Tag Archives: Police Procedural

The Pepper Tree Blitz

 

The Pepper Tree cover

 

Thriller, Mystery, Police Procedural

 

 

Publisher: Aakenbaaken & Kent

A Southern California landmark primarily known only to law enforcement earned a reputation for crime scenes of the most unspeakably vicious homicides. Infamous serial killers had chosen this location to discard and display their victims as trophies of their horrific deeds. Lieutenant Scott Hunter must lead a team of detectives to identify and capture a perpetrator who’s targeting young women, and has chosen this landmark to showcase his victims.

This story is a work of fiction, but the Orange County location is real. So notorious, in fact, that those officers working the graveyard shift need only radio their activity at a site bearing two words, and they are immediately dispatched a back-up officer to the “pepper tree.”

As a young patrol officer, Hunter had been introduced to the “terror at the tree” on an evening when he turned his police cruiser down that dusty road separating asparagus fields, and discovered a corpse hanging from a low-hanging limb. But now as the leader of the Robbery/Homicide team, he received that most dreaded call interrupting the stillness of the night, a body dump.

The Pepper Tree phone

 

Excerpt

 

 

Chapter 1

Like the mast of a majestic clipper ship rising vertically through the horizon, the trunk and its heavily leaved branches interrupted the monotonous plane of the two-lane roadway. Interstate 405 ran parallel to Barranca Road, giving motorists driving northbound from Sand Canyon to Jeffrey Road an expansive view of the tree and its surroundings. Bordered by asparagus fields, Barranca was seldom traveled, but the pepper tree announced its presence, and the density of its foliage shielded the most unspeakable of crimes.

By day the tree was odd; almost enigmatic. Why one, rather than a row? By night, it was an ominous adversary; in particular, to the officers of the graveyard shift. Most activities observed were cars with fogged windows, or simply the impromptu beer bust. But for the serial killer, it seemed to be a magnet that hypnotically drew the perpetrator toward the culminating acts of his horrific crime. It was the kind of place training officers, would admonish trainees to pay particular attention to possible ambush, proper illumination, and the avoidance of passing in front of spotlights, and backlighting you as a target.

This evening was going to prove to be the very thing about which Officer Jim Janowitz had been warned. When his flashlight revealed the woman’s leg, the history of this site flashed before him within a millisecond. Serial killer Randy Kraft had been convicted for the murder of a man whose body had been dumped at this very spot. The newspapers had sensationalized the crime by sharing that a four-foot twig had been stuffed into the victim’s body cavity. Two months prior to the discovery of Kraft’s crime, Gerald Shill had chosen this tree to dispose of a prostitute he had shot to death. Now this.

Janowitz hit the high beams and directed his driver side spotlight across the hood of his cruiser, while with shaking hands he radioed for back-up.

The spotlight illuminated her entire body from feet toward the crown of her head, as she lay prone, and nude from the waist down. Her dark hair, draped over the shoulders of a blue long-sleeved blouse, was matted with blood that sparkled from the beams of light projecting from the idling patrol car. With his flashlight in his left hand, he got out of the patrol car leaving the door ajar.

As he awaited the arrival of what would soon become a busy crime scene, Janowitz surveyed the open field leading from the tree to the freeway, straining to see any signs of human shadows that might have fled upon discovering the approaching sedan bearing an overhead light bar. He rounded the trunk and ducked below the flashing amber caution light, carefully stepping toward the body, scanning for threats, while trying to avoid trampling evidence. He swept the immediate perimeter ensuring there was no further danger, and checked the victim to confirm that she was, in fact, deceased.

The familiar roar of an accelerating V-8, signaled to him that help was on the way in the form of the Area 4 car, manned by Officer Karl Peterson.

As Peterson’s cruiser approached from the north, he could see the tree awash in the lights beaming from his partner’s patrol car. The scene appeared surreal – a pale, mannequin-like figure lying face down in the dirt, at the base of a huge tree, with a slender uniformed officer standing over the body.

You call a supervisor?”

I phoned Austin. I heard him radio that he was Code 7 (meal) at Denny’s and figured he didn’t hear my call; the reception’s so bad there,” Janowitz responded, gesturing with his cell phone.

Let’s get a unit to block Barranca at Sand Canyon, and another to block it off at Jeffrey. I’ll call it in, and you can start setting up a cone pattern for the crime scene.”

Roger, that.”

Austin can make the call for the homicide team.”

**********

Sergeant Richard Austin’s supervisor’s unit lumbered down the potholed, graveled asphalt of Barranca Road. The 20-year veteran was in a sour mood. Although he was the senior supervisor in Patrol, he was forced by policy to rotate onto graveyards for a three-month stint, and he had just sat down for dinner when this dead body call came out. He had a feeling that he would be standing a long time, and his back would be smarting from the weight of his Sam Browne gun belt. It was day three of his 4-day work week, and it looked as if his uniform wouldn’t make it to day four before needing dry cleaning. Austin slowly strode from his unit toward Janowitz after glancing at the body.

Are you sure she’s dead?”

I checked carotid, no pulse. I looked for lividity, and saw signs of blood pooling on the exposed extremities – knees, thighs…”

This is Irvine, Janowitz, America’s safest city; we generally frown on this type of activity.” Austin responded sarcastically.

The sergeant then began to approach the body, tracking across the dirt shoulder of the road.

Sarge, careful, there’re some footprints around her that aren’t mine.”

I’ve handled more dead bodies than you’ve taken petty theft reports Junior.”

Janowitz hoped Austin’s bluster was compensation for the sobering scene that lay before them. Viewing bodies was, unfortunately, part of the job, but what appeared to be a beautiful girl being discarded at the foot of this tree seemed, well, monstrous.

Austin reached over and separated several strands of the victim’s dark brown hair glued together with dried blood, revealing what appeared to be an entry wound.

Well, Janowitz, looks like this young lady has a bullet hole in her skull. I’ll call Homicide.”

**********

About the Author

Dave Freedland

Dave Freedland is a 34-year decorated law enforcement professional having served with the Irvine (California) Police Department. Following a competitive athletic career culminating with the award of “UCLA’s Most Valuable Gymnast,” he graduated 1st in his Sheriff’s academy class. As a SWAT team leader and commander for over 25 years, he supervised operations for numerous barricade and hostage incidents, and was the recipient of several awards including “Police Officer of the Year” and the “Meritorious Service Award.” He retired at the rank of Deputy Chief, and currently holds a 6th degree black belt in Japanese Shotokan karate. His first novel, Lincoln 9, was Oak Tree Press’ best-selling book on Amazon in 2015. His second novel, The Pepper Tree, published by Aakenbaaken & Kent, received a 2018 manuscript award from the Public Safety Writers’ Association.

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Now & Then Blitz

 

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Now & Then cover

 

A Parker City Mystery

 

Mystery, Police Procedural

Published: February 2021

Publisher: Level Best Books

Parker City now . . . Parker City then . . . Every city has its stories and secrets.

In the spring of 1981, Parker City is rocked by a series of brutal murders. Unthinkable crimes the likes of which are unheard of in the close-knit community. Under great pressure from the powers-that-be, it is made clear to newly minted Parker City Police Detectives Ben Winters and Tommy Mason that their first case could very well be their last if they can’t catch the killer.

Decades later, after distinguished careers in law enforcement, Ben and Tommy find themselves on the eve of retirement. But in their final days on the job, their very first case comes back to haunt them in a heart-wrenching twist leaving everyone to wonder – did they get it wrong all those years ago? Has the killer been on the loose all this time?

The investigation unfolds simultaneously in the ‘80s and the present as the case of the Spring Strangler looms large over Parker City.

Now & Then standing book


About the Author

Justin M. Kiska


When not sitting in his library devising new and clever ways to kill people (for his mysteries), Justin can usually be found at The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre, outside of Washington, DC, where he is one of the owners and producers. In addition to writing the new Parker City Mysteries Series, of which Now & Then is the first installment, he is also the mastermind behind Marquee Mysteries, a series of interactive mystery events he has been writing and producing for over fifteen years.

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Omerta Blitz

 

Omerta cover

 

Howard Drew Novels, Book 1

 

Mystery, Police Procedural,

Date Published: March 9, 2021

Publisher: Fedora Press

Fans of iconic LAPD homicide Detective Harry Bosch will feel right at home with homicide Detective Howard “Howie” Drew. Don’t miss Omerta, the first book in a brand new police procedural series set in the City of Angels.

For a homicide detective, a day on the job means hunting killers while trying not to get killed. If you’re a homicide detective in Los Angeles, it also means dealing with the most overwrought, desperate, and deluded criminals anywhere. When you’re a brand new homicide detective spending your days and nights in the gritty underbelly of the city that never sleeps with a tetchy veteran murder cop for a partner, you must keep your cool and your wits about you when the bodies start hitting the floor.

Putting the pieces together when someone shoots to death execution-style a semi-famous Hollywood screenwriter with mob ties is Howard Drew, recently promoted to Detective II and transferred into West Bureau homicide. Just when Drew and his veteran murder cop partner and mentor Detective Rudy Ortega think they are making progress in solving the murder, the leads dry up and the case goes cold. But on the mean streets of LA, there are always plenty more murders to investigate.

Drew and Ortega quickly pivot to investigating the rape-murder of a twenty-two-year-old stripper and aspiring actress. They spend their days chasing down leads in West LA while at the same time battling the inefficient LAPD bureaucracy and trying to coax the support they need to solve cases from the department’s overworked and understaffed Scientific Investigation Division. From their squad room at West Bureau, they see the glamour city for what it is: a sprawling metropolis where the tedious is dangerous and the dangerous is tedious.

Other Books in the Howard Drew Series:

The Pendulum cover

 

The Pendulum

 

Howard Drew Novels, Book 2

Publisher: Fedora Press

Coming September 2021

When a mother and her young daughter are found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in a car parked at an overlook off a Hollywood freeway, it appears they are victims of a culturally driven parent-child suicide. LAPD Detective Howard Drew faces his first real test as a new lead homicide investigator as he follows a twisted trail of clues to find the truth in his most challenging case yet.

The Pendulum is the second novel featuring Detective Howard Drew in a new fast-paced police procedural series set in Los Angeles that crime fiction fans won’t want to miss.

When a 3 A.M. callout sends West Bureau homicide Detective Howard Drew to an overlook above Hollywood Bowl, he finds an Asian woman and her six-year-old daughter dead inside a vehicle with a garden hose running from the exhaust pipe into a rear window. The initial evidence points to the cultural practice called oyako shinju in Japan, a ritual child-parent suicide committed after the woman was shamed by her husband’s adultery.

And as the truth emerges, it becomes more and more apparent that things may not be as they appear. Drew and his new partner, Detective Cici Ruiz, suspect they are being misled by someone very deceptive… very cunning… and very deadly who staged the scene to look like oyako shinju. As the detectives dig to uncover the truth, the pendulum of opinion swings back and forth. Was it child-parent suicide? Or was it a double-homicide staged to throw the homicide investigators off track?

Crime fiction author Larry Darter has created a dark, fast-paced suspense thriller filled with stark realism that cuts to the very core of the crimes real life LAPD homicide detectives face. Once you start reading, there’s no turning back.

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The Pendulum cover

 

Excerpt

 

It was Christmas Eve. Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau homicide detectives Rudy Ortega and Howard Drew snaked through the light Sunday traffic in a blue Ford Crown Victoria. Ortega, the driver, exited the San Diego Freeway on Sunset Boulevard. They cruised east through Bel Air, past the estates of Beverly Hills, and then headed up Benedict Canyon Drive, climbing the twisting road past clouds of pink and white oleanders and blood-red bougainvilleas cascading over fences. They passed steep olive-drab hillsides, sheathed in scrub, and studded here and there with live oaks.

The homes in the neighborhood bordered canyon roads, and the backyards skirted towering bluffs, shaded by cypress, sycamores, and an occasional redwood. Benedict Canyon offered the best in Los Angeles living, making it a popular area among successful film actors, directors, and musicians. The commute down to the city was short, and the canyons provided rural-like oases for the residents. The smell of sage wafted through bedroom windows, the houses hovered above the smog, and coyotes roamed the foothills and howled at night.

When Ortega pulled off the road and parked the car at the address on Benedict Canyon Drive, the detectives found a rustic wood-shingle bungalow that seemed out of place in the fashionable district on the edge of Beverly Hills. It appeared the builders had shoehorned the modest cottage into an inadequate space between the busy road and an overgrown hillside.

Ortega and Drew headed up a concrete walkway toward the front door that traversed a weed-choked lawn, bracketed by dried out hydrangeas and emaciated Japanese boxwood.

Rudy Ortega, who would turn fifty-five in the spring, was the second oldest detective in the West Bureau homicide unit and planned to retire before the end of the new year. He had spent twenty-five years as a detective, the last seventeen as a homicide investigator. Ortega, a stylish dresser with coiffed silver hair, wore a tailored gray Giorgio Armani sharkskin suit, a white starched shirt, and a blue Stefano Ricci silk tie with printed checks. Ortega was mentoring Drew in the craft of murder investigations.

Howard Drew, a thirty-three-year-old eight-year veteran of LAPD and a recently promoted Detective II, had transferred to West Bureau homicide after three years as a burglary/theft detective at Hollenbeck. Drew wore a more modest Brooks Brothers navy pinstripe suit with a store brand white shirt. He had purchased the suit on sale off the rack at a Nordstrom outlet. He wore his brown hair in the high and tight military variant of the crew cut, with the back and sides of his head shaved to the skin and the top blended or faded into slightly longer hair. Drew had become accustomed to the style during his four years in the U.S. Army while serving in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Howard wasn’t a tall man. He stood two inches short of six feet and was on the lean side because he was a dedicated runner. His brown eyes were serious and seldom revealed any emotion.

This isn’t what I expected,” Ortega said. “This place is only a mile from the Cielo Drive mansion where the Manson family murdered Sharon Tate and her friends.”

Yeah, it’s a dump,” Drew said, “especially by Beverly Hills standards.”

Sergeant Martin Maxwell and two uniformed West L.A. patrol officers met the detectives outside the front door.

What’ve we got, Max?” Ortega said.

Barnett and Tomlinson responded to a radio call of an open door,” Maxwell said. “They found the front door closed but unlocked. When they entered the residence, they discovered the body of a deceased female on the floor in a bedroom with a pool of blood under her head. They backed out and called for an RA and a supervisor. SID and the coroner’s investigator are already inside.”

Got a name?” Ortega said.

Maxwell nodded. “Fiona Silverman, age forty-eight,” he said as he pulled a California license out from behind the buckle of his Sam Browne and handed it to Ortega. “Found her purse on the counter in the kitchen.”

We know who called in the open door?” Ortega said.

Neighbor across the street,” Maxwell said. “He saw one of her dogs wandering down the street. The guy tried calling her, but there was no answer. He walked over and found the back door standing wide open. No response when he called out to Silverman. He became concerned and called it in.”

Your guys find any signs of forcible entry?” Howard said.

None,” Maxwell said. “They found all the windows secured with screens in place. The interior doesn’t appear as if anyone ransacked it. The victim’s purse has her credit cards and some cash in it. Robbery doesn’t look like the motive.”

Okay, Max, thanks,” Ortega said.

Maxwell nodded. “You got it, Rudy,” he said and then nodded to Drew. “Enjoy.”

A female patrol officer that Drew didn’t recognize was on the door. Her silver nameplate said, Tomlinson. Tomlinson held out a metal clipboard with the scene log on it. Ortega signed the register and then passed the clipboard to Drew. After he had signed it, Drew returned the clipboard to Tomlinson.

Guess it sucks for you guys to catch a homicide on Christmas Eve,” she said.

Tomlinson was late-twenties, or early thirties, with short light brown hair and the kind of blue eyes that turned electric when the owner smiled. Tomlinson was smiling now. She looked like the outdoorsy type, skin evenly tanned. A surfer, maybe. Drew found her attractive.

It is what it is,” Ortega said.

Tomlinson turned to Drew. “I’m Lucy Tomlinson, by the way.” Her smile grew wider, and her blue eyes sparkled.

Howard Drew.”

I know. You were at Hollenbeck, right?”

Yes, I transferred over to West Bureau two weeks ago. Guess we’re both new to the west side. I don’t recall seeing you at Hollenbeck.”

I know,” Tomlinson smirked. “I’m not that memorable.”

Drew felt embarrassed.

No, I didn’t mean that,” he stuttered. “I just don’t think I ever saw you there.”

I only saw you a few times in the parking lot. But I asked someone who you were.”

So, you’re saying I’m memorable?” Drew said. “No one has ever mentioned that before.”

They both laughed at the remark. Tomlinson continued smiling and doing the sparkly eye thing. Drew wondered if she was flirting with him. He didn’t always read women well.

Youngblood, when you can tear yourself away, we’ll get started,” Ortega said.

Drew felt embarrassed again.

Oops, sorry for holding you guys up,” Tomlinson said.

No, it’s okay,” Drew said. “Glad to meet you, Tomlinson.”

Likewise,” she said. “You can call me Lucy. Maybe I’ll see you around.”

Drew nodded. “Maybe so.” He smiled at Tomlinson before turning to follow Ortega.

The two detectives slipped on blue disposable nitrile gloves and went inside the house.

An attractive woman,” Ortega said. “She seems to like you.”

Drew ignored the comment, wondering if Ortega had based it on his reaction to Tomlinson. He hoped it hadn’t been that obvious.

They found the living room a jumble of unopened Christmas presents with books and magazines stacked high atop a worn, dated coffee table in front of a brown couch. There were Christmas cards taped to a wall. In the center of the room, there was a computer and printer atop a chipped white table. A plastic ashtray with a few crumpled cigarette butts was beside the keyboard.

Silverman had hung pictures of a man and woman throughout the room that the detectives assumed were her parents. Newspaper photos of the same two people at what appeared posh parties covered another wall. There was a World War II-era army photograph of the man. Another wall featured framed pictures of what they assumed were photos of the victim during her childhood and teen years. There was a plastic card table with two mismatched folding chairs in a kitchen corner—apparently where the victim ate her meals.

The detectives found the coroner’s investigator, Don Harrison, in the master bedroom on his haunches next to the body. The victim, barefoot and dressed in a white T-shirt and purple sweatpants, lay on the floor near the doorway. There was a halo of reddish-brown dried blood beneath her head. Harrison had what looked like a plastic fishing tackle box on the floor beside him. He took a scalpel from the box and made a small incision in the upper right abdomen, just above the hip of the body. The criminalist then removed a thermometer and attached it to the end of a curved probe. He passed the probe through the incision, driving it up into the liver.

One SID technician was photographing the scene with a digital camera while two others were dusting various points for prints.

The bedroom was shabby and cluttered, the room of a woman down on her luck. It reeked of the odor of dog urine and mold. Faint winter light shining through the window illuminated a few brownish-red streaks of blood and a single bloody paw print that gleamed with a lacquer-like sheen on the worn hardwood floor. Drew crouched to study the chipped door jamb where flakes of paint dappled the floor.

Looks like there was a struggle here by the door,” Drew said to Ortega. “Maybe the suspect threw her against it, or she grabbed it while struggling to get away from her attacker.”

Harrison went to work on the dead woman’s legs. He grabbed each foot and manipulated the ankles. Moving his hands up to the thighs, Harrison lifted each leg and watched as it bent at the knee. After pressing his hands down on the abdomen, he reached up and tried to turn the dead woman’s head. It rotated easily.

The neck is unlocked,” Harrison said without looking up from his work. “Stomach has relaxed, and the extremities have good movement.”

Harrison took a pencil from his box. He pushed the eraser end against the skin on the side of the torso. There was purplish blotching on the half of the body closest to the floor. It was postmortem lividity or livor mortis. When Harrison pushed the pencil eraser against the darkened skin, it did not blanch white. That was a sign the blood had fully clotted.

Lividity is steady,” Harrison said. “Given the reversal of the rigor and liver temperature, I put the time of death at anywhere from twenty-four to forty-eight hours ago. Someone probably killed this woman between Thursday evening and sometime Saturday. That will have to do for a time of death estimate until we make the cut.”

Cause of death?” Ortega said.

Single gunshot wound to the back of the head,” Harrison said.

How can that be?” Drew said. “It defies the laws of physics.”

Yeah,” Ortega said. “The killer shot her in the back of the head. She should have crumpled forward.”

My best guess is whoever shot her flipped her over for some reason,” Harrison said. “This is how the body was when I arrived, supine with the arms down by her sides. The lividity is on the bottom half of the body next to the floor. Someone rolled her over soon after the killer shot her.”

Maybe that’s a clue,” Ortega said. “Maybe the killer is someone who cared about her at some point. Wanted to leave her in what they thought was a more comfortable position.”

SID collected one brass spent bullet casing from beneath the body when we rolled it on its side to check for wounds,” Harrison said. “It was a nine-millimeter, which is consistent with the size of the entry wound. No exit.”

Find the gun?” Ortega said to no one in particular.

No,” two of the SID technicians said in unison.

Harrison wrote some notes on his clipboard, then retrieved an ink pad and a print card from the plastic box beside him. He quickly and expertly inked the fingers of each hand and pressed the fingertips to the card. Once he finished, he waved the card back and forth a few times to dry the ink and then handed it to Ortega.

I’ll bag the hands as a precaution,” Harrison said, “until they do the GSR test at the morgue. But given the location of the wound and that no weapon is present, I think it’s safe to say this wasn’t suicide.”

Two body movers arrived a few minutes after Harrison had finished up. They unfolded and opened a black, heavy plastic bag with a zipper running up the center. They lifted Silverman and placed her inside. One of them zipped the body bag, then they hefted it onto a gurney, strapped it down, and trundled the body out of the bedroom towards the front door.

Ortega’s mobile phone rang. He dug it out of his pocket and answered the call. After listening for a few moments, he spoke into the phone then hung up.

Maxwell wants us back out front,” Ortega said to Drew. “Says he has information on our victim we might be interested to know.”

About The Author


LARRY DARTER is an American crime fiction writer. His Malone novels include Cold Comfort, Live Long Day, Foul Play, and Black Deeds, and he is the author of the T. J. O’Sullivan crime thriller novels.

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Detective Madison Knight Series Tour

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Detective Madison Knight Series graphic

 


 
 Mystery Detective, Police Procedural, Crime, Suspense
Date Published: Between 2011-2019
Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.
Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.
This is the perfect book series for fans of James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and JD Robb to name a few. This series is also bound to entertain those who enjoy Law & Order, CSI, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O.
Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Power Struggle, Shades of Justice, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).
Ties That Bind cover

Book Overview:

The hunt for a serial killer begins…

Detective Madison Knight concluded the case of a strangled woman an isolated incident. But when another woman’s body is found in a park killed with the same brand of neckties, she realizes they’re dealing with something more serious.

Despite mounting pressure from the sergeant and the chief to close the case even if it means putting an innocent man behind bars, and a partner who is more interested in saving his marriage than stopping a potential serial killer, Madison may have to go it alone if the murderer is going to be stopped.

 

Available in e-book, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

For more retailer links visit: http://carolynarnold.net/ties-that-bind.

 

Deadly Impulse cover

A Strong Female Detective Struggles with Her Past

“Detective Madison Knight…a seriously tough cookie but rightfully so. Madison had been through a lot in her life…”

–Nanette’s Book Whore-ish Obsessions

Our experiences shape who are and also have the ability to haunt us. For Detective Madison Knight, she faced a lot on the job most people would never want to see, let alone handle. 

Her adult life has been devoted to finding justice for murder victims at the cost of all else. She’s visited countless crime scenes, sacrificing a social life to doggedly pursue killers. She’s stood up to her superiors at the risk of losing her job to ensure that the right man was placed behind bars. But her stubborn nature isn’t without its downside. 

She couldn’t let go of that one cold case that haunted her. It taunted her to find closure, but that reward came at the highest price. At least, it almost did.

Captured by the Russian mafia, she was saying her final good-byes in her mind, thinking about her loved ones, but also making promises to herself if she got out alive. Thankfully, she was freed from the chains, but she now suffers an emotional bondage.

Debilitating flashbacks continue to haunt her on an almost daily basis, but she still has a job to do—and promises to keep to herself. Will she put able to push through and find focus so she that can find justice for the victims? You can find out from reading Deadly Impulse.

–Carolyn Arnold

Author of Deadly Impulse (Detective Madison Knight series)

Enjoy this excerpt taken from Chapter 7 of Deadly Impulse:

“The last time you were here we talked about these events you continue to experience,” Dr. Connor said.

Dr. Connor called flashbacks and nightmares events as opposed to episodes because she found the terminology friendlier.

“Have you experienced any more since your last visit?” Dr. Connor’s pen was poised over her notepad.

Madison’s natural inclination was to refuse acknowledging what had happened earlier in the day, how the brief recollection had hit her out of nowhere, how it had affected her viscerally. Maybe it was brought on by the fact that she was coming here this afternoon. She remained hesitant about speaking her feelings out loud, even to Dr. Connor. She might not be a stranger anymore, but she was another individual. And verbalizing emotions made them real. They were easier to ignore when they remained unsaid.

“I sense that you did have an event.”

“I did,” Madison said.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“I have a choice?” She attempted to smile but wasn’t sure it showed.

“You always have a choice, Madison. But I assume you continue coming here for a reason.”

And they both were aware of what that reason was: being held hostage by members of the Russian Mafia, having a revolver pressed to her temple, and almost being raped three months ago. The whole thing had changed her perceptions of life, of herself, and of her limitations. And it brought up a lot of unresolved anger.

Before all this, she had been strong-willed, determined, and unstoppable. Now, she was at the mercy of flashbacks that would catapult her back in time at any given moment. And they were so clear they encompassed all five senses. She heard the Russians’ voices. She felt the pressure of the gun’s barrel against her head. She smelled and tasted her own blood. 

“Madison?”

She slowly lifted her eyes to meet the doctor’s. “I had a brief event this afternoon.” She paused to build her strength. “It went back to when Anatolli had the revolver to my head.”

“Ah, yes, Russian roulette?” she confirmed.

“Yes, without the Russian part.” Her saliva thickened to paste.

“We simply call it roulette when we play. The Russian part would be redundant.” Sergey paces the room. She catches the flicker in his eyes. “Anatolli’s going to pull the trigger. If you live, we will take our time with you. If you die…” He shrugs. “Well, I suppose, game over.” 

Both men laugh.

The chills came over her in a flash. She rubbed her arms, the hairs standing on end.

Dr. Connor scribbled something in her notebook. “And how did this make you feel?”

“Cold.”

“Did you just have another event?”

Madison shook her head.

Dr. Connor angled her head to the left. “This only works if you’re honest with me.”

The doctor held the eye contact. Madison looked away first.

“Yes,” she admitted.

“Share with me.”

Madison slid her hands up and down her arms vigorously as she explained. The movement sounded like two sheets of sandpaper rubbing together. “This afternoon, it was, ‘On the count of three, pull the trigger.’” Her heart palpitated.

You’ve reached the end of the excerpt, but Deadly Impulse is available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover from popular retailers.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Book Overview:

Looks aren’t the only things that can be deceiving…

 

When a sixty-eight-year-old woman is found dead outside the hospital in a wheelchair with an anti-abortion sign strapped to its back, Detective Madison Knight expects it to be an open-and-shut case. On the surface, there are no signs of foul play, but the deeper she digs, the more convoluted the homicide becomes. And when two more bodies appear, including those of a girl just barely old enough to drink and a homeless man, the direct links between the three murders are anything but simple.

 

Without a consistent MO, Madison doesn’t buy that a serial killer is on the loose, despite the conviction with which her ex-fiancé and fellow detective try to convince their superior. But Madison already has enough to juggle without having to defend her reputation. Debilitating flashbacks of being held hostage by the Russian Mafia mere months before haunt her on an almost daily basis, and the promises she made to herself while in captivity are becoming more and more difficult to keep. Learning to trust is hard enough without constant reminders of what destruction—fatal or otherwise—trusting the wrong person can cause.

 

Now, as both personal and professional friction within the department mounts, she and her partner, Terry, must figure out what motivation could span generations to cause someone to murder these people. But catching this killer is like grasping at straws, and grabbing the wrong one could mean losing not only her pride but also her boyfriend, her credibility, and her faith in humanity…

 

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About the Author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.
 
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The Ripper – Blitz

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FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Published Date: November 19th 2017
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One hundred twenty-five years to the day after Jack the Ripper committed his first gruesome murder, a young woman is killed in a picturesque Spanish town. As if the eerie timing isn’t enough to unnerve Commissioner Carrillo, the murderer has mimicked the Ripper’s grisly method almost exactly.
 
Soon more women are murdered and their bodies horrifically mutilated. Tips and accusations fly wildly, sending the commissioner and his fellow officers chasing after suspects who might be innocent. Adding to the confusion, the killer is creating his own trail, carving mysterious signs on the bodies of his victims and texting the commissioner puzzling messages.
 
When the murderer reveals who his fifth victim will be, Commissioner Carrillo’s blood runs cold—he now has a personal stake in solving the atrocious mystery. Who is this villainous fiend posing as Jack the Ripper? Can he be caught before he commits his final murder?

 

About the Author

Carmelo Anaya has published ten novels, including three previous books starring Commissioner Carrillo: The Yellow Earth, The Guardian of My Brother, and Baria City Blues. He lives in Almeria, Spain, where he works as a lawyer and a criminalist.
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