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As detective Lanny Boone investigates a brutal murder he encounters resistance from a white supremacist militia group and an escapee from the FBI witness protection program. Boone forges ahead; unaware members of the militia group plan to murder him.
“It’s God awful, Lieutenant, just God awful inside.”
The patrol officer looked as if he was about to be sick.
“Are you all right?” I asked.
“I’m all right.” He wiped his face with his palm. “Chief Halleck said to ask you to take a look before anybody else did, if you could.”
I’d parked beside a police cruiser twenty yards shy of the mobile home where the murder had occurred and was talking to the patrol officer that was first on the scene. I heard dogs barking but I didn’t see them. “Did the Chief mention anything in particular I should be looking for.”
“No sir, he just said... uh...” He swallowed hard.
“Said what, Officer?”
“What he said was, ‘I’m sending Lieutenant Lanny Boone out. Let him take a look. He won’t disturb any evidence and he’s got a nose like a damn bloodhound.’ Those are his words sir, not mine.”
“Chief doesn’t often throw out such fine compliments. Did he say anything else?”
“Yes sir, he said you’re a good detective but he’s spent a butt load of money on Tums since you joined the force. He said he ought to bill you for it.” The officer tried to force a chuckle but didn’t quite make it. “Uh, Lieutenant, the Chief might not be happy if he knew I was repeating what he said.”
“I wouldn’t think of mentioning it to the sentimental old guy.”
The mobile home sat adjacent to a wooded area at the back of a small pasture near the edge of the Mason city limits. Two similar structures were in the pasture, each about a quarter mile on either side of this one. I’d turned off an asphalt road on to a gravel drive to get to it. The drive passed in front of the three mobile homes. Occupants of the other two, young couples with several kids in tow had clustered off to the side, taking while the kids played about them. A patrol officer’s cruiser, blue lights flashing, sat at the entrance to the gravel drive to prevent the concerned and the curious from crowding on to the scene.
“You’ve called an ambulance?” I said.
“Yes, sir. It should be here any minute. The medical examiner and the crime scene guys are on the way, too.”
The patrol officer wiped the perspiration from his forehead and mouth. “Looks like a wild animal got in there and wrecked the place. Blood’s everywhere. Made me sick.” He wiped his mouth again. “Poor bastard.”
The mobile home was constructed of corrugated aluminum and looked to be several years old. It had an aluminum skirt around three sides. Why not on all sides, I wondered? One of the double windows on the end where the trailer hitch was located had been smashed--from the inside out, apparently, as indicated by the glass on the ground. A wooden porch with a tin roof had been built at the front door. The roof over the porch, supported by four-inch by four-inch wooden columns, sagged on the corner where one of the columns had been broken. The front door looked as if a jeep had driven through it from the inside out. A padded chair lay on the grass beside the porch. Had someone thrown the chair through the front door? A gorilla could do it, maybe, but a man?
“Who owns this one?” I said, indicating the home in front of us.
“I’m told the owner’s name is Eugene Walters.”
“Is Walters the victim?”
“I don’t know, sir. The guy who found him said he was. That’s him right over there.” He pointed to a man wearing jeans, an undershirt and work boots. He was standing in the cluster of onlookers. He looked to be about my size, six-two and two-twenty. Muscles bulged out of the undershirt and a blue and red tattoo decorated his upper arm. His blond hair sat atop his head like a football helmet.
“Is he a neighbor?”
“Yes sir, lives in that trailer near the entrance to the drive.”
The patrol officer consulted a note pad. “Jerry Brewer. Has a wife and two kids.”
“Ask him to wait around. I’d like to speak to him after I’ve looked inside.”
Ben Douglas is the author of several books of nonfiction and numerous newspaper and journal articles. His popular mystery, Finding Elmer Lee, continues to bring praise from all who have read it. Douglas’ three children having flown the nest, he lives with his wife, three cats and a hound dog in Madison, Mississippi where he is at work on another Lanny Boone mystery.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 314
Paper Weight (lb): 13.4
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