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Why 319? by Mark Love

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  • A Jefferson Chene Mystery

    A serial killer is on the loose in metro Detroit. Three female victims have been discovered in motel rooms in different suburban cities surrounding Motown. The only connection is that each body is found in Room 319, and the killer leaves the taunting message “Why 319?” on the bathroom mirror, written with the victim’s lipstick.

    Detective Jefferson Chene heads up an elite squad of detectives assigned to the case. With no home life, he devotes every waking moment to catching killers. But this one is more elusive than most. With no clues and no apparent link between the victims, Chene is at a dead end. But a startling revelation busts the case wide open. He’s closing in on the murderer, but will it be before another young woman loses her life?

    Rating: Spicy
    Page Count: 344
    Word Count: 86612
    978-1-5092-1450-1 Paperback
    978-1-5092-1451-8 Digital

    Excerpt

    It was reflex, plain and simple. My mind must have registered the movement an instant before the window disintegrated. I don’t remember doing it, but I wrapped an arm around Megan’s waist and dove to the left, pulling her off the stoop. My shoulders hit the driveway. Her head snapped back, catching me on the chin. The back of my head kissed the pavement, and I saw stars. She slid off me and banged her head on the driveway.

    She rolled left, aiming her weapon and rising to her feet in one smooth motion. Movement in the street caught my attention. One of the troopers who had been on the surveillance assignment had moved to the sidewalk, directly in front of the picture window, to back us up. I saw his legs go out from under him, and he clutched at his thigh. His partner rushed over, used a parked car as a shield, and dragged him back. In the distance, I could hear sirens. Somebody must have called it in. This whole thing made no sense. We had a warrant to search the place, and we were going to bring him in for questioning. What triggered this attack? I swung my gaze back from the street.

    “What the fuck?” Megan’s face was filled with rage.

    Before I could respond, we heard gunfire coming from the rear of the house. Myers must have company, or he’d been waiting for us.

    “Front door?” Megan hooked a thumb at the stoop.

    “Damn right.”

    We jumped back to the porch. I glanced through what remained of the window and didn’t see any movement. Rearing back, I slammed my foot beside the cheap doorknob. The door burst open. Megan hesitated, making sure the door wouldn’t swing back into her, and that no one was standing in wait. She went through the opening fast. I was right behind her.

    We checked the front room and moved down the hall. The other two teams were covering the rear of the house. There was no way Myers could escape. We stopped in the hallway beside the kitchen. Myers was swinging back and forth, firing shots from a big automatic out the rear window toward the garage, alternating with shots at the rear door.

    “Police! Drop your weapon!” Megan pressed her back against the wall, anticipating gunfire.

    Myers turned slightly. “Kiss my ass! I’m not going back to prison. There’s no way I’ll survive.”

    Myers looked like a wild man. His lank brown hair was in his face, but his eyes penetrated. I didn’t have time to debate right or wrong. He brought his gun around and aimed it at the spot on the wall where Megan was. Maybe whatever ammo he had could punch through plaster. I didn’t wait to find out. His chest was in my sights. I squeezed the trigger and pumped two rounds at him. Yet as I was firing, he was hit from behind in the back of the head. Blood erupted from his body like a geyser as Myers dropped to the kitchen floor.

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Why 319?

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