I don’t know. It would have to be someone intimately involved with crime scenes, which a generalist like me would not be.

After all the CSI and similar shows on TV, anybody should be smart enough to wear gloves, shoe covers, a hair cover, disposable clothing, throw the murder weapon into the river, and not leave a cigarette butt lying around. Anybody should be smart enough not to come to the funeral, or return to the crime scene, or brag about it to someone else. Obviously there should not be any accomplices, or any witnesses. There should have been no talk about being so mad at the victim you’d like to kill him, or even wish him dead. It would be even better if the murderer lived alone and didn’t have to account for his whereabouts to family members or anyone else.

(I’m using he and him in the generic sense here, not implying that only a male would either commit a murder or be a physician.)

None of this is specific to a pathologist, however. A pathologist, just by virtue of working in a hospital, would have access to much more subtle ways of killing someone. Although anybody can buy latex gloves in the paint department of Home Depot, where would one dispose of them safely? Fingerprints can be gotten off the insides of gloves these days. One might even be able to buy shoe covers and hair covers, and maybe even surgical scrubs, but again, safe disposal is a problem.

But one could dispose of bloody disposable protective gear in a red biohazard bag in a hospital, and nobody would ever open that bag once Housekeeping had taken it away to the incinerator. Even before that, nobody in his right mind would go rummaging around in a bag full of contaminated medical waste. It’s against all hospital policy dealing with biohazards. Likewise, one could buy needles and syringes in the drugstore, but how would one dispose of them after use? Only people who inject themselves regularly, like diabetics, have proper sharps containers in their homes. In the hospital, there are sharps containers everywhere, and nobody is allowed to go rummaging around in them. Once they’re full, off they go to the incinerator. The incinerator, by the way, is at a disposal center that contracts with hospitals to destroy medical waste, and picks it up on a regular basis. 

Practically any hospital employee would have that kind of access.

A pathologist, or indeed any physician, could obtain drugs to use as a murder weapon. Like potassium chloride or insulin. Or succinylcholine, which was used in Murder under the Microscope. If said pathologist ended up doing the autopsy, he could conceal any incriminating findings. The problem for a pathologist would be that they aren’t normally seen around places where drugs are kept, and hospitals being what they are, somebody would be sure to see him and remark upon it. In that scenario, perhaps a surgeon or anesthesiologist might be a better candidate for a murderer. Or a nurse. Or a pharmacist.

The point being, I guess, that maybe a pathologist isn’t necessarily the best candidate to do murder for hire. A pathologist could, however, manipulate the autopsy findings.

The biggest problem would be finding a pathologist that would do it in the first place. He’d have to be awfully desperate for money.

Like, for example, he’d just lost everything in a Ponzi scheme.