Early preview of “In The Crosshairs”

Greetings, friends. A few days ago I finished the sixth draft of In The Crosshairs and thought this might be a good time to give you a sneak peek at the new book. I don’t have a target date for publication as there’s still a lot of work to be done, including a likely seventh draft, but I thought you might like a sneak preview.

Below is Chapter One, which is the event that sets the story in motion. Readers of my last novel, The Servant, might remember this character. Enjoy!

 

 

ONE

Cory Bradford shivered in the back seat of the sheriff’s squad car. He wanted to rub his arms to warm up but the handcuffs prevented that. The hard plastic bench seat was cold, piercing the thin orange jail jumpsuit he wore. He looked at the deputies up front. Not only were they dressed for the weather but their part of the vehicle had heat. Bradford was separated from them by a plexiglass barrier reinforced with steel mesh.

Big wet snowflakes splattered against the window to his left. It was the first day of February and the brutal winter showed no sign of easing anytime soon. As cold and as miserable as Bradford was he was still glad to be out of Isolation, if only for a couple of hours. He hadn’t seen the sky in a month. Sunshine would have been nice but even cloud cover was preferable to the drab, and windowless, jail cell he’d been living in.

Bradford knew better than to complain about the conditions. The alternative was going to general population and for the recently-fired police officer that was definitely not an option. The thought of going in there terrified him and with good reason. The jail was a rough place for regular offenders. A cop would be persona non grata and subject to a variety of torments. Being murdered was well within the realm of possibilities.

He’d always heard that jailed cops were treated well at County. If true, he seemed to be the exception. It was not hard to figure out why. He was charged not only with taking bribes from a pimp, but from a pimp who ran underage prostitutes. Some of the girls involved were as young as fourteen. That made Bradford the lowest of the low. Murder, attempted murder charges and kidnapping did little to improve his situation.

Bradford was fighting the charges, which was why he was being taken to the courthouse, but deep down he knew it would do no good. The reason: he was guilty. The county prosecutor was making noise about the death penalty and despite the assurances of his lawyer Bradford knew there was a very real chance he would earn a date with a needle.

The car stopped for a light at 14th and Grisgby and Bradford experienced a chill that had little to do with the cold. To his right was J.J.’s Cafe, a favorite of a lot of cops in this town. He’d eaten there so often it was like a second home. He saw blue PMPD uniforms mixed with county brown and state police khaki. He could imagine the smell of the bacon and the thought made him hungry.

The hunger was the last thing Cory Bradford ever felt. A high-caliber bullet pierced the door window and blew his head apart; splattering the back of the squad car with blood, bone, and bits of his brain.

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