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Officer-turned-author due at Great Valley Bookfest

With the Great Valley Bookfest coming to Manteca this October, Central Valley reading enthusiasts will have the chance to see a number of well-known authors.

One of those is national best-selling author and former law enforcement officer, Robin Burcell, who also happens to be a Central Valley resident, living in Lodi.

With over 27 total years of police work on the streets of Lodi as a patrol officer, detective, hostage negotiator, and FBI-trained forensic artist, then later as an investigator for the State of California, Burcell has lived the life to write what she knows, producing 10 thrilling novels with suspenseful stories and magnificent characters while providing an insight into the inner workings of police investigations.

“Writing runs in my family,” said Burcell during a recent interview, talking about her grandfather, who was a sports editor for a major local newspaper. “Everything was about books.”

Burcell said she started reading mysteries at an early age and always had the goal of becoming an author.

She attained that goal in 1995 with a romance novel titled, "When Midnight Comes."

Burcell said after the success of the first book, author Georgia Bockman suggested she write police procedural mysteries.

“‘Why do that?’ I thought,” Burcell recalled. “I’m living this, why go home and write about it.”

Burcell, the mother of three, did take Bockman’s advice when she was off on pregnancy leave and her first mystery, "Every Move She Makes" featuring San Francisco homicide inspector Kate Gillespie, was published by Harper Collins in 1999.

“At the time, San Francisco didn’t have any female homicide inspectors,” said Burcell. “Since I was the first female officer in Lodi, I thought I could relate the story about being the first in a field dominated by men – ‘the Good Ol’ Boys Club.’”

Three more Kate Gillespie novels followed and in 2008 Burcell, a former sketch artist herself, introduced her latest thriller-mystery series with FBI Special Agent and forensic artist Sydney Fitzpatrick.

Burcell said she got the idea to move to a thriller genre during a flight where she sat next to New York Times best-selling author James Rollins and they had a talk about Freemasons and their influence in government.

For "The Bone Chamber," Burcell used one of the more infamous conspiracy theories of the Freemasons running a shadow government in the U.S., and controlling the global economy.

During the interview, Burcell displayed the back of a dollar bill and the Illuminati’s “all seeing eye” over the pyramid. She said it could form one half of a six-pointed star, with five of those points touching the letters surrounding the pyramid to form the anagram which spells “MASON.”

She uses this theory as part of the plot that the same shadow government that originated with our country’s founding fathers, who were Masons, is still in power today.
Her latest novel, "The Kill Order," about an NSA scandal and a code known as 'The Devil’s Key' was released at the beginning of this year.

For more information on upcoming books, visit The Great Valley Bookfest will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Bass Pro Center, Hwy. 120 at Union Road in Manteca.