Thicker than Blood by Mike Omer (Zoe Bentley Mystery #3)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.0 MB
Known by his pen-name of Mike Omer, the American author Alex Rivers is highly regarded for his unique and fun fantasy novels, and now crime novels. Previously writing for a Young Adult audience, he has written alongside other authors, including the writing team C.N. Crawford, the husband and wife writing partnership.
A murderer who drinks his victim’s blood? FBI profiler Zoe Bentley and Agent Tatum Gray thought they’d seen it all, but this young woman’s barbaric murder is especially hard to stomach.
They didn’t expect to work this case. But vampirism aside, the murderer’s MO is identical to that of Rod Glover—the serial killer who’s been pursuing Zoe since childhood. Forensics reveals the murder to be his work, but not his alone; desperate to fulfill his sick purpose, he has taken on an equally depraved partner.
Zoe’s own frustration grows after another woman turns up dead and drained—and another goes missing. Time is running out: Zoe knows her own death will be the climax of Glover’s sinister play, which has been unfolding for twenty years. To stop Glover and his vile partner, she’ll need to plunge deep into their motives; but this means drawing ever closer to becoming another casualty of a dark, dark thirst.
But there was a moment of disconnect between her brain and her body. As if in slow motion, she turned the dead bolt knob, unlocking the door.
It shoved open, slamming into her face, a sudden blinding pain. She fell back to the floor, the entire right side of her face throbbing, her vision foggy. Tears sprang into her eyes, finally finding their way out. She tried to scream, to speak.
A hand clamped on her face, blocking her nose and mouth. She couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t make a sound. She struggled, and he hit her.
The world went blissfully dark.
Her eyelids fluttered open. Her mouth felt strange, woolly, and it took her a moment to realize something was stuffed in it. She lifted her hand to pull it out.
The command froze her.
“I need that there. I can’t have you screaming.”
Her eyes focused on the familiar face, and she blinked, beseeching him mutely to let her go.
“This will only take a few moments,” he said, sounding almost apologetic. He held something. A needle.
He pulled her right hand toward him and raised the needle, about to stick her. She let out a muffled scream, tried to pull her hand away. She was weak, and his grip was strong enough to hurt, but the sudden jerk surprised him, and he missed his mark. She gasped as the needle plunged into her arm.
“Look what you made me do!” he snarled, angry, and she saw that gleam in his eyes again. His grip tightened on her wrist, hurting her, and he stuck the needle again. She tried to claw at his face with her other hand, and he slapped her.
“I can’t hit your vein like that,” he muttered. The needle went in again. He shook his head and mumbled to himself, frustrated.
She wrenched her hand away, a blinding pain flaring through her arm as the needle twisted. Blood seeped from the ragged hole in her arm. She felt dizzy, thought she was about to faint.
“Damn it!” He tossed the needle away in fury, and it clattered in the corner of the room. He looked at her, gritting his teeth in anger. Then he glanced down at her bleeding arm. His eyes widened. His throat constricted as he swallowed.
He lowered his head to her arm and, to her revulsion, licked the blood. The rough feeling of his tongue on her skin made her squirm in disgust and horror. She tried to pull away, but he held her arm tight, making a strange sound. A snarl.
His lips tightened on her skin, and he began to slurp. She stared mutely as he sucked blood from her torn skin. He finally pulled back, a trickle of blood running down his chin.
“I had to.” His face twisted in shame. “I’m sorry.”
The world faded again.
When she came back to her senses, he was gone. A strange keening noise echoed somewhere nearby. Crying? Yes. It was him. He was still in her home, and he was crying.