Cara on Friday
Wish I could chime in and report I'm on the final manuscript revisions like Mary Anna...but almost, I'm close. Just wrote the ending and now it's back to retooling, checking to see if certain threads are tied up and certain ones best left untied. I'm in the writing is rewriting stage as Voltaire said. Congrats Mary Anna... enjoy! It's a satisfying feeling like no other.
My friend sent an article from the International Herald Tribune published in Paris about a blind Belgian cop. Fascinating. Here's a snippet:
"Sacha van Loo, 36, is not your typical cop. He wields a white cane instead of a gun. And from the purr of an engine on a wiretap, he can discern whether a suspect is driving a Peugeot, a Honda or a Mercedes.
Van Loo is one of Europe's newest weapons in the global fight against terrorism and organized crime: a blind Sherlock Holmes, whose disability allows him to spot clues sighted detectives don't see.
"Being blind has forced me to develop my other senses, and my power as a detective rests in my ears," he said from his office at the Belgian Federal Police, where a bullet-riddled piece of paper from a recent target-shooting session was proudly displayed on the wall. "Being blind also requires recognizing your limitations," he added with a smile, noting that a sighted trainer guided his hands during target practice "to make sure no one got wounded."
Van Loo, a slight man who has been blind since birth, is one of six blind police officers in a pioneering unit specializing in transcribing and analyzing wiretap recordings in criminal investigations. An accomplished linguist who taught himself Serb Croat for fun, he laments that he is not entitled to carry a gun on the job or make arrests. But such is his acute sense of hearing that Paul van Thielen, a director at the Belgian Federal Police, compares his powers of observation to those of a "superhero."
When police eavesdrop on a suspected terrorist making a phone call, van Loo can listen to the tones dialed and immediately identify the number. By hearing the sound of a voice echoing off of a wall, he can deduce whether a suspect is speaking from an airport lounge or a crowded restaurant. After the Belgian police recently spent hours struggling to identify a drug smuggler on a faint wiretap recording, they concluded he was Moroccan. Van Loo, who has a "library of accents in his head," listened and deduced he was Albanian, a fact confirmed after his arrest."
I wish this force had been in operation several years ago when I wrote Murder in the Bastille. In Bastille, Aimée, my computer security detective, was blinded. She had to find her way by her senses, the only tools along with her computer skills, she had. But this Belgian cops powers of observation have got me thinking hmm....who needs redial on your cell phone when a cop like this can identify the number by the tone.