MAJOR BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: I Signed with Bookouture Publisher for a New 3 Book Detective Crime Series

bookouture

It’s been difficult for me to sit on this announcement until the contract was signed and I was given the greenlight to share with everyone. I’m still in shock–believe me it takes quite a bit to shock me. As a writer, we dream of such a wonderful opportunity to have a publisher swoop in and offer a fantastic deal. It’s been a blur and there are several people who made this happen for me: Commissioning Editor Abigail Fenton and Publicity and Social Media Manager Kim Nash. I don’t even know where to begin, but you can read my press release from Bookouture.

Here’s the short version. I was initially contacted, I pitched a new detective crime series, and then the contract was offered for a 3-book deal. I’ve hit the ground running and that’s why you haven’t heard from the me a while. I’ve been organizing my schedule and figuring out my life for the next year or so. But don’t worry! I will be giving you updates along the way.

The first book from Bookouture will publish in May 2019, with book two following in September 2019 and book three in January 2020. I  will be posting  updates as the process progresses, with the tile, synopsis, and the cover reveal. I’m extremely excited about this series. I’ve had several series ideas in addition to the ones I already have, but this one was special and Bookouture thought so too.

Now, I wanted to let everyone know who are fans of the Emily Stone Thrillers and the Chip Palmer Mystery Series , I did not abandoned them. I will also be updating you on some surprises from my favorite vigilante detective and criminalist soon.

To make a long story short, nothing has really changed except for the fact that there will be a new crime series to hit the bookstores May 2019.

Thank you to all my loyal readers, reviewers and fans. Your support and readership has made all of the incredible opportunities come to life for me. There’s more to come.

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SCENE OF THE CRIME Won the Crime Fiction BRONZE Medal from Readers’ Favorite

SceneoftheCrime

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SCENE OF THE CRIME, the second installment in the Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery Series, placed third and received a Bronze Medal for CRIME FICTION at Readers’ Favorite. It’s fantastic to receive this honor. Thank you Readers’ Favorite and my supportive fans! I’ve loved creating this series and there will be more to come.

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A calculating cold-blooded predator closes in…

When a community has barely recovered from a ruthless serial killer six months earlier; now two more horrifying murders hit the radar again. It leaves police burdened with two of the most shockingly contaminated crime scenes ever documented in California’s law enforcement history. The Slayer works behind the scenes as a sinister puppet master, precisely pulling the strings, taunting the police without leaving any viable evidence, and orchestrating his killer hit squads.

The sheriff and district attorney bring in the best investigators. Reunited again, Dr. Chip Palmer, a reclusive forensic expert, joins DA Inspector Kate Rawlins to sort through the crime scene aftermath in search of the truth—all without a probable suspect or a solid motive. Complicating the investigation—sparks reignite between the two.

Ratcheting up the suspense, Chip suffers a nasty fall hitting his head, impairing his perception and giving him a mind-blowing ability for specific detailed recall. Palmer and Rawlins assemble an unusual team including a rookie detective, a forensic supervisor, and an ex-military operative turned bodyguard. After one of their own is kidnapped and the investigation is taken over by the FBI, the now rogue team must pull together their own resources—alone—with a killer waiting to take each one of them out. Scene of the Crime takes no prisoners and leaves everyone fighting to stay alive.

Buy at AMAZON

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In addition, I had a double surprise from Reader’s Favorite! DEAD COLD, from my Emily Stone Thriller Series, was a FINALIST in ACTION FICTION from Readers’ Favorite. It was an amazing day!

DeadCold

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What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.

Buy at AMAZON

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Books: Compulsion   Dead Game   Dark Mind   Dead Burn   Dark Pursuit

Dead Cold  Scene of the Crime

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Creepy History: 3 Horrific Medieval and Renaissance Serial Killers

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Photo courtesy of 1000facts.com.

Many people believe that serial killers are a relatively new phenomenon. And that these homicidal maniacs are a terrifying by-product of modern society’s manic pace and lifestyle. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, serial killers have existed for millennia and will probably continue to exist – much to our dismay.

Here are three serial killers that rampaged during the historically significant and turbulent eras of the Middles Ages and Renaissance.

Christman Genipperteinga

During the late Sixteenth Century, a German killer named Christman Genipperteinga wreaked terror upon the countryside just outside of Cologne. Apparently, this Medieval killer slaughtered hundreds of people. Some historians have the body count at 964, but most agree that this is a grossly exaggerated number that has been inflated as a result of oral folklore. But, the fact remains, this monster killed many, many innocent people.

Christman lived in an underground home that was built into the beautiful landscape. And, although his dwelling was apparently situated somewhat underground, the interior resembled a normal home for that time-period. This psycho’s underground lair was located at the intersection of some ancient Roman roads that connected several German cities. From his inconspicuous underground home, he was able to watch and stalk travelers as they traversed through the remote area.

After stalking his prey, Christman would randomly attack, murder and dismember random voyagers who roamed across the ancient roads. Because he was known to attack groups of 3-4 people, many wonder if he had assistance from others. Christman’s downfall came after capturing and imprisoning the daughter of a local barrel-maker (an important job in that era). The prisoner eventually escaped, recalled the horrific ordeal to her influential dad – and the rest is history.

The killer’s home was eventually ransacked for evidence, during which time the local population uncovered years of clues concerning his years-long murderous and pillaging rampage. In June 1581, Christman was executed by the “breaking wheel,” an excruciatingly painful and barbaric Medieval torture device.

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Photo courtesy of intermedia.ge.

Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer

Known as La Quintrala, due to her flaming red hair, Catalina de los Rios y Lisperguer was a 17th Century Chilean aristocrat, landowner and cold-blooder killer. Hailing from Spanish, Native American and German descent, La Quintrala was a member of Chile’s ruling class during the Chilean Colonial Period.

La Quintrala owned and managed vast swaths of land, which were inhabited by South America’s indigenous population and recent settlers from Europe. Unfortunately for her tenants, La Quintrala had an explosive and violent temper, which often resulted in cruel and inhumane treatment of her subordinates.

Over the course of her wicked rule, La Quintrala brutally murdered over 40 people, including slaves, tenants, former lovers, a priest and even her own father. Using her nobility and wealth to her advantage, this psychotic killer evaded justice for years despite the community’s growing knowledge of La Quintrala’s evil deeds.

The horrific acts of La Quintrala eventually caught up with her, and she was publicly convicted of her murderous acts. As she was only sentenced to house arrest and not executed, many contemporaries believed that her punishment was much too lenient. Regardless, La Quintrala never received a harsher punishment and she eventually died while still under house arrest.

La Quintrala’s notorious legacy still lives on in Chilean culture where she is viewed as the embodiment of Spanish colonization and the resultant oppression.

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Photo courtesy of theweirdandwonderful.com.

Resurrection Men / Burke and Hare Killings

Whenever you do research on serial killers, the bizarre and macabre details that emerge will cease to amaze. Here is one such instance. In the 1820s, Edinburgh, Scotland was a leading European city in the study of anatomy. And, in order to truly study the human body, these pioneering scientists required lots and lots of test subjects, i.e. dead people.

This high demand for cadavers led to a shortage of bodies on which to perform scientific experiments. So, whenever there is a demand, some resourceful folks will always manage to find a way to offer the supply. The first people to meet the ever-increasing demand for dead bodies were people known as resurrection men. No, they did not rise from the dead. Rather, they were gravediggers, who stole bodies and delivered them to area scientists.

Under Scottish law, only certain dead bodies were allowed to be used for science, such as suicide victims and dead prisoners. So, these so-called resurrection men and their scientist counterparts were most likely criminally liable for the rampant body snatching from the graves of “respectable society.”

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Photo courtesy of theweirdandwonderful.com.

At this point, only dead bodies were being snatched. That all changed after the proprietor of a local boarding house was convinced to sell the body of a lodger who died at his inn. The proprietor was William Hare and his friend was William Burke. Apparently, Burke knew of a scientist, Dr. Knox, who was in desperate need of cadavers.

Within a few months, Hare and Burke had resorted to murdering instead of awaiting lodgers to die through natural causes. Over the course of 10 months in 1828, Burke and Hare killed 16 people. That’s right. These psychos murdered almost 20 people in less than a year. And it was all for one purpose – to make some extra cash by selling murdered bodies for scientific experimentation.

Some guests at the boarding house had suspected foul play after the death of their last victim – Margaret Docherty. This led to an investigation. And the arrest of both men as well as their wives.  Hare agreed to an immunity deal which involved selling out Burke, who was eventually hanged for his crimes.

Even though Burke was executed, Hare was never convicted. And neither were the wives, who eventually fled the United Kingdom. And so did Hare, apparently. But no one really knows for sure as to what happened to Hare.

As for Burke, his body was dissected, and his skeleton was put on display at the Edinburgh Medical School’s Anatomical Museum. To date, Burke’s skeleton remains on display.

Scotland swiftly enacted new laws that made it easier for doctors, medical students, and anatomy lecturers to acquire legal cadavers, thereby ending the reign of resurrection men.

These are some macabre and creepy real-life stories that truly exemplify the horrors humankind is capable of. Are there any other killers from the past that you have heard about, who could be included in this post?

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LATEST VIGILANTE DETECTIVE EMILY STONE THRILLER  

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KILLER ON THE LOOSE Chapter 15: Nick Bracco #Final #Thriller #MiniBlogSeries

NICK BRACCO IMAGE- GOT NICK 2

KILLER ON THE LOOSE

Final Chapter 15 – Nick Bracco

Gary Ponzo

Nick put his phone down and fist-bumped Matt.  “Emily found the missing girls,” he said with a big smile.

Matt pointed to Karl Saxon who was answering questions from a Baltimore detective.  “What about him?”

“I want him released.”

Matt gave Nick a deadpan stare.  “Sure, why not.  He’s only a hired assassin.”

Nick folded his arms across his chest.  “Do you remember the names on his playlist of victims?  Charles Nekert.  Rocco Slate.  Vance Thalter.  All terrorist supporters  from different parts of the world?”

“I’m listening.”

“Well, we don’t exactly have any hard evidence against him.”

“Yeah?”

“And it would be really hard to find a charge to hold him on.”

“So we release him and wait for him to kill again?”

“That’s right.”

“And try to find evidence against him at that crime scene?”

Nick nodded.  “You’re good at this.  You should be in law enforcement.”

“Are you out of your friggin’ mind?”

Nick tugged Matt’s arm to get him away from the throng of police gathering around Saxon.  Once they were far enough away, he said, “That casing I showed you from the Morrison murder?  The one where I kept from the evidence room?”

“Yeah?”

Nick glanced over his shoulder at Saxon.  “Well, I told Karl that I was given the casing by a terrorist who wanted Saxon incarcerated for the rest of his life.”

Matt’s glare softened as the concept became clearer in his mind.  “And exactly who did you say gave you this casing?”

“Amin Soharto.”

Matt’s grin widened.  “You’re kidding, right?  We’ve been searching for Amin for a decade.”

“Right.”

“And what makes you think he can find him?”

“Because if he doesn’t, I promised that casing would find itself into the evidence chamber.”

Matt shook his head.  “You are a nasty man.”

“That’s what Julie tells me all the time.”

Matt draped an arm around his partner.  “I could use a drink.”

Nick patted Matt’s chest.  “Let’s make them doubles.”

 

THE END

 

In case you missed it, here’s the rundown:

Chapter 1 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 2 – Emily Stone

Chapter 3 – Nick Bracco

Chapter 4 – Emily Stone

Chapter 5 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 6 — Emily Stone

Chapter 7 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 8 — Emily Stone

Chapter 9 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 10 — Emily Stone

Chapter 11 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 12 — Emily Stone

Chapter 13 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 14 — Emily Stone

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http://www.garyponzo.com

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KILLER ON THE LOOSE Chapter 14: Emily Stone #Thriller #MiniBlogSeries

Emily_image

KILLER ON THE LOOSE

Chapter 14 – Emily Stone

Jennifer Chase

Emily kicked open the front door and quickly stormed the house. Anger and desperation overcame her. The interior was the same as she had left it minutes ago—empty and barely lived in.

She knew in her gut that the girls were close.

“Em,” Rick said breathlessly joining her side. It was obvious that he was stressed and out of constructive suggestions. “We only have minutes.”

“Check everything, I mean everything in the living room and kitchen areas.” She ran down the hall and entered the first bedroom.

Emily stood for a moment in the middle of the empty room. The closet doors were open but the interior was vacant. She gritted her teeth and ran to the other two bedrooms with the same result. Kicking the bathroom door inward, she spun around in frustration.

Nothing.

Think.

“It’s clear,” stated Rick as he joined Emily. “There’s no way that they would be stashed in the kitchen cabinets, closets, or anywhere else.”

Emily’s cell phone buzzed, but she ignored it.

Out of extreme frustration and borderline rage, Emily stomp-kicked the wall leaving a crushed in hole behind.

“Em,” Rick said softly.

“The girls are here I know it,” she said softly.

“There’s no basement or crawl space underneath the manufactured home,” Rick informed.

Emily rubbed her forehead in frustration and felt the beginning of a pounding headache. She suddenly realized. “Wait a minute. How could I have been so stupid…” she ran into the main bedroom. Looking in the closet closely and then craning her neck upward, she saw a small opening to the attic area with two hinges, locked and leaving the pull-down opening sealed. It was a small crawl space, but it had to be it.

“Hoist me up,” she ordered.

“Wait. We don’t know if there’s some kind of trap.”

“Do it! They may not have much time left.”

Rick didn’t protest as he helped Emily up toward the opening.

She quickly pushed at the door, but it wouldn’t budge. “Give me your flashlight.”

Rick quickly handed it to her.

Emily pounded on the opening, around the sealed areas, and the cheap drywall began to crumble. “Can you hear me?” she yelled and continued to pound at the opening.

“Quiet!” Rick ordered still balancing Emily. “Did you hear that?”

Emily stopped.

A tiny muffled voice, “Please… please help us…”

“Thank God,” Emily said breathlessly. “We’re here to help you, back away from the opening.” She continued to pound at the entrance until the opening was wide enough for her body to fit through easily.

Emily disappeared into the darkness.

Rick waited nervously glancing at his watch as the minutes ticked down.

Emily took a moment to adjust her eyes to the shadows. Two figures came into view. At first, they resembled ghosts floating toward her.

“It’s okay, we’re here to get you home.”

“Home…” one girl exclaimed and began to cry.

“C’mon we have to hurry,” Emily insisted.

Emily helped the girls to the opening as Rick pulled them to safety. They were shaken and filthy, but didn’t seem to have any visible physical injuries. Emily knew that the damage and horror inflicted on them was hidden from view. They would probably carry it with them forever.

Emily dropped down and fought the urge to cry but refocused her energy.

The girls hugged her tight.

“You have to wait a few minutes longer. Help is on the way,” promised Emily. “The police will get you home.”

The girls clung to her as her heart ached for what they had been through during their ordeal.

Emily and Rick quickly guided them to the front door and instructed them to wait. The girls were hesitant and scared.

Emily softly said, “It’s okay, those men will never hurt you again.”

The girls waited at the front door.

Sirens approached from the distance.

Emily and Rick raced out of the house and around to the path leading away from the property. It was not until they were a safe distance away with a vantage point did Emily glance at her cell phone.

The text message read: The girls are in the attic. Check the master bedroom closet.

Emily quickly sent a message to Nick: They are alive waiting for police. Thank you.

She smiled and squeezed Rick’s hand. No words were spoken between them.

They watched for a few more minutes as the local police, K9 units, and FBI arrived. The cops spread out in a typical military formation to cover the property.

Two police officers rushed the girls immediately to a waiting police SUV.

Police radios chattered and loud voices filtered throughout the compound.

During the excitement of the search and seizure, Emily and Rick retreated to their hidden vehicle covertly leaving the investigation behind.

***

In case you missed it, here’s the rundown:

Chapter 1 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 2 – Emily Stone

Chapter 3 – Nick Bracco

Chapter 4 – Emily Stone

Chapter 5 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 6 — Emily Stone

Chapter 7 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 8 — Emily Stone

Chapter 9 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 10 — Emily Stone

Chapter 11 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 12 — Emily Stone

Chapter 13 — Nick Bracco

***

LATEST VIGILANTE DETECTIVE EMILY STONE THRILLER  

DEAD COLD, An Emily Stone Thriller

DeadCold

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Silent Partner   Body of the Crime   Screenwriting

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Two High-Profile Deadly Mysteries Recently Solved by Forensics

ColdCases

Years pass, but the scars remain. Family members agonize for a resolution of the case that destroyed their lives. While many cold cases go unsolved, there always remains a sliver of hope that a resolution will be attained.

Whether it’s—a distraught witness finally coming forward, a determined family member who won’t let the case go, or a modern forensic technology that sheds light on a mystery – many of these so-called cold cases do eventually get solved.

And, although the resolution of the case does not bring back the victim, the family members do often feel a sense of closure. Finally, they can move on with their lives.

Here are two high-profile mysteries that were recently solved with the help of modern forensic science.

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Photo courtesy of suffolktimes.com.

The Disappearance of Louise Pietrewicz

On a cool Long Island autumn day in October of 1966, a 38-year old mother named Louise Pietrewicz withdrew her remaining funds from the bank and closed her account. She was never seen again. At that time, she was in an abusive marriage, and had been secretly seeing another man, a police officer named William P. Boken.

On the day of her disappearance, Louise’s 12-year old daughter vividly remembers kissing her mother good-bye at the school bus stop. The daughter also recalls believing that her mother would eventually return home to her. And that something awful must have happened—because she was a dedicated parent who would never willingly leave her daughter.

The local police apparently never took the case very seriously, despite the fact that her boyfriend, Boken, had called out sick the three days prior to the disappearance. And then, quit the police force on the day after Louise closed her bank account and vanished.

The case went cold for almost 50 years. Then, a local newspaper renewed the public’s interest in the matter after publishing a piece on the incident. A documentary soon followed. And, as a result of the exploding media exposure, a witness finally came forward. It was the former wife of the now-deceased Boken.

Boken’s wife dropped a bombshell by revealing that she believed a body was buried in the basement of her modest Long Island home. A forensic team swooped on the scene, and using ground penetrating radar (GPR), investigators discovered a skeleton. The GPR impressively discovered the body despite it being buried 7-feet underground, beneath a 5-inch concrete slab.

A forensic pathologist determined the cause of death to be a fatal gunshot. Then, on March 19, 2018, forensic investigators also made the determination that the body found in the basement was, in fact, Louise Pietrewicz.

Despite the overwhelming evidence pointing to Boken, the confirmed identity of Louise’s killer will most likely never be determined.

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Photo courtesy of nationalgeographic.com.

The Identity of Buckskin Girl

On April 22, 1981, a young woman’s body was found in a ditch alongside a highway outside of Troy, Ohio. The woman had no identification on her. And all attempts to ID the young lady through published and broadcasted police sketches proved to be fruitless. The young Jane Doe victim was then nicknamed “Buckskin Girl” due to the tasseled buckskin jacket she was wearing at time her body was discovered.

The forensic pathologist determined her age to be 21, and that she died due to strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. Buckskin Girl was eventually buried at a local Troy cemetery, but her clothing remained in storage at a police evidence facility. Prior to her burial, investigators were able to extract her fingerprints, dental information and other items that would be later used for DNA analysis.

Police found no evidence of sexual assault. And, as a result, investigators’ primary theory that Buckskin Girl may have been another victim of a recent killing spree of local sex workers was ruled out. Police ran into dead-end after dead-end, and eventually the investigation went cold.

In 2008, the police had a renewed interest in this case. So, at that time, investigators entered the victim’s dental information, fingerprints and DNA analysis into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons database. No matches were found.

Then, finally in 2016, there was significant progress in the quest to determine the identity of Buckskin Girl. First, forensic pathologists conducted testing on the woman’s clothing, and a forensic facial reconstruction was performed that resulted in a three-dimensional facial image of the woman.

Through the clothing analysis, the forensics team was able to narrow down the areas of the country where she had frequented during the months prior to her death. And, as a result of the forensic facial reconstruction, investigators were able to reach out to the media in those areas with a tangible image of Buckskin Girl.

The non-profit group DNA Doe Project  soon got involved in the investigation, and their help led to the eventual identification of the woman. The Project created a DNA profile using blood taken at the time of the victim’s death. They entered the profile into a public genealogy database, and voila – a family member match was found.

After speaking with the family member, it was revealed – on April 9, 2018 – that Buckskin Girl’s real name was Marcia Lenore King, a runaway from Arkansas. Marcia was never officially reported missing, but her mother never left the family home in hopes that Marcia would someday return.

To date, there are no murder suspects being investigated in connection with Marcia’s murder.

These cases prove that – with the help of modern forensic science – no case is every truly cold.  Are there are any murder mysteries of which you are aware that could be included in this post?

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LATEST VIGILANTE DETECTIVE EMILY STONE THRILLER  

DEAD COLD, An Emily Stone Thriller

DeadCold

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Dead Cold  Scene of the Crime

Silent Partner   Body of the Crime   Screenwriting

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KILLER ON THE LOOSE Chapter 13: Nick Bracco #Thriller #MiniBlogSeries

NICK BRACCO IMAGE- GOT NICK 2

KILLER ON THE LOOSE

Chapter 13 – Nick Bracco

Gary Ponzo

 

Nick had to lie flat on his stomach before he could see it.  The imperceptible rectangle underneath the bus.

“You lose something?” Matt asked.

“Remember that shell casing I kept from the Morrison homicide?” Nick asked while scrutinizing the compartment in the undercarriage of the bus.

“The one I told you to tag and inventory?”

“Yeah, that one.”

“What about it?”

“It’s about to pay dividends.”

Matt got down to his knees and following Nick’s stare.  “What are you looking at?”

“See that bulge under the bus?”

Matt got ever lower to where his face was pressing against the cool grass.  “Yeah?”

“I believe that is where Karl Saxon is currently residing.”

“Damn,” Matt said.  “I am very impressed.  How did you come up with that one?”

Nick pointed a thumb over his shoulder.  “That kid just told me.”

“Oh.”  Matt sighed.  “You want me to get him?”

“No,” Nick said, coming to his feet.  “Just cover me.”

“I can handle that.”

Nick strode toward the gathering of detectives and forensic techs preparing to inspect the bus and said, “Give me five minutes alone before you guys get started.”

Detective Herman Clark gave Nick a half-shrug.  “Sure.”

Nick slowly made his way up the steps into the interior of the bus, then cautiously walked down the aisle to the exact location where the compartment was situated.  He noticed a slight interruption in the rubber floor mat that ran down the center of the passageway.  There was a clean break in the rubber pad, almost seamless to a casual inspection.  Nick was very quiet as he subtly pulled up on the mat and peeled away the layer of covering that exposed the hidden door.

Nick pulled out his gun and moved a few feet back before crouching low and saying, “You can come out now Karl.  We all know you’re here.”

Nothing happened for a few seconds so Nick added, “I have a very tempting proposition for you that could make your day.”

When the silence lingered Nick said, “Karl, if all I wanted to do was apprehend you I would’ve sent the SWAT team over to smoke you out, but I’m here by myself because of my proposal.  If you make me wait another five seconds I will leave and send in the muscle.”

The hidden door hinged open and Nick could see a hand pushing up on the platform.  Then Karl Saxon’s head came up wincing from the tight quarters he’d just subjected himself to.

“That seems very uncomfortable,” Nick said, holding the pistol out just for affect.

Saxon rubbed his neck and sat upright.  Half his body was still beneath the floor level.

“Please,” Nick said.  “Do me a favor and place your hands on the floor.”

Saxon complied.  A huge scowl of dissatisfaction on his face.  “Okay,” he said.  “I’m listening.”

Nick pulled out a plastic baggie from his inside jacket pocket.  A cylinder-shaped object sagged to the bottom of the bag.  “Do you know what this is?”

Saxon shrugged.  “No clue.”

“It’s the shell casing you left behind at the Morrison homicide.”

A flicker of recognition flashed across his face.

“Ah,” Nick said.  “Suddenly you remember that little mistake.”

Saxon waited.

“Well, here is my proposition,” Nick said, dangling the baggie like a treat for a hungry dog.  “This bit of evidence would surely tie you to the Morrison murder.  Something you’ve been able to avoid your entire career.  But I’m willing to keep my tiny souvenir if you tell me where the missing girls are.”

Saxon was about to speak, but Nick interrupted.  “Please don’t insult me and say which girls.”

Saxon’s scowl wilted into resignation.  “How do I know you won’t introduce it once I tell you?”

Nick shook his head.  “You’re just going to have to trust me Karl.  Morrison was a terrorist.  You did me a huge favor by getting rid of him.  Now I’m willing to return the favor.”  Nick held up the baggie once again and dangled it.

Saxon seemed to be cursing himself, muttering indecipherable words under his breath.

“I didn’t hear you,” Nick said.

Saxon’s face was taut with anger.  “They’re inside the bedroom closet.”

“Which bedroom?”

“The Master bedroom in the main house.  Have Stone look at the pull down hatch to the attic.  That’s where they are.”

Nick returned the baggie to his jacket pocket.  “Pleasure doing business with you Karl.”

 

***

In case you missed it, here’s the rundown:

Chapter 1 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 2 – Emily Stone

Chapter 3 – Nick Bracco

Chapter 4 – Emily Stone

Chapter 5 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 6 — Emily Stone

Chapter 7 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 8 — Emily Stone

Chapter 9 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 10 — Emily Stone

Chapter 11 — Nick Bracco

Chapter 12 — Emily Stone

***

http://www.garyponzo.com

Check out the latest: A Touch of Defiance

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