The Abused is a psychological thriller about nine addicts who go to rehab only to have one of them start murdering the others. The novel is set to release in Fall 2016.
Reader discretion is advised. Some of this content may be profane and not appropriate for readers under the age if 18.
Captain Hardy had convened his two key detectives on the case Marcus and Vincent. They both sat in front of their captain in two slightly uncomfortable wooden chairs. Marcus always wondered why they couldn’t just procure some decent furniture. The captain though was always complaining of budgets and fiscal years and no money for extras. Marcus thought a decent chair should be considered a necessity what with “ergonomics” and all that modern shit they were coming up with, including carpal tunnel. Since Marcus spent more time in the field than at the desk, he just considered himself fortunate not to be the desk cop who checked in the offenders.
“So fellas, we got that there politician on a slab. Guess he had some ‘friendlies’ with the higher ups. They’re insistin’ we find our killer there fast.”
“The executive director is going to let us interview the addicts and staff … see if anyone has any info we could use.”
“Good, good,” the captain nodded. “What’s your initial thoughts there?”
“Our guy ruffled someone’s feathers … probably on the inside,” said Marcus.
“He wasn’t a popular guy I hear,” said Vincent. “Pissed off lots of people in Cali. Maybe someone tracked him down?”
“They got cameras all over that joint. We looked at the videos from that night. Nothing too suspicious in the common areas. No one came in that didn’t belong there … that we spotted in our initial review anyway.”
“All right then fellas. Sounds like you got a plan there.”
The both nodded and got up.
A short while later, they found themselves standing in front of the mangled, grayish-colored body of the late Assemblyman Pendergrass. The Coroner Stewart King handed them both masks to protect their olfactory senses from the stench of death. Marcus always said you don’t know from a horrific smell until you’ve gotten an unpleasant whiff of days-old death. Once asked what it smelled like and Marcus said, “It’s the rankest smell on Earth – a foulness like no other.” Those around him from the force who had the unfortunate experience of smelling a decaying body didn’t disagree.
The men covered their noses and mouths as they got a closer look at the slash wounds.
“We think the time of death was around 9 pm judging from the rigor mortis, but he could have laid there for about 10 to 15 minutes before he bled out. None of the wounds were fatal. The cause was blood loss,” said Stewart in his matter-of-fact tone. Nothing affected him anymore. He had seen all manners of death and some were more gruesome than words. In his opinion, this was a clean “go” as he was known to say.
“So you think he enjoyed a long blood bath before he checked out?” asked Vincent.
“Looks like it,” replied Stewart.
“Any evidence? Anything under the nails?” asked Marcus.
“Yes, we found bits of latex. Our killer must have worn gloves. He probably tried to either pull the blade out or jerk it from the person’s hands,” said Stewart who then lifted his right hand to reveal slash marks on the fingers and palm. “He was a righty.”
“So probably got jumped,” observed Marcus.
“Good assumption from the wounds,” he lifted the body up just slightly, “on the back lower hip. I think our perp didn’t want the guy to die from the stab wounds. The way he meticulously avoided vital organs was pretty, excuse the pun, sharp.”
“Well, we already figured there was some passion to this one. You don’t torture your victim unless it’s personal … or you feel it’s personal,” commented Vincent.
“Malice,” whispered Marcus.
“What?” asked Vincent.
“Malice,” replied Marcus louder. “Malice is when the murderer’s deeply evil impulses are specific to that person. They are full of rage – targeted malevolence. Our politician here had to have pissed someone off in a very private way. Set off a sort of intimate time bomb if you will. Just the very element of slashing and hacking up his face … well, that’s just downright wicked shit right there.”
Vincent and Stewart had both been sucked into Marcus’ eloquent description. They had both been staring mesmerized by his words. So when he finished, they both just nodded in agreement.
“We’re going to need to find the link,” continued Marcus. “There is a personal link somehow to someone who is either checked into or works for St. John’s. Can we get background checks on all the addicts?” asked Marcus to Vincent.
“Sure thing. I’ll get on that right away.”
Marcus stared once more at the politician. “Yes, our murderer knows the assemblyman. We find out that connection, we solve the case.”