With us today is Rie McGaha to chat with us about her new book CLOSURE.
Tid Bits by Rie McGaha
My publisher has described CLOSURE as "Gruesome," and she said the manuscript was accepted just so she could see exactly how twisted I really am! I can laugh at that because I suppose there are a few gruesome scenes in the story. However, I didn't write that particular story to be gruesome or twisted. I wrote the story to kill off my ex's and to put some old ghosts to rest.
In my youth I didn't always make good choices or the right decisions. I was hard headed, determined to do things my own way, and stupid. What a combination! But it was the '70's and the sixties hadn't quite faded, the war in Vietnam wasn't over, and the hippie movement was still going strong. Peace and love prevailed among the under forty crowed. Make love not war. Don't bring me down, I think I'm comin' on. Marijuana, cocaine and LSD were abundantly provided, and usually free of charge. Sex was no big deal and changing partners occurred more often than changing underwear. If anyone actually wore underwear back then.
Being a little younger than most of my peers didn't seem to matter, although there were plenty of older women who watched out for me and plenty of older men who chose to ignore the fact I was underage. I did lie about my age but anyone with half a brain could have seen I was nowhere near nineteen. In retrospect, I doubt any of us had half a brain because everyone was usually high. Ahhh, the good ol' days when drugs were legal and had no negative effects!
But I digress. (Pausing for a moment to remember the days…although there is a period of time I have difficulty remembering at all). Moving on…CLOSURE has some very dark moments, especially the chapters about the killer. And the murder scenes I suppose. Some of the book comes from personal experience, some is pure imagination, and some is my way of burying my own past and getting closure for myself. I killed my ex's. And I have to say it was so much fun.
Being a drug counselor in a prison on a unit with 120 men and me the only female, gave me a unique perspective into the minds of criminals. Being the ex-wife of a criminal who robbed banks and spent much of his adult life in prison really taught me what the "con" in convict meant. I was also the ex-girlfriend of another criminal who was the worst kind of person and I won't even go into what he put me through here, but let's just say, I really enjoyed killing him off…in the book of course. I would never think of such a thing in real life. (Pausing to think about it and smirk a little bit).
Hmmm, I can't imagine what Ellen, owner/publisher of Champagne Books was thinking when she said "twisted"…
High in the hills above Albuquerque, New Mexico Detective Zachariah Ellison arrives at the scene of a murder, and not just any murder, but one that definitely falls into the “gruesome” category even for a seasoned cop like Zach. When another body is found murdered in much the same fashion, Zach knows he’s got a serial killer on his hands, and to top it off he’s got an assistant district attorney hounding him about the case. As Zach tries to investigate the crimes while sidestepping nosey Amy Logan, a third body is found and Zach hasn’t a clue as to whom the perpetrator might be.
Amy Logan has worked hard to put herself through school and pay for law school on her own and now that she’s secured a position as assistant district attorney in Albuquerque, she’s determined to do everything she can to be the best prosecutor this office has ever seen. And as if luck was following her, she’s been assigned to the biggest homicide case the city has ever seen. The only problem she’s having is the homicide detective who’s leading the investigation—Zach Ellison.
EXCERPT FROM: CLOSURE Champagne Books
"Zach, the body just arrived down here. Thought you'd want to be here for the autopsy," Pete said when Zach answered.
"On my way." He put the phone on the base, and then picked it up again. If Amy wanted information on the case, he'd just give it to her. He dialed the number from the card she'd left him, waited for the automated service, then punched in the extension.
“Amy? Zach here. The body just came in to the morgue. I'm going down—want to join me?” He looked at the phone in his hand and grinned. Amy hadn't even bothered to hang up on her end before he'd heard the door of her office slam.
Taking the elevator down, he pushed open the double doors that led to the morgue, and entered the autopsy room where he put on a face shield and paper apron. Ron was standing by the table with Pete, already wearing the protective gear.
"What do we have here?" Zach asked, putting on latex gloves.
"Just about to start, but I have to tell you, Zach, I've never seen anything like this. Damn, this is morbid—even for me," Pete said, shaking his head.
Ron nodded. "I've been in homicide for ten years,
Zach. I can't believe this one."
"Yeah, let's get on with it," Zach said and took a breath. He hated autopsies as well, but they were a vital part of finding evidence, and at this point he needed all he could get.
The doors opened again as Amy walked in, still out of breath, and all three men looked up. Zach thought she must have run the entire three blocks from her office.
“This is Amy Logan, D.A.'s office,” Zach said and made introductions. “There's an apron and a face shield on the shelf,” he told her and pointed. “Put them on.”
She nodded and when she was wearing the protective gear, she made her way to Zach's side and stood staring wide-eyed at the body on the table.
Pete took photos of the body—the penis in its mouth,
a close-up of the face, and of particular areas like the leather band around the throat. He removed the penis from the mouth, and photographed the teeth. Moving over the body, he photographed the bruises and burn marks on the upper torso, and the ligature marks on the ankles and wrists. The body was on its side because of the baseball bat protruding from the rectum, and he photographed that as well.
"Okay. I'm going to pull this out first, so I can turn the body,” he said at length. “It's not going to be pretty."
Pete grasped the handle of the bat with one hand and placed a gloved hand on the corpse's hip and pulled. The bat didn't budge. He grasped the bat with both hands and twisted it to the right, then braced a hand against the hip again and pulled harder, but it still wouldn't budge.
He looked up at Zach. “Want to give me a hand here?”
Zach blew out a breath and walked around the table while pulling on a second pair of gloves. No, he thought, I definitely do not want to help on this one.
He held the body in place while Pete twisted the bat back and forth a few times and then pulled slowly. It made a loud sucking noise and when the bat finally came out, blood, water, feces, and pieces of intestines gushed out after it, splattering onto Pete and Zach both, and then splashed noisily onto the floor at their feet.
"All righty then," Pete commented, and held up the sawed off bat, looking at Zach, then showed it to Amy and Ron.
Amy made a sound that wasn't quite a scream as she turned and ran to the sink, and heaved her lunch into it.
Zach took a deep breath and shrugged as he looked at Ron and Pete. He went to Amy, pulled paper towels out of the container, wet them and handed them to her, and left the water running in the sink so she could clean herself up.