Today we're welcoming Detective Wade Prescott, the hero of THE GOOD NEIGHBOR by Sharon Mignerey, November 2008. Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the
midst of such suspense.
I’m the new guy on the police force here in Natchez, Colorado, a small town on the Western Slope of Colorado. I came here on vacation last year. There was a job opening, and I applied. Prior to moving here, I lived in Chicago where I worked on a homicide squad for too long. The crime rate here in Natchez is so low, I’m the only detective in the county, and until this September, there hadn’t been a murder in more than 30 years. That was fine by me since I’d hoped to never investigate another one. So, that’s me, in the middle of this sticky investigation where everybody seems to think the neighbor who found the body is also the murderer.
2. So, during the book you met Megan Burke. Tell us a bit about her.
What was your first impression? When did you know it was love?
Megan’s friends say she’s a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of woman.
Personally, I’ve never met anyone deeper. She’s loyal to a fault, and she has this reservoir of faith that holds me in awe, especially given all the tragedy she has survived—her dad killed her sister and her mother died that same year. She has every reason to hold herself back from people, but she doesn’t, which is part of the reason she’s in the current mess.
I’d been in town for six months before I met Megan, and I think one of the first thoughts I had was “Why couldn’t I have met her some other way?” She is a physical therapist for a home health agency. The office she works from is down the street from the police station, but I’d never seen her before driving up to the house the morning of the murder. She’s the one who found victim when she went to take out her neighbor’s trash. The thing I know from all the murders I’ve investigated over the years is that the witness who finds the body is often the murderer.
After Megan told me she’d had a public argument with the vic, she rose to the top of the suspect list. Except all the evidence that kept pointing toward her was too easy.
When did I know it was love? Well, I didn’t expect it to happen so fast, I can tell you that. It shouldn’t have happened at all -- not with her being a suspect in a case that I’m investigating. I probably knew sooner, but the day she was arrested for murder was the day I had to decide whether to follow the evidence or my gut instinct.
3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest
I’m a good detective, which means I’m methodical. Too much so, maybe.
I’ve got a pretty good knack for reading witnesses and knowing when I’m being fed a line. Weaknesses. Well, I don’t have much patience for politics or investigating a case to fit an agenda. That puts me on the outs with the brass often as not. And, I can’t keep my objectivity about cases involving family violence.
4. What scares you?
Missing some crucial piece of evidence that lets a perp walk who goes on to commit another crime. Those are the cases that haunt you. Law enforcement officers vow to protect and serve. I take that pretty seriously.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’ve gotten to be cynical over the years. It’s a hazard of the job. I’
m hoping that living in a small town will help that out.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?
When I moved to Natchez, I was coming off the worst case of my career – a man had murdered his two daughters, and when I couldn’t come up with enough evidence to put him away, his wife killed him. That was a breaking point, and pretty much turned my back on church-going. Looking back on it, I know I had a big hole that I was looking to fill.
7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?
Not where I want to be but getting better. I see this huge sense of peace that Megan’s faith gives her, and it doesn’t falter no matter how bad things seem in any given moment. I see firsthand how that works for her, and I figure she’s on to something. Now that I’m making space for God in my heart again, I have some of that peace for myself.
8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
The scripture is from James 2:2 – Seest how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? This applies to how Megan lives her life, which is to be of service to others. Her faith and her work are inseparable. I didn’t think it applied much to me until she reminded me that after I trusted God to guide me in my work that my faith was restored. At the same time, I began to feel better about my
8. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?
I’m a pretty simple kind of guy, traditional, and I’d like to think down-to-earth. Warm apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top sounds about right, especially since the Natchez Apple Festival is coming up at the end of the month.
Thank you Sharon for sharing Wade with us. I look forward to reading how he solves the crime and falls in love.