1986. Ronald Reagan was in his second term as president. On January 28, the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated seventy-three seconds after its launch, killing all seven astronauts aboard, including teacher Christa McAuliffe. Out of Africa won the Oscar for best picture. A mishandled safety test at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukranian SSR, Soviet Union, killed more than 4,000 people and caused 350,000 to be forcibly resettled away from the area. The New York Mets won the World Series, defeating the Boston Red Sox in seven games. The Bangles had a number one worldwide hit with “Walk like an Egyptian.”
It was a year of big hair, big shoulder pads, and spandex.
In 1986, DNA science was still in its infancy with regards to law enforcement and had yet to be presented as evidence in a court of law. Investigators with foresight were holding on to evidence obtained at crime scenes and from crime victims, waiting for the science to advance enough to help them convict killers and rapists.
In 1986, AIDS was only just becoming widely known as killer of near epidemic proportions worldwide and the gay community was under fire. In 1986, it was still considered scandalous for single women to become pregnant and to raise the child on their own. My, how times have changed.
At the end of 1986, I made the decision to put my best effort into becoming a published author the following year. My first book would be published in 1988, and I would purchase my first desktop computer—with black-and-white monitor—with my advance from that book.
When I sat down to the first book of this series, Deeper Than the Dead, it never occurred to me that I would be transporting readers to a simpler time. Nineteen eighty-five didn’t seem all that long ago to me. Then, one night at work an infomercial came on my television—Greatest Hits of the Eighties. As I listened to the sampling of songs, smiling at the memories they evoked, I suddenly came to a shocking realization: Oh, my God, I’ve become nostalgic! I’m old!!
Once I finally accepted that stunning truth, I embraced my trip back in time while also gaining a renewed appreciation for the technology available to law enforcement—and to the rest of us—today.