Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching
To increase suspense in a scene where a dangerous person is about to do something nasty, slow down the pace and describe their hands. This is perfect for when the evil overlord signs the order to exterminate the children, or when the torturer readies his instruments.
This technique works especially well in thrillers. Show the killer’s (or the suspect’s) hands, especially when the point-of-view character is helpless to do anything. This will send creepy shivers across the reader’s skin.
Before moving to Amsterdam, I knew very little about the restitution of artwork stolen by the Nazis during World War Two, a topic that plays a central role in my novel, The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery. Sure, I’d read about controversial cases in newspapers and wondered why museums didn’t hand over the artwork immediately when legitimate claimants appeared on the scene, but also why it took the relative of the legal owner so long to submit a claim.
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There is nothing so annoying as reading a book or watching a movie and finding inaccuracies in things like police and courtroom procedures. I am not a pedant but I prefer accuracy in my own writing and that of others, whether the result is within the pages or up on the screen.
As a former UK detective and a barrister, trial counsel to Americans but we got to wear those wigs and gowns, I have an advantage in my own writing to portray accuracy.
So how does a crime writer without the same advantage set about achieving accuracy?