Art and Murder and Don Easton: A Q&A

Art and Murder and Don Easton: A Q&A

Posted on May 5 by Don Easton in Mystery
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Tell us about your book.

Art and Murder is about an undercover RCMP operative (Jack Taggart) who investigates the murder of another undercover operative who died trying to protect Taggart. The murderer is an unidentified person who heads an international gang known to deal in stolen property, including valuable paintings. Taggart locates a valuable painting which the killer wants. He allows himself to be courted by the gang who hope to get their hands on the painting. His plan to identify the killer is going well, until the killer identifies him first.      

 

Unnerving, how did you come up with the idea?

I worked as an undercover RCMP operative over a span of twenty years and many of the situations depicted in the novel are based on personal experience.

 

Describe your ideal writing environment.

My ideal writing environment is divided into two segments. To form the idea for what I write about, I prefer the outside world. Meeting with people and seeing the world stimulates my thought process and reminds me of past events. When I know what I want to write about, I prefer a quiet sanctuary without distraction.

 

This is the ninth Jack Taggart Mystery, not many authors get that far. What inspired you to write your first book in this impressive series?

As a former RCMP officer who worked undercover I was involved in numerous investigations, witnessed horrific crimes, and occasionally had contracts on my life. I realised that the world I lived in could not easily be defined as right and wrong or black and white. I often operated in what I called the grey zone.

My first novel, Loose Ends, and many that followed were cathartic for me to write. It was also an attempt to educate the public of what goes on in the criminal world. I was curious about what the readers would think of my protagonist. Would they criticise him for his work in ‘the grey zone’ or understand his actions? I am pleased to say that the vast majority not only understand, but applaud!   

 

Describe the most memorable response you’ve received from a reader.        

My third novel, entitled Angel in the Full Moon delves into the sexual exploitation of children. I wrote a plea in the epilogue saying:

For those who are the victims of sexual abuse — know you are not alone. There are no geographical, social, or economic boundaries when it comes to the perpetrators and the children they prey upon. If you are a victim, please find the courage to come forward. As part of the healing process, change your perception of yourself from “victim” to that of “advocate” and “survivor.” You have the strength within to do it. It is time to identify the monsters and put them away. Our children need protection. Please find the courage to do what is right. 

I had two women approach me at different book signings to tell me that as a result of this novel, they found the courage to speak out – one to her family members who were related to the abuser and the other went to the police. It gave me a feeling of profound satisfaction.

Don Easton

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
Don Easton photo

Don Easton

Don Easton worked as an undercover Mountie for twenty years, including seven years in an RCMP Intelligence Unit. He lives in Victoria, B.C.