A Henry Ike Pierce Novel
(see video trailer below)
Author’s photos and purchased images.
While investigating multiple murders in 1995, a detective followed the suspected killer from Alexandria, Virginia to Prague, where he too became a victim. His widow later became director of the city’s homicide division and has pursued her husband’s killer for twenty-five years. Henry Pierce is a new detective whose first case entangles him in her old quest. Is there a conspiracy only she can see?
The brown Chevrolet sat alone in the parking lot near the front entrance of the orange-bricked library, its colonnaded portico reminding me of Jefferson’s home at Monticello. The parking lot’s white lights cast a bright glow on a copse of leafless birch trees surrounding the car. Yellow police tape stretched between two poles.
Three patrol cars and an EMT unit sat nearby, their flashing red and blue lights reflecting against the library’s windows. A policeman waved at Eddie and directed us to park next to the ambulance. The Ford’s brakes squealed as we rolled to a stop.
Marconi threw open her door. “Update, guys,” she said while marching closer to the Chevy.
Eddie and I hurried to follow, the bitter night wind whipping around us. We stood a few feet from the driver’s door with its shattered window. “That’s Dick’s car for sure,” Eddie said. “Who’s the primary here?”
The female officer nodded toward Eddie and me, then addressed our boss. “I’m Officer Krista Jimenez. This is Officer Stewart and Officer Miller. I was on normal patrol when I noticed this Chevrolet with its lights on, but I couldn’t see anyone in the driver’s seat. I drove into the lot and investigated the idling car with the driver’s window shattered inward. I saw a body slumped to the right into the passenger seat, so I called for backup.”
Jimenez hesitated, waiting for a reaction. Marconi said nothing while Eddie fidgeted with his holster. “I found a significant blood pool from an obvious wound to the victim’s head. I leaned through the broken window and checked for a pulse in his arm. The EMT unit arrived and confirmed he was deceased.”
Marconi cupped a hand over her mouth and shut her eyes. She grabbed Eddie’s right arm and pulled him toward her. “Come on.” They approached the car with me following. Marconi peered through the smashed window. “Oh, God. His family.”
Eddie moved back, leaning against a light pole while Marconi pulled out her phone and stepped away. I glanced into the car. Dick had fallen to his right, blood covering the seats with spatter spread across the passenger window.
“What the hell, Eddie?” I asked. “He was supposed to be driving by my apartment.”
Eddie wiped his face. “Yeah … this isn’t a random shooting.”
“How do you know?”
“I’ve done this for almost forty years, my friend. That’s how I know.”
Marconi grabbed Eddie’s shoulder, clutching her phone in a fist in her other hand. “I called Commissioner Bates. He will follow protocol and contact Dick’s wife for body I.D. God, Eddie, you never know in this line of work.”
“Something’s not right with this,” he said.
She swiped at her bangs, then sighed. “Yeah … why was Dick parked at the library at eleven o’clock?”
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