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The Devil's Witches

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Benjamin Coffey needs a break from murder before his last homicide case becomes the death of him.
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Description

Benjamin Coffey would like to retire from homicide. But when the corpses of teen-aged girls are found in the forest with black veils covering their faces, he decides to stay just this last time and solve the case.

He finds that the enemy he's facing is more dangerous, more infallible than any he's ever met.

It threatens to destroy him and the people around him.

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Title The Devil's Witches
Author Madeleine McLaughlin
Genre Dark Fiction/Horror
Release October 17, 2017
Designer Charlotte Volnek
Length 148 pages
ISBN 978-1-77127-947-5
Price $4.99
Tags Detective, The Devil, Witches, Crime, Murder, Teen-agers

Excerpt

“Detective Coffey?” An officer approaches my window. His pale face bobbles down to my level. I remove the seat belt and climb out of the car. “I'll take you to the body,” he says.

Remarkably, it feels like babes in the woods to be following this kid through the trees. His neck, it's red. A farmer's son. So chubby faced and serious, with a neat buzz cut for his auburn hair. His will start to grey soon, like mine did. It's hardly dark at the sides anymore. The crunching of the leaves stop when he halts before the crime-scene tape. It's all I can do not to run into his back.

The yellow tape is wrapped around a big area. Openings in the plant life, as it were. It should be peaceful out here, like nature's slumber land but there's so many people moving around. Forensic guys cross and re-cross each other with careful steps, not wanting to disturb anything that might be evidence. Forests just don't seem right with crime-scene tape enclosing the flora.

The early morning sun is cutting through the trees and seeds are floating through its rays. It's the type of scene I would usually love to wander about in but today's a day of death out here. I rub my fingers along the dew on a fern. It's slippery on all the undergrowth.

There she is. She's partly on her side as if the culprit was turning her when the birdwatcher made his enthusiastic way through the forest. There's a wedding veil, dyed black and wrapped around her head, and black silk ribbons trailing from her hair and wrists.

Who is she? She's obviously young, her hair is jet black at the back but in the front, peeking out from the side of the veil is crimson hair. My first impression is of a teenager. Imagine all those ideas that originated in this girl are gone. Hopes have been truncated. Fantasies have slipped somewhere into the void. Still, she looks soft, like a downy dream. I look around for a purse.

“Have you found any ID?” My voice sounds as damp as the forest feels. The forensic guys stop their work for a moment.

“Nothing,” they answer.

Bending over the corpse I feel the same questions assail me. Who were her friends? What kind of person was she? Where is she from?

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