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Deadly Glimpses Book 1
In 1999 Australia, Sergeant Rick McCoy investigates the murder of a woman found packed inside a suitcase.
The Killer abducts another victim and threatens to dismember her slowly. His life is further complicated by a marriage in tatters. Frustrated at every turn, he is paired with glamorous Criminal Psychologist and profiler, Patricia Holmes.
While trying to rebuild his marriage, he finds himself in a desperate race against time to free the victim and fight his desire for his new partner.
Page Count: 354
Word Count: 99518
Detective Sergeant Richard ‘Rick’ McCoy had drunk three cans of beer, and just opened his fourth, when his mobile phone rang. It was his boss, Detective Chief Inspector Colin Harris.
“Rick, sorry to call on a Sunday, but we’ve got a dissected dead body found in a suitcase at the Midland Refuse Dump. Meet up with Forensics and the M.E., will you? The local cops have secured the scene,” he said in his usual no-nonsense, gruff, tone.
If the mental image of a body in a suitcase hadn’t sounded so interesting, Rick would have told him that he had been drinking and to take the next officer on the roster. Instead, he shrugged and said, “I’m on my way.”
Just for a moment, right after he hung up the phone, he thought about calling back and declining. It was Sunday, he had been drinking while watching a boxing match on TV, and he had hoped to drive back to his old neighborhood a little later. He didn’t have visitation rights for that weekend, but he still hoped to watch Amy, his daughter, from afar.
Rick was forty years old. He had salt-and-pepper graying short spikey hair, that never seemed to sit right, but because he wore a six-day growth beard, somehow it looked good on him. He wasn’t overweight, but not a picture of fitness either, and he always looked like his shirt had missed the iron before he had put it on. In short, he looked like the married, but recently separated man that he was.
He lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment and was forced to play what he thought of as mind games with his ex-wife, Juliet, over visiting rights for their daughter. Unfortunately, it seemed that whenever they reached an agreement, his job would take a bow, and he would be forced to work all or part of the agreed day. The separation hadn’t been formalized, with a judge setting custody rights. The bitterness Juliet displayed when they spoke on the phone, when he tried to arrange an alternate visit, shone like a beacon as it seemed she tried to make life as difficult as she could.
Rick didn’t have to think too long and hard about where things had gone wrong in the marriage: he resolutely blamed himself. Though at the time, he blamed his work, Juliet, and anything but himself. It was a common story among a lot of senior homicide detectives: long hours working, booze to help them forget the hideous things they saw, and the people they had to deal with. Worst of all, detectives often had a reluctance to talk about it with their wives, so they felt excluded. That had been true for him.
In Rick’s case, the final nail in the coffin that was his marriage was Angie.
Angie had been a victim in a mugging gone wrong. One interview with her, and the spark of instant attraction had struck, ending in a short but torrid affair. When Rick came to his senses and tried to end it, Angie took great delight in giving his wife graphic descriptions of the sex they had shared.
When he got home from work that night, the locks had been changed, his clothes haphazardly crammed into two suitcases, and a scrawled note pinned to the front door to tell him why. No amount of pleading for the chance to explain made a difference. Two hours later, he grabbed his cases and went to a motel, where he drank a bottle of scotch.
Rick was sometimes thought of as morose by colleagues, although he was the life and soul of any party after hours. When his marriage ended, he became moody, but threw himself harder into his job. His arrest rate increased as his alcohol intake decreased; the hope of winning back Juliet never far from his mind. He knew that to have any chance of reconciliation, he had to sort himself out, grow up, and become again the man Juliet had fallen for years before.
At three fifteen that Sunday afternoon, going back to work was the last thing he wanted to do, but a dismembered body in a suitcase was far too interesting to let go of. Using his mobile phone, he called his partner, Tyler Dundas, and left a message with his answering service, telling him of the job that he was attending.
He changed from his grubby T-shirt and shorts into the least crumpled shirt in his wardrobe, adding slacks, a dark woolen tie, and a jacket to conceal the gun at his hip. He was out the door in ten minutes, popping mints to cover his beer breath.
It was almost four in the evening by the time he got to the dump, which had been locked to restrict access. A uniformed cop nodded, recognizing Rick without the need for him to show his I.D. and got into the passenger side of Rick’s standard police issue dark blue sedan; and they drove over the rutted gravel road to the tip face.
Rubbish dumps all over the world have the same horrible odor, and Rick wrinkled his nose as he climbed out of the car and concentrated on not retching. He walked over the uneven ground to the staked, taped off area, which designated the crime scene. Off to one side, a policewoman comforted a small, nervous man, the one who’d likely found the body, Rick thought. He gave a small wave of acknowledgement to the woman and kept walking toward a group of men who wore white coveralls. They were combing the area.
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