In writing my first novel, Running Dead, I wanted to create a central character who could tell the story, and who could survive a number of follow-on stories. Ash Todd was born.
Ash is a Detective Commander with the Australian Federal Police. He is in his late-thirties, and lives in a small, bland apartment in Elizabeth Bay, a swish inner suburb of Sydney overlooking the harbour. His partner is a tall, attractive blonde, Sally Sinclair. A lawyer.
Ash was an orphan – found as an abandoned baby at a rural hospital in outback Australia – named Ashley by the nurses, and eventually adopted by an older couple named Todd. After school he joined the police force, completed a degree specialising in international law, and a Masters in Psychology. He was headhunted to join the Feds. Along the way, searching for his biological parents, a DNA test found no match for them, but that he was of aboriginal descent.
Ash is big – 196 cm (or 6’5”) and 125 Kg (or 275 pounds). He’s fit – works out a lot, practises martial arts, doesn’t smoke, but does drink. He’s straight up and down – doesn’t tolerate nonsense. He does, however, practise a good bit of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ He jumps in to situations to fix things, because physically he can, and lives to regret his haste at times. This also extends to his love life. His body bears the scars of some of those physical decisions, and his emotions are often confused from the occasional shagging encounter. A seam of guilt accompanies him most of the time.
He loves the idea of ‘left field’ cases, and gets pretty bored with run of the mill Federal Policing. Given any opportunity, he’s the first to put his hand up for strange or difficult investigations. But these also give him latitude - to depart from the Feds official line - and charge in with his own brand of legal problem solving.