With only 30 days to find the real killer…
Rick and girlfriend Laura risk their lives tracking key suspects who had motives to kill…
Today at Terry’s Place, a fellow mystery author’s blog, I posted the following Valentine’s Day article “Lust, Ethics, and the Private Eye.” Everybody who leaves a comment between today and this Friday, Feb. 17, is eligible to win a free copy of THE ZEN MAN.
An excerpt of the blog article is below.
Being a private investigator as well as a writer, and that it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it’d be interesting to discuss the pros and cons of private investigators and their chosen love interests. We read about these entanglements in stories all the time — from Sam Spade falling into the sack with a wide variety of dames to private eyes conducting more serious affairs with police detectives, clients, even other PIs. Although there aren’t always legal restrictions, there are often ethical ones in such romantic liaisons.
Let’s first look at the implications of a private investigator getting involved with a law enforcement officer.
I recently finished a wonderful private eye novel by Jeff Shelby (Liquid Smoke) that features a private eye whose girlfriend is a police detective. Although the police-detective-girlfriend was interested in her boyfriend-PI’s case, she knew better than to get overly involved because her participation in the case had the potential to undermine a legal proceeding. Besides, her department had already assigned other detectives (and the department, knowing about her involvement with the PI, had purposefully not assigned her to work the case as well).
Why were the department and girlfriend-detective being cautious? Because if a romantically involved PI and officer are on different sides of a case, and share–or even appear to share–case information, it can compromise the integrity of both the defense and the prosecution in the trial judge’s eyes. More important, the defendant, after learning that the prosecution and defense investigators were bed partners, could file for a new trial.
Lawyers, physicians, accountants and psychologists cannot legally get involved with their clients because those professional-client relationships are interwoven with significant trust. However, in many jurisdictions, there is no legal ban forbidding a PI getting involved with a client.
Even without legal prohibitions, there are powerful reasons why a PI should scrupulously avoid romantic entanglements with clients. Probably the most critical reason is the PI’s loss of professional objectivity. After all, clients hire PIs to make factual discoveries, not be advocates of their versions of events.
Additionally, when an attorney retains the services of a PI, the PI then becomes an agent of that law firm, and the PI’s conduct is covered by the attorney’s code of professional responsibility. If the PI were to get romantically involved with a client, the attorney could be viewed as authorizing the investigator’s sexual misconduct with a client, and the attorney could easily lose his/her license.
But as Terry’s Place has a large following of writers, let’s chat a moment about several juicy plot implications of having a private eye getting steamy with a client:
(To read the rest of this article, click here)
"A fantastic read from start to finish. Reminded me a great deal of the works of Robert Crais and Robert B Parker." ~MacKenzie Brown
January 14, 2012: Interview w/ Colleen at Chatterrific
February 3, 2012: Coffee Time Romance: The Zen Man-Read It, Wear It
February 14, 2012 Terry's Place: Lust, Ethics, and the Private Eye
February 17, 2012 Savvy Authors: Tips from a PI-Tracking the Bad Guys in Stories
February 27, 2012 Elizabeth A White blog: Do Private Eyes Solve Murders?
February 28, 2012 Book Reviews by Elizabeth A White: The Zen Man
March 10, 2012 StoreyBook Reviews: Interview and Review
March 22, 2012 Minding Spot: Book Review
April 17, 2012 Fresh Fiction: 5 Hot Private Eye Heroes
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