Peculiar Activities

Mark Edward Jones

A Henry Ike Pierce Novel

(see video trailer below)

Author’s photos and purchased images.

Trust—a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something–or so says the dictionary version. Henry Ike Pierce is a junior detective in Alexandria, Virginia, newly hired to reassess cold-case killings with evidence stashed in the homicide division’s basement long ago. On the third day of his new job, a dismembered body appears in a local park. The corpse’s desecration is like slayings two decades earlier, and his boss assigns Henry to his first investigation. Rumors in the community point to a killer called ‘the hooded one.’

A detective examining the 1995 murders followed the suspected killer’s trail from Alexandria to Prague, where he too became a victim. His widow, Angela Marconi, later became director of the city’s homicide division, and she has pursued her husband’s killer for twenty-five years. Does Angela’s old quest rely on conspiracies only she can see? Henry Pierce must uncover a present-day killer while his boss pushes him to resolve a crime from the past.

Henry seeks a killer within a community of rival ethnic groups, refugees from the 1990s Balkan wars. The emotions of those conflicts have waned but are always near the surface. The recent murder in the park triggers the old passions, leading again to central Europe and a tangle of new intrigue. Money can smooth old hurts, manipulate feelings, and alter allegiances, but finding the guilty is a hopeless task if discoveries are unwelcome.

Distrust, betrayals, conspiracies–Henry learns the meaning of the Tennessee Williams quote: “We have to distrust one another. It is our only defense against betrayal.” The young man from western Virginia’s coal country discovers that ‘trust’ has a flexible definition.

Click here to see to chapter excerpts

  Alone in Warsaw, Printed Words, Autumn 2019. pages 24-25.

Artwork by Printed Words

Mark Edward Jones

Copyright  ©  2017-2020  by   Mark Edward Jones, Edmond, Oklahoma  73034.

All rights reserved.