I’m spending my time researching private investigators lately. The variety is amazing. Some seem highly professional, both companies which are new and old. Some are trying to make themselves appear to be bigger than they really are or get extremely creative descriptions of their available services. With all the different companies I’m researching, I find the experience they list very interesting. One company uses social media to inform their potential clients what they are doing to expand their knowledge base. Another company writes a blog – which I plan on perusing with pen and paper in hand.
To get started in my research I did a browser search for local private investigators to create a list. Sadly, many on my starting list have either closed or changed professions completely but kept the company name. (Which explains some of my extremely odd search results.) My research has slowly branched off to find online services and other investigation companies that are larger and located in other cities. Even though the first images that come to mind are classic film noir private investigators, it’s wonderful to see that this is still a thriving profession, regardless of the size of their city.
I have noticed a couple of common resumé experience points in my real-world investigators. Typically, they get here on one of two paths: Path 1, retired police officer or military personnel. Path 2, either certification or degree in Criminal Justice. I plan on my protagonist taking the second path as it works better for her character.
Naturally, I’m also watching related television shows with private investigators as the primary characters. It’s exciting to see a character I don’t like to try to pull stunts that my real-world research shows as a good sign of bad investigative practices. The same for the good practices I’m discovering. I get a little thrill each time I see my research reflected in good fiction. I always appreciate the little extra research any writer does to make their work shine!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to visit with some of these companies I’m researching. Of course, I’m going to wait until later in the summer months when vaccination numbers will be higher. Then, maybe they will be willing to let me come and visit in person! For now, I’m going to research, read, watch and compile questions to ask my future professional advisors.
The side effect of this kind of research: I’ve had the song “Private Eyes” by Hall & Oates stuck in my head for days!