Brigid Quinn, aka Stinger, has retired from the FBI. Why did she decide to leave?
It wasn't Brigid's decision. After being pushed past her endurance she made a bad decision in the field, and shot an unarmed perpetrator. After she was cleared by FBI internal affairs she was sent to the Arizona bureau office in Tucson to work until her retirement. She didn't like that at all, and at the beginning didn't care for desert life in what she considers a small town. Strangers wave to you, and she finds that creepy.
She has never revealed her past cases to her new husband. Why the silence?
22 years before she was deeply in love with Paul, a cellist. He broke up with her after seeing one crime scene photo. Carlo, her husband, is an ex-Roman Catholic priest and she's certain he would react the same. With Carlo, she's determined not to make that mistake again. So he knows she was with the FBI, but thinks it was 'just a desk job,' not the undercover work operating as bait for sexual predators.
In Rage Against the Dying Brigid is pulled back into a "cold" murder investigation. What makes this case so special?
It was the only serial murder case that Brigid failed to solve. On top of that, she knew she was getting too old to do the undercover work so she was training a young agent, Jessica, to take her place. Jessica is killed by the murderer, her body never found. Brigid blames herself for sending the girl into the field too soon. Brigid blames herself for everything.
Violence, death, abuse. In her former career, there is nothing Brigid hasn't seen. What does she do in order to disconnect from the terrible memories she carries around?
Well she's tried drugs (mostly prescription) and alcohol. Those help some, but these days she's trying to trust the peace she's found in her desert walks, and reading and going to movies with Carlo, even if they like very different things. She's more attracted to thrillers, of course, while with his philosophy background he's more attracted to Bertrand Russell. In this way they broaden each other's horizon. And under times of extreme stress, Brigid still experiences what she calls, 'draining out of herself,' that enables her to not feel, only react.
Reading your debut novel is a visceral experience. How has your career editing medical textbooks for forensic examiners and law enforcement influence Rage Against the Dying?
After fourteen years I've met the stars of real life forensic science, I can not only read their books which I've published, but it's very convenient to talk about gunshot wounds with, for example, the author of Gunshot Wounds.
Your debut is a superb suspense that has us wondering what we can expect from you next.
I'm working on the second Brigid story right now, that gives her new challenges in both fighting evil and nurturing her relationship with Carlo. I must say I’m tickled this is being recognized by the romance community because for me the romance between two older people who are still vibrant is just as important as the thriller aspect. Indeed, the whole novel can be seen as a love letter to my husband who I only married 8 years ago.
Want to step into Brigid's world? Here's your chance with a scene from Rage Against the Dying's audiobook. If you like what you hear, make sure to enter the giveaway below or purchase a copy of the novel available in stores and online now.
GIVEAWAY ALERT: We are giving away three audio copies of Rage Against the Dying. To enter, tell us how you relieve your stress after a bad day at work. Leave your answer in the comments below or email us here with the subject line "Becky Masterman Giveaway". Winners will be announced March 27. U.S. addresses only, please.
BLOG UPDATE: The winners are Justine, Lisa Branham and Marcy Baker.
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