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If I Fail
If I Fail
A Jake Carrington Mystery Series Novel
by Marian Lanouette
Release: September 7, 2012
Editor: Julie Hayes
Line Editor: Les Tucker
Cover Designer: Winterheart Designs
Are rules really meant to be broken? Jake Carrington finds out the hard way and the answer is no! Dating Chloe Wagner was a huge mistake, and Jake should have known better—he’s investigating the murder of Chloe’s sister. Now Chloe is the number one suspect in that murder. If she’s convicted, Jake could lose not only his rank, but his job. If that’s not bad enough, he’s got a stalker on his hands, someone who’s threatening his fledgling relationship with the lovely Mia. Things are getting just a little too personal for comfort!
On days like this, Jake questioned if there was a God. He held the broken, lifeless body of the infant girl in his arms, tears running down his face. He didn’t try to hide them. Jake’s emotions reflected in the eyes of everyone. His partner Louie turned away and kicked the chair. Jake knew this horror would live with each of them for the rest of their lives.
Keith Amara, the morgue assistant, tapped Jake on the shoulder. “I’ll take her.”
“She didn’t have a chance.” Jake handed her to Keith.
“No, she didn’t.”
He lay the child on the stretcher with such care that Jake’s respect for Keith increased immensely. Jake reached down and pulled the sheet up over the baby to conceal her from the morbid crowd that waited in the street below. He never understood the fascination of the onlookers at each crime scene. He believed they hoped to view the body so they could talk about the gruesome details, get their fifteen minutes of fame. Some would offer up a silent prayer of thanks to God for the safety of their children. Tragedy, even the tragedy of a stranger, affected people—it reaffirmed their zest for life, even here in the slums.
Jake composed himself. Turning to face the suspect, he fisted his hands at his side to contain his fury. The line of the law could be blurred here, Jake understood. Each officer wanted a piece of the creep. Knowing he had to keep a tight rein over the situation, Jake held his voice level when he spoke to Washington. He saw no humanity in the suspect; his act alone proved Washington had none. Looking into Washington’s eyes he observed they were dead, like the child he’d killed. He wore a dirty, wrinkled cotton T-shirt with stained jeans. The front of the jeans showed a large, wet patch where Washington pissed himself. The only thing this creep cared about was his next fix.
Jake walked to the body, reached down and uncovered it, and forced himself to look at the baby again. Her head, crushed in on the left side, reminded Jake of a broken hardboiled egg. He could estimate the amount of force that was required to cause such a wound, yet the baby didn’t die immediately. She had lain there suffering until one of the older children snuck out of the apartment and got a neighbor to call the police.
Now he stood in the doorway of the living room watching the police process the room. A child who knew how to stay out of an adult’s way. Jake guessed his age at nine, though his eyes were those of an old man. They reflected life on the street. No child’s eyes should hold such darkness. He understood the pain on the boy’s face, because every day of his life he dealt with the violent death of his own sister at the age of fifteen. It haunted him, invading his thoughts and dreams at unexpected times. Could he have done something to prevent it?
“Man, you don’t understand. I couldn’t think with all the noise from the kid. She never stopped crying. She cried all day, all night long, she cried all the damned time. I couldn’t take it no more. Her mama shouldn’t have left her here,” Washington rambled, turning to Jake.
Unbelievable. The suspect wanted sympathy. It took all of Jake’s control not to ram his fist in the creeps’s face. Instead, he asked, “Where’s her mother, Washington?”
“She went to work,” he slurred. “I gotta sit down, man.” The first officer on scene had thrown him up against the wall, where he remained.
“I told you not to move a muscle. You move, every cop in the room will be on you like flies on crap. They’d like nothing better than to take you down. So stand still and start talking. What’s the mother’s name?”
“Her name’s Sheila Johnson.”
“You shut the hell up, kid, unless I tell you different, you understand?” Washington shouted.
Jake pushed him hard into the wall. Washington let out a groan.
Jake whispered in his ear. “Don’t you dare move or speak, unless you’re spoken to, understand?” Jake waited for him to nod before he spoke again.
“Now apologize to…” Jake jammed the suspect into the wall again, this time digging his elbow into the small of his back.
He was mad at himself because he didn’t bother to get the boy’s name. He’d never asked. Jake looked at the boy. “What’s your name, son?”
“It’s Aaron. Please…” He trembled.
“There’s nothing for you to fear, Aaron, I won’t let this man near you. He’ll be going away for a long time.”
“My…my mom works at the 7-Eleven. She won’t be home before midnight.”
Jake looked at his watch. Seven o’clock. His next visit would change lives. He hated this part of the job: the sadness, the denial, eventually the grief that washed over them and then eased off when a survivor started to accept the news. It’s bad enough when the notification’s for an adult—how do you tell a mother her infant is dead? Murdered by the hand of the child’s father? He motioned the uniform closest to him to take Aaron back to the bedroom with the other kids.
Before he left the room, Aaron turned and spoke to Jake. “Her name’s Keisha.”
“The baby. Her name’s Keisha.” Aaron cried for the first time since Jake arrived on the scene.
“We’ll make sure Keisha’s taken care of, Aaron.”
He nodded and left the room.
“Tough kid,” Louie said.
“He’ll need to be,” Jake responded.
In this page-turning, crime-driven novel, Marion Lanouette sets the tone for her detective series with complex characters that pull at your heart strings. Amazon reader review
I stumbled across writer Marian Lanouette by accident. I'm glad I did, she's now on my favorite author list. Amazon reader review
I really got into Jake and his partner. Ms. Lanouette does a great job of bringing them all to life and weaving the mystery together. I couldn't put it down. Amazon reader review
If I Fail did not fail to deliver. Ms. Lanouette takes us into the relationship between homoside detective, Jake Carrington and his partner, and explores the tragic losses in Carrington's past. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I can't wait for the sequel. Amazon reader review
In her debut book, Marian Lanouette, has delivered the goods! In richly developing her characters, she makes me love them, hate them, or want to be them. The book is a riveting page turner that I most certainly did not want to see end! Thank goodness the next book in her Jake Carrington series is coming in January so I don't have to hold my breath too long! Amazon reader review
Wow! Wow! Wow! Could not put the book down! It was riveting. Read it every second I could. Jake Carrington is a man all women would want. The story moved from one to another crime and you couldn't wait to find out what happened. Jake and Mia were super HOT together 5 star Amazon reader review
"This is a great read! Loved the twists and the unexpected. Total page turner, hope Jake's story isn't over. Enjoyed every word." Reader review
"Great book. Can't wait for the next on" Reader review
"The characters in this book really stand out. They are real, gritty people that I want to learn more about. In addition to not one, but three murder mysteries, the story delves into the inner workings of a cop's life and their families. I loved Ms. Lanouette'
"The characters in this book really stand out. They are real, gritty people that I want to learn more about. In addition to not one, but three murder mysteries, the story delves into the inner workings of a cop's life and their families. I loved Ms. Lanouette's humor and snappy dialogue. I can't wait to read the next installment - Burn In Hell!" Reader review
About the Author:
Marian’s If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery is her debut novel. Since she discovered books at the early age of five she’s been reading non-stop. Mysteries are her favorite genre. She writes full time and has just completed her second book in the Jake Carrington Series. Her passions are reading and writing. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and enjoys snowboarding and boating.
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Customer Reviews:joysmith (Monday, 24 September 2012)
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