Friday, August 16, 2013

CHARACTER GUEST POST (DR. SHARI MARKHAM) BY PJ NUNN AUTHOR OF ANGEL KILLER





I want to welcome PJ Nunn to Books R Us. PJ is the author of Angel Killerand is touring the blogosphere with Pump Up Your Book. Thanks for stopping by.



Character Guest Post 

Dr. Shari Markham (Dallas PD Profiler) on getting in over her head

I can’t be sure if it’s more like jumping off a high cliff or drowning in the middle of the ocean, but I was definitely in over my head.

It all seemed so simple. I was tired of my job at CPS. Of seeing so many cases never closed and so many kids with so many needs never met. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer out of the blue, everything seemed to happen so fast. Four months later, he was gone. My oldest son was married and my youngest just started medical school. Ken had enough life insurance that I was taken care of. Our house was paid for. But life as I knew it was over.

For years I’d said if I could, I’d go back to school and get my PhD in psychology and go to work for a law enforcement agency where maybe I could actually make a difference. The more I thought about it, and talked to the boys, the better it sounded and soon I was enrolled in Sam Houston State. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. The study of abnormal and criminal psychology was fascinating. After graduation, one of my professors was kind enough to put in a good word for me when I applied for a newly created position with the Dallas Police Department in their Crimes against Persons division.

Everything seemed like it was going exactly the way I wanted it to. Then came the wakeup call. Sergeant Brian Grant seemed none too pleased to have to clean out the storage room to make an office for me, and the rest of the officers in the division followed his lead. Oh, they were polite, most of the time, but I was definitely the outsider. I pretty much stayed in my office unless I absolutely had to leave, and I did the requisite evaluations and paperwork, but it was hard. There was a sinking feeling in my stomach that followed me home in the evening and I started wondering how it could be so different than I thought it would be.

I guess I seemed pretty down. Gradually, Sgt. Grant started asking me to go with him more often when he went into the field. I found that I really liked being able to visit the crime scenes and be present when they interviewed witnesses. Sometimes I even noticed things in the witness’s body language or facial expressions that the officers didn’t notice and was able to help them interpret information that was important to solving the case. Finally, a reason to be there!

There’s still so much that I don’t know, but over the last year, I’ve become acquainted with most of the guys and we’re friendly. Each new case is eye-opening and I still get that butterfly feeling in my stomach when the tension rises. I know that each decision can be life-threatening or life-saving. That’s a lot of pressure. But I’m up for it. I’ll be the best criminal psychologist I can be.

“Listen up! We’ve got a DB out on I-20. Shari, you coming?”

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