Sunday, October 12, 2014

Madison Knight is Missing #SampleSunday

Excerpt from JUST CAUSE (A Madison Knight Novel), Chapter TWO

She must have bailed on him again. She seemed to have an aversion to paperwork and had crafted her avoidance of it down to a fine art.

“See Madison yet today?” Terry asked Ranson at the front desk.

Ranson shook her head. “I haven’t. You check with the sarge? Maybe she called in sick.”

Terry laughed. The thought of calling in over the stomach flu wouldn’t even occur to Madison. She’d come in and puke in the garbage can before she’d succumb to a bug. Besides, he believed most infections and bacteria were afraid of her.

He pulled out his phone and dialed her cell. It rang several times before putting him to voice mail. “Where are you? I’m not doing all the reports.” He hung up, but had a hard time dismissing the feeling in his gut. Something was wrong. When she had ditched him in the past, she was upfront about it.

He tried her again and this time it rang straight to voice mail. He dialed her house and got her machine. He was left with one person—Cynthia. She was head of the crime lab and friends with Madison. She answered on the third ring.

“Have you heard from Maddy?” he asked.

“No, should I have?”

“She hasn’t come in. It’s not unlike her to be late, but not this late. Add to that, I can’t—”

“You can’t reach her?”

He hated it when people finished his sentences for him. Madison did it periodically, and his wife, but outside of those two women, it really wasn’t acceptable.

“Like you said, she can be late. Maybe she just slept in. She’s done that before.”

Maybe he was being paranoid, but the fact he couldn’t reach her nagged at him.

Then, as if Cynthia could read his mind, she said, “She’s a tough girl. She can take care of herself.”

“I just have a feeling something isn’t right.”

“She’s rubbing off on you.”

He detected Cynthia’s smile over the phone. “Not sure if it’s for the better.”

“Maddy? Definitely.”

“No answer on her cell or at her home.”

“All right, that is weird.”

“What’s she up to?” The tone in Cynthia’s voice had tipped him off, causing him to ask the question. She was withholding something due to her friendship with Madison. “Is she digging into that cold case of hers again?”

Chills went through him as his thoughts turned dark. Had Madison’s vendetta with the Russian Mafia gone too far? The hairs rose on the back of his neck. “Tell me everything you know.”

“Do you think she’s okay? Now, you’re getting me worked up, and I’m typically a balanced individual.”

“Cynthia, I need you to focus. What was the most recent thing she had you look into?”

“Well, it was a bit ago now. Months even. But she had a…”

“Had a what?”

“If you would have let me finish.” Irritation laced each of her words. “She had an envelope she wanted run against the piece found in the attorney’s driveway.”

“All right, I remember her mentioning it, but she’s nuts. She’s after them because of a stationary match?”

“I don’t know for sure, but that part doesn’t matter. We’ve got to find her—but what makes you think they’re the reason she’s not in?”

“I’ve gotta go.” Terry hung up and made a few phone calls. He checked in with the kennel that took care of Hershey during the day. They said she didn’t come in last night to pick him up and never called.

He stormed into the sergeant’s office. “Madison’s missing.”

Winston pried his attention from his paperwork as if it were more riveting than his detective’s latest drama. “Missing?”

“I believe so, yes. She’s not answering her phone, either her mobile or home number. Her dog was left at the kennel overnight without her so much as making a call to them to explain.”

Winston watched him intently. “That’s not like her.”

“No, it’s not. She lives for this job. If she’s not here, it’s because she can’t be. I’ve got a bad feeling.”

“Go by her apartment. I’ll get out an APB on her car.”

JUST CAUSE is available for pre-order from AmazonBarnes & NobleApple, and Kobo. Its official release date is October 16, 2014.

Send to Kindle