A friend said to me today, “You know what you need? You need your own cop show. You’d make a great cop.”
Lately I have had the chance to be two of the greatest cops I’ve ever…experienced.
Who are Brooks and Otto? I’ll let their creators tell you.
Her adversary, Jake Ryder, describes Inspector Peyton Brooks: “The woman stood about five six, but she wore three-inch heels. She was of mixed ethnicity, probably part African American. She had a mound of curling black hair pulled into a ponytail at the back of her head. Her eyes were so dark they were almost black and her skin was a honey-brown color. She had full lips and high, wide cheekbones. She wore jeans and a black leather jacket. Not traditionally pretty, but exotic looking.”
Have you ever seen me…? I look like an adult ‘Pippi Longstocking’.
Peyton eats like a horse, sucks down chocolate shakes to improve her analytical thinking, drives a black Charger, shoots a Glock with pinpoint accuracy, has a Yorkshire Terrier named ‘Pickles’. Peyton’s best friends are her partner and the Medical Examiner. Her Dad is dead. He still guides her and haunts her. She can’t talk to her mom.
I know how she feels.
I did shoot a gun once. I told my husband for my birthday I wanted to shoot guns and ride horses. I wound up in a two-hour white knuckle session on one of the gentlest of equines – ‘Larry’ was his name. Then our friend, retired Chicago Police Sergeant Mike Rock took me to a firing range in Grayslake where he stood with his hand in my back so the kick from his 357 wouldn’t land me on my ass. We laughed and laughed and laughed.
I did get shot once with a Sig Sauer… but that’s another story.
The world is full of lady cops. When I asked ML what made Peyton Brooks special, she had this to say:
ML: Peyton Brooks is the protagonist of my murder mystery series and I have to admit, she is probably my favorite character. Peyton has such depth and personality. Reeling off the tragic loss of her father, she creates a family with her motley group of friends, pulling together an eclectic crew that would normally not be friends with each other, but are drawn together because of their love for her.
As a detective, she is tough and competent, particularly skilled in interrogation, but she has a soft spot and can’t help but feel sympathy for the very criminals she is sent to capture. Even though Jake finds himself fighting for his life, he senses this conflict in her and uses it as leverage.
I wanted to create a tough female character, who is also the very essence of what makes a woman a woman. In short, I didn’t want a man in drag as so many female protagonist become. Peyton is essentially a woman, but she’s a woman you really don’t want to cross. Unless of course, you have a piece of chocolate on you.
Peyton Brooks is a straightforward lady – cards on the table. Kim Otto, on the other hand is … an enigma.
As Diane Capri weaves her Dragnet like prose, we discover, “Kim’s mother was Vietnamese; her father served in the U.S. Army in Viet Nam. On the inside she was one hundred percent lithe, lanky, formidable German, like her father. But on the outside, she was exactly 5’0” tall, like her mother, and she weighed 100 pounds on her fat days. Brains, not brawn, would have to be her weapon.”
Kim Otto “… loved tax returns. She requested them on every case. Tax returns contained a gold mine of information if you knew how to read them. Predictable, comforting, recognizable digits securely held in proper boxes. Much better than dealing with people. Figures lie and liars figure, she knew. But Kim understood lies and liars; she liked numbers better.”
Detective Carlos Gaspar, Kim’s partner, says, “Kim Otto was cute as anything. Asian and tiny. She looked about eighteen.” The first time Gaspar sees her “… She was reading. An A-student. She wanted to be ready…. She was number one and he was number two. Maybe her first lead assignment. Asian, a woman, ambitious. She wanted to go all the way. She wanted to be the Director.”
Her partner’s favorite nickname for Kim? ‘Gretel.’
The #1 Best Selling New York Times author and creator of the ‘Jack Reacher’ literary empire Lee Child says, “Full of thrills and tension, but smart and human, too. Kim Otto is a great, great character. I love her.”
I love her too. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 40 of DON’T KNOW JACK by Diane Capri. Agent Otto at her best:
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