A Novel by John P. Matsis
Genre: Dark Mystery
Editor: B.L. Wilson
Line Editor: Valerie Haley
Cover Designer: Charlotte Volnek
An interlude of sexual fantasy turns bad. Madman. Sexual deviate. Prominent surgeon, Dr. Douglas Kaplan has done the unthinkable. A bleach-blond gasps as she slumps against the door, her voice-box fractured. A rookie cop, careless, answers the call of a possible domestic disturbance. Two gunshots ring out; he totters and falls from the landing. His body sinks to the bottom of the pool, a stream of blood seeps to a nearby skimmer, a young woman poolside screams.
Veteran detective, Jason Nash, vowing to solve the murders, seeks revenge in the killing of his partner only to become entangled in a web of intrigue far greater than imagined.
Kaplan’s dark side turns even more deadly as a near-fatal crash on the freeway lands Nash in the hospital…ironically the surgeon in charge, Kaplan. Surgical ICU becomes an instrument of murder as a scheme, so outrageous, so unthinkable, unfolds.
High-heels click. A blond walks down the corridor to ICU, tight skirt hugs freshly shaved legs, lips a vivid red and laden with a deadly toxin…ready to impart the Death Kiss, kill the only person who can link him to murder. He pauses at the hospital bed, leans down, his lips pursed.
Jason Nash, a twenty-five year veteran of the Phoenix police force, wiped his brow with the edge of his shirtsleeve, already stained a yellowish-brown from afternoon sweat. It was hot enough to make the strip of asphalt between the street and sidewalk bubble, and for a flock of drab brown sparrows to take a breather on sagging telephone lines.
He hated hot weather, and the vision of a cold beer made his heart race with anticipation. Unfortunately, to drink on duty was a no-no, and definitely a crappy rule for a cop in midtown Phoenix.
Responding to a 911 call, Nash took the stairs two at a time. He paused to look back at Luke, his rookie partner of two months, who had not made up his mind one way or another whether to follow. The apartment complex was definitely not upper class. He figured the rent for an unfurnished two bedroom ran about nine hundred plus utilities.
He peered down from the second floor landing. Below, the pool water shimmered an inviting blue. A couple of palm trees shaded a small concrete area lined with cheap aluminium lounge chairs. A brunette bombshell, probably in her early twenties, sat poolside with her feet splashing in the water, an iPod plugged into her ears, a beverage in a red plastic cup next to her.
“Are you coming up or not, Luke?” Nash gestured from the top of the landing. He hated working with a rookie, and Luke didn’t measure up to his standards, seeming to be in his own private world most of the time.
“Coming,” Luke huffed, grabbing onto the railing and taking the first step up. “This is just one of those false alarms,” he snapped as he took in the serene surroundings and flashed his sights onto the brunette sitting at the edge of the pool. Luke’s lack of focus made it clear, in his opinion, this didn’t look like a crime scene.
“Careful,” Nash whispered as he stepped near the doorway. With his revolver held chest-level, he motioned with his chin towards apartment 212. The apartment door was slightly ajar. From within a strange smell emanated. It was a scent he didn’t recognize—definitely not decomposing flesh—but would be hard to forget. He glanced to the side. Luke was now on the landing, his revolver still in its holster.
This idiot is going to get himself killed. Before the thought could materialize into a verbal warning, two shots rang out. Tottering like a drunk, Luke tried to grab onto the railing and in a somersault that wouldn’t qualify for the Olympics, landed face down in the pool.
A leg twitched, a hand slapped against the water, then nothing as he began a slow, deliberate journey to the bottom. A stream of blood from the bottom of the pool gathered onto the surface and flowed to a nearby skimmer.
The young woman at poolside let out a scream that could have been heard at a mall three blocks away.
Nash gulped. The shit had hit the fan.
About the Author:
John P. Matsis is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and EPIC with a number of published mystery, mainstream novels, and short stories. A retired physician, he lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Frances, and his dogs, Boy and Brother.