Castle: Tick, Tick, Tick – A Review of the Police Procedure

Tonight’s episode is the first of a two-parter, and I have to admit I’m thankful the network broke this particular show into segments. Why? Because there’s no way I could stomach this all in one sitting. The writers definitely went for over the top stupid this time.

Sure, the usual humor was there, and the fire between Beckett and Castle was definitely blazing hot. And, of course, Alexis was as adorable as ever. But the police procedure and forensics were absolutely horrible. The cop-type stuff was so bad I quit taking notes after I filled the fourth page of a legal pad. Shoot, I’d filled two pages before the opening credits finished rolling.

I’m going to skip a lot of the bad procedure this week, because I’d like to get into bed before sunrise. It’s 12:22 now, so wish me luck. Here goes…

Oh, please do remember the purpose of this review. I write it to point out the good and bad police procedure used in the show, not to ding the writing, the acting, the commercials, the production, the casting, the stage lighting, etc. This review is solely to help writers get their facts straight. Castle is a work of fiction, and it’s a comedy (bordering on Leslie Nielsen Naked Gun and Police Academy silly this week). I appreciate the show for what it is. So please don’t send me nasty emails and threats because you’re in love with Nathan Fillion. I don’t know the guy, but I’m sure he’s really nice. So are the writers who ASKED me to do this review. AND, I like the show!

Warning! I’ve inserted an image of a real gun shot wound below. It may be considered graphic to some people.


– We see the first victim, a guy who’d been shot five times while inside a phone booth. My wife and I both shook our heads at this scene, and I don’t think we stopped shaking our heads in disbelief until the previews for next week’s show came on. My wife, who has a PhD in pathology and is quite familiar with death by both natural and unnatural causes, commented about the cascading rivers of blood that had poured down the victim’s chest. She referred to the numerous gun shot victims she’d seen over the years, and stated that in most cases gun shot wounds are remarkably unremarkable. As a former police detective and a former EMT, I agree. Normally, entrance wounds are small, about the size of the projectile itself, and any bleeding that occurs usually soaks into the clothing (which acts as a wick) beginning at the site of the wound and spreads outward.


This is the shirt worn by an actual shooting victim. The shot was fired at close range (notice the black powder burn). I was in the morgue when this shirt was removed from the body. The image below is of the wound received by the man wearing this shirt. The wound was approximately the size of the bullet.


– Enter Lanie Parrish, the M.E., and she was in rare form tonight. I do believe her morgue is the only one in the entire world that incorporates crystal balls and Ouija boards as part of their autopsy room tool arsenal.

How else could she possibly arrive at some of her magical medical conclusions? Lanie, bless her little heart, offered her first wacky determination of the night when she said she knew the victim had consumed a martini based on a tox report. There’s no way to arrive at that conclusion based on what’s contained in a tox report. A tox report would indicate an alcohol content. And stomach contents may have revealed pieces of an olive, maybe. Had she ordered specific tests, maybe the other ingredients would show up, too. I don’t know. But there is no “martini” test. Besides, who could possibly say with certainty that the victim didn’t consume each of the martini’s ingredients separately? Now, if Lanie had then shaken, not stirred, the dead guy vigorously to mix those ingredients…

I think something stupid fell from Lanie’s mouth each time she opened it in this episode. Awful. Awful. Awful! Oh, and she had the martini tox report in a matter of hours, not days or weeks like in real life.

– Beckett says the crime scene folks collected 200 fingerprints, over 1,000 fibers, and 60 DNA samples from the phone booth where victim #1 was murdered. So what? It’s a public phone booth. What good are all those pieces of evidence without a suspect to match them to? Sure, you could run the prints through AFIS and the DNA through CODIS, but what would that prove? That someone in the system had used a public phone booth? Well, shame on them. But again, so what? Besides, do you realize how long it would take to process 200 fingerprints and 1,000 fibers? How about the cost of running 60 DNA tests? Probably not gonna happen without a suspect.

Victim #2

– The killer calls Beckett and tells her she can find this victim’s body on a carousel. Beckett and entourage approach the scene driving on an asphalt path. Well, when they arrive at the carousel they each drive off the pavement and park in the grass. Why? They could have destroyed tire tracks, footprints, and other evidence. Dumb move.

– The M.E. consults her tea leaves and says there’s a contusion on the victim’s side that’s consistent with the muzzle of a .45 caliber.

Was it this muzzle?

This one?

Or this one?

Or maybe she meant this muzzle…

It doesn’t matter because there’s no way the bruise on the victim’s side could have proven anything without an object to match it to, an object that was not available. It didn’t even look like the end of a gun barrel to me.

– Parrish says the killer was left-handed because the muzzle bruise was on the victim’s left side. WHAT?? Sure, that might be true if the killer was standing behind the victim and used his left hand to jam the barrel into the victim’s left side, but not if he was standing in front of her. Then the bruise would have appeared on her right side. AND, the killer could be like me. I’m left-handed, but I shoot with my right hand. Many left-handed people use both hands, each for different tasks. I can even write forward and backward at the same time—forward with my right and backward with my left. Yes, I could actually write this blog forward and backward, at the same time. The bruise thing proves absolutely nothing.

– Okay, time for the FBI–the Fart, Barf, and Itchers (a line from a James Lee Burke novel) to enter the scene. Their mission? Take over the case.

Special Agent Whatshername ducks under the crime scene tape barking out orders like she’s Queen of Murder Solving. Nope. No way. No how. Not in a million years would this happen. For starters, the FBI doesn’t normally work murder cases. That’s not what they do. They’re mostly concerned with things like counterterrorism and organized crime. In fact, here’s a list of crimes they do investigate. I copied the list from their website, so there’d be no mistaking what you see.

1. Counterterrorism
• International Terrorism
• Domestic Terrorism
• Weapons of Mass Destruction

2. Counterintelligence
• Counterespionage
• Counterproliferation
• Economic Espionage

3. Cyber Crime
• Computer Intrusions
• Online Predators
• Piracy/Intellectual Property Theft
• Internet Fraud

4. Public Corruption
• Government Fraud
• Election Fraud
• Foreign Corrupt Practices

5. Civil Rights
• Hate Crime
• Human Trafficking
• Color of Law
• Freedom of Access to Clinics

6. Organized Crime
• Italian Mafia/LCN
• Eurasian
• Balkan
• Middle Eastern
• Asian
• African
• Sports Bribery

7. White-Collar Crime
• Antitrust
• Bankruptcy Fraud
• Corporate/Securities Fraud
• Health Care Fraud
• Identity Theft
• Insurance Fraud
• Money Laundering
• Mortgage Fraud
• Telemarketing Fraud
• More White-Collar Frauds

8. Major Thefts/Violent Crime
• Art Theft
• Bank Robbery
• Cargo Theft
• Crimes Against Children
• Cruise Ship Crime
• Indian Country Crime
• Jewelry and Gems Theft
• Retail Theft
• Vehicle Theft
• Violent Gangs

– The FBI will gladly assist local police departments, and many investigators welcome their knowledge and resources. But FBI special agents, no matter how special they may think they are, do not ride into town and take cases away from local law enforcement. It’s not their job to do so, and they don’t. Not ever. Murders and all other local cases are always investigated by the local police. If they need help they normally call another local agency, such as the sheriff’s office or state police. Besides, how did the FBI learn about the murder? Who called them?

This scene was especially ridiculous. But believe me, it got worse. In fact, these guys are much more believable.

Well, the next thing SA Jordan Somethingorother does is take over the entire police department. What, the FBI doesn’t have an office in NYC? Give me a break. Sure, I’ve had the pleasure of working with several agents from various three letter federal agencies. You know what they used for an office while they were in our neck of the woods? Their vehicles. They also acted like decent human beings, unlike the agent in this show. They even knocked on the door to my office when they needed to see me. Oh, and they had to check in at the front desk just like I had to do when I went to their offices.

I’m skipping a lot of stuff here, because there’s not enough space on the internet to write all the FBI nonsense in this episode. But feel free to chime in with the stuff that made you roll your eyes.

– A fingerprint search was conducted, through AFIS I suppose, and a match (a hit) showed up on the computer. It even gave the suspect’s name, address, phone number, blood type, shoe size, and favorite sports team. No, no, and no! This is not the way it’s done. The system selects several possible matches, which must be compared to the lifted print by a certified fingerprint examiner.

– Beckett and FBI SA Notrealistic question the guy who sold his little finger to the murderer. They treated the guy like a poor, poor, pitiful witness when actually he’s an accessory to murder. The killer told him what he was going to do with the finger. He knew his prints were going to be used in a murder. He knew the police would be coming for him. And he knew he was a decoy. That makes him a criminal! I also question how effective the severed finger would be in leaving prints in various locations. Once the digit was severed I believe it would stop producing the oily secretions that creates latent prints. I’m not sure how long that would work, but I thought I’d toss that out there as food for thought.

– Agent Getsonmynerves told Beckett to go home and get some rest.

Beckett says no, but the agent responded with, “Don’t argue with me, you’re no good to me if you’re burned out.” Beckett’s next words should have been, “You’re not the boss of me,”  because she’s not. The FBI has no authority over local law enforcement. None whatsoever.

– Castle spends the night at Beckett’s house (they’re getting awfully close to turning this into old Moonlighting episodes). When Castle opens the door to get the morning paper a body falls inside the apartment. Well, this has nothing to do with police procedure, but did you guys notice that when he opened the door he forgot to undo the security chain? Didn’t matter because it just fell off. I guess that was a prop error they didn’t catch during edits.

– Lanie, Lanie, Lanie… She’s just had to come back for one more gaze into her forensics crystal ball. She says she found formaldehyde under the victim’s fingernails and in her hair. How? Why would she be testing for this stuff? Besides, the M.E. would not be doing this testing. She’d send samples to the lab where scientists would do that sort of examination. Then she says she also discovered clay, polyurethane and animal blood, and to Lanie that could mean only one thing…the victim was a taxidermist. Well, it could also mean she worked in a North Carolina textile mill where the local soil is mostly red clay. Perhaps she worked in a furniture store where an exterminator had killed a rat, or a paint factory, or any number of other things? Besides, how many people in this world are familiar with the components of a taxidermy shop?

– SA Jordan Notsosmart leads a pitiful entry team into a search of a possible killer’s home. There were a few things totally wrong with this scene (other than the agent attempting to run in heels), such as Beckett talking to the guy on the phone and not warning the entry team that he’s inside and has a gun. Hello, Det. Beckett. People could get killed here. Of course, she may have realized that one shot could finally silence the annoying female agent. Anyway, the guy shoots himself before they get inside. Tension is gone now, which is a great indicator that this guy wasn’t the killer. Anybody else catch this? I mean this is a two part show, right? Okay, the cops are poking around and the agent sees a bunch of bomb-making equipment, including devices used as detonators, LIKE THE CELL PHONE she picks up. And what does she do, this highly trained agent? She starts punching buttons on the phone! By the way, that’s what makes bombs go boom.

Okay, we’ve made a full circle now, because Castle figured out that the guy who shot himself used his right hand to pull the trigger, and mystical, magical Lanie Parrish said the killer was left-handed (remember the stupid muzzle-bruise theory?). Again, this was so, so obvious. The director did everything short of using a flashing red arrow to point at the suicide guy’s right hand.

Well, the show finally ended and it did so with a bang. Yep, Beckett’s apartment blew up. But was she in it, or was she staying somewhere else? After all, she was peeking out of the shower like she didn’t have a clue where things were located.

There’s only one thing about this episode that’s worse than Lanie’s horrible scenes, and that’s the fact that part two of this nonsense is on the way and there’s nothing I can do to stop it…

TV Overmind photos

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42 replies
  1. Virginia
    Virginia says:

    Thanks for the great review and info, Lee. I was watching the show with someone who was getting very tired of my *sighs* and “that’s insane!” outbursts at every outlandish procedural turn. At a certain point (so as not to get thrown out of the room) I tuned it out and just watched the show silently. Of course, you caught waayyyy more than I did. I’m finding this a fascinating read.

  2. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Adam – We here at The Graveyard Shift don’t have a beef with anything on the show. It’s fiction. The point of the reviews, as I’ve stated numerous times, is to tell how things are supposed to be so that writers can have accurate information, instead of relying on what they see on TV. So, in order to do what we’ve been asked to do, which is exactly what I just explained, we cannot overlook anything. Still, I like the show, and I like the characters, and I like the relationships, etc., etc., etc. Thanks for the information on the cell phone pictures. We all learn something new here everyday, huh? Oh, I hadn’t heard the savant thing before.

    Leslie – The Andy Griffith Show…

  3. Adam
    Adam says:

    Brendan – I don’t see how that could be misinterpreted, and fail to see what where you think the inaccuracy is. Unless you took things very literally.

    Personally, I’m willing to overlook a lot of the autopsy stuff. Mostly because if they kept it to the books, things would take a really long time and would ruin the pace of the show. And plus, I’m pretty sure it was indicated at one point that Lanie was a kind of savant at her thing. Or maybe I’m thinking about another show. Either way, it would have been reasonable to interpret the evidence the way she did, with the martini. Perhaps she was able to determine how much, and the strength of the liquid that was consumed, and compared to average serving sizes.

    The technology, on the other hand, I have a beef with. Cell phone pictures are too shoddy for something like that. Plus, I have no idea how they would extract it correctly.

  4. Leslie
    Leslie says:

    Has there ever been a show that you thought got it right? Or even mostly right? I thought the early seasons of Homicide were decent, but that’s coming from someone who has the degree but hasn’t actually been on the job.

  5. Brendan
    Brendan says:

    I just stumbled across your blog. I love the acting in this show, and it is interesting seeing all the factual inaccuracies. As a geologist, I don’t really know what is plausible versus implausible (I can pick out the ridiculous though!) so thanks!

    I believe at the beginning of this particular episode the FBI lady initially barks out to tape out a 10ft circumference around the carousel. Either a writer failed geometry or the FBI can manipulate dimensional space!

    Good read though – I can’t imagine life as someone who “knows” law enforcement in today’s industry with so many “crime dramas.” Every time I see a disaster movie it is fraught with geological inaccuracies and it’s maddening. Movies like “The Core” are more comical because of the laughable science – it’s the ones that try to be close to real that are irritating.

  6. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Nancy – No, you really can’t tell. Sometimes, the wounds are larger or smaller, and sometimes they’re almost closed. This time I believe she made her guess due to the .45 cal. brass found on the floor.

    Leia – Great career choice. I wish you luck. No, I haven’t watched NCIS because I’m reviewing Castle on Tuesdays and Southland on Wednesdays. My tiny rain can only take so much of the TV cop/forensic shows. Most of them are so absurd that I can’t stand to watch.

  7. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Melanie – I forgot to mention the bullets in the original post (there was just so much this time), but I addressed them briefly in the comments above. Here’s a copy:

    You know, I forgot to mention one very important thing, the letters on the back of the bullets. To do this the killer would have had to load his own ammunition, and I’m not talking about sticking the rounds in the the pistol. I mean he actually would have had to assemble each round by hand – powder, bullet, etc. Why? Because the letters were on the part of the bullet that’s seated inside the brass, nearest the powder.

    I honestly believe they’re going way too far with the silliness. It’s a real distraction from the two main characters.

    And yes, they’re often fragmented, or misshapen beyond recognition.

  8. SZ
    SZ says:

    Yaaaa ! Just got back from first Community Police Academy class of ten. Tonight was Introduction and Safety. Excellent instructor and class mates.

  9. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Lee, I can’t believe you didn’t mention the slugs retrieved from the victims, which were still in such good shape (and all in the same shape) that Lanie, et al could read the letters scratched into them. That made me LOL! I’ve seen real slugs recovered from crime scenes, and they’re often totally misshapen–at least, they are to my knowledge. No way the killer could have known they’d be readable.

    And that clear murder board thing…OMG. Like the FBI has fancy stuff like that and drags it around all over the place. It’s just too funny. For a while there I thought they cared about the procedure and were trying to make it better, but this episode was off the charts in the other direction. Oh, well. I’ll just focus on Castle and Beckett.

    Thanks for the review!!

  10. Leia
    Leia says:

    I have to say, I found this entry extremely entertaining. Normally I don’t pay attention to police procedure or anything like that when I watch tv shows, especially not Castle because it’s too silly and entertaining to take seriously, but I am a criminal justice major and I want to go work at NCIS, so finding this site was awesome. Thanks so much for your insight. I know I’ll keep enjoying Castle and my other crime shows but maybe with a bit more respect for the differences between fiction and reality. Out of curiousity, have you seen the show NCIS, and if you have, how do you feel about the accuracy of their procedures?

  11. Nancy Laughlin
    Nancy Laughlin says:

    I love your review as always, Lee. I confess I missed a lot of the details you mentioned this time. I do have a question, could Laine have known from looking that the bullet holes in vic 1 were 45 caliber? That did jump out at me (as did all the high tech toys.)

  12. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    SZ – The writers who asked me to do these reviews are authors, not anyone associated with the show.

    Sarah – Thanks for visiting the blog, and I’m pleased that you enjoy it. I know lots of young people often use the site as a research tool for school projects, so it’s nice to see someone your age who also finds it entertaining.

    Elvira – I think somewhere around a hundred paragraphs ago I mentioned that I do like the show, especially the lead characters and their relationships. Nathan Fillion is a hoot! I’m sure I’d enjoy it more if I could simply watch the show from beginning to end without having to pause a thousand times to write notes and talk out scenarios with my wife. She often catches things I’ve missed.

  13. Elvira
    Elvira says:

    Aside from the crappy forensics, did you like the show at all? I mainly watch it for the characters, not the plots, so I’m just curious to know from your point of view if you found it enjoyable in the least? Your review is very, very funny though. It’s amazing how wrong crime shows get forensics. Maybe they’re not allowed to do them right? Who knows….

  14. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Okay, usually I don’t pay attention to the police procedure because A: I’m 14 and have no background whatsoever in the criminal minds and B: because I’m too caught up in Beckett and Castle’s damn entertaining relationship.
    With that said, I still caught some errors. (And yes, I did notice that the chain was locked when Castle opened the door to find the body- it made me laugh too). Many things were unrealistic to me, especially when FBI Jordan Shaw took a pic of the fingerprint from her phone- maybe the FBI really does have high tech ‘toys’ like that, but I still didn’t believe it.
    Plus, I’m usually really good with the details and staying on track with the show, but last night I kept turning to my mom and asking ‘that wouldn’t really happen, right?’ or ‘that’s impossible’- causing me to get behind on the fact.
    Any who, this is my favorite show, I love the acting (Nathan Fillion is so cool!), the writing, the sets, and usually the procedure, but this episode didn’t convince me. Thanks for writing this review, because I agree, the procedure was unrealistic.
    But I’m anxiously waiting on my toes for PART II- hopefully the procedure changed!
    Please don’t hate me for saying what I said!

  15. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    You know, I forgot to mention one very important thing, the letters on the back of the bullets. To do this the killer would have had to load his own ammunition, and I’m not talking about sticking the rounds in the the pistol. I mean he actually would have had to assemble each round by hand – powder, bullet, etc. Why? Because the letters were on the part of the bullet that’s seated inside the brass, nearest the powder.

  16. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Gary – You’re correct. They do. And they can, and do, investigate other crimes when asked to do so. FBI agents are well-educated, highly trained law enforcement officers, and they have jurisdiction anywhere in the U.S. and its territories. They even assign agents to various task forces along with local law enforcement officers. The FBI is always willing to serve as support for local departments. Still, they don’t drop in out of nowhere and take over local cases. That’s not their job.

  17. Gary
    Gary says:

    I believe the FBI still gets involved with kidnappings that cross state lines. Another tangent –didn’t the “Without a Trace” CBS show feature an FBI “Missing Persons Squad”?

  18. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I heard that, too, John. And don’t worry. I, too, think she was in her apartment. I just like to toss out a what-if every once in a while. However, Beckett has done a tad bit of remodeling since we last saw her in the tub. Remember when she settled into a nice bubble bath to read Castle’s book? Well, there was no shower curtain or shower rod around the tub back then. There was one of each in this episode. Also, in this show there’s a wire basket containing a sponge hanging from the faucets. It wasn’t there in the earlier episode. And, the faucets just may be slightly different in this show. The H and C center inserts are white in this episode. They appeared to be chrome in the earlier show. I’m not positive about this last one, though. Still, everything else was the same – tub, window, tile, wall sconces, etc.

    I’m guessing she hid in the tub during the explosion.

  19. Dave Swords
    Dave Swords says:

    Hi, Lee.

    You’ve obviously missed the main point behind the overbearing FBI agent. She’s not really a Fed, she a Desperate Housewife!

    At least THAT explains her actions.

    I was never around any Federal agent that acted like that, be they FBI, ATF or Secret Service. I always thought they were very careful to NOT act pompously, and were always careful to respect jurisdictional distinctions.

    But that’s my experience.

    As for all the other forensic stuff, I assume the show has a LE technical advisor, and I don’t know how much they make, but …

  20. John
    John says:

    As much as I love these write-ups (and I really do!), and as much as I love the theory that Beckett was in a different apartment, I don’t think that’s the case.

    Right before the explosion, she turns and we can hear the robotic voice saying “Good-bye Nikki” (like when the FBI lady hit the button earlier). So I’m guessing she was in the apartment.

    Just a minor detail. Loved the write up otherwise.

  21. Cat
    Cat says:

    LOL! Well now…I’m disappointed you didn’t comment on the fingerprint technology…

    “there’s an App for that!”


    Here…I never could make the character leap that the night before Dana Delaney was newly out-of-the-closet lesbian Katherine and ‘tonight’ she’s Jordan something-or-other FBI agent with a kid.

    Even my husband (who pretends he doesn’t watch Desperate Housewives) commented on it.


  22. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Hi Mary. You know, I once responded to a shots fired call where a man had been wounded in the neck. An artery was severed and blood was spurting out 6-8 feet away with each heartbeat.

  23. SZ
    SZ says:

    Hmmm, perhaps I should have contact the FBI when I had ID Theft instead of the police department ? I did get a call from Tim in Secret Service during the put-a-car-in-my-name episode portion of the program.

    Well I don’t own a television and have not watched this show on dvd. You say “I don’t know the guy, but I’m sure he’s really nice. So are the writers who ASKED me to do this review.”
    How long ago now ? Have they had time to change / better the procedure in their writing ? Or the desire ?

  24. Lynn LaFleur
    Lynn LaFleur says:

    Lee, I love reading your reviews. They’re almost as good as the show. I’ll admit I miss a lot of things that are wrong because I’m so wrapped up in Castle and Beckett. Your reviews help get my mind off the relationship and back to the police proceedings.

  25. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    I too am still giggling over this episode and your review. I caught a few of the errors but there were so many I was totally lost.

    I have to look at my DVR and see the Beckett in the shower scene. I do know that Beckett is a tub person so I figured she fly out of the apartment in the tub. So why the shower. Good catch, Lee, I didn’t even think she’d be in another apartment. I wonder if she went to Dad’s for the night?

    I can’t wait for next week’s episode to fine out what happens to the cast. I sure hope it won’t be a season cliffhanger…But I’m probably wrong there.

    I’m so glad you point all this stuff out because I get wrapped up in the main characters and miss things. Thanks for your expertise and humor.

  26. Mary
    Mary says:

    I’m so happy to read the FBI list. It totally fits in with my novel.

    And don’t you love when someone on TV is shot at close range and blood spurts out 10 ft from the entry wound?

  27. Julie
    Julie says:

    This cracked me up! I don’t watch the show, but I loved this:

    A fingerprint search was conducted, through AFIS I suppose, and a match (a hit) showed up on the computer. It even gave the suspect’s name, address, phone number, blood type, shoe size, and favorite sports team. No, no, and no! This is not the way it’s done. The system selects several possible matches, which must be compared to the lifted print by a certified fingerprint examiner.

    CSI Miami is NOTORIOUS for this type of thing. All the info, plus a gorgeous picture of the suspect. Don’t we all wish. I became a writer after writing fan fiction for CSIM because the plots and the writing were so bad, and I felt sorry for David Caruso. This was great, Lee. I could see making one or two of these mistakes in my writing, so this was very helpful. and funny!

  28. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Leslie – I didn’t bother discussing the agent’s toys. Some things just weren’t worth mentioning. This episode was exhausting, for all the wrong reasons.

  29. Leslie
    Leslie says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who thought the missing finger guy should have been charged as an accessory. For a show that seems to waste no opportunity to tell characters not to leave town, they sure missed an opening there.

    My personal favorite FBI eyeroll was over their extremely portable Star Trek crime solving technology. Because, hey, even if you DO have an office in the city, why not haul your Magic Doohickey Board all over the place? Yikes. It’s a good thing the cast is so pretty.

  30. Elena
    Elena says:

    I can suspend reality with the best of them for fiction, but the combination of the story and the current list of FBI activities had me putting on Bill Engvall’s ‘Here’s Your Sign’ performance for background ‘music’ in order to enjoy the rest of your blog.
    Still giggling and can’t wait for next week.

  31. HollyJahangiri
    HollyJahangiri says:

    Midnight Hours is a suspenseful read with characters a reader can relate to (even – grudgingly – Midnight, at times). I’m pleased to own one of the first copies (autographed!) and disturbed to know that sweet, innocent Vivian has such plots running around in her fertile imagination!

    Vivian, I enjoyed the “behind the scenes” glimpse at your research for the novel.

  32. Terry
    Terry says:

    And not only do you have to do all that research, but you have to decide what the readers will ‘accept’ because they probably have an entirely different idea of what people can and cannot do. It’s an ongoing dilemma for me. I want to be accurate, but there’s still the matter of the story. It’s fiction, after all, and between the time of writing and the time the book hits the shelves, it’ll probably all be out of date. It’s almost tempting to try to write historicals, but I hated history class.

  33. Elena
    Elena says:

    Vivian, I’m sorry to say, all those computer systems can be hacked into. Obviously those involved would wish it weren’t so, but the reality is that there is no unhackable computer system anywhere in the world.

    The DEA has a very hard time with this – they are hacked into regularly since the big drug people have the resources to outpay the DEA. According to the DEA chap I chatted with, they even have entire hardware teams that design and build hardware to meet their specifications, making their computer systems much much harder to get into.

    It’s not easy to do, and can require very sophisticated resources. You are dealing with agencies that are very aware of the need for security.

    I am retired now, but got into the computer field in the late 60’s, and have served as an expert witness several times in my field which was the inter-connection between hardware and software. The trials all involved embezzlement and were in Federal courts.

    I enjoyed you threatening Midnight with exploring the world of frogs – for a long time I thought I was the only one with characters who clamored for me to do ‘it’ their way.

    Best wishes.

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