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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He held his breath and checked under the bed. No one. No shooter, no second vic.

Ron came back out.

Marc led the way down the hall. A bathroom was nearly opposite the top of the stairs. He crossed to the far side of the door. Ron glanced in. On his second look, he could see more of the room by checking the mirror on the face of the medicine cabinet. Then he went in and confirmed that the space was empty. He mouthed the word, "Secure," and followed Marc farther along. The door to the last room on the floor was also open. Marc's turn. He glanced in and jerked his head back. He looked at Ron, which was not procedure. He took a breath. Whispered, "Woman on the floor. We got another one."


"How the fuck do I know? Looks like it anyway."

He risked a longer glance in, not looking at the woman so much but at the far corners, at the edge of the bed, searching for anything that might move. Not even a cat. A farmhouse, and not even a cat. He went in weapon raised and checked behind the door, in the open closet, over the far side of the bed. He signaled Ron to check under the bed. Ron wanted to puke. He'd been looking at the woman. On his knees, he lifted up the bed ruffle and checked that space. A few small storage items, but no killer.

Ron rose, relieved that his head hadn't been blown off. Marc entered the room first but left him the scariest task. Now they both looked at the woman. A dismal view, more so because she was naked. The indignity. Legs akimbo. Blood smudged. Marc had seen dead people on the job mangled in their cars. Gruesome enough. He went closer. He touched her. He was not supposed to do that. "Fuck," he said, but in a way that sounded amazed. "Still breathing."

"Really? No way." So much blood, from her head wound and also her hand. Blood from the hand had splashed around.

"Call it in."

Ron did so. He reported that one victim was alive and requested an ambulance. He was told that one was on the way, that it had been on the way for a while, just in case.

In case of what? he wondered.

Then an impression gnawing at him struck home. "Marc," he said.


"There's no gun. No weapon."

They looked around. If this was a suicide then she shot herself through the back of the head without a weapon. The dead man downstairs had his hands tied behind his back. He didn't do it. And no footprints left the house.

Under his breath, Marc said aloud what Ron already knew. "Still here."

Yet they'd searched everywhere.

They stuck close to each other near the door, their backs against the wall for additional protection, listening.

"Wait for backup?" Ron suggested. He was afraid he might piss himself. He felt that he was all right overall, he could handle this, but he might piss himself.

"Yeah. We wait for backup." Marc didn't know what else to do. He looked at the woman. He was pretty sure that the man downstairs had a finger cut off. That was certainly true for the woman.

Marc glanced out to the hallway, just to check there. When reinforcements arrived he wouldn't let them see him like this, cowering. He'd tell them that they stayed in the room to protect the woman and because waiting for backup was fucking procedure. Fuck this shit. He wanted to be a detective, he joined to become a detective, not some uniform risking his life in some godforsaken farmhouse in what was not only the middle of nowhere but the worthless center of the middle of nowhere in the freezing fucking cold. But shit it was exciting, too. A double murder! Unless the woman makes it, but still, a double shooting on his watch and the killer might still be around if he hadn't left by helicopter or by Santa's bright red sleigh.

Marc glanced out the door again to make sure that no one was creeping up on them. He didn't see a thing and drew a deeper breath to release his tension and before he got to fully exhale he dropped to the floor, landing awkwardly, and toppled over. Ron saw him fall and the shock of the blast turned his blood to glue. He didn't think don't hesitate, although he wanted to think that way, but he couldn't think anything and yet he hardly hesitated at all and bent his arm around the doorjamb with his pistol ready to fire and his hand shaking and his heart bursting out the top of his head and his eyeballs out his skull and yet he had no one to shoot at. He only had walls in his line of sight and the shooter, he figured, must be behind the wall at the top of the stairs and he aimed at the spot waiting for the shooter to show himself and yet he never did and he yelled into his collar transmitter, breathless, "Officer down! Officer down!" because he couldn't remember the code, he'd never needed to remember that code, then he yelled like a crazy man, "Police! Come out—" and although no one was there he never discerned that fact as he heard a sound, a small sound, like a shuffling, and then his brain imploded and he fell upon his partner, and as he bled his blood commingled with his partner's. Nor was he aware that all there was before him now and under him and around him was that silence, that perfect stillness which he experienced initially as an unfathomable dread, but now became the perfect silence of a swift death.

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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