Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. John Trenton, the heartthrob forensic psychiatrist who made his debut in Gemini, The Sign Behind The Crime, Book 1 in June 2015. It’s 2.5 years later, and he’s back in book 3 of the series, Scorpio. It’s not like he’s been inactive. In 2016, in book 2, Aries, he appeared as a consultant, debriefing Detective Samantha Wright when she had her first trigger pull. It’s thrilling to have him back.
R: Hello, Dr. Trenton. It’s wonderful to speak with you again.
JT: The pleasure is all mine, Ronnie. I’m still not back at Manhattan Psych yet full time, so this is a great diversion for an hour.
R: When are you going back?
JT: My sabbatical was for a full year, and Dr. Kessler, my interim replacement was contracted for that amount of time. But working on the Scorpio case is taking my time and more. I’m officially going back the end of the month.
R: I’m sure. What brought you back to NYC?
JT: It’s heartbreaking, for sure. Bobby Mitchell who was instrumental in me saving my wife and Ricky in the Gemini case was murdered at the halfway house. Detectives Lex Withers and Bella Richards who came aboard at the end of Gemini, were assigned to this. And with all my nudging, they went along with me and we got to the bottom of Bobby’s murder. I’m not telling it here, but I wouldn’t mind you putting an excerpt in at the end of this interview.
R: Thank you for your consent, John, I definitely will. So readers, read to the end, and I’ll include a never before seen excerpt. How did you become involved in Scorpio?
JT: Whew, long story. Lt. Rojas allowed me to come back from Florida to profile Bobby’s murder. Dr. Frank Khaos had discovered something very tragic and I’ll let him tell you about it, but the bottom line is that Lt. Rojas threatened to take him off Samantha’s friend’s murder, and me off Bobby’s case if either of us couldn’t handle it. Then we had a break-in in my home in Scarsdale, and the cases became intermingled. Yeah, it’s complicated, but you know how Ms. Allen writes multiple subplots.
R: Yes, I certainly do. So how is your family adjusting to NYC winters?
JT: It’s rough. Ricky has never been in snow, and Vicki hates the cold, but she loves her new kitchen and as long as the twins and Ricky are doing well, she happy. We’ve been getting together a lot with Sam and Frank, and Ricky and Frankie have become friends. Ricky has been talking a lot to Frank.
R: That’s wonderful. What are they talking about?
JT: Well, you know Ricky’s formal adoption went through last February, and now he’s a Trenton. And Frank was adopted. Ricky asks him a lot of questions about how Frank felt when his parents gave him away. That’s an abbreviated answer, but the Scorpio case brought up many feelings in Frank about his adoption. Again, I’ll defer to him to answer. You’ll be interviewing him again too, I’m assuming.
R: Yes, definitely. So what’s going on with you?
JT: Well, I was very happy to solve the case of Bobby’s murder. The kid didn’t get a fair shake in life, I wanted to make sure he got his justice in death. Lex and Bella put their all into this case. They’re great detectives. The Scarsdale police department let me become involved in the case of my home invasion because I had the time off, so it was a professional courtesy, and the ring of women who was responsible is in my target age group. It got tricky because the leader Abby Ruthe turned out to be Frank Khaos’ niece. And then I was drawn into another hostage situation when the killer, Henry Slater took Samantha hostage, right in his apartment.
R: Oh my goodness, John, weren’t you warned against that? Strongly? Like you could lose your medical license?
JT: Yeah. What can I say? I’m a hostage situation magnet. But it turned out ok. FBI Agent Brett Case had my back, and he made nice to the doctor who’d put that in writing. All is good. But it was close.
R: You know? You told me a lot about Scorpio and of course, I don’t want to tell too much because Ms. Allen wants everyone to read the book, so how about I put in the excerpt now?
JT: Sounds good.
SCORPIO EXCERPT WITH DR. JOHN, DETECTIVES LEX WITHERS AND BELLA RICHARDS
“Another question for you, Trenton.” Withers rubbed his chin. “If it was so urgent, why didn’t he call you from the hospital? He could have gotten a phone there.”
“No out of state calls allowed. Yeah, it sucks.”
“No. You still have your cell number?” John nodded. Withers shrugged. “It’s a nine-one-seven area code. That’s New York. I don’t buy this for a friggin’ minute. I think you’re too damn close to this to know your ass from your elbow. Not good. We need a sit down with Loo. I mean it.”
“Yeah, maybe you’re right.” John closed his eyes in contemplation. “But I’m going to turn that around. Starting now.”
“As long as we’re here, let’s get started then. Bella, take the third drawer. Trenton, you and me, will start with these files.
“Why have so many paper files? Why not keep files online?” John shook his head as he opened the first one. “Um, maybe because paper files are easier to alter, because internet files would have an update date? Maybe, possibility. What is all this?” He read the first page. “Prison records? Where did they get this stuff? This guy is out on parole for petty larceny. New admit. Just came from upstate.”
Withers threw his pen on the desk. “Damn it, Trenton. What are you rambling about? I can’t hear myself think, man.”
John looked up, startled. “Oh, sorry, I just think out loud.”
“Well, keep your thinking in your brain.” Withers returned to his file. He closed it and pushed it aside. Then he took a second and third. On the fourth folder, he stopped. “Hey. This may be something. Okay, listen to this. This guy was here for nine months. He had an appearance before the board, January twentieth. Never made it, because he was discharged January eighteenth. How in hell does one get discharged from a halfway house? That’s not terminology they use. No forwarding address and his name on every page is whited out. A name, Stewart Blarey is written in. What kind of creative bookkeeping is this? Okay, our lab guys can find whose name was underneath.”
Richards halted. “Hold on. Hold on, guys. All these files have names whited out. Every one of them. What is the freaking purpose in that? And shouldn’t Bobby Mitchell’s name be on one? Haven’t found it. A lot of Ms but no Mitchell. They’ve had to have government inspection. These would have been caught. Unless they’re new since the murder.” She flipped through to the back of the file she held in her hand. “Here it is. The state inspectors were here two months ago. Their next visit is in four months. That’s plenty of time to alter these back to the real identities or make fresh files.”
“They’re hiding the identities of the residents.” John took his cellphone out of his pocket. “Why? I think it’s time to call Crime Scene to pack up this room. And schedule teams to come in tonight to knock on doors.”
Here are the buy links for the three books in The Sign Behind The Crime Series.
Amazon For both books in The Sign Behind The Crime Series, Kindle and Paperback
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Amazon UK For both books in The Sign Behind The Crime Series, Ebook and Paperback
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