Authors: C.M. Sutter
C. M. Sutter
Copyright © 2016
All Rights Reserved
This book is a work of fiction by C.M. Sutter. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used solely for entertainment. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
C.M. Sutter is a crime fiction writer who resides in the Midwest, although she is originally from California.
She is a member of numerous writers’ organizations, including Fiction for All, Fiction Factor, and Writers Online.
In addition to writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and dog. She is an art enthusiast and loves to create handmade objects. Gardening, hiking, bicycling, and traveling are a few of her favorite pastimes. Be the first to be notified of new releases and promotions at:
: A Detective Jade Monroe Crime Thriller, Book 1
Sleepy little North Bend just woke up.
The newly promoted Sergeant Jade Monroe and her partner, Detective Jack Steele, have just been informed of an unidentified male body found at a local lake. The town is in an uproar. The victim was nearly decapitated, and murder simply doesn’t happen in North Bend.
As more bodies turn up, the single connection between all of the victims becomes clear—it’s Jade herself.
With each new victim getting one step closer to Jade, time begins to tick away. She must find the person responsible before the killer targets her loved ones—or herself.
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He didn’t like driving into the worst area of Milwaukee, but he had someone to meet. Tonight, Morris King would be the victim—just another statistic in a city with record murders for the year. He drove down streets riddled with broken-down vacant houses. He stared out the driver’s side window at the dark, deserted street—he was getting closer. The bark of an occasional dog in the distance interrupted his thoughts.
The area was more than sketchy. Nothing good ever happened there, especially at that time of night. He wanted to get in and out quickly and undetected.
As he drove, he picked up his phone from the console and called.
A man answered, “Hello.”
“Are you alone like I instructed?” he asked.
“Yeah, I’m alone, man. When are you getting here?”
“Soon. Do you see anyone out on the street?”
“Nah… I haven’t seen anybody.”
“Good.” He abruptly ended the call.
Morris knew him only as “Dime,” and that was the way he liked it. Anonymity was a necessity going forward.
His headlights reflected off the sign on the corner—Meinike Street. He turned right. His destination was only a few houses away. Dime killed the lights and turned into the driveway. He saw the orange glow of Morris’s cigarette burning brightly when he looked toward the front stoop. The sound of gravel under his tires broke the quiet as he tucked his Jeep against the shed at the back of the driveway and got out.
Dime watched as Morris rounded the house and took a final drag off his smoke—the last one he’d ever take. Morris flicked the cigarette, and it spun when it hit the sidewalk.
Doing his best to blend in with the night, Dime wore a black hoodie and dark pants. He stood against the car with his hands jammed deep into his pockets. He gave Morris the once-over. “Let’s go inside,” he said and pushed himself off the vehicle.
“What’s your deal, man? You don’t fit the type,” Morris asked with a nervous crack in his voice.
“Resale, and don’t worry about my type. Do you want my money or not?”
“Yeah, but maybe I’m not charging enough for the oxy.”
Dime headed up the three steps to the back door and waited for Morris to follow. He did a quick scan of the neighborhood. Dead silent, save the occasional buzz of a flickering streetlight ready to burn out.
“It’s too dark in there. This will only take a minute,” Morris said.
“Yeah, but I’d rather make the exchange inside. I have a flashlight. Let’s go.” Dime watched the kid. His body language said he was reluctant to follow. Dime gave him a wave over the shoulder and entered. He glanced back to see Morris following.
Dime elbowed through the broken back door into what used to be the kitchen. The door banged against one of the many piles of garbage scattered throughout the abandoned house. Sounds of what were likely skittering rodents filled the room.
Morris walked to the counter. “Where’s that flashlight?”
Dime reached into his sweatshirt pocket and pulled it out. The darkness concealed his gloved hands. He pointed the light at Morris then set the flashlight down on the counter. “Show me the oxy. You get the cash after I see the goods.”
“Sure, man, I got it right here.” Morris dug the baggie out of his pocket and placed it on the broken tiled counter next to the flashlight.
Dime stood behind him and hesitated briefly.
The voices in his head came to life and stirred him back into the moment.
Remember the cat? You were only ten but so brave. The knife is your friend. Do it—do it now!
Dime reached into his pocket and felt the cold steel. He thumbed the release on the switchblade as he pulled it out. He reached from behind and, with a hand on Morris’s forehead and a quick, silent swipe, it was over.
Morris King’s throat was slit from ear to ear. The freshly sharpened knife sliced through his flesh like butter. His head dropped to his chest like a heavy weight as blood pumped from his carotid artery with each remaining heartbeat. Blood spray hit the cabinets and ran down to the countertop, settling in the grout between the tiles.
Dime breathed a deep sigh and shrugged. “Sorry, man, it wasn’t personal. I just needed the practice—it’s been a while. You’re a means to an end, I guess one would say.”
He lowered Morris’s body to the floor, careful to keep his own feet out of the blood pool spreading across the linoleum. With the flashlight in his hand, he walked to the door and glanced out. The street was still quiet with nobody in sight. He opened the tailgate, hoping it wouldn’t squeak, and pulled out what he needed.
Dime walked back to the house and into the kitchen. He laid a plastic tarp next to the body and rolled Morris on top of it. Morris’s head flopped precariously, as if held in place only by a string.
Dime shoved the bag of oxy into Morris’s front right pocket. Pills were no good. They were the enemy and would distract him from the job he had to do. He removed the wallet and pulled the battery out of Morris’s cell phone and placed those items in a bag. “What’s this?” Dime pulled a pocket knife out of Morris’s front left pocket and grinned. “What a coincidence.” He put a lone dime into the pocket in its place.
Dime smirked at his own cleverness. “There, I’ll give you cops something to start with. Try to figure this one out.”
With Morris wrapped in the plastic tarp, Dime changed clothes and placed his blood-spattered ones in the bag with the cell phone, knife and wallet.
He pulled the corpse through the kitchen and down the steps toward the Jeep. A muffled thump sounded each time Morris’s body hit a step. Dime dragged him across the driveway to the six feet of space between the garage and his vehicle.
The back of the Jeep had been prepared in advance—lined with another plastic tarp as an extra precaution. He didn’t want blood in his vehicle. Dime lifted Morris’s lightweight body and rolled him in, then closed the tailgate quietly behind him. He hopped into the driver’s seat, clicked the Jeep into reverse, and backed out of the driveway. With a quick glance in both directions—and seeing nothing amiss—Dime drove slowly down the street and turned on his headlights a block away. He already had the perfect place in mind to dispose of his first kill in a long time.
The voices in his head spoke up again.
See, that wasn’t so bad. Quick and easy—hardly any effort at all.
“Mom isn’t going to be happy about it,” Dime said.
Mom has no say in your life anymore, remember?
Dime chuckled. He continued on and drove north another forty minutes on Highway 41 before he turned off onto a country road. He knew the area well, having grown up there as a kid. Dark, quiet roads and the absence of cameras made the location the perfect place to dump a body. A row of ten mailboxes, some leaning and forgotten, stood at the intersection of Lakeview Road and the short street that led to the water’s edge. Old, weathered newspapers and flyers were jammed inside the green plastic newspaper tubes below the mailboxes. Nobody had emptied them in months. Once Dime passed the ten darkened cottages, mostly used as vacation rentals and currently vacant, he continued on, driving his Jeep farther into the woods and off the blacktop road.
“This looks like the perfect spot.” He killed the engine and pulled the wrapped body out of the back of the Jeep. He flung Morris over his shoulder. “No problem. You can’t weigh more than a buck twenty.”
Dime walked to the water’s edge, carefully stepped in up to his ankles, then continued on until he found the perfect spot.
With Morris’s body placed among fallen branches and reeds, and partially submerged in the water, Dime rolled up the plastic tarp and took the same path back to his vehicle. With a little effort, he jammed the tarp into the same bag as his bloody clothes and Morris’s cell phone and wallet. He checked his surroundings for any light coming from homes or vehicles and was satisfied when all he saw was blackness. With the night’s mission accomplished, he climbed into the Jeep, pulled out onto the main road, and headed east.
She popped into his mind as he drove. He hated women more every day. It was her fault he had to do this—the bitch. He’d get the attention he deserved, one way or another.
I reached my desk in the bull pen and sat down. The napkin I had just unfolded would hold the hot number-three breakfast meal I anticipated leisurely eating. Steam wafted off the egg breakfast sandwich and hash browns as I unwrapped them, ready to dig in. Jack walked in right after me carrying a jumbo cup of coffee with the words Pit-Stop written across the plastic refillable cup.
“Is gas station coffee actually any good?” I asked, taking note of his daily routine.
“Try it sometime. It can’t be any worse than your morning drive-through joint.”
Lieutenant Clark opened the glass door that separated the bull pen from his office. He was a man that couldn’t be ignored. In his heyday, the lieutenant had been big, muscular, and brash. Today, he was just big. At fifty-four, Chuck Clark had seen plenty during the last seventeen years as acting lieutenant of our sheriff’s department. His naturally brown hair had turned gray years earlier, and his hard edge had softened just a bit. He smacked the doorframe with his open hand and called out to us.