Okay, I admit it. I watch a couple of television cop shows on a regular basis, usually with strong female characters of course. Some of my favorite cop shows are Law & Order SVU, Rizzoli & Isles, Castle, and The Closer in addition to true crime and forensic shows. I watch these shows whenever my schedule permits.
It is refreshing to see so many shows today that illustrate that women can be strong, intelligent, and capable as detectives and cops. The interesting thing is that with every tough female detective there is an equally strong, intelligent male partner. In some cases, an entire crime unit backs up the heroine. This makes for a great combination for any storyline. I think that’s one of the aspects I love the most about these types of crime dramas.
When I first developed my heroine Emily Stone in Compulsion, I wanted to create a character that was tough and could hold her own as she hunted down these dangerous serial killers – most of them child predators. These types of killers were not only a disturbing issue to address, but also I wanted the protagonist to be a woman who would successfully and anonymously hunt them down. I felt that it raised the stakes and suspense level in the story with a petite woman relentlessly investigating and tracking these frightening deviants of society. She had to be smart and capable of handling herself physically if she had to, which included managing firearms. and fighting techniques.
As I began to develop Emily Stone further in Dead Game and Dark Mind, I realized that she needed more than her “lone wolf” approach if she were to grow as a character and continue her quest. I decided that she needed someone who would not only understand her drive and life’s calling, but this particular character needed to hold his own with her. That was a little bit of a sticky crime writing situation for me, but out of this new development, I created the strong, confident ex-detective Rick Lopez.
I love the challenge of writing about this crime fighting couple because I think that so many things are possible in the storylines. As with any relationship, there are struggles and compromises, but with Emily and Rick there are life-threatening choices that are at stake as well.
Therefore, the big question is…
Could Emily Stone handle herself among today’s TV detectives such as Detective Olivia Benson (Law & Order SVU) or Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (The Closer)?
Who is your favorite female cop or detective?
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