A Reasonable Suspect by Ian Patterson
English | 2020 | Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 3.0 MB
A young girl is dead, murdered and tossed like so much rubbish into a dumpster in a grimy back alley.
When a thirteen-year-old girl is found murdered in an alley behind an adult video store, small-town Sheriff Ed Dojcsak expects it to be an open and shut case. After all, in a town of less than ten thousand off-season residents how many child killers could there possibly be?
But while the possibilities are limited, the list of reasonable suspects is not. Children are natural born victims, the canvas upon which big people are capable and only too willing to project their anger, frustration, humiliation, and fear. And the town of Broadmoor Falls has a bleak history of humiliation, murder, and fear. And while long-time residents may hope to forget a past from which no good future has ever come, they are fated to repeat it. Like the irreversible flow of the Hudson River passing downstream and inexorably over the Broadmoor Falls dam. But to alter the future, Ed Dojcsak must revisit and confront a dark past to which he, himself, feels only remotely connected. To protect the lives of the innocent, is Dojcsak willing to risk destroying the lives of the many, including his own?
Dojcsak lamented the weather, regretting his decision to delay filling a renewed eyeglass prescription. It was a short drive to the body but fog, the rain and dark would conspire with his neglect to obliterate the florescent yellow markings on the roadway and upcoming curves he would encounter on his way there. Dojcsak threw a final unflattering glance over his shoulder at his sleeping wife before leaving the bedroom.
He moved across the hallway to the second-floor room where his youngest daughter made her bed. Dojcsak placed his ear to the door. He paused, idly fingering the St. Jude Medallion dangling among the tangled hair on his naked chest, a keepsake given to him by his father. When asked, why the Patron Saint of Lost Causes, Frank Dojcsak would say, “Suits the boy’s character”.
Dojcsak listened for the peculiar and shallow gurgle of his daughter’s tortured breath, a sound like thick boiling liquid bubbling from the bottom of a pot to top. Luba’s disabled lungs labored unsuccessfully, trying in vain to achieve what in most is taken for granted. She had battled this demon too long and if her body didn’t submit, Dojcsak was convinced her spirit soon would, the daughter he considered favorite eventually unable to endure the unendurable and muster sufficient will to live. Surviving her fifteenth birthday she’d already defeated the best odds, the doctor said, as if that meaningless triumph should somehow soften the impact of her inevitable death.
In the bathroom, Dojcsak closed the door, passed wind, and relieved himself. His toes, if little else, were visible beyond the edge if his hairy belly. For a moment, he pondered the source of his passing water. I’m aging, Dojcsak conceded, in ways I hadn’t anticipated. Not so much physically, he thought, moving to study his face in the mirror, and not so it was yet obvious. But he couldn’t deny the degradation of his own anatomy, this prelude to obsolescence. He’d always assumed it would come quickly, that one day he’d simply wake to find himself old. Instead, it began gradually, an unseen infection contaminating his youth.
On his most recent visit, Dojcsak’s family physician had remarked, “Weight is up, blood pressure up, pulse rate up, blood-sugar level is up. Fine if you’re the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Ed. If you were a stock, I’d sell you short; you can’t possibly maintain these elevated levels. What are you doing to yourself?”
Doctor Henry Bauer spoke in a staccato fashion that appealed to his sense for driving hard to the point. He treated the Dojcsak family, had done so since the children were born, and was the man responsible for setting the best odds on when Luba Dojcsak might inevitably die.