It’s my stop today on the blog tour for Blue Wicked, a Glasgow-based crime novel with a really interesting premise. More on that tomorrow, when I will review the book, but to whet your appetite, I’ve the pleasure of hosting and interview with Eddie Henderson, Blue Wicked’s hero and kick-ass vet. Enjoy today, more tomorrow…
What drew you to become a vet? You touch on it in the book, but why specifically that field? Was there a particular incident that made your career choice for you?
We were brought up in a tough council estate in Glasgow, but it wasn’t that far away from the countryside; it was a short ten minute walk to Cathkin Braes country park, and beyond that, nothing but a nature reserve and farmland. Every weekend, and during the holidays, I would make up a piece (that’s a Glasgow sandwich) and head out to watch the wildlife. I got a job on a farm when I was fifteen, to earn a little money to help my mum, and have a bit of cash for myself. Not long after I’d started, the vet was called out to a cow that was calving. I was amazed when he did a caesarean section, and at that moment, I decided to be a vet. Later, after doing some work experience at a local practice, I realised that treating pets was just as interesting, if not more so.
Can you tell us more about when you were growing up?
My mum brought us up single-handedly. She struggled; I know that now, but it didn’t seem like it at the time because, although we had few luxuries, we had everything we needed. She always encouraged us to do as best as we could, but she didn’t push and never told us we were a disappointment. Although the housing estate was rough, there was a real sense of community, and we probably got more freedom than the posh kids to wander about in the estate, and out into the countryside.
Brian is a central figure in your life, how has his friendship influenced you?
I can’t remember a time when Brian and I weren’t friends – my mum says we met when we were still both in prams, and she has the photographs to prove it. We both took very separate paths in life, but he still remains my closest friend. He tries to keep me grounded and I try to keep him out of trouble I suppose he’s taught me a whole lot about loyalty, and finally, I never laugh as much as when I’m in Brian’s company.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would that be?
I think I can be a bit intense at times, and I’ve been told that I lack a sense of humour. I think they might be linked. I sometimes think it would good if I could spend a day being Brian!
How did you feel when you saw the first dead cat?
Horrified and angry. I couldn’t understand how anyone could deliberately be cruel to any animal, but I’ve seen enough cruelty over the years to know that I shouldn’t be surprised.
You and Catherine Douglas make an excellent team – did you always feel that you would be an effective partnership?
I liked Catherine from the moment I met her – she took her job and my investigation very seriously, and stood up to her boss when he was being an asshole, pardon the french. We both had a passion and a determination for the cases from day one, I felt I could completely trust her and that we complemented each other well.
You seem to make a reasonably good detective – where do you see yourself in future?
Being a good vet is a bit like being a good detective – it can be a very similar process but vets are searching for the cause of a disease rather than criminal who has committed a crime. Having said that, I was fascinated and intrigued during my involvement with the murder inquiry. I can see myself being more involved in the investigation of animal cruelty, and because of the proven link between human and animal abuse, that might mean involvement with CID at Police Scotland again at some point. And you never know… Eddie Henderson, Pet Detective!
Check out the remaining stops on the tour: