Into darkness, p.1
Into Darkness, page 1part #1 of A Private Investigator Series
A Private Investigator Series of crime mystery novels, Book One
This Novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2015
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole, or in part, in any form, by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying, and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the permission of the author.
Visit the author’s websites:
Follow me on Twitter:
Two Free Gifts
As a way of saying thanks for your purchase, I’m offering two free mysteries that are exclusive to my readers. Double Cross and Dead On Impact have a fast-paced, suspenseful plot… The stories’ complicated and intriguing twists and turns keep the reader guessing until the chilling ending.
Sign up for the author’s New Releases mailing list and get a FREE copy of the latest novels Double Cross and Dead On Impact Randall Stone Mysteries…
Table of Contents
The man who entered the lobby of the Fayette County Police Department was a heavyset man, not tall but broad, impeccably dressed, with a neatly trimmed mustache and hair. He also carried himself like a man used to having people step aside for him. His pace never slackened as he approached the front desk.
“Good morning, sir,” the young dark-haired girl standing behind the counter said politely. Her name was Karen, and this was her first day working for the city’s department of safety. Her younger sister, Susan, worked for the police department the last five years as a meter maid. She'd always wanted to be a police officer, but the chief of police wasn’t too happy about having women on his squad. “A woman’s place is in the home making babies and making love to her man.” He always said, with a spineless mayor agreeing with every word coming out of the chief’s mouth. Susan had to agree to work the school crossing and hand out parking tickets to ever get a chance of becoming a detective.
“Polite” was the keyword to working behind the desk, though, and she consistently kept that in mind. The people on the other end of the desk did not always have that into account. However, this fat man was about to change her life forever.
“I want to talk to Detective Ben Green,” he said with a gentle smile.
“Who are you, sir?” she asked.
“Tell him it’s French, Alex French. He is expecting me, dear.”
“Alex French,” a voice from the desk repeated. Echo of the name muttered as a tall, red-headed man appeared next to her, holding a mug on coffee in his hand. He sat the cup down and signed something on the desk.
“So you’re Mister French, better known as the fat man?” he replied rudely, looking back over his shoulder at someone in the room. “You dress nicely for a part time author, part-time investigators."
“Well, that is one thing right about him, he’s fat.” Someone said as the room erupted into laughter.
“That’s not very nice,” Karen said. “Please, sir, I’m so sorry these people are short kindness and brains when it comes to dealing in the public.”
“Thank you, my dear. They're stupid people everywhere.”
“Karen, shut your mouth and work the desk. Who you are calling stupid, fat ass?” the redhead replied. “Just because you’re a D.A., man, gives you no right to interfere with our investigation.”
“That’s enough,” Karen interrupted. “This man is a citizen and a taxpayer. He doesn’t need to go through this crap with you guys. Come with me, sir. I’ll take you to the detective’s office.”
“Yes, Karen, after you take him into to see Green, packs your trash because you are fired.” Redhead said.
“You cannot fire me; I work within the city.” She said in a broken voice.
French placed his hand softly on her shoulder in a comforting way. “Are you going to be alright?”
“Yes,” she said, tears flowing down her cheeks. “I'd already decided to get another Job. I’ll never be an investigator. No one in this town will ever give a woman a chance to prove herself. I guess I’ll just well back to waiting tables at the Days Inn in Louisville.”
“Could you wait for me, please? I think we can help each other. I shouldn’t be very long.” He assured her.
She nodded her head in agreement as French entered the detective’s office and shut the door.
Chief Ben Green sat silence in the upholstery mock leather chair as Special Crime Unit Investigator, Tom Cutter, paced back and forth in front of him and French with the police report in his hands. The SCU was put together by the Commissioner of Safety, the mayor, and the governor, to handle only the worst crimes within the city and Lieutenant Cutter command that unit.
“I would love to know, who gives you right to come here, sticking your nose into my investigation? You may have the District Attorney Office fooled, thinking you’re some crime-solving genius, but to me, you just a want to be cop, but you’re too fat to make the cut.”
“I've heard enough from you, Detectives,” Green ordered. “Mister French is assigned by the mayor, the same man who signs your paycheck. The mayor wants Alex French responsible for this investigation, and then he’s in command."
“What’s so important about Carl Dalton to get the mayor and state’s attention?” Cutter inquired. “He was a low life with an arrest record longer than my arm; no one cares about someone knocking him off, and this just saves the taxpayers money.”
Green cleared his voice. “His name wasn’t Carl Dalton; it was Carl Franklin, an undercover cop with the state police narcotics unit, and he was French’s friend.” Green turned toward French and lowered his voice. “Excuse me, French. Whatever you need; however, many officers you need, please let me know.”
“Mister French, I’m sorry to hear he was a friend, what you need to get started?” Cutter added.
French tugged at the vest, pulling it over his stomach. “What can you tell me about the case?”
Cutter opened the file and cleared his throat. “At around 9 o’clock p.m. Thursday night, the department received six calls from Neighbors, reporting gunshots at the Dalton’s residence, 3925 Niagara Drive.”
“That’s on the Southeast end of town?” French asked.
“Yes!” Cutter snapped back.
“How many shots did you say?” French asked.
He paused a moment and takes a deep breath and said, "They heard three shots, French.”
“Did everyone say three shots?” French asked.
"What's so, important about that?” Cutter snapped.
“Detective, just answer the question,” Green instructed.
French raised his hand
"How'd you know that?” Cutter demanded.
“I notice the crime scene photographs taped to the wall behind the chief’s desk,” French pointed his fat finger. “He was shot on the left side, standing. The color of dry blood on his shirt, tells me he's alive several minutes after the phone call. So, the response time of about 15 minutes, he should have been active when the police arrived on the crime scene.”
“But now did you know he was only shot once?” Green asked. “The coroner’s office hasn’t examined the body.”
“Well, sir, he’s wearing bright-colored clothes, and I don’t see any more blood other than that flowing from his collar down the right side of his shirt. He was covering his neck with his left hand; you can tell by the blood in his palm.”
“Well, D.A.’s master investigator, how was he murdered?” Cutter asked.
French looked at his and frowned. “You said he was shot, Detective?”
“Right, and his body is in a room with no windows, and the door was locked from the inside.” Cutter added.
“What do you think happened, Detective?” French asked, looking over his shoulder as, he walked closer to the crime pictures.
“I think he shot himself.” Cutter answered.
“You find a weapon?” Green asked.
“No, sir, I have officers searching the crime scene, now.” Cutter answered.
“I don't think they'll find a gun, sir. There isn't any weapon at the murder scene, and he didn’t shoot himself.” French said, looking over his shoulder.
“Mister French, how do you know that?” Cutter asked.
“The blood drops,” French turned, his eyes darting from one detective to the other. “He was shot, grabbed his neck like this, tried to catch himself by grabbing the edge of the desk, and collapsed where he is lying. Whoever shot Carl Franklin knew him, and that's how the killer got inside the house.”
“You said something about blood drops?” Green asked. “We didn’t find any blood drops on the carpet.”
"You didn't find any blood drops because he fell after he was shot. So, if he'd killed myself, you would have found the gun near his body." French answered simply.
"He told us everything that happened in that room without even seeing the crime scene. Mister French, how do you know that?” Cutter demanded.
French smiled, pulled the vest over his stomach. He sat, crossed his legs, and said, “He was shot right in front of his desk on the left side from the back, which means our gunman was left handed. I can tell that by the stains on his shirt, the palm prints on the edge of the desk, and because there’s no blood drops anywhere around the body. That means he didn’t take a step; he dropped right where he was found. I know it only took 10 to 15 minutes for officers to get there because the blood is still fresh, a bright red, when the crime photos were taken.”
Green clears his throat. “The neighbors all heard three shots. How can you explain that?”
“Echo, sir, the southeast end of Fayette County is surrounded by mountains. What the neighbors heard was a loud sound echoing from the mountain.”
“How about our killer, the neighbors were outside within seconds after hearing the shot, but no one saw anyone leave the house. What happened to the shooter? The only thing they saw was gray smoke.” Green asked.
“That I don’t know. I guess we have the perfect murder.” French said.
A young, cute blond enters the room and gives Green a piece of paper.
“Sir, it’s from the mayor’s office,” she whispered.
“It said in the email that I received from the mayor’s office that he has approved an $18,000 check for your services,” Green said a worried look crossed his face. “It also said this is for one week’s service.”
“What, are you kidding me?” Cutter yelled. “We’re paying this fat piece of crap $18,000 for one week’s service?”
French raised a finger saying, “Plus expenses.”
The chief yells. “What are you talking about, expenses?”
“My investigators,” French informed him with a polite smile.
“You have an entire investigative team right behind that door,” Green said.
“I don’t work with police officers,” French informed him. “I pick my trained investigators.”
“How much do you want for your investigators?" Green asked.
French shrugged. “How much does a desk clerk for the police department earn?”
The two detectives looked at each other, puzzled. “I think Karen earns about $1,500 per month,” Green said and Cutter nods in agreement.
French smiled. “That’s strange because my investigators earn $3,000 per case.”
Cutter turns, saying, “Chief are you going along with this crap?”
Green cradled the phone in his hand. “Yes, Detective, I am. Why? He precisely handed you your ass on this case, just by looking at the crime scene photograph. I don’t know anything about you French, but I want you on my side.” He spoke over the phone, “Betty, make a check out for $21,000.00, payable to Alex French.”
“Chief Green, I'll need a copy of the crime scene report?” French said.
“You can pick it up with your check from Alice,” Green said, shaking French's hand.
Karen was sitting outside the door, and French could tell she had been crying. “Are you going to be alright?” he asked.
“No, Mister, I’m not. I just got fired for standing up for what’s right. I’m behind on my rent, and my no good boyfriend left me and cleaned out my bank account.” She lowered her head to her hands and began crying harder. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“Well, my dear, you're in luck. I just happen to be hiring and need a smart investigator to help me solve a murder.”
"But sir, I don’t know anything about being a professional investigator.” She replied.
“Well, you let me worry about that. Where do you live?”
"We live on Wilson Street."
"You have a boyfriend?"
She shakes her head slowly and smiles. "It’s my eight-year-old daughter, her name’s Alice.”
“You know; Wilson Street is a high-crime area; that’s no place to raise a little girl. Karen, as part of your new job, you must move in with me.”
She looks and sees a warm-heartedness man. “I can't do that, Mister French. I don’t know you. And I haven’t agreed your job offer.”
French takes her small hand in his huge paw. “I have a large basement. You'll have your kitchen, bath; the freezer is full and two-bedrooms. Don’t worry about me. I’m a great guy, once you get to know me. You decide on your way home. Here’s your first month’s payment.”
“It is $3,000, but I can’t,” she said adding. It’s all happening so, fast. I just don’t know what to do.”
“Karen, we can’t control the things that happened in our lives. We just have to roll with the punches.”
“And what does that supposed to mean, Mister French?”
“You know something? I don’t really know. Let’s go home and I’ll help you pack... "
Early the next morning, Karen opens her eyes' rolls over in her new bed to find her daughter gone. She frowned and called her daughter’s name, but she doesn't answer. She could hear the sound of her laughing, outside her door. She opened the door and was surprised at what she saw. Her daughter was wearing her cheerleader dress with French standing beside her in a sweat suit, and they both were working on her cheering routine, laughing likes two kids.
“Good morning, Karen, I see you are up.” He said. “Breakfast is in the oven, help yourself.”
“I’m sorry, Mister French. I hope she wasn’t getting into trouble.”
“Nonsense, she’s adorable,” he replied. “Plus, this gives me a chance to work off my breakfast and think over the case. I believe I know how
“You mean how the killer got out of the room without anyone seeing him?”
“Yes, and also how he got out of a room that was locked from the inside.”
She shrugged. “I don’t understand. We spent four hours last night turning your living room into the crime scene. You photographed it from every possible angle, so how can you know how he escaped without going to the crime scene?”
“It’s like this, my dear. The best way to commit the crime and get away with it is to have half of the police department as witnesses whom you weren’t the killer.”
“I don’t understand,” she replied.
Alice gently tugged at his sleeve, “Mister Fry. I must practice harder. Tryouts are Friday, and I have to be ready.”
by B. A. Savage have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes