Welcome to another addition of Lisa Burton Radio, the show where I interview the characters from the stories you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.
In the studio with me today is Shawnee Daniels, a Computer Forensics Specialist at the Revere Police Department. “Welcome to the show, Shawnee.”
“Hey, Lisa. Whassup?”
“I think anything having to do with computers is awesome. What kind of evidence do you collect? Is it financial, private messages, or what?”
“Anything to do with cyber crimes…pictures for the metadata, bank records, all social media information, including private messages, phone numbers, IP addresses, pretty much anything that relates to the crime we’re investigating. We work a lot of fraud cases in my unit.”
“I think that’s fascinating, but our listeners might be more interested in your nightlife. Why don’t you tell us about your secret double life.”
“I can’t stand to see rich assholes ripping off innocent folks, so I use my skills as a cat burglar to recoup the funds. Minus my fee, of course. Wait. This isn’t live, right? Oh, man, if Lieutenant Holt finds out I broke into… So, you’re a robot, eh? How’s that work, exactly?”
“How does what work?”
“Y’know, the whole robot thing you got goin’ on there.”
“Let’s get back to your interview, shall we?”
“I plead the fifth, Your Honor.”
“If we’re live, there’s no way in hell I’m talkin’. I should’ve never come. Damn you, Nay!”
“Did I say live? I meant—”
“Hang on. Why is that red light on?”
“Oh, that? That’s just…”
“I am two seconds away from hopping over this desk. If I were you, I’d choose my words carefully.”
“Okay, okay, we’re on the air. Relax.”
“Excuse me? I know you didn’t just tell me to relax. Unless, of course, you want that skanky dress up around your neck.”
“Now you can just come right through it. Wouldn’t want you to snag that skin-tight black fetish-thing you’re wearing.”
“What the—? You just tore a metal table in half.”
“Yeah, turns out robot girls are pretty strong. Wanna continue the interview?”
“I’m in it now, blondie. You just better watch your tone. I’m not someone you wanna mess with. As it is, you’re wearing my last nerve thin. The only reason I agreed to this damn interview was for Nadine.”
“Whatever. Let’s just get through this. Next question?”
“Right. So, is this kind of like Robin Hood? Do you spread the goodies around, or fence it and keep the money?”
“Spread it around? Did your writer leave a few screws loose, or what? That’s a surefire way to get caught. Been there, done that, got the scars to prove it. I wouldn’t call myself Robin Hood, either. I mean, c’mon, that guy didn’t have half the skills I do.”
“To be honest, I’d have a hard time parting with nice jewelry myself. You must have some adventures to share with us.”
“You got me there. I am a sucker for a good watch. Never could pass one up.
“Adventures? Umm, yeah, if you call being stalked by a serial killer an “adventure.” Outrunning a pack of hungry Dobies was no picnic, either. I swear, it’s like all the dogs in Bear Clave Estates crave cat for their midnight snack.
“Anyway, Jack Delsin, this dude that’s chasing me now, is one sick pup, lemme tell ya. So, yeah, I might’ve broken into his place. “Might’ve” being the key word there. I’m not admitting to anything. For shits and giggles, let’s say I did.
“He’s got these weird charcoal drawings on his wall. Course, he also has garden gnomes, which might explain his taste in decorating skills. Garden gnomes, is there nothing uglier?”
“You’ve never seen real gnomes.”
“Excuse me? Anyway…the media calls him The Creator. No idea why. Anyone who skins his victims from the neck down, leaving only the face, and spreads open their ribcage to create wings is outta their frickin’ mind. Never mind the black feather that he sticks between two ribs, then poses them in public…at the bus stop, the courthouse, on top of the sign at the entrance to Union Hospital…no place is off-limits. Who does that shit?
“All right, so maybe it wasn’t my best idea to swipe the cool wooden puzzle box from his guest room. But how was I supposed to know it was his trophy box?”
“This sounds kind of like the Blood Eagle torture of the Vikings. Is that what he’s doing?”
“No clue what the Vikings did. Where’d you come up with that one? Nay has me talkin’ to robot girl over here. Fate’s a cruel bitch.”
“My writer gave me all kinds of cool research capability.”
“Good for you. I’m sure he’s so proud.”
“You sound a little…I don’t know…bitter.”
“Bitter? You wanna try that again, robot girl?”
“I’d appreciate it if you’d refer to me by my name.”
“Whatever you say, robot girl. I am gonna kill Nadine when I get home.”
“So, what’s the sitch now?”
“You talkin’ about Skype or the package Delsin left on my front stoop?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know why you’re prying into my personal shit, is that what you’re tellin’ me?”
“It’s just a radio show. Relax.”
“That’s it! Let’s go. Take your best shot.”
“I don’t want to fight you. I’m just trying to interview you.”
“Oh. Right. Can you repeat the question, please?”
“What’s happening now?”
“Y’mean, with Delsin?”
“Nay doesn’t know this, but he keeps tryin’ to Skype with me. Wait. You said this isn’t live, right?”
“Okay, cool. So, Delsin’s all over me, sending me packages, the Skype calls, the eerie symbols and shit he puts on my computer screen. How much can one person take?
“Scratch that. Preachin’ to the choir here. How could I forget? Nay has me talkin’ to a frickin’ robot.”
“Did you just roll your eyes?”
“You rolled your eyes at me.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Do you have something against robots?”
“Look. Before you go all Glenn Close on my ass, you should probably take a breath.”
“Why, I never!”
“I’m sure you haven’t.”
“Ooh. She’s using my last name. I’m so scared.”
“Let’s just continue the interview. The quicker we get this done, the quicker we’ll never have to see each other again.”
“Works for me.”
“Where were we? Ah, yes, the Skype calls. What is Jack Delsin threatening to do?”
“You’re a little slow, aren’tcha? What do you think he’s threatening to do? He’s a serial killer! Honestly, why do I waste my breath? You and Nadine are perfect for each other. Need a best friend? You probably don’t swear either. Course, you can’t be as bad as her. She’ll mangle the English language rather than—perish the thought—utter a phrase that she can’t repeat in front of Sesame Street’s target audience. Lord, give me strength.”
“Let me check my notes. This is one of the strangest interviews I’ve ever conducted.”
“You wrote this shit down?”
“No. I have perfect recall.”
“Well, la-de-da. Aren’t we full of ourselves.”
“So why don’t you just give the box back?”
“Don’t you think I would if I could? I can’t find the damn thing. When I escaped Delsin’s house it must’ve fallen out of my backpack. Oh, man, if I don’t find it soon, God only knows what he’ll do next.”
“Then why not call the cops?”
“You’re kiddin’, right? What part of cat burglar don’t you understand? Sure, I work at the Revere Police Department, but if Lieutenant Holt ever finds out about my after-hour activities, I’ll be cuffed and stuffed in a heartbeat. Besides, Levaughn would— By the way, he’s picking me up after the show. I suggest you keep your paws to yourself, blondie.
“That was another one of Nadine’s schemes…a cat burglar dating a cop. Though, admittedly, he’s sweeter than cotton candy. Yummy with a capital Yum. Still, I don’t know why I let her talk me into these things. Nay keeps hoping he’ll convert me into an upstanding member of society. How many times do I have to tell her—? Aack. No use wasting brain cells on something I can’t control—aka Nadine Couture.”
“Nadine sounds like a pretty special kind of friend.”
“She’s a pain in the ass, but yeah, I’d kill for her. When Ms. Librarian, Martha Stewart Fan Club President—before the scandal, of course—Good Housekeeping’s Cover Model, gets on one of her tangents about lifestyle choices, I tune her out. I’ll tell ya, if anyone spoke to me the way she does, I’d knock their teeth down their throat. She’s cool, though, even if she did rat me out to Levaughn. Vault for my secrets, what a joke. Okay, so maybe I’m still a little pissed. Can you blame me? I specifically told her— Ah, what’s the use?”
“I don’t see an easy solution for this one. I wish you well, Shawnee.”
“Yeah, I gotta bounce, too. Later, robot girl. I mean, Lisa.”
“Our sponsor today has been Wings of Mayhem, by author Sue Coletta.”
Note from Craig, I read this book and absolutely loved it. I think you will too.
A SERIAL KILLER STALKS THE STREETS…
Shawnee Daniels – computer forensics specialist/hacker for RPD by day, cat burglar by night – always believed her “fearlessness rules” mantra would keep her on top and out of jail. When she hacks a confiscated hard drive at the Revere P.D., she focuses on a white-collar criminal accused of embezzlement. To teach him a lesson and recoup the funds she breaks into his massive contemporary in Bear Clave Estates. Jack has even more secrets, deadly secrets, secrets worth killing over.
A CAT BURGLAR PICKS THE WRONG HOUSE TO ROB…
Shawnee thinks she made it out clean until a deadly package arrives at her door soon after. He’s found her. As a glowing eagle taunts her Skype screen, Jack tells her she stole his precious trophy box — and he wants it back!
THEIR LIVES COLLIDE…
When her “helpful” best friend convinces her to date charismatic Detective Levaughn Samuels, her two worlds threaten to implode. Ordinarily Shawnee keeps a firm line between her professions, but dating Levaughn might help her get this psycho off her tail.
AND NOW, NO ONE IS SAFE…
In this lightning-fast-paced psychological thriller of secrets and lies, Shawnee juggles being stalked by a serial killer, dating the lead detective on the case, and tap dancing around her librarian best friend.If she doesn’t find the trophy box, the killer’s coming for her. If she doesn’t expose her secrets
Bio: Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is the author of Wings of Mayhem, MARRED, The Rendering, Crime Writer’s Research, and 60 Ways to Murder Your Characters. A multi-published author in numerous anthologies, her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly; her flash fiction in OOTG Flash Fiction Offensive and in the highly-anticipated anthology, 100 Voices. In addition to her popular crime resource blog, Sue’s the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.