About the Book:
In the vein of Seven & The Devil’s Advocate, Art Somers is a detective tracking a serial killer in Murrells Inlet, S.C., a small-town, coastal community with deeply held spiritual and supernatural belief systems. He discovers while chasing down clues to ID the culprit that the killer has always had his family on his target list.
Things begin to unravel and materialize around and within him, calling into question his long held religious and paranormal beliefs. On the verge of apprehending the killer, he learns an irrefutable truth: Abraham, the father of faith, had to choose to either sacrifice his son or disobey a direct order from God; he must now make a choice – sacrifice his soul to save his son.
“An expertly plotted and executed mystery, shot through with the supernatural…builds suspense effortlessly, hurtling towards a riveting conclusion.”
– Clarion Review
“Original and engaging…full of plot twists, surprises, and a substantial dash of the supernatural.”
– Publisher’s Weekly BookLife Prize in Fiction
“A gripping detective story with biblical undertones…aptly blends the horror and crime genres.”
– Kirkus Reviews
In the quaint, historic city of Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina, at the onset of a torrential downpour, thirty-five-year-old detective Art Somers rolled up the driver’s side window of his blue, classic Camaro and turned on his wipers. He took inventory of himself in his rearview mirror: his black mane of shoulder-length hair that offset his olive skin, the shadow of a beard that now graced his face, and more troubling, his bloodshot eyes. He hadn’t slept much lately and it showed. How much longer was it going to take the FBI boys to capture the serial nutcase operating in their midst?
Within a span of twenty-one days, someone had kidnapped and slaughtered multiple twelve-year-old boys in his county and eluded all capture efforts. He gripped his steering wheel tighter. The only good news, if you could call it that, was that the bastard hadn’t struck in Murrell’s Inlet.
He stared at his former neighbor’s sons, who were playing a game of pickup football on the dirt field to his left. One of those boys—or even his own son, Ben—could be the killer’s next target if Murrell’s Inlet became one of his cities of choice. He breathed deep. Not even the fishy fragrance of the nearby Atlantic waters he loved so much, did anything to improve his frame of mind.
A cluster of lightning bolts illuminated the darkened, cloud-filled morning sky, followed immediately by booming thunder that echoed in the distance. Overhead, seagulls darted away as the winds picked up.
Every locale within his county was on edge because the killer only struck within the confines of Georgetown County and always in a different city. For all he knew, his town could be next. He reached over to his front passenger seat and rested his palm on the printout of the FBI serial profiling article. Under captain’s orders, every detective in the station house had spent the past two weeks boning up on the behavior patterns of serial killers.
He flexed the muscles in his arms and looked at his Navy SEAL tattoos. He had no clue what to do if that sick bastard showed up in Murrell’s Inlet. He was too new at being a detective and some were questioning why the captain had promoted him in the first place. Following up on an obscure lead, he’d taken the initiative and pursued and captured a couple of long-sought backwater drug dealers, a feat that catapulted him from the rank and file into the role he now held.
Another contributing factor for his promotion could’ve been that his captain was also a former Navy SEAL. Reading the FBI profiling article hadn’t made him feel any better. He hoped he’d never cross paths with the sick freak.
He wheeled his Camaro into the driveway of his former home, a light green, two-story, southern vernacular. It had a pool in the backyard that he’d put in himself. He sat behind the wheel for a moment under the overhanging branches of the angel hair oak tree his ex-wife had planted long ago in honor of their son Ben’s birth.
He ran his hands through his long, wavy hair and climbed out, wearing worn, faded jeans and a burgundy T-shirt that worked well with his muscular, tanned frame. The rain soaked him as he jogged through the piles of wet leaves that covered the lawn. He stepped onto the covered porch and was about to knock when Judith, his ex-wife, swung the door open.
His son, Ben, with dark hair and piercing, dark eyes just like his, dressed in his white baseball uniform with burgundy letters that read Gamecocks, dashed by him toward the car carrying his cell phone. “Hey, Dad.”
“Whoa. Hey, Sport. If this rain doesn’t break, they may cancel the game.”
“Let’s go,” Ben said and climbed into the front passenger seat.
Judith stood in the doorway in a revealing pink nightie. She was breathing heavily, as though she’d just finished a vigorous workout. She was thirty-four, with shoulder-length blond hair and enough sexual energy to raise the dead. “It’s about time you showed up. Benjamin is being disrespectful to my guest.”
“A killer who’s randomly taking boys our son’s age is kind of a priority, don’t you think?”
“You don’t even know if he’ll come this way,” Judith said.
“A good scout is always prepared.”
“Maybe you should prepare by going to church sometimes and praying about it.”
“I’ll pretend that church means something to you, just as soon as you stop placing hairs of your enemies in those jars of yours.”
A young black man with a shaved head and chiseled body—and more than likely the source of Judith’s workout—joined her at the door. He expanded his chest and stood straight at the sight of Art.
Art shook his head. Yet another boy-toy around his son. “You think Ben’s disrespect has something to do with your choice of guests?” He frowned. “Let him come live with me.”
She stared at him. “I told you, I need the child support—and I’d miss him.”
“Two years of monthly child support checks—even if he’s with me.”
There was a moment of silence as Judith seemed to consider his offer. She glanced at her boy-toy, whose arm now rested across her shoulder. “We’ll be back from vacation soon.”
“Think about my offer.”
She kissed her boy-toy deeply, pursed her lips at Art, and then slammed the door in his face.
“Bitch,” he said under his breath to the closed door. What in hell had he been thinking having unprotected sex with her? He strode back to his car, climbed in, and screeched his tires as he backed out of the driveway. He turned on his windshield wipers and tore off down the wet street. He glanced at his son, who was watching him. He slowed to the posted speed limit.
Ben tossed the FBI serial profiling article in his lap onto the backseat. He pulled his cell phone out of his front pocket and pressed buttons. He rocked his head back and forth to his music selection. “What were you and Mom talking about?”
Art glanced at Ben. “Life, son—things you deal with in life.”
“Mom said call him ‘Dad.’”
Art pressed the brake pedal, coming to a complete stopped in the middle of the street. He stared at his son. “Who?”
“Her new boyfriend, Clarence.”
Art tensed. He pressed the gas and proceeded down the road. “I’m your father.”
“I know, Dad.”
They rode on in silence. His son’s words had cut deep.
About the Author:
Before publishing his debut novel in 2016, he served over 27 years as an information technology professional working initially for the US Navy, and then the Department of the Navy and various fortune companies. He’s a UCLA writing program alumnus who writes mystery thrillers and children stories. He has three wonderful kids who he enjoys immensely. Writing is his passion and his goal with each story is to capture the imagination in the opening pages and keep it engaged to the story’s riveting conclusion.
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