Monday, 20 February 2017

Lee Cockburn on Why is Edinburgh a great place for a setting for a Crime Thriller?

Edinburgh, what can I say, it is a joy to live here, you have everything, history, beauty, the sea, scenery, culture, art, great architecture, wealth and poverty side by side, the Edinburgh festival, and even though it is a city, sometimes it feels like a small town, because you are always bumping into people you know.

Edinburgh is where I live, Edinburgh is where I work, all of my family lived here, so I know this as home and why would I write about any other place, when this city has everything.  If you have never been to Edinburgh, then I think you need to visit; it‘s a wonderful place.

The castle is magnificent as it stands high above Princess Street in the centre of town, almost watching over all of us, the royal mile leads you from the castle down this historic street, with many dark and mysterious alleyways leading away to other parts of the old town, filled with historic mystery, each of them telling many stories, of romance, crime and poverty of the past, all the way down to the palace and the parliament.

The centre of the city has great wealth, but hidden in many doorways of shops are the least fortunate in society, the homeless struggling to keep warm and safe, the contrast, so sad and unfair.

This takes me to the reason why I chose Edinburgh for my novels, having lived and worked here all of my life, you see everything, both good and bad, especially when you are in the police.  

In the police you learn quickly that there are many, many good people, which far outweigh the bad, and thank goodness for that, but you see the bad as a collective every day and you then notice them as you lead your normal life, constantly watching who is around you as you try to live your private life safely.  There are many areas where crime and violence are an every day occurrence, and this is where the police go, to try and help those that need help and want it, but unfortunately some don‘t want it and can‘t be helped, and have chosen their path of criminality, constantly clashing with the police and those in the law abiding society, trying to protect themselves and their property.

I chose this city because of the diversity it offers, the wide variety of people living side by side, wealthy areas metres away from those that have less, many good people in these areas struggling for a better life, sometimes suffering with those that have chosen crime and addiction living right next to them.  These choices lead to crime filtering through to the more affluent areas, hard working people, trying to protect their property from those who don’t respect others.

Edinburgh just offers so much, although my books don’t visit the more historic areas that often, they tend to keep to the outskirts, and try to make it more realistic to where criminality is more of an issue.

Saying all that, diversity is what life is all about, trying to understand the lives of others and what they are going through, everybody has a story and some are much harder to live through and there are reasons for everything. 

I love Edinburgh it just offers everything, especially for a crime writer. 

Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents 
Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant.  High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer. 

Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for sixteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for seven years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984.

For more information you can follow Lee Cockburn on Twitter @lee_leecockburn.

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