The Softer Side of Matt Sinclair

 The lovely ladies of Miss Demeanors have asked me to talk a bit about my main character, Oakland PD Homicide Sergeant Matt Sinclair. I can tell you he’s the most tenacious (stubborn), confident (arrogant), and methodical (obstinate) detective in the department. He’s in his late thirties, six-feet tall, dark brown hair, slim, athletic build, and dark, piercing eyes. The media loves him because he tells it the way it is, and the department brass hates him for the same reason, although they reluctantly put up with him because he solves the city’s toughest cases, even though he often leaves a wake of destruction behind him. He’s always getting into shootouts, fistfights, and car chases, and continually being called into the police chief’s office. Oh, wait! You don’t want to hear about Matt’s crime-fighting skills, the guns he carries, or the fast cars he drives? You want to know about Matt’s love life, you say. Matt would rather take on a bank robbery in progress without back up than talk about his relationships. In this area, Matt’s still a work in progress. Red Line, the first book in the series, opens with Matt returning to Homicide after a six-month suspension for wrecking a city car when driving drunk. He’s divorced, getting accustomed to a new partner (a no-nonsense woman), trying to stay sober, and seeing Liz Schueller, a sexy, blonde TV reporter, who uses him as her source for the inside scoop on Oakland’s murders. In return, Matt gets celebrity exposure on the nightly news, as well as…other benefits. Talking about the other benefits—after Matt takes care of business at the first murder scene, he visits Liz’s apartment for a steamy sex scene—literally steamy because Matt joins Liz in the shower.    Although many male readers were disappointed to learn that Liz left Oakland for an anchor position in Chicago at the end of the first book. What’s not to love about a woman who worked her way through college as a lingerie model and enjoys sex, right guys? However, the more astute female readers recognized Liz was not good for Matt.   In Thrill Kill, the second book in the series, Matt’s partner, Cathy Braddock, uses a ruse to get Matt to the county hospital where ER nurse, Alyssa Morelli, is working. When Matt sees her, the tough detective’s knees nearly give out on him. Ten years earlier he and Alyssa went out a few times, but she dumped him, knowing the hard-drinking, hard-living, long-haired undercover narc that he was at the time, was not boyfriend material. Alyssa had married a doctor, but that didn’t work out when she realized making babies and living the country club lifestyle wasn’t for her, so she returns to the ER, where life had purpose. Once Cathy drags Matt away from Alyssa, she says, “Like the rest of the world, she knows about your divorce, you and Liz, and your pattern of one-night stands. Alyssa is all goodness, and that’s rare in people who deal with the same slime as we do on a daily basis. Don’t disrespect her by using your Sinclair charm on her while you’re dating other women. She’s not just another girl for you to screw and run away from when it gets too real.” Matt remembers following Alyssa, wearing short shorts, up a hiking trail ten years earlier and thinking that although she might be all goodness, as Braddock said, she was still damn sexy. They begin seeing each other, and although Matt makes the effort, Alyssa lets him know she doesn’t sleep with a man until the time is right. I love a happy ending in my books, one where the hero solves the murder, saves the world, and gets the girl in the end. After Matt ended up alone at the end of the first book, I really wanted him to end up with someone in this book. But sadly, Matt wasn’t ready for a nice girl like Alyssa yet. Alyssa returns in Shallow Grave, and Matt is a bit more emotionally mature (although he’s still got a long way to go). There are more murders, high-speed chases, gunfights, and a twisty mystery full of lies and secrets that pushes Matt in a dark abyss. He sinks even lower when the chief strips him of his badge and gun. I’d like to tell you that Alyssa is there for him, but that would spoil the ending. Shallow Grave will be released on July 11, 2017.  BRIAN THIEM is the author of RED LINE, THRILL KILL, and SHALLOW GRAVE. He retired as a Lieutenant from Oakland PD, after years as a homicide detective and homicide unit commander. He’s also an Iraqi War veteran and retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. He has an MFA in Creative Writing and lives in Hilton Head, SC. www.brianthiem.com   Michele Dorsey from Miss Demeanors:   I am a huge fan of Brian Thiem’s police procedural series and want Matt Sinclair to have a solid and happy relationship!  Do we have any advice to help  Matt Sinclair with his love life?

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