Guest Blog: The Operator by Valerie Laws

THE OPERATOR (2nd Bruce & Bennett Mystery with a medical setting)

By Valerie Laws

Operator‘Gripping from the very first scene’, Ann Cleeves.

Launches on Kindle 24th August, as paperback Feb 2014 with Red Squirrel Crime.

‘Now, this won’t hurt…’  

Yeah, right! We all know what that means! Pop Quiz: who has a right to hurt us a lot, get away with it, and still receive big salaries and even gratitude? Not just BDSM Doms, but Doctors. In my new crime novel THE OPERATOR, the second Erica Bruce and Will Bennett mystery, an orthopaedic surgeon with a sadistic bent is killed. Erica wades in to protect his suspected soon-to-be-ex-wife, but soon it appears someone’s giving doctors a taste of their own medicine – murdering surgeons to mimic the operations they perform. Doctors are both high-status victims (a refreshing change from helpless girls these days) and sadists/potential serial killers in this action-packed thriller. Think about it, I’m willing to bet you’ve either experienced or heard anecdotes aplenty:  about how a doctor didn’t listen, or was cold and inhuman at a crucial or tragic time for the patient, or got it wrong – yes they’re fallible, and yes many of them are terrific, but empathy is often in short supply when we are at our most vulnerable and facing major disastrous life changes. Deep grudges can result…

The first Bruce and Bennett book, THE ROTTING SPOT, introduced Erica Bruce, small but fierce alternative health therapist, locking horns with Detective Inspector Will Bennett, equal fitness nut but full-on sceptic. The new novel puts the medical world right at the heart of the book. It’s a bit darker than the first one, not for the medically squeamish, but funnier and sexier too, with lots of wittyTyneside banter. Some of that is fromWill’s colleagues, but much of it is from excess-loving ‘charva’ Stacey, who invaded the first book and has barged into the new one, Lambert & Butler in one hand, the night before’s high heels dangling from the other – though as she says, she doesn’t do the Walk of Shame, she gets ‘fkn taxis, man!’ The setting is still on the north east coast of England, near Newcastle upon Tyne, but this time the focus is a handful of miles further south in Wydsand, where Erica lives, to the actual mouth of the Tyne itself, setting for a dramatic set piece where the ever-present North Sea, almost a character in its own right, shows what it can do to test Erica to the limit.

THE OPERATOR, my second crime novel, twelfth book, is partly based on my own experience of being in hospital for three months with disabling multiple fractures. The loss of autonomy, choice, freedom and status involved is a horror story on its own! I’ve been researching science of dying for several years in a series of Writer’s Residencies in pathology museums, brain institutes, etc, and this has also contributed to the book.

THE ROTTING SPOT will be free on Kindle 24-26 August to celebrate the new novel launching.






Valerie Laws Amazon author page

Valerie Laws website