Why is it the smallest books take the longest time to write? I had a lot of fun with the characters and situations in this story. Or as much as a person can when there’s a serial killer on the loose. Want a little taste of the beginning? Sure you do!
“Mandy? I need your help.”
The pain and fear in her brother Marty’s voice scared her. Mandy Hays gripped her cell phone tighter and went over to shut her office door. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s Rachel. She’s gone.”
“Oh no, Marts. I’m so sorry.” She eased down to her chair behind the desk. Resisting the urge to tell him what an idiot his girlfriend was for leaving him, she rested an elbow on her desk. The poor guy needed comfort from her instead of an “I told you so.” She enjoyed teasing her younger sibling, not tormenting him. “You know, meeting the parents is a big step for anyone. It sounds like she just wasn’t ready.”
His voice came through the tiny speaker thick with tears. “No, it’s not that. She’s dead.”
The news stunned her for a moment. People their age, mid to late twenties, didn’t die. Not suddenly unless there was a car wreck involved. She opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, wanting to know what happened without making things worse for him. Mandy heard him sniff before blowing his nose. As soon as he finished, she asked, “What happened, or can you not talk about it yet?”
“I can, but it’s bad. Really bad.” He cleared his throat. “Someone found her on the beach.”
Living in Nova Scotia meant miles of shoreline. She waited for a moment so he’d continue. The silence stretched between them, and she almost ground her teeth in frustration. Their family had barbecues out near the shore. She didn’t want to skip asking him now and risk suggesting a beach where Rachel had died. “Which one?”
“Martinique. We’d gone for a walk last night after she left work. It was cold, but not as much as usual.”
She could imagine the ocean, sunset, Marty and Rachel holding hands and just being together. The romance of their last evening broke her heart. Mandy couldn’t find words to comfort him. “It sounds like it was a really nice evening. Did you arrive separately?”
“No, I drove us there and back.” Marty coughed. “Her car was there the next morning, parked a little way from where mine had been. Before I can tell you more, I need to know if you’ll go to the police headquarters with me.”
Mandy reached for her mouse and clicked open her schedule. “Of course. When?”
“Can you meet me there now?”
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