This, however, is going to drive me nuts. Set-up for the book was that I had to have a cop go undercover as a stripper to investigate serial killings of exotic dancers.
I’ve had good, qualified consultants on this project, and my first detective-consultant said that no department would ever okay that … but gave me a way that it could legitimately happen anyway. So I ran with it in that direction.
But now, equally-qualified consultants are saying, yeah, it could happen. Undercover cops in life-or-death investigations have had to do things a lot more distasteful than get nekkid and and dance on a stage. Different police departments have different rules, and those differences apparently vary wildly.
I contacted the Atlanta PD in the hopes of consulting with someone there and getting this point right — could they? Couldn’t they? — but after presenting a first chapter and outline on request, never heard back.
So it all comes down to, I’m on my own and guessing. If I skip the whole "we shouldn’t be doing this but we have to, so we’re going to slide it under the radar" scenario, I lose my ending. If I keep it, though, does the story lose credibility?
Sometimes, I swear, the temptation to say, "Fuck it, it’s fiction," gets just about unbearable.