Excerpt from The Storm Murders by John Farrow, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Storm Murders

The Storm Murders Trilogy (Volume 1)

by John Farrow

The Storm Murders by John Farrow X
The Storm Murders by John Farrow
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    May 2015, 320 pages

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"Yeah," the senior officer concurred, and tacked on a grunt.

They slammed their doors simultaneously, a joint kahjunk! that wandered across the waves of snow and echoed in the distance against a stand of hardwood. The two men glanced around, but really there wasn't much to see. The yard and the small barn's exterior of bare wood appeared well-kempt. A farm without animals in winter. No place at all. Not a place where anything ever happened.

Except, they'd received a call.

The youngest took three steps toward the house.

"Where're you going?" his partner demanded, coming around the car.

"Where do you think? To the house. I'm trying to not hesitate."

Fifteen feet from the first stair the senior officer pressed his hand briefly against his partner's near elbow, stopping him. "Ron," he cautioned.

"What?"

"Look first."

"At what?"

"The snow."

Swirls lay undisturbed up the stairs and across the windblown porch.

No one had come out that day. No one had gone in.

"Remember that for your report. Ours are the only footprints visible."

"You're planning to make detective?" Ron chided him.

"It's in the cards, kid. Why not? Bound to happen someday."

"Kid." The younger man repeated that one word as a scoff.

"What?"

"I don't think you're old enough to call me kid."

Up the steps, the more junior officer rapped on the door.

No buzzer. No doorknocker.

They waited.

"So you believe in fate, crap like that?" needled the rookie.

"Don't talk your shit to me, Ron."

"It's in the cards, you said. The cards. That means fate."

No answer from inside. Ron the rookie knocked again. That pervasive silence.

"Figures," the veteran officer decided. He crossed the porch to look in the window and put both hands on the glass to shield his eyes from the sunlight's glare. Then he took his sunglasses off and tried again. Still difficult to see inside, to go from brightness into what's dim. He stood there, awhile, searching.

"What do you see?"

"Fuck's sake," the senior cop said quietly, with some urgency. He unsnapped his holster cover and withdrew his pistol. "Call it in."

"And say what?" Ron tapped the transmitter on his collar that relayed through the car's two-way radio and requested a reply.

"We're entering. Let them know. Possible medical. Ask them to stand by."

Ron called it in, unbuckled his holster, and slipped his own weapon into his palm. He adjusted the unfamiliar weight in his hand.

For now, the steel felt warmer than the air. Strange, that.

The door was locked. A dead bolt. Smart, out here alone, and yet unusual for a farmhouse. Most folks never bothered. The older of the two raised his right boot and kicked the door hard. Then again. Nothing much happened. He'd never kicked down a door before. He began ramming it with his body, putting his shoulder into the task until the old wood started to splinter. Then another big kick.

They stumbled inside, weapons raised.

"This way."

The two officers crept into the living room. Ron removed his sunglasses, wishing he was privy to whatever his partner had seen, so he'd have a clue what to expect. He never imagined that in his first year on the job, in only his third month with this detachment, merely his second career posting, he'd be stepping around a hefty dog-eared brown sofa to view a man lying dead on a farmhouse floor. Relatively fresh-looking blood pooled out from the hefty man's skull. He lay faceup staring at the ceiling, his mouth and eyelids agape. Even as his partner crept closer to the man and knelt down Ron knew that he was dead.

Had to be. All that blood. That vacant stare.

Excerpted from The Storm Murders by John Farrow. Copyright © 2015 by John Farrow. Excerpted by permission of Minotaur Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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