Friday, 16 March 2012

Guest Post by Detective Karen Stainer, Glendale PD

Let's get something straight right away: this is not my idea of a fun time. As far as I'm concerned, blogging ranks right up there with knitting doilies in an old-age home, watching paint dry, and counting ceiling tiles in the Emergency ward at three in the morning. Plus, they told me I have to watch my language. Not drop the f-bomb or any other four-letter words that'll set off that damned adult content warning message that pops up before people can read the damned post. Like I give a shit.

Mike sent me a set of instructions he wants me to follow, and I see here that the first thing I'm supposed to do is introduce myself. All right. I'm Detective Karen Stainer. I'm thirty-seven, born in Ponder, Texas and raised in Fort Worth. I've been a proud member of the Glendale Police Department for sixteen years, the last few in Homicide. I'm five-three, one-oh-five, and Mike keeps writing that I'm a Tai Kwon Do black belt with a mean streak. The first part is right but the second is an exaggeration. I'm not mean; I just don't put up with gray areas. Either they come quietly or they come in pieces. Their choice.

I’m just going to ignore all the questions I’m supposed to answer on this list except the one asking what kind of music I like to listen to when I’m relaxing. There’s no mystery to that one: I’m a big fan of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, the Allmans and, of course, the classic, Johnny Winter.

Mike wanted me to write something about my family but I’m not going to get into that. My daddy, Bobby Stainer, was a Texas state trooper. He practically raised us kids on his own. My oldest brother, Darryl, is a trooper for the Oklahoma staties, Delbert is a car mechanic in Houston, and my younger brother Brad builds houses. I’m not going to talk about Jimmy Bob and I’m not going to talk about my mother. That’s all I’m going to say about family. Mike tells me he’s going to want to get into all that stuff in detail when Sandy and I get married. Hank seems to think it’s very important I let him do that. We’ll see. Can you shoot your own author? Maybe just wound him a little?

Other than Sandy, who’s a little sweetie, Hank’s the person I’m closest to in my life. That’s Lieutenant Hank Donaghue, now my supervising officer, for those of you who’ve been living under a rock the last year or so. The Lou’s going to take his turn writing his own blog post next week, and I’m sure he’ll love it because he’s into all this kind of stuff. He’s a brainiac and a really, really sweet guy. If you don’t know already, you’ll find out. Mike I wouldn’t trust to pick up my dry cleaning for me, but Hank’s the one I want watching my six when the bullets start to fly.

I can’t spend much more time at this because I have to drive over to the Forensic Medical Center to attend the autopsy of the V.I.P. whose case we’re currently working. I can’t talk about it, but Mike’s writing about it and you’ll find out soon enough. This October, I hear. In the  meantime you can read Marcie’s Murder, which is coming out in April. It's his version of events when Hank went down to Virginia on vacation last September. Poor bastard got beat up and arrested for murder, of all things, and I had to drive down there to straighten it all out. Christ, the things we do for people.

I give Mike a pretty hard time and I stay on his case pretty good. He needs to get his butt out of his chair and exercise more often, meet new people and get a freakin’ life, but I understand where he’s coming from. He wants to tell our stories, explain to you folks what criminal investigation is like and what kind of impact it has on the lives of us people who do it for a living. He’s an idiot, but I guess I have to respect him for that much. We all do what we have to do.

My words of advice to you blog readers? If you haven’t caught Mike’s book on the Martin Liu cold case, I suggest you do so right away. You might think Blood Passage is some kind of paranormal bullshit thing, like Mike's first book, but it’s not. He sticks to the facts about our investigation of a freaky case and a little boy who spooked the hell out of me, and doesn't expect you to become some kind of believer in the other stuff. Little Taylor's a sweet kid, but spooky. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as reincarnation, I really don’t, but after dealing with that kid, I gotta say I could be talked into it.

And get a copy of Marcie’s Murder, Mike’s book about that homicide down in Tazewell County I mentioned. I never met the woman, never even saw the body, for that matter, but Hank saw her just before she got it and he’s still trying to deal with that one. He doesn’t like to show it, but he takes this stuff a lot harder than I do. Probably because of his fancy-ass upper-class upbringing or something. They all get this chronic case of the sensibilities and figure that money explains everything away better than anything else. A lot they know. Hank, though, has figured it out. He knows the price we pay for doing this job and living this life, and he's willing to stand up to his end of the bargain. But I just know he's still got those damned sensibilities poking away at him underneath.

Me? I come from a family of cops and never wanted to do anything else. The violence and death are hard to take, yeah, but you get used to it pretty fast if you're the kind who's going to stick around. I’m way too much of a hardass to let that kind of thing bother me.

At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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