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A redheaded bundle of trouble steps out of her Porsche and into a disillusioned detectiveâ€™s already complicated life. The cop wants to retire, but canâ€™t until he proves his dead partner didnâ€™t kill himself. The heroine, a psychological profiler, would like her fiancÃ© laid to rest with police honors, but she canâ€™t until she provides evidence he wasnâ€™t a killer. Since they both want to help the same person, the two reluctantly join forces. Will they catch the murderer before the heroine becomes the next victim?
The hair on the back of Detective Sean Gaudetteâ€™s neck stood on end.
Ken Westin, his former partner, had summoned him here and now the man wasnâ€™t answering his doorbell. "Ken, cut the theatrics."
An eerie silence answered back. Icy hands gripped his spine and his pulse quickened.
He was late, but Ken wouldnâ€™t have left for the bar without him. At least the old Ken wouldnâ€™t have. Sean didnâ€™t think so. Of course, he hadnâ€™t seen his old friend in several months.
Seanâ€™s cop instincts told him all was not well in the state of Denmark. Looking around, no neighbors walked dogs. No one was about that Sean could ask about Ken. He half expected a tumbleweed to roll down the street.
He tried the solid metal door. With a creak it swung open an inch. Not good. Ken never unlocked his front door except to let in someone.
The low hum of adrenaline began in Seanâ€™s blood. Looking in the window, he saw only darkness, no movement. Night had fallen a little early with the threat of thunderstorms.
Cicadas yelled as if they needed to announce just how hot it was. Sweat trickled down Seanâ€™s back and he wished for a beer to drink and shorts to wear.
"Damn." He contemplated calling for backup, but unless he could get a local cop, anyone from his office was at least fifteen minutes away. What had happened in there?
Flipping opened his cell phone, he dialed the Jenkins Crossing police. When he hung up a patrol car was on the way. The siren screamed to him in the distance.
Squaring his shoulders, he leaned back and kicked open the door. With gun drawn, he entered the house. Movement in the kitchen caught his eye. "Freeze, police."
The click of the sliding glass door closing notched up the adrenaline in his system. Break in?
Footsteps pounded down the wooden steps of Kenâ€™s back deck. The open floor plan provided no hiding places, but the bathroom which Sean peeked into on his way to the kitchen. The action of rushing across the room would be suicide if he didnâ€™t check for bad guys on his way.
Unfortunately, that gave whoever had just left, time to get out of sight.
Sean turned on the back light, but saw no one. "Damn." Had he imagined it? A breeze rustled the leaves. No other sound reached his ears from the woods.
Closing the slider, the detective turned back to the now even darker house. No boards creaked indicating movement. He swallowed as sweat pooled in his armpits. His mind ran back to another empty house on another dark night and the grisly discovery heâ€™d made. He shook the stressful and unwelcome thoughts out of his brain.
"Freeze," someone commanded from the front door.
Seanâ€™s heart skipped a beat. "Iâ€™m the one who called you."
Sean approached the uniform with his hands visible. He hoped he was approaching a uniform. The outside streetlight made the man only a silhouette. He hated staring down the barrel of someone elseâ€™s gun.
When the officer didnâ€™t put down his weapon, Sean identified himself, flashing his badge. "I think someone went out the back door. Search the woods behind here."
Still waiting for the cop to react, Sean started up the stairs, thankful his eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Dread tugged at his feet, slowing his steps.
Snap out of it. You have a job to do.
Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids and various animals.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 250
Paper Weight (lb): 10.6
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