A fresh approach to crime fiction

Exercising the mind

I don’t know about you, but as a child, I always wanted to know what lay behind the closed door or gate. I was fascinated by anything that couldn’t be explained or understood because it allowed me to come up with my own ideas and theories.

As I sit in Crouch Corner, writing No Remorse, the third Kent Fisher mystery,  the closed door is the death of Anthony Trimble, 87 year old resident of an exclusive home. Kent Fisher knows nothing about him and must open several doors to look back at Trimble’s life and find who might have murdered him.

It’s a bit like meeting someone and getting to know them as you peel back the layers. However, as Trimble is dead and has no family, Kent has to rely on friends, associates, and former work colleagues to piece together the man’s life. As you can imagine, it’s a recipe for misinformation, prejudice and lies to further muddy the waters. And don’t forget a cryptic code to tax his mind.

Don’t you just love complications?

Maybe this is why I’m enjoying myself so much. Each chapter brings a new twist or plot complication. Add the personal issues and the problems in the backstory, and you’re wrestling with several plot strands that could unravel at any point.

One strand did just that earlier this week when I forgot I’d given Kent a couple of days off work. Thanks to another plot development, he rushed into the office on Thursday morning and no one asked him why he’d come in on a day off.

How could they? I didn’t realise my mistake until later in the day when I went out for a run.

With the breeze in my hair, the sun on my face, and plot ideas invading my thoughts, I remembered Kent having time off work. I needed a bit of nifty footwork in the story, as well as on the ground, to rescue things.

But that’s the beauty of running. Apart from the obvious health benefits and improved mental wellbeing, runs are perfect for clearing and exercising the mind by making plans, analysing and solving problems, and spotting mistakes, of course.

If you’ll forgive the pun, you can let your mind run free and see where it goes.

You might be surprised.

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