Today, I’m super pleased to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley, who has penned a fantastic new standalone novel. For my stop I have managed to interview DI Ray Patrick, the main protagonist from Dead Blind.
First up the Blurb:
How do you identify a ruthless killer when you can’t even recognise your own face in a mirror?
Returning to work following an accident, Detective Inspector Ray Patrick refuses to disclose he now lives with face blindness – an inability to recognise faces.
As Ray deceives his team he is pulled into a police operation that targets an international trade in human organs. And when he attempts to bring the organisation down, Ray is witness to a savage murder.
But it’s a killer he will never remember.
The pressure mounts as Ray attempts to keep his secret and solve the case alone. With only his ex-wife as a confidant, he feels progressively isolated.
Can he escape with his career and his life intact?
Now for the Interview:
Location: Witness interview room, Stoke Newington police station.
Interviewer: Rachel Emms, (RE), Reporter for CKT blog
Interviewee: DI Ray Patrick, (RP), Detective Inspector
RE: Thank you for meeting with me Detective Inspector Patrick, or can I call you Ray? How long have you been in the force?
RP: Pleased to meet you, Rachel and yes, feel free to call me Ray. I’ve been in the job so many years I’ve lost count now, probably about 17 years. I spent a good few years in uniform before I joined CID and then did several years as a detective constable getting the basic skills under my belt, then had a stint in a couple of different departments to get a feel for what it was I really wanted to do before I went for promotion. Then I took my exams. First my sergeants exam and then my inspectors. And here we are now, I am a detective inspector of my own unit.
RE: How do you get on with the rest of your team? Must be difficult after everything…
RP: My team are great. They really are. We deal with some real difficult cases so we have to lean on each other. We trust each other and we know that we, as a team, are the only people who truly understand what it is like to do what we do. To understand what it’s like to tell a parent a child is dead or to inform a child that they are not going to see daddy again because of some thoughtless crime. Or, like the recent case, to deal with the senseless loss of lives due to the desperate actions of people who need organs because their own are failing. We see the dark side of life and it can take a real toll on you. But we are driven, each and every member of the team, and I know I can rely on them. It also helps to go out together and grab a beer.
RE: I’ve heard you’ve had a tough time of it recently. How did you come to have, I look down at my notebook, prosopagnosia, or rather face blindness? I think that’s what the nurse said. What does that even mean?
RP: Elaine Hart, my DS, and I were involved in the pursuit of a guy we wanted for the murder of a couple of women. His driving was erratic, the weather was horrendous and the result was a nasty accident and a head injury which, as you say, means I now live with prosopagnosia.
RE: I’m surprised he’s being so candid with me. How did you feel about it when you heard the diagnosis? Must’ve hurt?
RP: The most painful part of it was the fact that I couldn’t recognise my two children. The fear and upset I brought them when I asked who they were that first time I saw them when I woke up was devastating. I never want to cause them that kind of pain. Looking back at that day, it really was a mess.
RE: I have a thought, once you know who someone is, does that mean you will be able to recognise them again? I mean do you even know who your own kids are now? I lean forward.
RP: No, I never know who anyone is. No matter how many times I see them I will never remember them. Imagine seeing the faces you know upside down and with no hair – you can see the features but you can’t make out who it is. That’s what it is like. I can’t even recognise myself in a mirror. It’s heart-breaking with the children, but Helen, my ex-wife, she’s always with me and supports me with them, makes sure I don’t scare them with my confusion. Luckily one is a boy and the other a girl!
RE: I’m starting to feel for this guy. Must be pretty difficult to deal with as a police officer. How can you expect to keep it hidden?
RP: People with face blindness live by using what we call identifiers. We use markers to recognise people. So, I’ll maybe know you by the way you walk, your accent and your hair. But if you changed your hairstyle or I saw you in a setting I wasn’t expecting to see you in, I wouldn’t know you. So, you would have to forgive me and try not to be offended. Because I am at work I know the identifiers for my team, for the people around me, I can work with it.
RE: Aren’t you afraid you will slip up because of your illness? Don’t you feel it will affect your ability to do your job? This is the thing I am dying to know.
RP: If I was working the frontline, in uniform, going out to immediate response jobs, where there is a need to identify offenders on the scene, then I would be more concerned. I would probably have to walk away from the police service, take a medical pension. But, as it is, we turn up after someone has been murdered, the killer is long gone, our job is steady and I don’t see a situation where I would need to do an identification.
RE: One last question if I may, Ray. I look around and continue in a whisper. I heard something bad went down and you witnessed it. How do you expect to catch the killer if you can’t really recognise them? You must have a plan…I won’t tell.
RP: Ah, yes. This was unexpected. This really was not the normal turn of events. I’m sorry. I can’t say much more about this, it’s an ongoing case, I’m sure you understand.
RE: Great another brick wall.
A massive thank you to Rebecca for answering my questions for DI Ray Patrick – an interesting protagonist!
About the Author:
Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective. She lives in the UK with her family and her two cockapoo’s Alfie and Lola, who keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.
She writes the DI Hannah Robbins police procedural series and has also released a standalone novel, Dead Blind, about a cop who acquires prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness.
Intrigued? Dead Blind is out now and can be ordered from Amazon here.