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ALL THE PRETTY BRIDES
A Jake Carrington Thriller Book 3
BY MARIAN LANOUETTE
Homicide detective Jake Carrington has an engagement that can’t wait—with a killer.
Haunted by the murder of his sister, Lieutenant Jake Carrington struggles to control his personal demons as he stands over the brutalized body of a young woman found dead on the railroad tracks. The victim disappeared on July 6th, the fifth woman in as many years to go missing on that date. The fifth happy bride-to-be. The only one whose body has turned up.
Soon the killer is sending personal messages to Jake. They refer to an unidentified brother he believes Jake hates as much as he does. With his partner distracted by turmoil at home, Jake is on his own. Drawn deeper and deeper into a murderous family feud, his mission is to find out who the killer’s brother is—and stop him before another innocent woman’s life is cut tragically short.
“Tense and authentic—a suspenseful page-turner!”
—Leo J. Maloney
“What an excellent way to be awaken. But next time, put Brigh’s bed in the living room.” Mia pushed off Jake as his cell phone started to ring.
He rolled to his side and picked up the intruding phone. The caller ID had him swearing under his breath as he answered it. There went his day off, he thought, as he looked around his bedroom. If some time in the future they moved in together, he was sure Mia would redecorate it. He was fond of his burgundy and beige room. A minimalist, he didn’t go for a lot of fluff, would she? He picked up the pen and notebook he kept on his nightstand and started writing as he listened intently to Dispatch.
“Thanks. Notify Sergeant Romanelli and have him meet me at the scene.” Jake disconnected, turning to Mia. And wasn’t it strange to have her back in his bed. Life…wasn’t it bizarre?
“Dispatch didn’t say. Sorry, I had hoped to spend the day with you.” He got out of bed, pulled a pair of jeans from the bottom drawer, his socks and underwear from the top one.
“I understand. Call me later.”
“Will do, go back to sleep.”
He took his shoulder holster along with his ankle holster off his dresser, placed them on top of his clothes on the chair, then dug into his closet safe for his guns.
“What?” he asked. Mia was sitting up in bed staring intently at him.
“All that hardware—doesn’t it bother you to carry it?”
“It would bother me more if I had a situation and didn’t have my weapons with me. Don’t worry.”
“It comes with the territory. Will I see you tonight?”
“I hope so. Give me a call when you’re through. If it’s late I’ll be home, not here.” He bent down, glided his lips over hers and lingered—something positive he’d take with him to the scene.
Ten minutes later, showered and dressed, he brewed a quick cup of coffee, toasted a bagel, and headed to his car. As he drove out of the garage his thoughts turned to Kyra. Though he knew it would hurt Mia if she knew, he still couldn’t get Kyra out of his mind and probably never would. It was Kyra who had helped him get over Mia dumping him the first time around. He and Mia were navigating the pitfalls of their newly resumed relationship. Would he ever feel secure and comfortable again with Mia? Though Kyra dying had nothing to do with them getting back together it was still a touchy subject for him. Mia had tried to broach the subject. He cut her off every time. At least she had the sense not to throw Kyra’s criminal history at him. Even with it, Kyra held a place in his heart and always would.
* * * *
As he pulled into the parking lot at the Metro station he couldn’t help but notice the crowd. There had to be ten cruisers with their lights flashing. Nothing like advertising in the joined lot to the newspaper, he thought. Whatever happened to common sense? I bet the reporters got better pictures than we did.
Disgusted, he emptied his coffee cup and wiped his mouth before climbing out of the car and stepped into the thick humid air. Exactly how many bodies were there that it required such a large police presence, he wondered. The crowd consisted of not only the patrol car officers, there were a few who patrolled on foot as well as CSIs, uniformed Metro employees, strangers he assumed were commuters who got more than a ride to work today. The crime scene tape was in place, installed to hold back the lookie-loos. He nodded to a couple of the uniforms as he ducked under it. Scanning the line, he looked for anyone who stood out. It was never that easy, but one could hope. Some killers got a kick out of watching the police process the scene.
Dispatch had reported that two kids cutting school got more than they bargained for today. They had planned to walk along the tracks to get to a favorite party spot where there was no access by car. It made it difficult for the cops to patrol. Instead of enjoying the late summer day, the kids had found a body. It might act as a deterrent for cutting classes for them the next time, he thought. A tough lesson.
“This way, Lieutenant,” Officer Martin Gregory said as he, approached Jake.
“How contaminated is my scene, Marty?”
Jake followed him down the slight incline to the tracks while he scanned the area. Not an easy dump site, he noted. Someone had lots of muscle if he had carried a body this far. Jake pulled out his notebook, wrote down his first impressions before listing the questions that popped into his head. What would it take to carry a body this far? How strong would a man have to be to lift one and walk two hundred or so yards to discard it? Did he drag it? How much did the body weigh? It would’ve had to have been done early before people headed to work. But he couldn’t be positive that no one would see him. Where had he parked? Where had he entered the area?
“You got kids running around, the homeless, plus all the druggies,” Marty said.
“Grab a couple of uniforms and walk the perimeter. See if there are drag marks. Look for tire tracks in case he drove it.”
Jake looked down the hill, still unable to see the body. “And see if you find any bags down there that would’ve been large enough to transport a body.”
“Did Sergeant Romanelli get here yet?”
“He’s already down with the victim, sir. My partner’s with him.”
With Louie in control Jake’s apprehension evened out. Someone shouted to him as he passed the crowd of onlookers.
“Lieutenant, is she the missing girl from July sixth?”
Anger burned a hole in his stomach as he turned to face the speaker. Reporters in general annoyed him. Cretins in his opinion, they only cared about their next headline, not the victims or their survivors. But Matthew Hayes was the worst of the bunch.
“Stay off my crime scenes. This is your last warning.” Hayes was on the scene too early—again. Someone had tipped the bastard off. He turned to Marty. “Escort this person to the parking lot. If he asks you any questions, even one, arrest him.” Turning, he headed toward the victim.
“Lieutenant, a little cooperation might help you solve the Bride Murders,” Hayes shouted out.
Jake knew better than to engage him, but he’d had enough of Hayes. He stopped short and turned back to the reporter. The Bride Murders, labeled by the sensationalist press. Christ, if I find out who’s letting Hayes onto my scenes, there’ll be hell to pay. The victims deserved everyone’s respect. They weren’t headlines. Someone stole their lives, their futures. If he let it, it would dig deep under his skin. Push his sister Eva into his head. She didn’t belong in the here and now. Crimes this similar to hers if he wasn’t careful would cloud his judgement and destroy him.
“The other women are still listed as missing, not murdered.” Without another word he continued on to the body.
A self-described tough blonde from Brooklyn, Marian Lanouette grew up as one of ten children. As far back as she can remember, Marian loved to read. She was especially intrigued by the Daily News crime reports. Tragically, she’s known a couple of people who had been murdered. The killers never found.. Her Jake Carrington thrillers are inspired by her admiration for police work, her experience in running a crematorium, and her desire to write books where good prevails, even in the darkest times. Marian lives in New England with her husband. Visit her on Facebook or at www.marianl.com/main or on twitter @AuthorMarian, Instagram and Pinterest.
Links to Marian’s website, blog, books, etc.
ALL THE DEADLY LIES is now available for preorder.
Thanks, Marian, for sharing your book with us!
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