The Thief - a romantic suspense novel by V.R. Marks

The Thief will be free on kindle November 19-23, 2012 

The unique consulting and security firm in The Thief, RC Investigations, began with dinner. Or rather a discussion at dinner about a class on geographic profiling.

When you have friends in the military, or pals who work with defense contractors, sometimes a dinner out can make you feel like the Cone of Silence should be employed. Except I wanted to hear all the intriguing details.

Admittedly, it took me awhile to understand the connections between the class and my general understanding of the work my friends do.

They were so enthused about how this class focused not just on identifying a particular kind of person, but rather narrowing down the search area for a particular kind of criminal. Greatly simplified, geographic profiling means if you study the criminal patterns (at the scene or within the case at large), you get clues to point you toward the area where the criminal most likely lives.

It was fascinating and I'm not doing the topic justice (pardon the pun) because I locked on to a different detail. Call it a novelist's quirk (or curse).

The part of their stories that caught my attention were the tales of cooperation (or lack thereof) between law enforcement agencies. Even different departments within the same agency often had trouble sharing the right information necessary to close a case quickly.

The causes for those lapses varied, but as the conversation continued, it became clear to me that a new type of investigator – or consultant – is emerging in the field of law enforcement.

A team like RC Investigations can use geographic profiling techniques to connect the dots and get that information out to the right authorities. They are smaller, more mobile, and can assist on baffling cases going cold, or even take on private cases that might not get the right attention through typical legal means.

Granted, the team has its challenges in The Thief, but the goal of the fictitious RC Investigations is to bridge the gap and be a resource for both law enforcement and the general public – if the client can afford their expertise.