Preface

I have been fascinated with writing since I was in elementary school. Reading has always been a way for me to escape into other times, places, and universes. Writing is a way to take people with me to times and places I create. Like the pixels on a screen, which can be manipulated in an infinite number of new combinations to create new images, so can the written word.  I like to believe I paint with words.  I also love writing because it is such a primal experience and a tradition kept alive for thousands of generations.

I had only written non-fiction books before this. I have vowed to get this done and I have a tremendous support system around me.

Based on my commuting across the Puget Sound from Poulsbo, WA via the Bainbridge Island Ferry and a walk through Pioneer Square, I have noticed an increase in the population of homeless in the city. Seattle is now ranked in the top four cities in total homeless citizens. A recent volunteer count totaled 4,505 homeless in Seattle. In Kitsap County where I live, there are over 650 homeless. The statistics are staggering and sobering.

While this book is a mystery that takes place in the Seattle and involves some homeless people as primary characters, my research and personal experiences have shown that the despair of homelessness drives inappropriate behavior. Not only by those in that situation but those who would prey on them. On January 26, 2016, two homeless people in Seattle were murdered and three others were injured in a place called “The Jungle,” which is a makeshift hovel  of tents, sleeping bags, and garbage, where many homeless people camp underneath I5. By November of 2015, 66 homeless people had died in Seattle. The Mayor declared a state of emergency.

Why do I tell you this? Streets of Blame is raw and paints a realistic picture of how hard it is to live when you have no place to permanently call home.  The streets are a hard place to claw out a living and in the case of Seattle, often cold and wet too.  I have had a major personal epiphany while writing this, which has driven me to take personal action to help these souls out in some way. I have started a campaign to provide support to the homeless and will give a portion of the proceeds from this book when finished to a reputable charity focused on improving the lives of the homeless and homeless veterans.

Darin Hartley
February 12, 2016

Prologue

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