With my first novel, Rage Against the Dying, I created a crime drama character named Brigid Quinn. She’s vibrant, sexual, smart, tough, compassionate, conflicted, and can kill a man with her bare hands.

Oh, and she’s approaching sixty years old.

After reading the second book in the series, Fear the Darkness, my brother-in-law wrote to me:

“. . .I find Brigid a little too ballsy and as a reader (male reader, that is) would love her to be more sexy and clever. Women who are tougher than my male friends, can inflict grave bodily damage, talk dirty, just don’t make it with me.”

Don, I’m afraid Brigid Quinn can’t be the woman of your dreams. After retiring from the FBI she joined a book club, learned to cook, tried to fit in to the world she had always sought to protect. For a while she even kept her past a secret from her beloved husband because she didn’t think he was tough enough to understand. But when you’ve lived the kind of life Brigid has, when you’re the kind of woman Brigid is, it’s difficult to change. For starters, she’s quite short. So when she was hired as a special agent, someone noticed she could pass for a young teenager, and her undercover career serving as bait for serial killers and child molesters was born. Working with both the criminal element and the male-dominated world of law enforcement was equally difficult, and she became what it took to survive.

And the fact is, with the help of her husband, Brigid has come to like herself as is, no need to be that heroine who runs from the villain in her stiletto heels. In time she may change, because hopefully we can grow and learn at any age.

But can Brigid Quinn be tamed? No, I don’t think so.

Becky Masterman’s Fear the Dark is published by Orion

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