Author: Gary Kassay
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Length: 100,000 words
Genres: Mystery/Thrillers/Suspense (Non-Romance)
Sapphire Star Publishing (Coming Soon)
Two police officers have been brutally killed by having their throats ripped out, but the wound appears to have been done with surgical precision. With no witnesses, no forensic evidence, and two bizarre clues to follow, the case falls to Inspector Duke Becker, head of the high profile Special Investigations Unit, Homicide.
Becker and his squad must find the killer before more cops are murdered. The case will lead Becker on a wild chase through the streets of New York City, back over 15 years into the past and to a cover-up that will rock City Hall.
Along with his brash, wildly dressed young partner, Jimmy Nova, the beautiful Michelle Goldman, Augie “Doggie” Rivera, and the Mutt and Jeff team of Bobby Green and Joe Robinson, Becker will need to enlist his boyhood friend in charge of CSU, Manny Velez.
Add a ruthless newswoman known to the NYPD as “”Wicked Witch Wilson” and a new love interest for Becker in the gorgeous and brilliant Dr. Elizabeth Cunningham, Becker is about to embark on the most difficult and dangerous case in his 20 plus years. Will Becker and his squad be able to catch the killer before more cops die or will the killer have the last laugh?
Walking into One Police Plaza, I had a smile on my face and a snap in my walk. I even stopped to tell Chuck a joke. As I rode up in the elevator, I felt that things would start to break soon. Then Liz and I could maybe take some time off together and really get to know each other.
I opened the door to the conference room. Jimmy and Augie were on the phone. They were hitting redial over and over again, slamming the receivers down and then picking them up again. Joe, Bobby, and Harry were yelling out orders to a couple of uniforms that just kept nodding and then ran from the room. Harry’s hair was all mussed. All of them were pale, as if they had just seen a ghost. I tried to hear what had happened, but I couldn’t get the jist of it from all the commotion. Something bad had happened, and I finally had had enough of trying to figure it out by just standing there.
“Hey, guys, what’s going on?” I asked, but no one stopped to answer me. I tried again, but it was as if I wasn’t even there. Getting a bit peeved, I put two fingers in my mouth and let loose with a long, loud whistle. They all stopped what they were doing and looked at me as if I had just entered the room.
“Maybe someone would like to tell me just what the hell is going on around here?” I asked loudly.
“There was another murder, Duke, Saturday night,” Harry said.
“Saturday?” I asked incredulously. “Why wasn’t I told about it immediately?”
“With everything going on with the funeral, I never even checked in here as I usually do. . I never even turned on the news all day Sunday. I, uh, was nursing a hangover. I also spoke to the detectives who caught it, they had been of town, training, so they hadn’t heard about the cops being killed. They notified me a little while ago I guess I fucked up.”
Thinking back to the day I had spent with Liz, I realized that I hadn’t checked in or looked at the news either.
“It looks that way, and I promise it will never happen again.”
Looking around the room at the others, I said, “Okay, everyone, seems we all fucked up. Brief me on what we have, Harry, and…where the hell is Michelle?”
Harry looked down and then slowly raised his eyes. “Uh, we’ve been trying to reach her. She’s not answering her cell or home phone…and um…we just dispatched a car to her house and her mom’s.”
The whole team had the saddest look on their faces that I could imagine.
I felt my stomach do flip-flops as I asked Harry, “What exactly is going on here, Sergeant. Who was killed?”
“All we know right now is that a young woman, mid-thirties, blonde, athletic build, with no identification was killed, her throat and face destroyed. Her body was discovered outside the Ultimate Gym. Michelle belonged to that gym.”
My mind began whirling, thinking a million thoughts at one time. A blonde woman, athletic, killed outside the gym where Michelle worked out. I remembered Augie saying that Michelle was going to work out on Saturday, after the funeral. I couldn’t help but picture her lying in the street, the blood flowing from her throat. My heart was racing, but I needed to stay in control, so I took a deep breath and began. “Augie, Jimmy, who are you on the phone with?”
“I keep trying her cell, Duke,” Augie answered.
“I’ve been trying the home phone,” Jimmy said.
“Hang up now,” I said. “Jimmy, get on the phone with the M.E.’s office. I want a full description of that victim and I want it now! They should be able to get prints, and have them sent over to Manny to see if they match…Michelle’s. Augie, get in touch with the gym, see if they have video surveillance and if anyone there can ID the victim. Harry, see if that squad car is at Michelle’s mom’s yet, and if not, find out why the hell not!”
Nothing was going to prevent me from catching this psycho before, but if Michelle was dead and it became personal, this asshole had no fucking idea who he was about to deal with.
For the next ten minutes, I paced around the room, feeling helpless while my guys made their calls.
Augie hung up. “The gym has surveillance, but not at the front door where the attack took place. There are two detectives from Midtown North there right now, taking statements and getting the video ready. The victim was wearing one of those sport tops and shorts. The only thing on her was a key.”
Jimmy hung up right after. “The M.E. has no ID on her yet, but he’s 100 percent certain it is our guy’s handiwork. He found more steel slivers and sent those, the fingerprints, and some samples over to Manny. The description that he gave me, as poor as it is…it matches Michelle.”
A hush fell over the room, everyone stopping what they were doing and looking down.
“Snap out of it, guys!” I yelled. “We don’t know that it was Michelle yet, and until we do, we need to stay focused and find out. Jimmy, you and I are going up to that gym to look at those tapes. Everyone else, keep cracking.”
Jimmy jumped up, and I opened the door, running directly into Michelle, who happened to be carrying a cup of coffee that she spilled all over me. I ignored the hot coffee burning my chest, grabbed her, and hugged her, pulling her into the room.
“Wow, Duke,” she said, “if I knew being late would get me a reception like that, I’d make it a habit.”
About the Author:
Gary Kassay, author of the Duke Becker Series, is a former member of the NYPD Transit K-9 Unit. Besides a career as a Police Officer, he has been the owner of a commercial photo company, an X-ray tech for humans and animals, and a TSA employee. He now resides in Casper, Wyoming with his wife Raella, three dogs, and one black cat.
When Gary is not working on the next installment of his Duke Becker series, he enjoys spending quiet times with his wife, reading, and when there isn't snow on the ground, a good round of golf.
SSP Author Page: http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/garykassay
Author Website: http://www.garykassay.com/
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