A Desperate Place by Jennifer Greer (McKenna and Riggs Book 1)
English | 2020| Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 3.8 MB
Three separate homicides. Three unrelated victims. One grisly secret.
When the body of famous actress Niki Francis is unearthed from its shallow grave, the small town of Medford, Oregon is alarmed, but not shook. After all, there should be plenty of motives and suspects—Niki had fame, wealth, looks. The kill was targeted, premeditated, and it’s about her celebrity. Or so they thought.
Whit McKenna is licking her wounds, working as a reporter for the local Medford rag. Fresh from a harrowing assignment for her previous post at the L. A. Times which cost her her husband, Whit must pull herself together for the sake of her two daughters. The wound has hardly begun to scab when she’s called to cover the murder, so she teams up with her best friend, medical examiner Katie Riggs. Then two more victims turn up, completely disconnected from one another, and McKenna loses all hope of a breakthrough. Rather than clarity, the possible suspects and motives become scrambled. But time is running out, and each front page article McKenna writes brings her closer to a killer who will stop at nothing to realize a deadly vision.
“Ha-ha!” Stu slurped maddeningly on a straw, reminding Whit of her parched throat. “I said it came across as a bear mauling. But I don’t know. Fifteen minutes later it sounded like dispatch had upgraded the call to a possible homicide.”
“Yeah. Anyway, after I heard ‘homicide’ on the radio, the cops got sneaky and switched to cell phones.”
“Yeah. Classic, huh? But as usual I outsmarted them. I called my forest ranger buddy. He confirmed. Now we have a possible homicide. I need somebody to go check it out. That’s you. If it pans out and we have a homicide, I’ll toss the fire story over to the new intern, George.”
“Any stats?” She turned and noted the crowd that lined the road, kids on bikes mostly, a few neighbors and a young woman wrapped in a beach towel, hair dripping. An ice cream truck, its carnival music playing from a loudspeaker, cruised to a stop not far away. Drive-by rubberneckers paused for a better view. They were all potential quotes. And ones she’d need to move on before the wolves descended.
Too late. Two news crews arrived just then, parking half a block away. A blazing house fire was always great footage for television news.
Stu was shouting into the phone. “What’s that annoying racket?”
“An ice cream truck. Hold on, I’ll move.” She sprinted away from all the noise, pausing under a shade tree near a lawn gnome. The gnome was sitting on a toilet reading a book, half hidden in the ivy. Tacky. “Go ahead, Stu.”
“The woman’s body was found up by Gin Lin Trail. I already sent Bryan out for photos. So far all I have is … Caucasian, female, no age yet.”
With more than a little trepidation, she asked, “How far into the woods?”
“The trail starts right off the road there. Don’t worry, you’ll find it easy enough. The place is probably crawling with cops by now.”
Her stomach shrank into a hard knot at the thought. “Ah …”
If she didn’t jump on this lead, he’d just toss the treasured front-page homicide to another reporter. She was hardly in a position to pick and choose her stories. Damaged goods.
“Give me another thirty minutes here, and I’ll finish by phone later.” She glanced at her watch; it was nearly four thirty PM on a Friday. With any luck, Stu would be the first to figure out the body in the woods was a homicide. Getting a jump on the other reporters was half the battle, but she’d be faced with five o’clock traffic.