597. BOOK EXCERPT: Whoever Fights Monsters ~ Iryna Bennett

Title: Whoever Fights Monsters
Author: Iryna Bennett

2007 Swimming Kangaroo Books
and at Amazon (Click on title link above!)

She tried to start over. She tried to escape the shadow of her past.
But how do you let go when you have gazed into the depths of the abyss for too long?
Forced to accept an early retirement from the FBI due to her questionable professional ethic, Aya Morell enters the world of private securities. Her new employer, Neuetech, a high profile pharmaceutical conglomerate with offices in Arizona, seems to require an extra hand solving a recent case of industrial espionage. But as Aya plunges into the investigation, she begins to suspect that the true reasons behind her hire are not at all what they appear. Finding a way to recover the stolen research data might just prove to be the least of her worries.


Chapter I

There was blood on the concrete floor, but hardly anything earth shattering.
Detective Mike Reynolds shielded his eyes from the last of the flashes of crime scene photography and downed the rest of his coffee in one gulp. Immediately he wished he hadn't. The coffee was still smoldering-hot, and his tongue was sure to end up with first-degree burns. Another annoyance to go with a two a.m. wake-up call and an altogether rough drive.
"Mike," he heard his name called out in a shrill falsetto. Heather Finley, the youngest field examiner on the force and a notorious insomniac, waved at him from the far end of the spotlight-flooded warehouse.
Reynolds stepped over the caution tape and, mesmerized by the sight of a sailboat resting on top of bilge blocks in the front part of the premises, proceeded as if in slow motion.
"Mike?" He heard the shrill voice again, its owner much closer this time.
"Traffic?" she said, taunting Reynolds about his late arrival.
"If only." He shook his head. "If only."
"Not even gonna ask," Heather replied.
He wouldn't tell even if she did.
"What do we have here?" Reynolds nodded in the direction of the bloodstained floor.
"You mean, what we did have here," Heather corrected. "Two bodies, the lab picked them up fifteen minutes ago. One here," she pointed toward the chalk outline closer to the exit, "a knife in the throat. Another over there," she pointed toward the stern of the boat, "shot through the head with a .45 hollow point, apparently by the first vic. Both have been dead for at least three hours now."
"Any chance the two did each other in?" Reynolds asked hopefully.
"Sorry, I've got no quick wrap-up for you just yet." Heather looked not in the least bit sorry. "And that's not merely my professional opinion speaking, which from what I hear you don't find too reliable, but also a mystery blood stain we found over by one of the bilge blocks."
"You're thinking that the blood might have belonged to the real knife-wielder?"
"It's a possibility we have to consider. Ballistics on the Kimber won't be ready until late afternoon, but as far as the knife goes, I can tell you now, they won't get anything off it."
"Why the hell not?" Reynolds asked.
"The handle is made out of unfinished wood," Heather said. "Even if the blood weren't so smudged, it would be near impossible to get a workable print off that surface."
"Damn," Reynolds swore. "Any witnesses?"
Heather shook her head. "Not that we know of. We're not even sure how these guys got here; we found no cars outside."
"Is anybody checking on the taxis?"
"Not my field," Heather said. "Didn't you talk to Gomez on your way in?"
"I have yet to find the bastard," Reynolds grumbled.
"He said he'd be working with the tire tracks outside. Tom has found some deep ones next to the railroad car. Looks like someone tore out of there sometime recently."
"Could've been our knife thrower."
Heather shrugged her shoulders. "That's a possibility, but I wouldn't put too much hope into getting a good mold off those tracks. Not after half of the NYPD had parked out there earlier."
"Half of the NYPD?" Reynolds asked, confused. "Don't tell me one of the vics was the mayor."
"Nooo," Heather drawled, seemingly amused. "But we do have an ID on one of the bodies. Apparently there was a phone call prior to when these deaths occurred...."

Iryna Bennett

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