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DescriptionA dead psychic on Halloween night. Heroin filtering into the town’s schools. A sullen ex-con with a beef of his own, and a legislator with secrets to protect. Not what homicide detective Claudia Hershey expected when she moved to Indian Run, a smudge on Florida’s map. But there’s no turning back when the killer makes things personal.
This title is published by The Fiction Works and is distributed by Untreed Reads.
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Detective Lieutenant Claudia Hershey stood with her hands in her jacket pockets and looked at the woman on the kitchen floor.
Sometimes dead people looked like they were only napping. An eyelid would appear to move. Lips might twitch. You’d know they were dead, but still they’d play some trick or another, just enough to make you suck in your breath.
Not this woman. Her face had been obliterated along with her last breath. Blood was her pillow.
Claudia’s eyes moved restlessly around the kitchen. It was just a little square room with the standard appliances and a small round table. The table had been upended like a gladiator’s shield, but it was the only evidence of a struggle. Claudia guessed the woman hadn’t gotten the first lick in.
“God have mercy,” said a hushed voice behind Claudia.
She turned and took in the chief’s spongy face. It still bore traces of pillow creases. “Worst I ever saw before this was some fella got pulled out of Little Arrow Lake three days after he went in. Gators’d gotten to him, that and fish and water, and whatnot.” Chief Mac Suggs pulled his eyes from the body and cleared his throat. “But this? A dog with rabies wouldn’t of gone this far. No one deserves to die like this.”
The woman lay on her back, her right arm and wrist bent in a question mark. One leg was drawn up at the knee, the victim’s skirt hitched past her thigh. Claudia resisted an impulse to straighten the skirt for the woman, to do just that much.
The characteristic rumble returned to Suggs’ voice. “Well, looks like you’re finally gonna earn your pay, Hershey. Hope you still know your way around a stiff body.”
The comment didn’t call for a response. In the ten months since Claudia had arrived in Indian Run, Suggs had treated her like a mistake. In a sense, it was true. The burly chief had hired her in error, mistaking her name as Claude on the application. Claudia had learned to live with it. The chief, not quite.
In the Spirit of MurderBy: Laura Belgrave