Chapter 1 of DEADLY GAMES
Homicide Detective Dominic Bridger found the street leading to the crime scene easily enough. There were emergency vehicles everywhere, their flashing lights illuminating the entrance to the quiet neighborhood. Dominic pulled off to one side behind a cruiser, grabbed gloves out of the box under his seat, and got out of his truck.
A police officer walked toward him as he approached.
“This area is closed off,” the officer said. “You’ll have to leave.”
Dominic took his badge out of his pocket and showed it to the officer.
He nodded and stepped aside. “The body was found about a half a block down on the left.” He pointed in the general direction.
“Have the crime scene investigators shown up yet?”
“They have. Detective Jackson is with them.”
As Dominic headed in the direction the officer had indicated, Homicide Detective Greg Jackson appeared from between two cruisers.
“What took you so long?” he asked.
Dominic looked at him as though he’d lost his mind. “I’m not on-call. You are. You’re lucky I’m here.”
Greg chuckled. “I am lucky you’re here.” His mood turned somber. “How did the lovely Miss Underwood take the news?”
“She’s upset. I tried to explain that we did the best we could but we’re at the mercy of the district attorney and whether or not he thinks he can get a conviction.”
“She knows that Quicksall will be in prison for a long time, though. Right?”
“She does, but that doesn’t bring her sister back. And she realizes that four manslaughter charges aren’t going to add much to his sentence, if he’s found guilty.”
“He’s got a murder charge for the Congressman’s son. That ought to lock him up for awhile.”
“Yeah, but he’s not paying much for Molly’s sister or for the others he killed with his actions.”
“True. She’ll be all right, though. You’ll be there, of course, to comfort her. You know, when you ask her out.”
“I swear my mom must be paying you,” Dominic said, glaring at him.
Greg laughed. “She paid me twenty dollars to say that. Okay, I’m being serious now,” he said when Dominic’s expression darkened. “I need your expertise.”
“I’ve been a detective, what? Only a few months longer than you?”
“It still makes you the senior detective.”
Dominic rolled his eyes. “All right, I’m here. Show me what you’ve got.”
They walked the half block to the location of the body. It was in front of a chain link fence that surrounded a designated water channel. The area was roughly the size of the property belonging to the houses on either side of it.
“Is this the primary crime scene?” Dominic asked.
“We don’t know, yet. There were no witnesses.”
“Who found the body?”
“A jogger. She almost tripped over him in the dark.”
Dominic crouched down. “Why is she out jogging in the dark?” he wondered aloud, not really expecting a reply. He looked up. The streetlights in front of the houses on either side of the channel were burnt out. “These two streetlights are out.”
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