Monday, March 18, 2013

Lisa Black's "Blunt Impact"

Lisa Black spent the five happiest years of her life in a morgue. As a forensic scientist in the Cleveland 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’s a certified latent print examiner and CSI for the Cape Coral Police Department. Her books have been translated into six languages. Evidence of Murder reached the New York Times mass market bestseller’s list.

Blunt Impact, Black's latest novel featuring forensic scientist Theresa MacLean, debuts on April 1st. Here the author dreamcasts an adaptation of the novel:
Blunt Impact is the 5th in the Theresa MacLean series, and my opinion on casting my main character has not changed: Julianne Moore. Her aura of intelligence, common sense and modesty would bring Theresa to life. And I’m sure she can take dangling from the 31st floor of a skyscraper under construction since she handled dangling over a cliff so well in the second Jurassic Park movie. As for Theresa’s first cousin, homicide detective Frank Patrick, my thoughts sometimes waver. I’d love Bruce McGill if he were 10 years younger. Thomas Kretschman, if he could do an American accent. Ooohh—Tim DeKay of White Collar. He’d be perfect. Or perhaps Nicholas Bishop of Body of Proof, for that ‘basically a good guy but you know he has some issues that will eventually crop up’ vibe.

And lush but sensible Valerie Cruz as his partner Angela Sanchez.

But the fun of casting Blunt Impact would be in the guest stars. For the first time I had a child in the story: fearless, irrepressible but shockingly vulnerable eleven-year-old Anna, nicknamed Ghost. As the story begins Ghost witnesses the murder of her mother, a hot young construction worker (picture one of the GoDaddy girls). Ghost has made a habit of roaming the inner city in the wee hours, looking for the father whose identity has never been revealed to her. I would love the best child actress ever, Dakota Fanning, but at eighteen she’s far too old for the role, so I would ask for younger sister, Elle. She’s three years older than my character, but so talented.

Construction manager Chris will have to be played by his namesake, Chris Bauer, with whom I fell completely in love as he played the doomed union leader in season two of The Wire.

But my favorite character is homely but intelligent prosecutor Ian Bauer. (I poach names, yes.) Ian has spent a lifetime ignored or outright avoided by the opposite sex, but he senses in Theresa an ability to see past the surface. I wrote the character after falling in love (I tend to do that a lot, yes) with Zeljko Ivanek on the first season of Damages. He played the defense lawyer for the scumbag rich guy, and yet seemed to be the only character in the series who possessed an actual soul. It was a meaty role for him after playing largely psychos or sad sacks (and the loyal representative from Pennsylvania in the HBO miniseries John Adams).

Now if Hollywood would only call….
Learn more about the book and author at Lisa Black's website.

Black's previous Theresa MacLean novels include Trail of Blood and Defensive Wounds.

My Book, The Movie: Trail of Blood.

The Page 69 Test: Trail of Blood.

Writers Read: Lisa Black (September 2010).

My Book, The Movie: Defensive Wounds.

The Page 69 Test: Defensive Wounds.

Writers Read: Lisa Black (October 2011).

Writers Read: Lisa Black.

--Marshal Zeringue