Fernando Fernandez is a private investigator, author, and avid Trackops user. His recent book, Paradise Undercover: The Adventures of the Caribbean’s Top Private Investigator details his adventures as an investigator in the Caribbean, and the quest to solve his father-in-law’s murder. In a recent interview, Lou Adducci of Trackops asks Fernando about his background as a private investigator, his new book, and how Trackops has helped his company.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
Fernandez: I was inspired to write this book because everyone was always fascinated with my cases. Whenever I would meet with other people, everyone asked about my job and for stories about it. This motivated me to write the book because I could capture all the experiences I have had, especially in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, during my investigations. It is a book that describes the profession of a private detective.
Q: What can we expect from Paradise Undercover?
Fernandez: Family values, office relationships, friendships, ethics, and client dramas all play an important role in this tale of exciting, and sometimes dangerous times in the life of a P.I. Here you will find fraud, lies, murder and mayhem among the tropical beaches and breezy rain forest of an idyllic Caribbean Paradise.
Q: What is your book about?
Fernandez: Paradise Undercover, is written in such a way that the reader will have a hard time figuring out what really happened, and what I added from my imagination. The collection of cases may seem to have been chosen at random, but throughout the book there is an underlying theme that binds everything together the cold case of my father-in-law's murder. The cases themselves set the stage for the development of the main character, me, from the moment I get my first big international break, to the actual chronological stage of my father-in-laws murder case investigation as of March of 2015. My coworkers and family also get the spotlight as they play an intrinsic part in my motivations, and ultimate results. “I believe P.I.'s don't get enough credit for the work they perform on criminal investigations, especially behind the scenes. In this book the reader will see how we help the authorities in the search for evidence, and how sometimes we even put our lives on the line to get the truth.
Q: How did you get into private investigation?
Fernandez: I was always a fan of investigative programs like CSI, NCIS, Burn Notice and Forensic Files, and all these programs had to do with private investigations and forensic investigations. In 2004 I had a computer business which was not going very well because the economy was so bad and I decided to make a career change and go back to college. When I went to the college academic counselor I told him that I wanted to become a forensic investigator but one that works on his own. He pointed out that if I wanted to be a forensic investigator I would have to work for the Puerto Rico Police Department and then he recommended for me to study to become a private investigator. I told him that I did not want to work on infidelity cases only, and he told me that a private investigator does a lot more than that. I finished in 2 years, which is the time it takes in Puerto Rico, and then I took a minor in fingerprints and this is how I entered the world of private investigation. I had to go through the process of a validation test and pass a background check to get my private investigator's license. Ten years have gone by and it's going very well. I like what I do.
Q: Is this a case of “truth is stranger than fiction” or did you have to embellish these characters and events?
Fernandez: The book is based on real cases, but with a fictional twist. We changed names to protect identities and locations to protect the identity of those involved in real life. Each character represents a person in real life: customers, employees from my office, my family. The book presents the reality we live as private investigators today in our offices and in our relationships with our family, with our wives, children, and at the same time we have given it a touch of action and adventure to motivate the reader to get immersed in the book and the characters.
Q: Do you have another book in queue?
The book leaves the impression that there is a second book, on purpose. My desire is to do a series of 3 books, but we must see how it sells, how is the acceptance of the readers, and the distribution, but so far the second book is looking closer than what I thought.
Q: How has using Trackops helped your day to day business?
Fernandez: The Trackops tool is the main tool used in my business to handle everything that has to do with investigations and cases. We handle everything there: the reports, people who are under investigation, our customers, photos, videos. It is a very complete tool. I would say that it is the best tool to handle investigation cases. We've been using Trackops for more than five years. It really is a tremendous tool, where we can do all our billing, and we can even receive ratings from our clients as to how was our service. Customers have direct access to see their case in the system with a user name and password access. The tool is amazing, everything is stored in the cloud, which is the space that they assign to my company to keep all my files, and it is very secure, with user and password encryption. It really is the tool that has helped develop my company, and me as a private investigator.
Q: What feature or function do you like the most when using Trackops?
Fernandez: What I like the most about Trackops is that the client can log in anytime and see what is happening with their case, what are the latest updates, the latest pictures that could be on the case, the last videos. For me that is the main advantage, that the client can connect and see it all the time and every time an update is made we can also send an email to the customer indicating that there has been a change in the case and they can enter and receive updates and see the results at their convenience.
Paradise Undercover: The Adventures of the Caribbean’s Top Private Investigator is now available on Amazon.com.