Just the idea of a detective seems mysterious and secretive. If you can’t get enough of hard-boiled mystery novels with master private detectives, or if you are a follower of true-crime movies with strict detectives who follow police procedures to the letter, you may have wondered what makes a super sleuth. A detective who is a master in her field must have a variety of specific traits – among them, nosiness and kindness – that allow her to get into the mind of the perpetrator and solve sometimes complex crimes.
Serious Multitasking Ability
A master detective must be able to do about 14 gazillion things at once, for solving crimes is never a black-and-white, linear process. Detectives on the police force must be able to process a crime scene, analyze data as it comes back from processing, interview witnesses and suspects, create crime timelines, and piece together seemingly insignificant details to solve crimes. Private detectives have to run a business, find clients, juggle multiple cases and clients at once, and sometimes act as secretary, accountant, and file clerk in addition to their detection duties.
Crazy Curiosity, Intuition and Perception
A detective, for the police or private, must be ridiculously curious and, in fact, be super nosy. Along with this nosiness comes a degree of intuition; great detectives sometimes have a gut-feeling that something may not be “right” or that what appears on the surface isn’t the whole story. Detectives with this intuition have a higher level or perception, and put pieces into place that others may not. It is with these super-skills that detectives are able to solve cases and find evidence that others may miss.
No matter what the case, a master detective must be a researching master, able to find obscure facts in the library or on the Internet quickly and effectively. Much of a detective’s job is gathering details of witness histories and statements, and these often need to be verified through painstaking research. If you love to research and prove or disprove theories or statements, you have one of the basic requirements of the master detective.
Above all, a master detective must have empathy for her clients or the victims of the crime. No matter the case or situation, detectives deal with sad, lost, or hurt people daily. They must be able to understand the feelings of others and guide them through a sometimes harrowing legal process with honesty, integrity, and understanding. Dealing with victims in this manner often makes the job easier, as the victims are less stressed and more willing to cooperate.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arin Bodden started writing professionally in 2003. Her writing has been featured in "Northwest Boulevard" and "Mermaids." She received the Huston Medal in English in 2005. Bodden has a Master of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University. She currently teaches English composition and technical writing at the university level.