Sunday Sampler: Kill and Run by Lauren Carr
January 3, 2016
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Sunday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Kill and Run, a political suspense thriller by Lauren Carr.
As one reviewer said: Kill and Run is thriller, cold case, mystery suspense, and police procedural, all rolled into one exciting novel. Set amidst the political drama that comes with Washington DC and the Pentagon, a current multiple murder becomes a search years in the past. With a young, hot lieutenant assigned to NCIS, and his beautiful new wife, you have all the makings of a bestseller.
Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.
Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.
Before long, the case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.
In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Lieutenant Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?
Thirteen Years Ago
Friday, January 24: 10:25 pm
Pennsylvania Turnpike—Roadside Stop West of Pittsburgh
“Man, it’s colder than a witch’s tit.” Pennsylvania trooper Reese Phillips shivered while bringing the steaming hot, freshly-brewed coffee to his lips.
With a grin that stretched across his face, Officer Nicholas Gates asked, “Where do you come up with phrases like that, Phillips? Do you make them up?”
The middle-aged officer looked the young trooper up and down. With the fresh face of a college heart-throb, Nick Gates was little more than a rookie.
“Don’t tell me you never heard that one, Gates,” Officer Phillips grumbled. “You’re killing me.”
Chuckling, the two men made their way to the cashier to pay for their coffees.
“Half hour more and I’ll be checking out to go home and climb into bed with Rufus.” Officer Phillips shot a wicked glance over his shoulder at his trainee. “Wipe that grin off your face, Gates. My hound dog may not be as pretty as your sweet bride, but he doesn’t complain when I snore either.”
“Neither does Cameron,” Officer Gates replied. “She’s never heard my snoring.”
“I’m referring to mine,” the young officer laughed.
“She will. They all do.” Officer Phillips handed the cashier a five dollar bill. “This one’s on me, Gates. Next will be your turn.”
Officer Gates slipped his money back into his wallet and picked up the coffee he had set down on the counter in order to pay. “Hey, Phillips, do you still have that contact with the FBI?”
Officer Phillips had to think a moment while they strolled toward the door that led out into the sub-zero temperature. “Do you mean Hatfield? He used to be with the Pennsylvania state police and then joined the FBI.”
“He works in Quantico now, right?”
Bracing themselves for the blast of icy air, they pushed open the doors and stepped outside.
“Yes,” Officer Phillips said, “Why? You looking to move on already?”
“I was wondering if he’d be able to look through their national database for a missing person.”
Too cold to continue talking, the two men ran in opposite directions for their cruisers.
“I’ll have his number for you tomorrow,” Phillips yelled above the howling wind.
With a wave of his hand to acknowledge that he heard him, Officer Gates climbed into his cruiser. On the other side of the parking lot, Officer Phillips spotted a sedan speeding past the rest stop at top speed. Before the older man could react, Officer Gates turned on his flashing lights and gave chase.
“Yeah,” Officer Phillips sighed while enjoying the warmth of his hot coffee in the comfort of his patrol car. “Leave it to the young ones.”
A pair of headlights bathed the compartment of his patrol car with its high beams. A black truck followed Gates’ cruiser out onto the turnpike.