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Two bodies, necks snapped, like a fox strikes its prey. Jessica Tyson, searching for the killer while gaining self-understanding, travels the world of prostitution and the dark mind of a murderer. One suspect becomes her lover, as others surface, including a kind philanthropist, spinning children's tales of Queen Anne Fox. For Jessica the path leading to the killer is filled with shadows of her past and life lessons for a brighter future.
All she needed was a “sign”.
Eyes burning, Jessica Tyson drew in a deep, stabilizing breath. It didn’t matter what labels people put on the dead woman’s body. Prostitute or not, Ann Smith was somebody’s little girl—possibly somebody’s mother.
Life to Jessica felt as raw as the weather. Though pro-tected under the Aurora Bridge in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, the surrounding morning drizzle sliced into her soul. Today she hated police work.
Flying back to Wisconsin last week for her grandfather’s funeral during her finals at Western Washington University had really started her thinking. Just because he was the al-mighty savior-sheriff for forty years of his life didn’t mean she had to follow in his footsteps.
Just two days ago, little Denny Kellerman’s broken body had been left on this hard cement surface on a cold, dark morning—wrapped in a blanket—for strangers to find. Three months earlier the body of Annie Smith was left in a similar soft blue blanket. Identical M.O., broken neck, animal-like scratches to the face.
She braced herself for the onslaught of emotional pain that accompanied a “sign.”
Her gaze followed the thirty-foot cement pillars leering above, supporting Hwy 99. A continual swoosh of cars rushed far overhead; drivers racing to early morning jobs. A re-minder—the rhythm of life goes on.
“You know,” Jesse mused aloud, “as a child I once saw a picture of Atlas maintaining the weight of the universe on his shoulders. That’s what these pillars remind me of. That’s how this whole miserable situation makes me feel.”
Granddad always said, when a person is under heavy stress you find out what they’re really made of. Everyone returns to what they were at five years old.
Was this where she was at five?
Deserted by her mother at three, Jessica learned to create her own comfort inside. She’d have to dig that deep again to find solace now.
She stared across the crime scene at Sergeant Cardon of the Seattle Police Department. His beige trench coat flapped from his shoulders revealing the overweight, round body of a cop who’d had one too many donuts.
“What positive feedback ever comes from this feeling of isolation and desolation of investigating dead bodies? Searching into the negative side of people’s lives?”
“It pays the bills.” Cardon shrugged. “Sorry to hear about your dad. Passing on and all.”
“He was my Granddad.”
“Oh, I thought...”
“My grandparents raised me. Thank you for the concern.”
Her ESP was something that only her loving Granddad had understood. He’d helped her through adolescence to hone it to perfection. And now he was gone. One year to the day af-ter Grandmother’s death.
“Any vibes, yet? What’s all that feel like anyway?”
Jesse stared at what was left of the chalk marks. If she tried to explain, maybe he would lighten up.
“If I meld into the neighborhood where the victim lived, get the feel for those people who surrounded him or her, then while standing at the scene of a murder, I can see it. Watch exactly how it went down.”
“Hm,” Cardon replied.
Jesse couldn’t tell if he digested the information or, more likely, discounted it. After all, he didn’t allow her to expound.
“Well, you know why you’re here.” He shrugged. “Our men at the SPD can’t connect the murders. Same animal-like attack. Signature killings is what they call it at the department. The third body shows up and the killer earns the title of serial killer. We’re looking to you to halt this with your special tal-ent.” He spat out the final words.
“You’re just unhappy with me because I didn’t apply to serve and protect at the SPD right after graduation. Even if I’d considered it, I wouldn’t apply without an invitation.”
“Invitation?” Cardon raised an eyebrow. “Hell, solve this one and maybe the chief will offer you an invite,” he sneered.
“Jessica is called in to help with a case in the Queen Anne district. A young prostitute with ties to the area was killed and left nearby, her neck broken from behind. Three months later, an eleven-year-old boy is found killed in the same way, his body left at the exact same place. Jessica moves into the area and begins to investigate people who knew the young woman, Annie or the boy known as Denny. As the story progresses, not only the mystery propels the story, but also Jessica's family dynamics and the life questions she has never answered. Jerol Anderson has a true talent and I look forward to another book by this author.” MyShelf Reviews
“Full of suspense, danger and unexpected twists.” Sheryl, Coffee Time Romance Reviews
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 260
Paper Weight (lb): 11.0
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