I had been retired from journalism and writing another series for a few years when I read a Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. Now let’s just say Reacher is so much larger than life, he’s on a physical plane all by himself. That caused me to search my brain for a woman in a series that was like Reacher. There may be a few, but lacking female Reachers in my library, I created Moriah Dru.
Dru, a tall good-looking woman, began her career as a policewoman on the fast track at the Atlanta Police Department. She was approved for a slot at the FBI’s National Academy and takes the Yellow Brick Road challenge. Her prowess under the harshest conditions earned her a coveted Marine Corps’ yellow brick.
Back in Atlanta, she was partnered with Lieutenant Richard Lake. He was divorced, and they become lovers. When he was promoted, she got stuck with some unlovely partners who thought they should she share her bed, too. Not going to happen. Her good friend, a juvenile judge, urged her to leave the force and start Child Trace, a specialty child-finding private detective agency. In The End Game she is challenged to find two abducted sisters bound for the sex slave trade in Central America. With Lake’s help, they succeed. That book won the St. Martin’s Minotaur Best First Novel.
As her story progressed in the now five-book published series, Dru’s self-defense skills, including expertise in martial arts, shooting, and out-thinking the bad guys, increased. My editor figured out which fictional character she is most like: Emma Peel of the original British “The Avengers” series on television.
That brings us to RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD
One time I rode on a Harley Davidson. Just that once. At eighty m.p.h. I like to be enclosed. But I have to admit I have been fascinated with motorcycles and a culture created by generations of men hungering for the unencumbered wild life. Not all clubs (never gangs) are of the outlaw bent, but Wild Blood is.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I were on the highway from hell—I-95 from Georgia to Florida—and a string of bikes flew past us. (My husband is no slouch when it comes to speed.) That’s when the idea of writing a Moriah Dru/Richard Lake thriller/mystery that would feature a biker club came to me.
It’s so easy to connect murder with an outlaw club, but more than that, in Running With Wild Blood I was able to explore the mystique and romance of the culture. I learned many arcane things from my sources—shared by those who knew bikers, including outlaws.
In my reporter days I met several scruffy-looking bikers at Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, S. C. They were the spokesmen (no women)—the front men or hail-fellows of the clubs. In the last few decades, the big national clubs have campaigned to clean up their image by sponsoring charitable bike events in places where they are welcome. In winter, Florida seems to be a magnet for Bike Weeks. Who doesn’t want to get the cold north wind out of their face?
While Running with Wild Blood reflects biker practices and traditions (including those with hearts-of-gold), the book centers on the heinous murder of an adventurous teenage girl and her missing friend. The Wild Blood Club is accused. After looking into the cold case, Dru has doubts about the club’s involvement. To clear them, if they can be cleared, Dru and Lake ride Lake’s Harley to a Florida Bike Week with Wild Blood. To be sure, the culture of cop and biker creates a lot of tension. Who would bet that hell wouldn’t break loose when another murder occurs?
My best to readers and riders alike!
Running with Wild Blood