Sunday, January 29, 2017

Lisa Black

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black is the author of seven novels in the Theresa MacLean mystery series and two novels written as Elizabeth Becka. As a forensic scientist at the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office, she analyzed gunshot residue on hands and clothing, hairs, fibers, paint, glass, DNA, blood and many other forms of trace evidence, as well as crime scenes. Now she is a latent print examiner and CSI for the Cape Coral Police Department in Florida, working mostly with fingerprints and crime scenes.

Last year Black introduced a new series featuring Maggie Gardiner, a forensic expert who studies the dead, and Jack Renner, a homicide cop who stalks the living. Her new novel is Unpunished, the second book in the series.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Black's reply:
True Enough: Learning To Live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo

While researching the state of print journalism in America today, after deciding to set the murders in Unpunished at a big-city paper, I became sidetracked by the topic of how the news as an industry has changed over the past half a century or so. Hence I read, among many other books, True Enough. In it the author explores reasons for the explosion of selective perception and splintering in our society.

Many will come as no surprise—for instance the simple tendency of human beings to believe what they want to believe, what they like to believe, what they feel comfortable believing. What has changed is that today most of us venture out in the morning equipped with a handheld publisher on which we can compose our thoughts and experiences, take photos to go along with them, edit either or both and send them into the world via countless public forums such as Facebook, Twitter, user forums, Instagram, blogs, comment boards and who knows what else. More outlets seem to be created every day. This should bring us closer to a world in which falsehood has been made impossible; we are now an army of little Big Brothers.

Instead this overabundance of choices for ‘news’ and information and facts makes it so that we can pick and choose which ones we want to accept as real. Each person can, quite literally, construct their own reality—and being human persons, we can’t help constructing it according to our own perspectives and preconceptions.

Manjoo uses several situations born from both right and left wing concerns, such as global warming, 9/11 and the swiftboating of John Kerry. But it becomes apparent that in every case what has become lacking is trust, and without a base level of trust, a society can not function.
Learn more about the book and author at Lisa Black's website.

The Page 69 Test: That Darkness.

--Marshal Zeringue