Beyond the Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin

By Don Helin

In this latest mystery from #1 bestselling author Bruce Robert Coffin, Detective Sergeant John Byron faces the greatest challenge of his career.

When a popular high school senior is shot by police following a late night robbery, chaos ensues. The actions of the officer are immediately called into question. Amid community protests, political grandstanding, department leaks, and reluctant witnesses, Byron and his team must work quickly to figure out what went wrong.

And when an attempt is made on the officer’s life, Byron shifts into overdrive, putting everything on the line. Was the attack merely retribution or something more sinister? The search for the truth may come at a price not even Byron can afford.

Coffin is the bestselling author of the Detective Byron mystery series and a former detective sergeant with more than 27 years in law enforcement. At the time of his retirement from the Portland, Maine police department, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine’s largest city. Following the terror attacks of September 11th, Coffin spent four years working counter-terrorism with the FBI, earning the Director’s Award, the highest honor a non-agent can receive.

His short fiction appears in several anthologies, including The Best American Mystery Stories 2016.

Coffin is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He is a regular blog contributor to the Maine Crime Writers and Murder Books blogs.

The Big Thrill caught up with Coffin to ask a few questions about his latest release in the Detective Byron mystery series, BEYOND THE TRUTH:

Is there anything special you’d like to tell us about BEYOND THE TRUTH?

Those who have followed the Detective Byron series will be familiar with John’s personal struggles. I have intentionally created a character who possesses many of the traits, both good and bad, commonly found in law enforcement in order to bring realism to the series. In this third installment, Byron will face his toughest personal and professional obstacles to date.

Did any particular event inspire the plot? 

Not a particular event, but like everyone else, I have watched how many police shootings are scrutinized and criticized long before all of the facts are in. My novels usually begin with a “what if” idea—BEYOND THE TRUTH was no different. 

What are you doing to promote your book? 

It would probably be easier to tell you what I’m not doing. In addition to social media, my schedule consists of a number of bookstore signings, radio and television interviews, library readings, guest blog appearances, and several magazine articles.

What’s next? 

I am busy writing book four in the series, tentatively titled Within Plain Sight.

When you are not writing, what are you doing? 

I enjoy hiking among the many mountains of New England, oil and watercolor painting, woodworking, and my ongoing quest to master the game of golf.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer and why?

That would be a long list, but I’ll narrow it to the three authors who have had the greatest impact on my writing career: Stephen King, Kate Flora, and James Lee Burke.

My first exposure to King’s writing came at age eleven when I read ‘Salem’s Lot. That book scared the hell out of me, but it also exposed me to master storytelling. I was hooked and knew immediately I wanted to be a novelist. I have since read nearly every book King has written.

I met Kate Flora while she was writing Finding Amy, a true crime novel about a Portland murder investigation that I worked on. Kate is my mentor, my friend, and continues to be my biggest fan. She was instrumental in helping me to achieve my childhood dream of becoming a published author.

Finally, if there is a crime fiction author more adept at writing prose that borders on poetry than James Lee Burke, I have yet to read them. I am a huge fan of Burke’s work and hope to one day meet him.

*****

Bruce Robert Coffin is the bestselling author of the Detective Byron mystery series and former detective sergeant with more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement. At the time of his retirement from the Portland, Maine police department, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine’s largest city. Following the terror attacks of September 11th, Bruce spent four years working counter-terrorism with the FBI, earning the Director’s Award, the highest honor a non-agent can receive.

His short fiction appears in several anthologies, including The Best American Mystery Stories 2016.

Bruce is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He is a regular blog contributor to the Maine Crime Writers and Murder Books blogs.

He lives and writes in Maine.

To learn more about Bruce, please visit his website.

Don Helin

Don Helin is the author of five thrillers that draw from his military experience, including three tours (eight years) in the Pentagon.His novel, Secret Assault, was selected as the Best Suspense/Thriller at the 2015 Indie Book Awards.You can reach him on his website, www.donhelin.com.

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