Monday, September 19, 2022

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Worst Kind of Truth by Frank Zafiro @Frank_Zafiro @GoddessFish

The Worst Kind of Truth

by Frank Zafiro

GENRE: Mystery, Police Procedural


Detective Katie MacLeod has her hands full.

It has been four years since her promotion to detective, and after paying her dues in property crimes investigations, she has made it to the Major Crimes unit. This is where the highest profile cases land—homicides, robberies, serious assaults, and sexual assaults.

Katie catches two rape cases almost back-to-back. One victim is a prostitute with an unknown suspect… who Katie fears may be gearing up for more assaults. The other victim is a college student who has accused her boyfriend, a popular baseball player, of raping her at a party.

Both cases have their own set of perils. Katie juggles her time investigating each one, encountering many obstacles—a lack of evidence in one, and wondering how to parse conflicting statements in the other.

As she battles past these difficulties, Katie faces another fact… that both cases hit home with her in very different ways. Solving them becomes more than just a job for her, but something deep-seated and personal… something that may exorcise some of her own demons from the past.

Or will they consume her?

Buy/pre-order The Worst Kind of Truth on Amazon


Katie looked at her. “This wasn’t your fault, Nicole. I wish I could change that it happened to you but I can’t. But I am going to do my best to catch the man that did this to you.”

You’ll catch him,” Nicole said.

I’ll do my best,” Katie repeated. She knew better than to make promises to victims, no matter how tempting it was.

You’ll catch him,” Nicole repeated. “I know it. You’ve done it before.”

Katie cocked her head. “What do you mean?”

Nicole looked at her intensely. “I know who you are. I recognized your name as soon as you came in.”

That didn’t surprise Katie. She’d been involved in a number of high-profile incidents during her career. The media coverage wasn’t always favorable, either. But Nicole’s stare didn’t have the anger or blame that came with that sort of attitude. Instead, it resonated with belief.

This happened to my mom,” Nicole said. She looked away to pluck more tissues and wipe her eyes. “A long time ago. I was fifteen at the time.”

Katie did some quick math. That meant her mother was assaulted in 1996 or 1997. And ninety-six was the year of—

What’s your mother’s name?” Katie asked. Her heart-rate quickened as she waited for the response. Her mind flashed back to that case, back when she was a patrol officer. She ran through the names of the victims of that man, all of them indelibly imprinted upon her memory… and then she knew what Nicole would say.

Maureen Hite,” said Nicole, just as Katie expected. “She was attacked by him. The Rainy Day Rapist.”

I remember,” Katie said, quietly. Images of her and Thomas Chisolm searching a parking lot on the north side flashed through her mind. Of her finding Maureen Hite huddled near the front wheel well of a Chevy Blazer. She could still see the stark blue and white stripes of the quarter-panel and the door beside the woman. Maureen’s baffled expression, lost and fearful. “How is she now?”

Nicole shook her head. “She died six years ago. Pills.”

I’m… I’m sorry.”

She never really got over it,” Nicole said.

Katie nodded. “I don’t think it’s something you get over. It’s not a cold. You just learn to live with it.”

Yeah, well, she didn’t really learn how. Or only for a while.”

I’m sorry, Nicole.”

Don’t be. It wasn’t your fault. You caught him. You caught him and you killed him.” Nicole’s jaw was set and her eyes burned brightly. “I know you’ll do the same for me.”

Katie Macleod stared back at her, unable to answer.

Interview with Frank Zafiro

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    Even though I’ve been a writer my entire life (so, since the 1980s), the professional portion began in fits and starts. It wasn’t until 2004 that it really started in earnest, and has continued unbroken since then. I was ten years into my police career at that time, so the majority of what I wrote was crime fiction—and the majority of that was police-centric.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    As always, to tell a compelling story that entertains the reader. But beyond that, I had two additional goals. The first was to explore the difficult subject of sexual assault within the context of law enforcement’s investigative role, and the larger social implications of that. The second goal is related to the fact that River City is an ongoing series with an ensemble cast (though Katie MacLeod is arguably the star). Through these characters, I wanted to show the dynamic nature of life—simply, that it goes on. So there is a long-anticipated wedding and a surprise retirement. Not only that, but Katie is a detective now. Her role through most of the series thus far has been as a patrol officer.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    Writing a procedural in which rape is the crime that drives the plot. Sexual assault is a difficult topic. Writing about it without being graphic (none of the assaults occur on the page) was a specific choice. Treating this subject sensitively was important to me. The hardest part, though, was balancing that mindful sensitivity with some of the investigative realities a detective faces in such cases.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    Detective Katie MacLeod. Over the course of this series (The Worst Kind of Truth is #11), she quickly emerged as the core character. I love spending time with her. She is a strong female character, certainly, but what I like most is that she understands and admits her own vulnerability (mostly to herself) and fears. And yet, she is courageous—she proceeds despite those vulnerabilities and fears, and does the right thing, even if it is difficult. That, to me, is more heroic than the fearless protagonist.

    Were there alternate endings you considered?

    Ooh, spoilers! The answer is yes. There are two cases that Katie investigates in this book, and I considered different endings for both. Most I rejected because they seemed to formulaic, too much of what might appear in the disposable thriller of the week. River City has always been grounded in reality—that is part of its appeal. That is what ultimately dictated how both cases end.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    As a retired police officer, I haven’t needed to do much in the way of research when writing this series (other series in the private investigator or hard boiled subgenre are sometimes a different matter). Thus, much of my “research” involves drawing on two decades of law enforcement experience. To that end, I taught the Sexual Assault Investigation block at the police academy for years. In the course of that training, I met a brave victim who shared her experience with the recruits year-in and year-out. I learned innumerable things from her about the emotional impact such a crime has on its victim, and the way law enforcement sometimes mistakenly makes it worse.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    Crime fiction, of course. But I love science fiction and fantasy as well. Non-fiction-wise, I enjoy history the most, closely followed by titles about behavioral science and sociology. So, at any given time, my TBR stack might have contain books by Colin Conway, Piers Anthony, Mary Beard, and Malcom Gladwell.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Frank Zafiro writes gritty crime fiction from both sides of the badge. He was a police officer from 1993 to 2013, holding many different positions and ranks. He retired as a captain.

Frank is the award-winning author of over three dozen novels, most of them crime fiction. These include his River City series of police procedurals, Stefan Kopriva mysteries (PI), SpoCompton series (hardboiled), Jack McCrae mysteries (PI), and Sandy Banks thrillers. He has also co-authored multiple series with other authors, including the Charlie-316 series (procedurals with Colin Conway), Bricks and Cam Jobs (action, dark comedy with Eric Beetner), and the Ania series (hardboiled with Jim Wilsky).

In addition to writing, Frank hosted the crime fiction podcast Wrong Place, Write Crime. He has written a textbook on police report writing and taught police leadership all over the US and Canada. He is an avid hockey fan and a tortured guitarist. He currently lives in the high desert of Redmond, Oregon.

Connect with Frank Zafiro

Website ~ Newsletter ~ Blog 

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ BookBub



Winner #1 - Box set of River City series 1-3 (digital)

Winner #2 - Surprise package of out-of-print versions of Zafiro titles (paperbacks) - US Only. (INT winner alternate prize available)

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Frank Zafiro said...

Thank you for hosting me today. I love the presentation!

Sherry said...

I love the cover and think the book sounds interesting.

Frank Zafiro said...

Thank you, Sherry. I always thought the grain towers in Spokane (the real River City) were a bit foreboding. These aren't the same ones, but they look very similar.

My cover artist for this series is Eric Beetner, a great hardboiled writer himself.

bn100 said...

looks intriguing

Frank Zafiro said...

@bn100, thanks! Although sometimes this series is more about the 'how' than the mystery itself, this one holds onto the mystery of whodunit and didhedoit till the end.