What Harms You

Locard Institute Book 2

Lisa Black

Kensington Pub

July 25th, 2023

The Locard Institute is a state-of-the-art forensic research center where experts from around the world come together to confront and solve the world’s most challenging and perplexing crimes. “I wanted it to handle 1/3 research, 1/3 private cases, and 1/3 training law enforcement personnel.  I thought how interesting it would be for a serial killer to attend training here and find out how not to get caught. It was like ‘a fox in the hen house,’ since the killer betrays those running the Institute and stabs them in the back, because they have a job in CSI.”

Within hours a colleague, of Ellie Carr arriving for her first day of work at the Institute, Dr. Barbara Wright, is found dead on the floor of a supply closet. Her death appears to be an accident—but Ellie and her new supervisor, Dr. Rachael Davies, suspect a more sinister explanation.

Then a young woman, from Saudi Arabia, attending a professional training program disappears, only to be found in a gruesome tableau. Other than their link to the Institute, there seems to be no connection between the student and Dr. Wright. Although forensic traces are elusive, Ellie and Rachael are determined to find the bizarre link between the violent and diverse deaths. 

“I put in the Saudi angle because we had a friend who was an oil engineer in Saudi Arabia.  It was in the news that women are finally allowed to drive.  There are big changes going on there.  I put in how husbands had to approve if their wives wanted to work as well as how Saudi women picked their husband according to how much freedom they wanted to have. I read some books to get this information. Contrast that with the ex-husband’s who left Rachel and Ellie.  Rachel’s husband left because she had a child, while Ellie’s left because she did not want a child. I changed it so it was only one problem for Ellie in the marriage.”

For those who need a humorous break they will get enjoyment from the Beauceron puppy, Kai.  “I came up with the breed from research.  I looked at a lot of pictures and found a cute puppy.  I am not a dog person but am a cat person.  I foster cats. I put in a quote, ‘A furry but noisy unrelenting inconsiderate friend with no appreciation for those who had to get up at zero dark thirty,’ after remembering being at my sister’s house when she had a puppy.”

Ellie’s searches old files and finds evidence of a crime that feels much too personal. But who, among those dedicated to justice, could be the threat? No matter how skilled she and Rachael may be in uncovering the truth, they may not be able to prevent a well-schooled killer from striking again. Both suspect that the killer is one of their own, someone in the CSI world.

Those who like to learn about forensics and how it helps to solve crimes will anxiously wait for the next book in the series, The Deepest Kill, out next March. “I describe it as Laci Peterson had as her dad Bill Gates. A mega zillionaire is proposing something like Reagan’s Star Wars Satellite Defense system.  His daughter disappears.  A week later her body is found with the realization she is pregnant.  The father is convinced the husband killed her and has hired the Locard Institute to investigate.”



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.