Today, Claire Stibbe is my guest to discuss her forthcoming novel, The 9th Hour, a fast paced thriller featuring Detective David Temeke and set against the dramatic backdrop of the New Mexico landscape. It's a departure for Claire, whose previous novels were historical and set in ancient Egypt.
Researching ideas for the first novel in the Detective Temeke series has been so much fun, especially driving around Albuquerque through all the areas Temeke & his female assistant, Malin Santiago, would go. This book takes place in Cimarron State Park where a nine-year-old African American girl has been abducted. Temeke, a detective working in a police unit for violent crimes against children is called out one early December morning to take over a case nobody wants. Why? Because former lead Detective Jack Reynolds was found dead under the bridge on Exit 230 to San Mateo. He had a gunshot wound to his head. With a new partner, a new case and a new set of wheels, Temeke takes to the roads in search of a man who keeps the body parts of his eight young victims as trophies and has a worrying obsession with the number nine.
With so many state parks here in New Mexico, the hiking trails are numerous and great places to learn about the history of the southwest. Big blue skies, palisade cliffs and all kinds of fauna only add to each scene. With the help of detectives in the local police department, this has been crucial in piecing together a serial killer’s steps. Winter’s coming . . .
With the weather being so stormy recently, slate-grey skies, a sheet of rain one minute and the growl of thunder the next, it has provided the right mood to give me inspiration. I’m loving the characters and the way they lead each chapter to who knows where. And yes, I do normally have a structure, only this time it all went out of the window.
It’s all David Temeke’s fault. His dry wit often goes for the jugular, rubbing the department up the wrong way. Unit Commander Hackett is clearly suspicious of Temeke, an African/British ex-pat, and has reluctantly assigned him a new east coast transfer, Malin Santiago. It’s a high profile case where her Hispanic/Norwegian roots are a valuable asset to the team. Can’t say why. You’ll just have to read the book. Only, Temeke believes that Santiago lacks the necessary experience for such a case which is adding a considerable strain to their professional relationship. Not to mention her physical attraction to him which is about as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party.
So this afternoon as I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop, I was this close to writing Santiago a great scene that would change Temeke’s view of her; maybe give him something to chew over. But being despicable me, I decided to leave it as it is. Unrequited love in the Northwest Area Command is much too much fun to watch. And Malin isn’t all smiles and teeth. There’s a certain metal in her psyche that gets stronger with every book. She might have started out as a pit-dweller, but she’s sure making up for it now.
All this and more in The 9th Hour, soon to be published in the fall of 2015 by Crooked Cat Publishing.
To find out more about CMT Stibbe’s books, visit her website at http://www.cmtstibbe.com. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClaireStibbeGoogle: https://plus.google.com/+CMTStibbe/posts Twitter: https://twitter.com/CMTStibbe
Claire is also a member of the New Mexico Book Co-op and the Southwest Writers Association.
Kristin Gleeson is a writer, artist and musician who lives in the west of Ireland in the Gaeltacht.
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