Almost every week I receive emails from readers with stories about other unnatural deaths that they feel were not properly investigated by the police or reported by the press. Without exception, the victims' families are continually haunted and plagued with questions, even decades later. What, they ask, can they do to get the answers they have sought for so long?
These families have fallen through the cracks because our society does not have the institutional structure to help them. If public officials aren't (for whatever reasons) interested in their stories, and if they can't afford to hire a private detective, what are they supposed to do?
After the MacPhersons were rejected by every conceivable institution, they decided to seek the help of an investigative author and approached me because I'd lived for over a decade in Austria and had already written a book about a complex Austrian case. I was also crazy enough to embark on this monster project with no guarantee of ever discovering what happened to Duncan or finding a publisher. My first literary agent cautioned me that it was too risky--that spending huge amounts of time on it could do incalculable harm to my personal finances and sanity. However, like the Woody Allen character who--upon being advised by his therapist to find a new girlfriend--instead found a new therapist, I responded to this advice by leaving my agent.
I have no doubt that, every year, unnatural and suspicious deaths occur that are not properly investigated by the authorities. Like all things human, our authorities are fallible and subject to incompetence and corruption. The trouble with investigative reporting of the kind that went into Cold a Long Time is that it requires a tremendous investment of time and effort with no assurance of ever getting paid. I put almost three years of work into this story entirely on spec.
And so I will conclude with an audacious plea: If you believe that stories such Duncan MacPherson's deserve to be investigated and told, please buy my award-winning book! If you live in the United States, please buy it here on Amazon. If you live in Canada, please buy it here from this website. The MacPhersons currently have 1,000 copies in their garage in Saskatoon and are diligently filling all Canadian orders on the day they are placed. Your credit card will be securely processed by Paypal and you will receive your copy in a few days. Based on my reader and reviewer feedback, I dare say you will find it a gripping read.
Please feel free to post your questions and comments on this blog.