Genre: Adult Thriller/Detective Fiction
Pitch: Homicide detective Jack Easley copes with the death of his sister by working every case he can, despite the effects on his wife’s PTSD. His latest assignment is no exception—until he finds himself streets over from where his sister died. The more he probes, however, the higher the body count, and the more the evidence points to his own family—the one that still tells him his sister’s death was a cut-and-dried suicide.
First 500 words:
I leaned against the Plexiglas divider of our lane, watching Abby empty magazines with no fear.
She knew exactly how to turn me on.
The safety glasses kept slipping, the earmuffs dwarfing her head, but the confidence fit like a glove; by the time a spent mag hit the floor, she’d already clicked a new one in, racked and fired.
Here, she couldn’t falter, and I liked that, but being here also did for her what the meds couldn’t, and I liked that more.
My Glock therapy was promising.
All her shots center mass, I gave her a thumbs-up. She rolled her eyes, changing the targets and giving my shoulder a sympathetic pat before I took my place on the line.
I was halfway through the set when my phone vibrated against my hip. Holstering on instinct, I picked up as I shouldered my way through the door, my partner’s number on the screen. The brass bell went off behind me, then again as Abby followed.
“Nick,” I said, crossing the lot to my unmarked, pulling at my earplugs. “What’s up?”
“—one hot off the presses,” I heard. “Where are you?”
“Doesn’t matter,” I said, reaching for the door of the Crown Vic. “Where’s it at?”
“It’s twenty-six Hawkins, in the Silver Terrace development.”
“I’ll be there,” I said, Abby watching me over the hood as I put my phone away.
She squinted in the sun. “You’re leaving.”
Watching me fish the duty ammo from my pocket was more than enough confirmation.
Therapy was over.
She pulled her sweatshirt sleeves back down as I loaded the magazine. “We paid for an hour, Jack. It’s only been twenty minutes.”
I pushed the full mag back in with a click and looked at her. My rounds had formed a close package, but hers had been tighter, less hesitant—like always. “I’m sorry, Abs. I’ll see if they can give us a credit for next time.”
Fronds of hair whipped against her forehead. “What if there isn’t a next time?”
I took a minute to find the ignition, my fingers feeling thick and clumsy, foreign. “I swear I’ll make it up to you, but right now I have to drop you off.”
She clicked her seatbelt into place, tossing a case file that was in the way of her feet onto the dashboard. “Somebody was killed, right?”
“You know they were,” I said, backing out, gravel crunching. “If they were still alive, we’d still be in there.” I nodded towards the range. “I—”
“You’re like a coroner,” she said to the window, chewing on the cords to her hood. “You’re called when someone dies.”
I rubbed the steering wheel hard with my thumbs. “That’s one way of putting it.”
“They probably have better hours, too; why don’t you look into it?”
“Don’t do that,” I told her. “Just don’t.”
“I hate this part so much.”
I scoffed, put on my blinker. “You hate this part? How do you think I feel?”