My days are varied. Sometimes I have no work, in which case I tend to my personal business and finances. I will research some aspects of missing person cases because that is my specialty.
On days when I am commissioned by the Bergen County (New Jersey) Prosecutor’s Office to investigate such an event, I will confer with my colleague Ben Preston on the particulars of the case and then interview possible witnesses or those with some knowledge of the missing person. This is usually not complicated by the fact that Ben is currently dating Rachel Goldman, the woman who created me.
Rachel doesn’t like to admit it, but when she started writing crime fiction centered on the character Duffy Madison, a man dedicated to finding missing people, she somehow gave life to me. It is the only logical conclusion one can reach, as I have no memories beyond five years ago, when Rachel began the series of novels.
I realize that sounds impossible. It doesn’t seem to make sense in a physical context. But I can find no other theory that fits all the facts, so the conclusion that I am the living manifestation of Rachel’s fictional character is the only one that can be true.
Recently Rachel attempted to disprove my theory by asserting that I had another identity until five years ago. She believed I had been Damien Mosely, a man who had vanished from his home in Poughkeepsie, New York at almost the same moment I must have come into being.
Again, I understand her reluctance to accept my version of the truth and I can certainly see how her theory makes some sense in Rachel’s mind. Here was a man who lived in the town she had written as my birthplace. He had the same initials as I do (which isn’t much proof but is an improbable coincidence). He left his home without any explanation and had not been seen since, and the timing was eerily close. I can see how Rachel would make that mistake.
So I proposed that we go to Poughkeepsie and investigate Damien Mosely’s disappearance. Finding the truth would obviously contradict the notion in Rachel’s mind and she would accept who I really am.
But Rachel refused. She was not interested in anything other than writing her latest Duffy Madison novel, which she said was going badly because now that she’d met me she could no longer imagine the character she’d created accurately enough to make him real on the page. I found this ironic but kept my opinion to myself as it would have no positive effect on the conversation.
Eventually I did convince Rachel to travel with me to Poughkeepsie and we began an investigation into Damien Mosely’s disappearance. While the consequences of that investigation were quite unexpected—including my being arrested for murder—the things we discovered were downright surprising and eventually quite dangerous for both Rachel and myself.
I’m not sure if I will ever truly convince Rachel of my identity. For a novelist who creates fiction completely from her imagination she is surprisingly grounded in the conventional explanations of phenomena. So my existence, in Rachel’s mind, must be the result of some trauma I have suffered which led to hysterical amnesia. She believes she will eventually be able to prove to me that her theory is based more in science than mine and that I will accept it if she can find the person I “used to be.”
But I know the truth, and now, so do you.
Duffy Madison appears in Edited Out, the latest Mysterious Detective Mystery from Crooked Lane Books.
Mystery author Rachel Goldman is getting used to the idea that her fictional creation Duffy Madison has somehow taken flesh-and-blood form and is investigating missing person cases not far from where Rachel lives. Wait. No. She’s not getting used to it at all, and the presence of this real-life Duffy is making her current manuscript—what’s the word?—lousy.
So she doesn’t want to see Duffy—the living one—at all. To make matters worse, when he shows up at her door and insists on talking to her, it’s about the one thing she doesn’t want to do: Find a missing person. But the man Duffy seeks this time around might be able to solve Rachel’s problem. He might just be the man Duffy was before he became Duffy five years ago. The only problem is she could be letting Duffy lead her into danger yet again. . .
Entertaining and witty, the second in E.J. Copperman’s Mysterious Detective Mystery series Edited Out will delight his fans, both new and old.
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About the author
E.J. Copperman writes Mysterious Detective series as well as the Haunted Guesthouse and Agent to the Paws series, and with Jeff Cohen, the Asperger’s Mystery series. That seems like a lot of series.
Visit E.J. at ejcopperman.com.
All comments are welcomed.