If you scroll down a bit, you'll see my short story The Driver
, which was originally published in CrimeSpree Magazine
. The first thing to notice is that there are at least five drivers mentioned in the story - the two deputies, the criminal, the good samaritan and the old driver who had been carjacked. I didn't notice that myself until after I had written the story.
Maybe more importantly, there is the fact that my inspiration for the story was a bit of real life and a lot of TV - COPS in particular. A large part of COPS (a wonderfully successful TV show that's been on forever, costs little in production, and is actually a very good source of information for mystery writers who want to know how criminals and cops act and react with each other) has to do with stupid car chases - car chases that start over a minor infraction but then reaches speeds of 100mph and crosses six county lines. Usually, these chases end with the criminal - often just an idiot - driving into a ditch or into someone's front lawn, or into a telephone pole. Or the back end of a truck.
Then there are a couple of incidents I saw in Puerto Rico. There was a time when my wife was driving on the highway after a rain storm. There were puddles, but plenty of sunshine. We were going along at about sixty when, in the lane next to us, the guy hydroplaned. While maintaining speed, he did a complete 360 degree turn within his own lane and kept drive. Surreal. Had anyone slowed down or sped up or changed lanes, this could have been a very diffrent story.
Another incident that probably happens everywhere, but which I went past in Puerto Rico was a motorcycle accident. I didn't see the crash itself, just the aftereffects. The motorcycle lying by the side of the road. Fifty yards further down, police and EMTs were trying to get the motorcycle rider out of brambles. Found out from the news later, he was dead.
The Good Samaritan driver and the old man who gets carjacked were add ons to the original story that helped (I hope) add some tension and some drama to the story. Let me know what you think.