Almost Normal Snippet – a new lead

It’s Weekend Writing Warriors Sunday again! I’m switching books this week to my urban fantasy suspense/thriller, Almost Normal. Sierra Swift is a detective with a secret on the trail of a serial killer. Not only does she have to stop him before he can kill again but she also has to make sure her suspicious partner doesn’t learn the truth about her.

     Another CSU tech hurried over with two evidence bags.  “We found two different types of hair this time,” the tech said.

     They’d only found one type of hair on the last victim.  Maybe they were about to get lucky.

     “Can you tell us what they are?” Sierra asked.

     The tech shrugged.  “Just by looking at them one looks like it’s human hair.  The other one maybe some sort of animal.”

As always, I’d love to know what you think of these.

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Until next time…



10 thoughts on “Almost Normal Snippet – a new lead

  1. Danielle Forrest

    First: Maybe the were about to get lucky. – should be they, not the?

    No one can tell the difference between human and animal hair at a glance. You might be able to surmise that a hair was likely human if it was long enough, but hair needs to be analyzed under a microscope to know anything. Also, CSU techs are evidence technicians, after all CSU means crime scene unit. Their sole responsibility is to collect the evidence, nothing more. Unless a rural police force called in a state lab to come to the scene to collect evidence (which is all but unheard of anymore), the tech wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of the evidence.

    1. Cindy

      Thanks for that catch, Danielle. Yes it should be they. This is first draft stuff. I haven’t looked at it again since I first wrote it.

      Good point about not knowing one was animal but I can make them two different colours so they’ll still know something is different this time.

      I have to change CSU to the appropriate unit for here. The story takes place in Canada. I’ll have to look at my notes from Citizens Police Academy.

  2. Frank Fisher

    Animal hair? Interesting. I agree with the earlier comment about telling the difference between animal/human hairs on the spot, but I think you’ve done a good job considering it’s a first draft. I think this investigation is going lead somewhere good, yet dangerous.

  3. Kate Warren

    Actually you could tell with some hair. Pretty sure I’d recognize Dalmatian, Norwegian Elkhound, and Bernese Mountain Dog fur anywhere. The textures are very different from human hair. Probably not as true of other breeds and other animals though.

    1. Danielle Forrest

      Yes, but you’re talking about recognizing it by FEEL. At a crime scene, everyone is wearing gloves. As a lab worker, I can guarantee you can’t tell differences in texture through the gloves. You’d be going exclusively by appearance and, as someone who’s had a great deal of experience with dogs, I can say with all honesty, I can’t tell much about a dog from looking at a piece of hair other than the length of their coats. Even the predominant color of the coat. My dog is a red brindle but all the dog hair at my house looks white. So was all the dog hair from my mom’s old JRT who was predominantly brown. It’s weird, really. Doesn’t make much sense.

  4. Melonie

    I’d like to comment on your lead-in, I think it’s great you have a detective who has secrets she’s trying to hide from her partner – nice job layering the plot with external and internal conflict. 🙂

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