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Tired of police story drama?

Turn on the television and watch most any police or crime thriller series or film and typically, “Hollywood”, or the movie industry in general, typifies the main characters as broken or dysfunctional people.

The American stereotype usually shows police or crime fighters routinely retreating to a pub or bar somewhere, imbibing whiskey like it is a soft drink, and drowning their sorrows or stress or whatever, in alcohol. This is typical 101 in such series/films - which suggests that they have a deal with Jack Daniels or some other producer to advertise their product.

Almost always, police or crime fighting personalities are depicted with plagued marital or intimate relationships which inevitably go sour because their partner find themselves feeling unattended by their crime fighting partner, who is forced, by the nature of their work, to spend late nights and long days away from home. It’s so stereotyped that you can predict with accuracy at the beginning of the film or series, that one of them is going to start complaining that their partner is “not there for them” - and so begins the downslide - as if being a cop or crime fighter is suicide on relationships.

The other stereotype is that police or crime fighters are presented as being plagued by some trauma in their past; whether mishandled or abused as a child, the loss off siblings, or some other event which the writers and producers feel compelled to include in some bid to make the characters “more human” by giving them a dysfunctional side, something that drives them or haunts them. Apparently the idea is to make it so that the viewer can identify with them better, but really, do viewers watch crime thrillers for that reason - or for entertainment?

Personally, I find it tiring to watch such series and films because I am interested in the crime fighting aspect, the policing, the procedural “follow-the-clues” to get to the murderer - you know, Sherlock Holmes - get the bad guy. I don’t care about whether the main character has issues with his wife, or had a bad childhood, and yet, we see these films and series turned into semi-soap operas with the same scenarios played out - different words, same tune.

When I set out to create my own crime thriller series, I laid out certain parameters to ensure that my stories didn’t fall into the same matrix which Hollywood typically uses.

First of all, my main character would be in love with ONE woman, JUST one woman, who understood from the outset of their relationship that he was involved in a life-and-death career, riding the edge, and while she would naturally be concerned that he didn’t come back in a body bag, she wouldn’t bitch about his lifestyle because she loved HIM, and she knew exactly what she was walking into and she would support him. It’s a refreshing twist knowing that when he comes back from some near-death-encounter, the woman he loves is only interested in seeing him alive.

My main crime fighter in this series would not be dysfunctional. He would have, at most, just one event that occurred in his past which catalyzed his decision to become a crime fighter, but it wouldn’t define him or haunt him or affect his mental state.

My crime fighter wouldn’t rely on going to the pub to drown his sorrows with whisky, in fact, beyond a few beers here and there, alcohol played absolutely no role in his life because I fail to see Hollywood’s fixation with depicting police/crime fighters as people who rely on alcohol to get by. His ONLY daily fix would be coffee and a Canadian pastry (also available in the USA) called a bear-claw (crispy pastry filled with real apple filling).

He would be a maverick - someone who broke the rules and pushed the envelope, but with only one agenda, to get his man.

The series I created, The Keeno Crime Thrillers, had one other agenda - I wanted to put Canada on the map (where I originally come from) with its own crime fighter, because you never hear about Canadian crime fighters to amount to anything - probably in large part because Canada is not typically a matrix for crime. Nonetheless, it was time to give the Canucks their own crime-fighting hero, so Keeno McCole was born; a mix of Indigenous Indian (First Nation of Canada), Irish and French - who, with his partner in crime fighting (Jake Williams) since the days they both walked the streets as cops in Toronto, and their other two team members, Janene and Kelly, are a special unit in the RCMP or Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who take on special players in the crime arena.

It’s always high-tech, high-octane, and naturally, with Keeno, always a little unpredictable.

One thing for sure; the Keeno Crime Thrillers won’t assault you with the same stereotypes. It’s all about the action, finding the bad guys, and winning against all odds.

Four books have been published so far, and more coming:

Réal Laplaine

Author of Break Out Books

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