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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  • Published:
    May 2015, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
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Marc returned to the doorway. Tall. An angular face. If he was an actor, he'd more likely be cast as an academic, or as an accountant, than as a cop. He'd never find work as an actor trying to play a cop. "Clear," he whispered.

"Do we announce?" Ron asked. The more powerful of the two, a solidness was reflected in his squared-off cheekbones and chin. "We should announce."

Marc didn't like to be corrected by a protégé. "Okay. Whatever. Whoever's here already knows we're here." To maintain his status, he said, "You announce."

Scared, Ron shouted out, "Police! Sûreté du Québec! This is the police! Identify yourself!" In French only. He repeated, "Police!" which worked in either language.

That silence.

"Happy now?" Marc asked him. Ron considered it an unwarranted comment and didn't forgive his partner's sarcasm. He felt that he didn't really like this guy anymore but that was no big concern. They were bound together. In fear, and, as it happened, in mutual trust.

Next was a sewing room, which doubled perhaps as a guest bedroom. Ron slipped in, his heart thumping through his brains. He came back out and muttered, "Clear." The word caught in his throat. He hoped his high anxiety wasn't showing.

But it was okay. Marc looked frightened, too. Fear, Ron reminded himself, was never the point. What counts is not how scared you are or how brave you claim to be or even how calm you are. All that matters is what you do.

More small rooms. Definitely, a woman lived there with a man. The furnace came on again, giving them a start. With the front door smashed, the inrush of cold air was causing it to frequently cycle on. They glanced at one another. The furnace. So there's a basement. Of course. And an upstairs. They were caught between the two. The door down was in the kitchen. Marc made the decision and Ron went down the stairs partway and swept his eyes around. Washing machine and dryer. A work bench. A radial-arm saw. Tools. Various ladders. Farm and garden implements, shovels, rakes, and a pitchfork. The furnace. The oil tank. A hot-water heater. Storage boxes on a rack. Kitty litter. Everything was up off the floor as if the space flooded on occasion. A sump pump. A tidy basement. But no one with a gun, and no dead people with their blood on the floor. No hiding places. He went back up.

They checked more small rooms.

A powder room. A TV room. A large hall closet. What looked like a music room. Now that was a luxury.

Time to go upstairs.

On the balls of their feet they moved slowly, but the old wood underfoot announced their trespass. Creaking.

A heating pipe banged and Ron shouted back, "Police! SQ! Identify yourself!"

"Shut up, for Christ's sake," hissed Marc.

Ron really didn't like the guy. Why did he ever tell his girlfriend that his partner was okay, a tad full of himself maybe? He was a whole lot more than full of himself. He let him go first. He'd rather not take a bullet for him if he could help it.

"Fucking procedure," attested Ron, mumbling really. "You got to identify yourself before you go shooting anybody. That's so basic."

Marc decided that he might as well bellow, too. "Missus? Are you here? Lady?"

Furnace thrum, a clanging radiator, and under all that a gawking silence.

They made it to the top of the stairs and their legs and breathing felt as though they'd just climbed Everest. Marc signaled his partner to check the room on their left. Ron preferred not to do so but he was given no choice. The door stood open. He flashed his head in the doorway, pulled it back instantly, then processed what he saw in that moment. Nothing. He looked in again and held his gaze. He entered as he'd been taught to do, weight and pistol forward. Recruits were taught to do it that way. If shot, the officer falls forward, which might allow him to get off a few rounds of his own. Maybe save his life that way, at least in theory. Yeah, right. Ron figured it really meant that he'd hit the floor face-first. Bust his nose. Mess up his corpse for the coffin. No one in the room, no one in the closet, no sign of any disturbance. The ceilings were low and the slope of the roofline evident. The room occupied half the upper floor, a bedroom, yet without the look of a master suite. It appeared to be infrequently used. Pillowcases did not adorn the pillows.

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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