Authors: Emily Kimelman
Tags: #Mystery: Thriller - P.I. and Dog - Miami
|Emily Kimelman - Sydney Rye 05 - The Devil's Breath|
|Number V of|
|Tags:||Mystery: Thriller - P.I. and Dog - Miami|
Mystery: Thriller - P.I. and Dog - Miamittt
THE DEVIL’S BREATH
A Sydney Rye Novel, #5
Copyright ©2014 by Emily Kimelman Gilvey.
All rights reserved. No part of this eBook can be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission.
Cover Illustration by Autumn Whitehurst
THE DEVIL’S BREATH
THE DEVIL’S BREATH is the 5th novel in Emily Kimelman’s Bestselling Sydney Rye Series of mysteries. This series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!
One of Sydney Rye’s dearest friends, Hugh Defry, has been accused of brutally murdering his business partner. All the evidence points to Hugh and he has no memory of that night. But Sydney refuses to believe that Hugh is capable of such violence.
Called to investigate by Robert Maxim, a man she has, until now, considered her greatest enemy, Sydney flies to Miami searching for the real killer. Her investigation leads her from the mansions of Star Island to the depths of the Everglades. Rye’s suspicions are raised when she learns that Robert Maxim not only wants to work together, but also wants to build a friendship. She doesn’t begin to understand Maxim’s motives until her former lover, Dan, arrives in Miami to tell her a devastating secret.
As more people from her past turn up, and not knowing whom to trust, Sydney begins to recognize that her personal fight for justice has become much more than she’d ever imagined. Sydney is pushed towards making a decision that will change not just her life, but possibly the future of crime fighting.
Books by Emily Kimelman
(A Sydney Rye Novel, #1)
DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novel, #2)
INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)
STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)
THE DEVIL’S BREATH
(A Sydney Rye Novel, #5)
(A Sydney Rye Novel, #6)
For my brother, Sam, who I love very much
Thank you to my cousin, William Edwards, and his charming wife, Natalia, for all their help with my Miami research. They let me crash at their gorgeous home, took time out of their busy lives to show me around, and answered all my questions. William even took me shooting! Thanks so much you two!
I also need to thank my friend, Mette Hansen Karademir. Without her none of my books would see the light of day. She is the perfect first editor, tough but sweet. She doesn’t let me get away with anything… especially not believing that all my stuff is crap :)
My father, Donald Kimelman, has become a wonderful resource for me since his retirement and I feel very lucky to have such a great editor in the family. He helped to tighten up this book so that it shines. And he really doesn’t let me get away with anything.
Thanks to my street team, especially it’s founding member, Daniela F. Manago, who helped me understand what kind of an awesome collaboration I could share with readers. I am awed and thrilled to have such a fantastic group of dedicated readers to help me in my publishing journey.
One last shout out to Gator Mike, who took me into the Everglades on his airboat and showed me the best places to dump a body. He also taught me that Gators won’t eat us. We’re too salty.
I can’t run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
and they’re going to hear from me.
-Leonard Cohen “Anthem”
It was the end of a long journey and lightning flashed outside my window. My hand jumped to Mulberry’s forearm and squeezed. Shutting my eyes I struggled not to picture the small plane cracking in half, my body flying through the air, still seat-belted to the beige leather chair; Blue, his paws grasping at empty space, disappearing into the bruise colored clouds.
The small jet shook and our pilot’s voice, smooth and steady, came over the loudspeaker, “Sorry about the bumps. We’ll have you down in Miami in about twenty minutes. Just hold tight.”
Mulberry put his hand over mine. “Don’t worry,” he said. “We’ll be there soon.”
He smiled, making his crow’s feet crinkle. Mulberry’s eyes were deep emerald with ochre and flashes of gold. I tried to smile back but could tell I was just giving a grimace. Mulberry handed me his whisky and soda. I finished it off.
The ice cubes danced in my empty glass. Then we were suddenly out of the clouds. Below us the ocean was close, steel blue with white caps cresting each wave. The city’s skyscrapers looked like towers of mercury in the storm’s eerie light. Rain drops clung to my window, streaking across it as our speed pushed them aside.
Hugh was somewhere down there in that city, a flat landscape made multi-dimensional through the efforts of man. My stomach lurched as we dropped through the air, my seat belt pressing against my stomach. Blue whined softly and flattened himself even further onto the floor of the plane.
A giant of a dog, Blue has the coat of a wolf, the snout of a Collie, with one brown eye and one blue. Both of which were trained on me at that moment. My fear was freaking him out. Closing my eyes I tried to imagine the turbulence as a gentle rocking but it didn’t work. An ice cube jumped out of my glass landing on the carpeting. Blue, his belly still flat on the ground, inched his way toward it, then his tongue stretched out and pulled the cube into his mouth. He crunched twice before looking back up at me, now hoping for more whisky- flavored ice. I couldn’t help but smile at the expectant look on his fuzzy face.
We touched down with a jerk that sent my heart racing one more time. But as we slowly taxied toward our hangar the storm seemed suddenly minor. Just a breath of wind fluttered across the puddles, turning them into shimmering mirrors framed by the dark tarmac.
“All right Ms. Rye,” our captain’s voice came back on over the loudspeaker. “Sorry about that descent but we got you here safe. Thanks for flying with us, I hope we’ll have you back real soon.”
As soon as humanly possible, I thought to myself. I didn’t want to be here, but Hugh was in trouble and if there was one person I cared about in this world it was him. He was a tie to my murdered brother, a shared memory bank. I wondered what his reaction would be when he saw me. The world thought I was dead. Somehow I felt that Hugh would know I wasn’t. It was possible, I recognized, that the guilt of not letting him know I was alive gave me unrealistic hopes.
Robert Maxim was waiting in the hangar. I stopped at the top of the steps and looked down at him. He smiled, his eyes brightening. Maxim was taller than Mulberry but not as broad, more lean and fluid. Robert’s rich brown hair was turning a brilliant silver at the temples. “You’re looking a little green,” he said as I made my way down the steps, his hazel eyes picking up the blue in his tie and twinkling at me. Like we were friends. Like he never tried to kill me.
“And you’re looking a little orange,” I answered, referring to the man’s tan.
He laughed deeply, the sound bouncing around in the large hangar. Behind Robert, a tall man dressed in a dark suit and wearing a driver’s cap stood in front of a sleek black limo. Robert turned to him. “Claude,” he waved the man over. Claude looked like a Claude, like a character from a kickboxing movie. The one with the scar across his chest and mammoth reach. But, who, of course, is bested by our plucky hero, or heroine as the case may be. “He can take your luggage,” Robert said.
I held up my small duffel. “This is all I’ve got.”
Robert raised an eyebrow. “I love a woman who travels light.”
“Bobby,” Mulberry said, reaching out his hand.
Maxim took it and shook, smiling. “You got our girl back,” he said to Mulberry.
I bristled but bit my tongue. Without Maxim’s intervention I wouldn’t know Hugh was in trouble. But that didn’t mean I was their “girl” or that I was “back”.
Claude took my bag and opened the door for me. I climbed in, scooting to the far bench so that my back was against the driver’s seat. Blue followed me, turning so that he could settle his side against my legs and face the door. Mulberry came next, his broad shoulders making it hard for him to maneuver in the narrow space. I flashed back to last night, his thick arms and rough hands holding my hips, and felt a blush creep up my neck. He smiled as he sat on the bench to my left, which faced the bar. I turned to the row of liquor bottles, busying myself making another whisky and soda. Bobby sat closest to the door facing me across the long expanse of space.
A fresh drink in my hand I sat back into the soft black leather as the car rolled out of the private airport. “Does Hugh know I’m alive?” I asked.
Bobby shrugged. “I didn’t tell him.”
“Where is he?”
“At his apartment. We can go there now if you want.”
“Yes,” I said and then turned away from him, looking through the tinted windows. Puddles swelled around sewer drains. As we passed through them, our car pushed waves onto the sidewalks as high as people’s calfs. Pedestrians hurried through the mess, raising their knees high and clutching umbrellas with white knuckles. We stopped at a light and I watched one man who stood on the corner, his face tilted toward the receding clouds, arms loose at his sides, ignoring the foaming gray-green water that swirled around his ankles.
ugh lived in a high-rise on an island. The building stretched up into the clearing sky, reflecting back the blues and silvers of the receding clouds and still turbulent sea. We cruised past the front entrance and pulled into a garage. It was gray and fluorescent-lit, grimy and stale. Claude stopped in front of a door spray painted with the number one. Robert climbed out, followed by Mulberry. Blue and I were last. Mulberry went to open the door but I told him to wait.
Robert flicked his eyes to me. “Yes?” he said
“I don’t want to sound fucked up here but, Robert, I do not trust you.”
I looked over at Mulberry. “I’m not insane here.” He shrugged. I turned back to Robert. “You. Tried. To. Kill. Me.”
“I’m trying to make that up to you,” he said evenly. “I thought you understood.”