My Newest novel is now available on Amazon, the kindle edition. Paperback will be out in a few days.
John D "Jack" Hudson is back! Once more he's getting in over his head and this time it's blackmail...his blackmail. A deputy sheriff in Cassavora County has been running drugs and now is turning state's evidence. Someone wants the deputy killed before he testifies. Jack is supposed to do the job, but Jack is no killer. Now he's in a race to sort out friends from enemies, figure out who's behind the game and keep himself alive. Meanwhile, his old girlfriend's ex-husband turns up dead in Jack's house. Another girlfriend has second thoughts about losing him. As with the previous novel, Lowdown. Dirty. Shame., it's set in the quirky, small town south, with a cast of oddball characters. And, nothing is as it seems.
Amazon. Maybe Murder by William Stroud
The End of the line
I park my white Honda on the other side of the street, get out, and stand in the shadows, waiting for the show to begin. Tall pines rise up behind me, but it’s a thin copse, with houses and businesses clearly seen past the roughly barked trunks. My Glock is in my shoulder holster and the other, untraceable pistol rests in the outside pocket of my dark leather jacket. I’m as nervous as a tethered goat facing a pride of lions.
A cream and brown patrol car pulls up in front of the house and drives onto the thin, weedy lawn. No sirens or flashing lights, and no hesitation. Car doors slam. Everything seems to be going according to somebody’s plan. I don’t know whose. I’ve heard so many different versions. Nobody shoos me away or tells me to get back in my car and move on. Nobody even looks my way. That part of the plan is on track.
Darkly smudged, foreboding clouds drift over, temporarily hiding the sun and casting somber shadows. I tell myself to stay calm. Myself doesn’t listen well. My heart’s pounding like an epileptic snare drummer. I’d like a cool sip of water and there are any number of places I’d rather drink it and any number of people I’d rather be with.
The former Chief Deputy of Cassavora County, now the star witness in a grand jury investigation, steps out of the backseat of the patrol car and is escorted to the house by both of the deputies. The escorts wear matching dark brown khaki trousers and crisp, light brown shirts with patches on the sleeves. They’re bare headed. Their thick, black belts are shiny leather, with the butts of their pistols and radios clearly visible. The former chief deputy stands straight, has on civilian clothes and walks with confidence.
Elton Krebs, the former Chief Deputy is the only one I recognize. The rest could be from anywhere. In this state, sheriff’s deputies look like sheriff’s deputies. They don’t have Krebs handcuffed. He walks like he’s in charge, instead of a jail inmate, facing charges, and waiting to testify.
An unmarked car pulls up and a man and a woman in civilian clothes get out and walk toward the group of three who are just about to enter the house.
I know these two. The woman turns and motions for me to hurry up. I hesitate, then start to walk. I get only a few feet when the crack of what sounds like a pistol comes from inside the house. Krebs and the two escorts drop to a knee. The deputies draw their guns and aim them nowhere in particular.
Instinctively, I drop down also, but don’t pull a weapon. Nobody seems to know exactly what’s going on. Clearly the plan is soggy and already swirling down the toilet.
I glance over where the woman and her partner have taken refuge behind their car.
Something just isn’t right. Hasn’t been right from the beginning. This is not the way it’s supposed to happen.