Meet Jamie Richmond. A former reporter turned author, Jamie is a stubborn redhead who knows a good story when she sees one and can’t stop until she gets to the bottom of it. She’s made the transition to author, focusing on mysteries. Wanting to give her audience as much realism as possible, she manages to hitch a ride with a state police trooper as part of her research for an upcoming book.
But the night takes an unexpected turn when she witnesses someone shoot the trooper on a dark and desolate road. Although it’s not a fatal injury, Jamie is intrigued by the events surrounding the incident and the ongoing investigation. She expects answers. If the cops can’t figure it out, maybe she will. Before she can get too far along, Jamie becomes distracted by Malone, another trooper she met that night. Malone has a mystery or two of his own, but it’s Jamie who has caught his eye. Things begin heating up quickly. Suddenly Jamie has more on her mind than she ever bargained for. She’s determined to unravel the mystery of the shooting. Was it a random incident? Or is there some devious plot at work?
Suddenly, I saw a flash of light and heard a muffled bang. Smitty pitched onto his back, his right hand clawing feebly at his holster as a loud roar reached my ears. The door of the truck was still open, a brown arm extended beyond the edge of the spotlight. A gun was clutched in the gloved hand. I watched in horror as the trigger was pulled back for another shot.
Everything that happened next must have been instinct. Or maybe it was merely a reaction. Or dumb luck. Or the Force. Yeah, maybe it was the Force. I don’t think I’ll ever know for sure.
I reached across and pounded on the horn with one hand, flipping the buttons Smitty had used to activate the siren with the other. The sudden noise startled the driver. His arm jerked back into the cab and the door slammed. Spraying stones and dust behind, the truck lurched onto the road and raced away.
Fumbling the microphone off the dash, I thumbed the button. “Kleinschmidt has been shot! Send an ambulance!” I dropped the microphone and managed to get my door open. The frame around the window clipped my forehead and knocked me back a step.
I’d forgotten to turn off the siren and its wail was splitting my eardrums. “Idiot,” I muttered, “stay calm.” This was easier to say than it ever was to do.
Reaching back inside, I switched the siren off then rushed around to the front of the car. Smitty was lying on his back on the edge of the road. Blood soaked the gravel beneath him. His eyes were closed, but I could see his chest moving.
I dropped to my knees beside him. “You’re going to be okay, Smitty. I called for help.”
“Shot by a dog,” he whispered. Kleinschmidt opened his eyes weakly. “First aid kit in the trunk. Stop the bleeding.” His voice was fading so fast I had to press my ear above his mouth. I got a whiff of grilled onions.
What if the truck came back? What if they were waiting right now, just beyond the reach of the spotlight, waiting for me to get close so they could kill Smitty? And kill the witness too? I cringed. They wouldn’t need to shoot us, just drive right over us with that truck. My imagination was running away with possibilities.
About the author
Mark Love (yes, that’s really his name) lived for many years in the metropolitan Detroit area, where crime and corruption are always prevalent. A former freelance reporter, Love is drawn to mysteries and the twists and turns that mirror real life. He is the author of “Why 319?” and three books in the Jamie Richmond Series “Devious” “Vanishing Act” and “Fleeing Beauty” and several short stories.
Love resides in west Michigan with his wife, Kim. He enjoys a wide variety of music, reading and writing fiction, cooking, travel, most sports and the great outdoors. You can find his blog at the link below and on Goodreads, Facebook, and Amazon.