‘My father always said becoming a police officer is one of the most self-destructive choices a person can make. He likened it to drowning in a lake.’
Trevor “Finn’ Finnegan is a PI on a stakeout. He knows there are dirty LAPD cops involved at the site, but when his former partner Munoz shows up he’s pretty unhappy. Then a gunman appears out of nowhere and her partner is shot dead.
Finnegan reluctantly becomes involved with Munoz’s pursuit of the killer, and it’s not the safest place for him to be. He’s got a whole lot going on in his personal life and this endeavour is an all out fuck fest.
An Interview with Aaron Philip Clark
At the beginning of Blue Like Me, it seems like Finnegan has figured his life out. What’s happening to him? His life has improved significantly from the previous book, Under Color of Law; however, it’s more on the surface. He’s still dealing with many of the same demons, and his role as a private investigator exposing police corruption is predicated by the questionable morals and actions he carried out in Under Color of Law.
Self-loathing seems deeply entrenched in Finnegan. Why does this character choose an occupation where public loathing is common? For Finn, law enforcement was a calling and, in his estimation, the only job that would fulfill his need to protect and prevent others from suffering. While that’s a grandiose reason to join law enforcement, it was very real for him until it wasn’t. Once the blue veil was removed, he saw the rot that existed below the surface and how he contributed to that rot. So, self-loathing is nothing more than a byproduct of that.
His former partner Munoz, is off the rails and Finnegan vacilitates between horror and longing. Can he resolve this conflict? He can’t, but it doesn’t prevent him from trying. Munoz can be saved, but it isn’t Finn that can facilitate that. She has to go through her crucible, and hopefully, she’ll emerge a better person.
Pop Finnegan is a pretty interesting character. A retired LAPD officer protesting against his former police department. There are some interesting emotions there that Trevor doesn’t seem to understand. Tell us about that. Finn idolizes his father but also resents him. While Pop has taken a stand against police corruption and brutality, Finn sees it as being convenient. Pop is also experiencing plenty of loathing, but he masks it with alcohol.
You’re an expressive writer, always or did you have to work at that? Thank you. I just write how I see the characters and scenes unfold in my head.
When you read this book, you know immediately that you were in law enforcement. Was there a time when you were advised to downplay this, perhaps to make the book “more commercial”? I was never advised to downplay the law enforcement aspects; however, I try to strike a balance between cop jargon and presenting information in terms a layperson can easily understand. At the end of the day, it’s a story about human beings, not cops.
For the LAPD it’s a public relations nightmare. A black academy recruit is found dead in the Angeles forest. The case is given to Detective Trevor Finnegan, who is also black.
Finnegan knows it’s all about the optics, but that doesn’t change the mission, even should it get him killed.
Finnegan rose quickly to the rank of detective, under unusual circumstances that few know the details of – some have their noses out of joint.
Police reform is a back drop to perhaps the best written origin story I’ve read.
~ June Lorraine Roberts
Murder in Common is #33 on the Feedspot Top 100 Crime Novel Website