by Kevin R. Doyle
They kept to the shadows so no one would know they existed, and preyed on the nameless who no one would miss. Where did they come from, and who was protecting them? In a city that had seen every kind of savagery, they were something new, something more than murderous. And one woman, who had thought she had lost everything there was to lose in life, would soon find that nothing could possibly prepare her for what would come when she entered their world.
EXCERPT (Exclusive Excerpt):
The person waiting in his office, however, couldn’t be held off.
Preston walked in, nodded to his visitor and, without a word, sat down behind his desk. He reached into his desk and pulled out the fifth and two glasses. Holding one glass up, he cocked his head at the man sitting across from him.
“Suit yourself.” Preston poured out a little more than one finger, leaned back in his chair and took a drink.
“God, that helps,” he said a moment later. “You can’t imagine what I just went through.” “
I think I can,” his visitor said, “at least to some degree.”
“Did you consult with your men already?”
“No. They came right from the field to your exam room, then headed back out again. It’ll still be another several hours before they have time to write up their reports. Then I have to figure out how to get a look at them.”
The coroner grimaced.
“Sounds like you’re making this too hard, Leo. After all, in your position all you have to do is . . .”
“We’re still trying to keep this as quiet as possible, Pres. If our count’s right, your body tonight is number three. And so far we’ve kept it completely out of the news.”
“As I’m well aware,” the ME said, grimacing at the thought. “But I’m still not sure exactly how I feel about that.”
“So I’m calling in favors,” Leo said, ignoring the doctor’s obvious bait, “such as having you do the PM on all three. But if I flat out ask for the initial paperwork on a brand new case, the boys and girls under me will start to talk.”
“Don’t you think they’re talking already? After all, what I was just going over downstairs isn’t exactly your average case of smash and grab.”
His visitor sighed.
“I know, and believe me I realize we’ve got a limited shelf life on this. But until we know exactly what is cutting up residents down in the Zone, I’m going to keep it on the qt as much as possible.”
Preston finished off the rest of his drink and thought, not for the first time in the last few weeks, that he was glad he wasn’t standing in the other man’s shoes. However, his own burden wasn’t a heck of a lot lighter, for he knew something that he hadn’t yet found a way to tell his visitor. He’d been waiting for a few days for the right time to spring the information, and the discovery of a new body had just mucked things up all the more.
Because anyone with one eye could tell that “cutting” wasn’t the right word to use.
Not even close.
More like “chewing.”
A high-school teacher, former college instructor, and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of numerous short horror stories. He’s also written three crime thrillers, The Group, When You Have to Go There, and And the Devil Walks Away, and one horror novel, The Litter. In the last few years, he’s begun working on the Sam Quinton private eye series, published by Camel Press. The first Quinton book, Squatter’s Rights, was nominated for the 2021 Shamus award for Best First PI Novel. The second book, Heel Turn, was released in March of 2021, while the third in the series, Double Frame, came out in March of 2022.
Web site: kevindoylefiction.com
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