Then there's me. Sigh.
Here's an excerpt from HID FROM OUR EYES. A third Millers Kill Police chief is presented with the discovery of a third seemingly-identical murder:
Hadley had done a good job as first responder. By the time Russ turned his truck onto the county highway, the fire and rescue guys were already in place with cones and blinkers, ready to reroute any morning traffic that might come through. The scene – an isolated stretch of road with pastures running away on either side - was ringed round with yellow tape fluttering from flex poles. Hadley's unit blocked the road on the Cossayuharie side, its lights looking almost dim in the brilliant May sunshine.
It had been a beautiful day the last time, too.
He heard the whoop-whoop-whoop of a siren as he climbed out of his truck. He waited while the squad car crested the rise, slowed, and pulled in behind his pick-up. Lyle MacAuley, his deputy chief, flipped off the light bar and got out, stretching and snapping his back. “Heard we have a traffic fatality.”
God, maybe that was it. Russ had been in such a hurry to get to the scene, he hadn't pressed Harlene to patch him through to Hadley for the details. “I hope so,” he said.
Lyle's bushy gray eyebrows shot up.
“Not that way.” Russ headed for the yellow tape. Lyle fell in beside him. “Just...I hope it's not a homicide.”
“Person dead in the road? Vehicular manslaughter and fleeing the scene. Probably some damnfool jogger not watching where she was going meeting up with another damnfool texting and driving on his way to work. What have you got here, Knox?” Lyle held the tape up so Russ could duck through.
Hadley Knox, three years at the department, was their juniormost officer, and the only woman sworn as a peacekeeper. Despite taking the job as a last resort – she had two kids and an infirm granddad to support – Russ thought she had the potential to be an excellent cop. If he could keep her on the force. If he could make sure there would be a force for her to work at. He pinched the bridge of his nose beneath his glasses and tried to make himself focus.
“White female, looks to be in her early twenties. No ID I could see in the first pass.” She stood next to a blue Tyvex tarp spread over the body. Whoever it was beneath there, she was so slight she barely lifted the plastic shroud.
“This where you found her?” Lyle looked around at the verge of the road as if expecting to see signs of the body being dragged. A scattering of gravel marked the line between asphault and the field beyond. No blood. No crushed grass or broken wildflowers.
“We know that, Knox.” Russ pulled his purple silicone gloves from his pocket and tugged them on. Lyle did the same. “Let's take a look.” He peeled the tarp away from the body.
Young. Pretty. Dressed up like one of the girls he saw in town just a week ago, headed for the prom. He glanced at her feet. No shoes.
“Where the hell's the blood?” MacAuley got down on one knee. “No scrapes. No torn clothing.” He stretched himself flat on the roadway next to the body. “Doesn't look like there's any blood underneath her.”
“Doctor Sheeler's on the way,” Hadley said. The Washington County ME. “And the state crime scene lab.”
“Good job,” Russ said automatically.
“Doesn't even look like anything was broken in impact.” MacAuley got back up onto one knee. “Damndest thing I've ever seen.”
If any of you have any suggestions for producing more words on schedule, let me have 'em!