Protests, riots and someone who hides under the flame that scorches the possibility of improving race relations in America during the Civil Rights era. Jacqueline Sadie Thompson is a detective in a coloured precinct in New York. Lieutenant Davidson assigns her and Johnson murder cases which occurred during protests. They visit the scene. Someone tosses a Molotov cocktail where they stand. The building collapses. Thompson’s British husband, William rescues her. Her partner suffers a coma. Johnson awakens. He recalls the disturbing notions his wife had concerning racial identity. Thompson faints at the station house and is put on leave. Her husband cares for her. Anderson, another detective, furthers their investigations. Johnson convinces one of his cousins to retrieve a book. The detective is aloof and does not disclose to anyone what he saw before the explosion. Jacqueline deduces a portion of it. Jacqueline is determined to solve the case. Her husband is determined to protect her. Who do they both need protection from?
Mild note: The protagonist and her husband share intimate moments-often. Although there is only mention of legs, arms, embraces and kisses, the remaining descriptions I use allegory and references to nature to describe their intimacy. This may be considered mild to moderately “Steamy” depending on the potential reader’s inclination.
Moderate to severe discretion (abridged): This book is a work of fiction. However, the author intended to create characters and settings historically accurate to the era it takes place in, the racially tumultuous 1960s. Certain terms used as racial descriptions now considered archaic, outdated or even offensive are used to reflect the past usage by both black and white Americans of that era.
Additional note: A portion of the main plot revolves a pivotal scene in which a few people are injured due to an explosion which destroys a building. This notice is to advise those who may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) concerning traumatic events based the recollection of certain sounds or the imagery which may encompass them both.
Targeted Age Group:: 17+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wanted to try to write a second mystery/detective romance novel after The Speakeasy Murders. I also wanted to challenge myself by selecting another time period. Regardless of the era, at least in the United States, racial politics is a continuous theme interwoven in America's history. So I juxtaposed this to the interracial marriage between Jacqueline and William. Their love for one another is limitless.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I usually start with the protagonist in any of my novels, regardless of genre. So I did the same for Murder By Dissent. She is a "coloured" detective who is married to an Englishman in the U.S. during the 1960s. Their marriage is separate from the world beyond them, yet the external tried to interfere. William and Jacqueline love each other genuinely and deeply, so it was not difficult for me to write about their daily lives and their interactions with one another. Some characters are ambivalent, others are hateful towards them both. In either case, they did not desire or yearn for external validation. It remains irrelevant to what lied between them. So if you can look at the genuine heart between a man and woman who naturally incline to one another and how they express it with their personalities, it becomes a sort of map for the characters.
“Sebastian, what is it that you can tell us? What did you see just before the explosion?” Johnson hit his right fist against the soft bed and turned away to his left. Her partner did remember something. Something that even Thompson had not known.
“…held a gun,” Sebastian muttered. His thoughts raced. He just realized that he did not speak a full sentence. Thompson, however, was patient.
“Yes, your wife was shot several times. You saw ho held the weapon?” He looked at Jacqueline. His eyes appeared wider. Then they returned to their normal appearance. He shook his head from side to side.
“There is another gun. My wife….Margaret.”
“I understand. We are all shocked. You miss Margaret—” Jacqueline said.
“No…I don't, Johnson muttered. Thompson appeared confused and looked up at Mark. He only shrugged his shoulders and kept recording what was being said on a blank sheet of paper. Johnson looked at the doctor with embarrassment.
“I am not here to judge whatever has caused this,” the physician said. “My oath is to heal. My purpose right now is to monitor you. I may step further back if you would like.” Right then, Sebastian resumed his gaze at his co-detective.
“Sebastian, why would you say that? What is it that you know?”
“She is bad. Margaret, she tried to—” Johnson turned silent. Jacqueline thought he was to fall right back into his coma. He did not. Johnson was embarrassed for more than one reason that he was reluctant to iterate. Thompson tapped her right leg lightly with the tips of her fingers. Sebastian saw her and quietly chuckled. When McKenzie heard laughter, even he wanted to know what was happening. He saw it as well and attempted to muffle his laughter by holding his right forearm to his mouth. The physician was now observing them all. He noted
that his patient appeared fully cognizant.
“Why are you both laughing? What did I miss?” Jacqueline said. She kept on tapping. Sebastian was weak but able to wipe his mouth with the back of his hand. Thompson was now frustrated. With these circumstances, she would like to be amused as well.
“Well, is someone to tell me, or—”
“You do that,” Sebastian said, “When you do not know what to say…” he pointed downwards towards her hands. The physician noted Johnson's additional awareness. Jacqueline did this subconsciously. It was not until she looked for herself that she realized what the fuss was for. The detective immediately laid her right hand flat against her upper thigh.
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy Murder By Dissent On Amazon
Link to Murder By Dissent on Barnes and Noble
Link to Murder By Dissent for sale on Smashwords
Link to Murder By Dissent for sale on iBooks
Link to Murder By Dissent eBook for sale on Kobo
Patricia M. Muhammad is an American fiction author of crossover contemporary romance/science fiction, science fiction/fantasy, mystery and historical romance genres. She has currently written 20 novels. She is currently working on her next book manuscript. Before penning fiction, Patricia emerged as an international legal history scholar and academic author, focusing on human rights, international law and restorative justice. She has currently written and published a combination of 22 research papers and academic book reviews in these subject areas. Her work has appeared in the American University International Law Review, Columbia Journal of Race and Law, the Willamette Journal of International Law and Public Policy as well as the New York History Journal. Her non-fiction writing has been cited dozens of times in various respectable academic journals.