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by Lee Emory
Description: A chance for a new start.... Phoenix Police Detective Niall Malone accepts a job to head up a task force hunting down a serial killer in another state. When at last he reports on the job, after spending some time in a Phoenix hospital, he walks smack into a wall of bigoted feelings toward his outsider status. The defilement of a proud symbol... The killer's main target points to Medical Examiner, Dr. Shyla Clifford. She receives gruesome, butchered pieces of the bodies to identify, usually frozen. The butcher leaves a unique marker on each body part that has everyone in law enforcement and the military deeply disturbed as chaos and the murders reign. A doctor marked for death! Shyla Clifford finds herself fighting to keep her family safe and maintain her new career now that she's retired from the Navy. When pieces of her loved ones keep showing up on her doorstep, among other places, she suffers the kind of fear few ever experience. A detective assigned to head up the task force appears to make little progress in the case as people continue to disappear. Shyla's desperation and anguish grows to the point her professionalism suffers and she struggles to hold fast to her very sanity. Now it's up to her to find the key to the grisly murders; the race is on to find it before everyone in her family is brutally murdered.... And before she becomes the only one left to run for her life.
eBook Publisher: Treble Heart Books, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: July 2008
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [371 KB]
Reading time: 236-330 min.
He hadn't decided which tender part of the kid to gift the bitch with, but there was plenty of time.
Meanwhile, he'd keep an eye out for Pinkie and question her about the break-in. Might not have been the old gal, but something told him that might be wishful thinking. Who knew what types of tools she might carry around in that rusty cart of hers? If she had broken in to the plant looking for more than a handout, question was, what would she do now?
Would she tell the cops what she found in the locker? Most homeless souls didn't want anything to do with cops, but would she put aside her fears, her paranoia, long enough to let them know where he kept his collection? He couldn't be sure. Couldn't take the chance.
In any case, he needed to pull the kid out of the car before his shift started. Traffic sounded heavy overhead on the bridge. No doubt she'd be awake now. He needed to introduce her to his collection. The thought made him smile.
Just then he looked at his watch, swore vilely and started to scramble faster up the bank. He didn't look back.
Wild-eyed, frightened, the tattered old woman peeked around the edge of the bridge's abutment when she heard the meat guy swear and take off running back to his car. She'd changed her pet name for him from mystery man to meat guy.
Only minutes ago she'd seen him drive up and park. Immediately she doused her fire and ran to the opposite side of the abutment to hide in the shadows. While she watched him rummaging through her camp, heard him call her name, she'd made her way up the sloping bank, belly down. There she crouched next to his car wheel on the far side. Keeping low, she poised to run as fast as she could, but wanted to catch the bugger in the act of stealing some of her precious goods. Her heart pounded from the adrenalin rush.
It was then she heard mewling, thumping, grunting noises coming from inside the trunk. There's somebody inside the meat guy's trunk!
That someone was still alive. Pinkie scooted as far from the car into the brush as possible.
Probably not alive for long.
It appeared 'meat guy' had not come to take anything away from her camp, but probably found the lock on his door busted open and came looking to question her about it. People were always quick to suspect the homeless.
Must be late for work. She chuckled as he checked the time and ran hell bent up the bank to get into his car and squeal out like a shot. She barely had time to slither farther on her belly, hoping he was too focused on getting back to his car to notice her lying there. This was one time she wished she hadn't painted her boots; they'd have made better camo if she hadn't. No time to worry about that now. It was too late.