Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Worst Kind of Truth (River City #11) by Frank Zafiro

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Worst Kind of Truth by Frank Zafiro. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post regarding police procedurals. There's also the tour wide giveaway to win books by the author. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: The Worst Kind of Truth
Series: River City #11
Author: Frank Zafiro
Publisher: Code 4 Press
Publication Date: September 20th 2022
Print Length: 272 pages
Genre: Police Procedural Mystery
Detective Katie MacLeod has her hands full.

It has been four years since her promotion to detective, and after paying her dues in property crimes investigations, she has made it to the Major Crimes unit. This is where the highest profile cases land—homicides, robberies, serious assaults, and sexual assaults.

Katie catches two rape cases almost back-to-back. One victim is a prostitute with an unknown suspect… who Katie fears may be gearing up for more assaults. The other victim is a college student who has accused her boyfriend, a popular baseball player, of raping her at a party.

Both cases have their own set of perils. Katie juggles her time investigating each one, encountering many obstacles—a lack of evidence in one, and wondering how to parse conflicting statements in the other.

As she battles past these difficulties, Katie faces another fact… that both cases hit home with her in very different ways. Solving them becomes more than just a job for her, but something deep-seated and personal… something that may exorcise some of her own demons from the past.

Or will they consume her?

The woman in the emergency room hospital bed glanced away from Detective Katie MacLeod to fidget with the edge of the blanket. She looked down at her hands, avoiding Katie’s gaze. Her greasy brown hair with blond highlights hung limply past her shoulders. The state identification card she’d given Katie only a few minutes prior stated she was twenty-seven-years-old and five-foot-five. Not tall, Katie thought, but not tiny, either. Even so, she seemed smaller to the detective at the moment. Thinner, too, than the weight listed on the state ID.

“Nicole?” Katie asked gently. “Do you remember what happened next?”

Nicole nodded but didn’t speak.

Next to the bed, Crystal Docking took Nicole’s hand. Crystal was even thinner than Nicole, with sunken cheeks, black stringy hair, and dark eyes filled with anger. “He raped her, okay?” Crystal snapped. “She already told the nurse, who called you. Why does she have to say it again?”

On patrol, and even during her first year or two as a detective, Crystal’s interference would have frustrated Katie. She was a professional police officer, trying to accomplish an important task. People who got in the way of that were obstacles to her getting the larger job done. To make matters worse, hers was a job that usually had high stakes, so impediments had consequences.

Maybe it was her years of experience—seventeen years as a cop now, all told—or perhaps it was the result of staring down the big four-oh a couple of birthdays away, but she’d become far more patient these days. Instead of getting frustrated, she became efficient.

And right now, the most efficient thing to do was to ignore Crystal Docking.
Frank Zafiro writes gritty crime fiction from both sides of the badge. He was a police officer from 1993 to 2013, holding many different positions and ranks. He retired as a captain.

Frank is the award-winning author of over three dozen novels, most of them crime fiction. These include his River City series of police procedurals, Stefan Kopriva mysteries (PI), SpoCompton series (hardboiled), Jack McCrae mysteries (PI), and Sandy Banks thrillers. He has also co-authored multiple series with other authors, including the Charlie-316 series (procedurals with Colin Conway), Bricks and Cam Jobs (action, dark comedy with Eric Beetner), and the Ania series (hardboiled with Jim Wilsky).

In addition to writing, Frank hosted the crime fiction podcast Wrong Place, Write Crime. He has written a textbook on police report writing and taught police leadership all over the US and Canada. He is an avid hockey fan and a tortured guitarist. He currently lives in the high desert of Redmond, Oregon.

- What aspect about police procedurals do you love the most?

That’s a great question! And a difficult one. Of course, the most important thing is telling a compelling story that the reader enjoys. But the question was what I love the most, wasn’t it? Well, if I had to distill it down to a single thing, I’d have to say that is has been the opportunity to share a side of police work to readers that doesn’t always get shown.

Police officers and detectives are frequently mythologized in much of fiction (especially TV and movies). I won’t claim not to have done the same to a degree, but my River City series has always been about showing the human side of cops—the nobility, the faults, the frustrations, and the realities of the job.

For example, in this eleventh River City book, The Worst Kind of Truth, Detective Katie MacLeod investigates a pair of sexual assaults, and struggles with all of the obstacles that come with these types of cases. There are plenty of those obstacles. Some involve the investigation itself—legalities, procedures, and clues—but other problems arise directly from this thorny subject. As a society, we treat rape differently than most other crimes, and that has repercussions. As an investigator, Katie has to deal with all of these repercussions.

This is even more difficult for her than most cops, for two reasons. One, she was a victim herself while in college. And two, perhaps her most prominent case in the series involved a serial rapist fixating on her (#3 Beneath a Weeping Sky). So, for Katie, the two cases she must investigate in this book are anything but routine.

Showing the human side of officers like Katie (who is the core character of the series’ ensemble cast) was one of my original goals in writing these books. Often, people/readers see the uniform and the badge, and they decide how they feel about a person/character based on those symbols. I wanted my cops to be real people. Getting to show that humanity against the backdrop of how the police investigate crime and chase criminals has been what I’ve loved the most.

(Note: Even though this is #11 in the series, each volume stands alone, too. Also, no sexual assaults are depicted on the page, though they are discussed frankly, as you might expect in a police procedural).
One Winner: eBook box set of the first three books in the River City series by Frank Zafiro.
One Winner: Surprise package of out-of-print paperback versions of Frank Zafiro titles - US Only. (International winner may substitute digital version of any title in the author's back catalog.)

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prizes. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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  1. Thanks for having me on your blog, Heather!

  2. Sounds like a great story, I loved the excerpt.

  3. Thanks, Anita! It's actually the very beginning of the book.

  4. I love the cover and think the book sounds interesting.

  5. Thank you, Sherry! I went back and forth on the cover -- another version had a police car on it, but I felt like the image was more foreboding without it...

  6. You are a new author for me- after reading the excerpt I am hooked-thanks

  7. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

  8. Thanks, Debbi! And you bet --- giveaways are actually kinda fun!