Medical Errors in Manuscripts: Criminal Minds and Bodies Hidden in Cement

Happy Halloween Redwood’s Fans! What fun festivities do you have planned for today? What will your kids be dressing up as to celebrate?

criminalmindsToday, I thought a fitting Halloween post would be an evaluation of a recent episode of Criminal Minds. I’ve been a fan of the show for years and am always intrigued with the cases and devious/suspenseful minds of the screenwriters.

A few episodes back, uber chipperPenelope was presenting a case about a woman who had been buried in a barrel full of cement. She stated the woman’s body was discovered using ultrasound and then proceeded to show a picture of the body that looked like a plain x-ray.

This is a common mistake among writers— not knowing the proper technology to site or the right radiology equipment to use. First of all, ultrasound couldn’t penetrate cement to find the body and the scan images would not resemble anything that you’re used to seeing.

What probably would be used is something that utilizes Ground-Penetrating Radar (something that can actually look through cement) and I found an extensive article that discusses its indications and use which I’ll definitely be referencing later.

Writers— keep in mind that not all forms of radiology are interchangeable with one another. If you’re discussing the use of a particular radiological study in your manuscript— make sure it’s the right one.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!


Over the next few days, I’m participating in the WordServe Water Cooler Christmas Blog Parade! The Water Cooler post will go live Dec 14th.

If you’re not coming from the Water Cooler, I hope you’ll stop by and take a look at all the posts and prizes being offered. There are LOTS!!

If this is your first time wandering to Redwood’s Medical Edge– it’s a blog designed to help authors write medically accurate fiction. Generally, how to maim, injure and kill your FICTIONAL characters. I field writing related medical questions and blog on medical topics.

I am giving away a chance to win one of three personalized copies of Proof to three people drawn at random (must live in the USA) who leaves a comment on this post that ***includes your e-mail address*** by midnight Christmas Eve. Winner announced here Christmas Day.

Hmm… my writer’s wish list.

Just one simple wish really…
Lunch with Dean Koontz– to say thank you.

Last June, when Proof released, fellow medical author Candace Calvert posed me this question and I have been thinking about it ever since. If you were in Southern California and were lunching with Dean Koontz, what three questions would you ask him.

I nearly passed out just thinking about that scenario.

But more than that, I would like to thank him for writing such great stories. I can’t confess to reading his entire body of works. I also don’t claim to LOVE every one of his books but he is, by far, an author I have learned a lot from. An author I would like to write like. An author I love to learn from. When I’m stuck in my own writing I’ll often crack open one of his books to get me going again.

Okay– I’m going to amend my wish. Dean, please write another book on writing! Please, for me. Just. For. Me.

Then I thought, why stop at Dean? What writers/authors would you say “thank you” to and for what? Let me know in the comments section– when you leave your e-mail (hint…hint).

Here’s a short list from me. If I could have a Castle like poker game with all these folks . . . well . . . heaven!!

1. Dean Koontz: for being a master story teller.
2. James Scott Bell/ Donald Maass: for writing such great craft books. Really, check them out.
3. Julie Cantrell: for being the most down to earth NYT bestselling author I’ve ever met that I get to call friend. Oohhh, I did lunch with her!
4. Candace Calvert: for being a mentor to me.
5. Lynette Eason: for being the first person to ever endorse one of my books.
6. Robin Cook/Michael Palmer/Harry Kraus: for writing great medical thrillers.
7. Harlen Coban/Linwood Barclay/Karin Slaughter: for writing great suspense.
8. God: for writing the best book there ever was.

What would your list look like?

To all my readers– and hopefully some new ones– Merry Christmas!!

Jordyn Redwood