Frank Ryman, the lead detective in the romantic voodoo mystery Dying on the Edge and his team are investigating the murder of a woman he knows all too well. They are in her plush studio in downtown Carroll City. It’s a case he dreads being at all involved in.
The other detectives were carefully checking three bedrooms, one master and two smaller, and three walk-in closets filled with clothes. All three knew that a couple of outfits would equal any one of their yearly salaries.
The master bedroom was in wild disarray, with clothes pulled from hangers, but seemingly undamaged, the rose velvet bedspread crumpled on the floor and the mattress askew on the bed. Frank knew the woman didn’t live here, but in a penthouse on Eden Avenue that was far plusher than this apartment.
He stood surveying the room. It was s silent here. Something bad had happened here. His skin prickled with dread.
Police and firemen received more and more false alarms and lunatic calls lately, burning up already tight money and resources, but this time Frank would have donated a year of his salary to find this call was nothing but a fool’s caper.
One more door, this one of solid oak. Frank pushed it open and caught his breath. The others were right behind him. This was the aviary. White doves frantically swept past them, shrieking. Surprised, they shielded their eyes at first and saw it before they could wonder why the doves were so frightened. Frank switched on the light and they saw that a wide streak of blood led from the middle of the room into a huge bird cage.
The phone call had been no prank.
A woman clad in a leopard print bikini lay in a fetal position in the huge gold-lacquered bird cage that reached nearly to the ceiling, its walk-in door open. A dove cowered in the far corner as if afraid to move.
Frank squatted beside the woman, his breathing ragged. Hell, hadn’t he known from the beginnning it would be her?
Thursday, I will bring you the fourth excerpt, a seduction scene from hell. I’ll leave on until the following Monday because so many people don’t read on weekends and this is a longer scene. Then the last scene which is a sad one that comes on Monday about sexual abuse that blights far too many lives, shrouding those lives in destructive secrecy.
Will I see you again this Thursday? Please take very good care and I certainly hope I will.