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A Frankie James Mystery
The tragic death of a teen haunts newly appointed Bear Lake Police Chief, Frankie James. Although pressured to rule the death a suicide, she’s convinced it was murder and is determined to prove it. But a Harley riding stranger keeps stealing her focus…now if she can keep him from stealing her heart.
A search for his missing sister brings biker Riley Jakes to Bear Lake. He seeks assistance from the local police and is unprepared when he discovers his fantasy woman…and she’s a cop. His fantasies, however, never included being arrested by the woman of his dreams.
They have no business falling for each other, but love never listens to reason.
Page Count: 276
Word Count: 68885
I left Syracuse to get away from kids dying in the streets.
Frankie guided the white SUV up the steep hill beside the school and took a sharp right into the parking lot. The undulation of red and blue in the early morning fog indicated the night patrol had somehow beaten her to the scene. She pulled in beside the police car.
She exited the police vehicle, slid her fingers through the long brown hair, twisted in a rubber band, and pulled it into a ponytail. She placed the Stetson on before glancing around in the dim light of predawn. The glimpse confirmed all the regulars were already gathering behind Bear Lake High School. This was one of those times the new Chief of Police wished scanners were illegal. Word had already spread like a wildfire throughout the community and a thousand rumors would hit the streets before she could have her first cup of coffee.
She also caught sight of Bart Cannion pushing the gawkers back. Cannion was not one of her favorite officers. Now she’d have to hear how Wellington Dunn, the former police chief, would handle things. It didn’t matter Dunn retired under a cloud of alleged corruption, he was a local ‘good old boy’ and still well liked. No charges were ever brought against him after he resigned. Many townsfolk believed he had been railroaded by a village board hell-bent on making major changes after ‘The Resort’ had been forced into receivership and before new corporate owners bought the huge complex and hotel.
Frankie didn’t care about the politics. When the opportunity came to return to her hometown, she grabbed it. She hadn’t fully known about the mess she was walking into. Yes, she was aware of the allegations against Dunn, but that wasn’t her problem. What she didn’t expect was the reaction of many of the rednecks in the small Adirondack resort. They questioned whether a female should or could handle the job. Her appointment had been contentious, but she had the backing of more moderate supporters, most importantly the mayor, Janet Wahl.
Yellow police tape crossed the opening between the main building and an annex. She pushed her way through the onlookers, ducked beneath the barrier, rounded the corner, and stopped. About thirty feet ahead was a tarp covering the body. To her left, a steep hill led up to a sports field. More people were standing at the edge. She really didn’t need them scrutinizing her investigation. She was certain many of them had smartphones ready to record anything they thought was interesting.
One of her patrolmen, Alec Gaurin, stood beside a black shroud. A pool of blood seeped from beneath. The look on his face told her everything she didn’t want to know.
“You may not want to look, Chief.” Gaurin’s voice trembled. “It’s not pretty.”
“I’ve seen worse, I’m sure.” Frankie reassured the young officer. “You think you can chase off those people up there?” She pointed up the hill. “Put some tape far enough back to keep anyone from looking down here.”
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