Today we're welcoming Neil Alexander, the hero of On a Killer’s Trail, by Susan Page Davis, February 2009.
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.
It took me five years to earn detective status in the Portland, Maine, Police Department. My unit usually gets the high profile cases. The Christmas Day murder didn’t seem to fit that standard at first, but my captain and I were the only two detectives available to investigate old Mrs. Riley’s death on Christmas morning. And then another homicide case, with the same M.O., came to our attention. Next thing we know, an embezzlement case comes along and we’re up to our necks in intrigue. And my captain’s sister-in-law, Kate Richards, actually helped solve the crimes, though there were moments when it seemed she would just make more work for us, and maybe get herself in deep trouble.
2. So, during the book you met Kate Richards. Tell us a bit about her. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love?
Actually, I’d met Kate the previous summer. Oh, yeah. We were a hot item for a few weeks. But then our relationship fell apart and she left town. I was shocked to see her arrive at the crime scene on Christmas Day. Her brother-in-law (also my captain) warned me in no uncertain terms to stay away from her. He hadn’t forgiven me yet for hurting Kate last summer. But here she was, rookie reporter for the biggest newspaper in town, trying to make a splash. I had to work with her, and…well, I’ll just say the attraction was still there. People said I broke her heart. Well, I ask you, doesn’t MY heart matter?
3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness?
Six months ago I’d have said my greatest strengths were my charm and intellect. My greatest weakness was women. But that was then, see? This is now. My greatest weakness is when the old pride surfaces. My strength now is God’s unlimited power.
4. What scares you?
The idea that people might be hurt because of me. Like Kate. I know now that I treated her abominably last summer. We’ve sort of gotten past that, but I have other concerns now. She likes to be in the middle of things, and I’ve let her tag along a few times when I was investigating this murder case. What if the killer goes after her next? Now, that’s scary.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My past. I’d always listen to my Oma (she was my dear old Dutch grandmother). I wish I were half as good a boy as she thought I was.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?
I’m a new Christian who’s trying not to mess up again.
7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?
Stronger, but still learning. Little by little, I’m finding out how God expects a man to live.
8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” Proverbs 12:10 is the Scripture. While not actually mentioned in the story, it touches the heart of it. People are stealing money that would have provided for helpless animals. They want to squander it on themselves. Their greed leads to other sins. While the people who know them think they are kind and unselfish, they’re actually cruel and wicked.
9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?
I’m Dutch to the core, so I guess I’d be strudel. Apple strudel. Hey, I’m hungry.
Intriguing story. Thank you Susan for sharing Neil with us.