Claw Back (Louis Kincaid)

BOOK: Claw Back (Louis Kincaid)
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PRAISE FOR THE BOOKS OF P.J. PARRISH

 

"Tense, thrilling...
you're
going to bite your nails!"

   —Lee Child,
New York Times
bestselling author

 

"The kind of book that grabs you and won't let go.
I absolutely loved it. Nobody is writing better private eye fiction anywhere than P.J. Parrish."

   —Steve Hamilton

 

"Powerful stuff...The quiet sa
d
ness that underpins it all really got to me, the way Ross Macdonald always does. Among my favorite Florida crime writers are Charles
Willeford
, John D. MacDonald and Ed
McBain
. I'll have to add P.J. Parrish."

   —Ed Gorman
, Mystery Scene
magazine

 

"A gripping and atmospheric novel that will remind many of Dennis
Lehane
.
The author's ability to raise goose bumps puts her in the front rank of thriller writers."

   —Publishers Weekly

 

"A wonderfully tense and atmospheric novel.
Keeps the reader guessing until the
end.
"

   —Miami Herald

 

"A standout thriller.
It is an intriguing and atmospheric story set largely on the grounds of an abandoned insane asylum, a haunting location that contains many dark and barbarous secrets. With fresh characters and plot,
an
suspense novel of the highest order."

   —Chicago Sun-Times

 

"Island of Bones opens like a hurricane and blows you away through the final page. It's a major league thriller that is hard to stop reading."

   —Robert Parker

 

"A complex, sophisticated mystery...a guaranteed can't put down book that absorbed me as much as The Girl
With
the Dragon Tattoo."

   —Triage RobertaGately.com

 

 

CONTENTS

 

PANTHERS ARE COOL

READ AN EXCERPT FROM HEART OF ICE

READ AN EXCERPT FROM DEAD OF WINTER

MEET P.J. PARRISH

BOOKS BY P.J. PARRISH

 

 

 

 

CLAW BACK

 

P.J. Parrish Copyright© Kelly Nichols and Kristy
Montee
aka P.J. Parrish

 

This book is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, places
and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the author or publisher.

 

Edition: 
January 2013

 

                       
                                                  
                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

To our sexy beasts

Pearl, Bailey, Phoebe and Lucy

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

He hadn’t been inside in a long time.

             
It was as dark as he remembered, and it smelled as bad.
O’Sullivan’s was a cop bar. Located a block from the Fort Myers police station, it had the
feel
of a married guy’s den. Stale smoky air, cigarette burns on the tables, rows of trophies, a floor of crushed peanut shells and a big-screen TV permanently tuned to ESPN.

             
Like all primitive habitats, it had a pecking order. City detectives had staked out the back of the bar; county detectives, out of legendary necessity, owned the tables by the men’s room so they could piss and moan more conveniently; the round tables in the middle belonged
to
the rank and file uniforms.

             
And in the back, by the juke box
,
sat Lance Mobley. Arms spread across
the
back of the booth, perched under a Happy Birthday
banner,
he looked like a king
o
n a red leather throne.

             
Louis Kinc
aid waited until his eyes adjusted
before he started back. He needed to see everything clearly right now because this wasn’t going to be easy.

             
When he stopped at the table, Mobley was talking over his shoulder to a pretty lady in a
blue
halter top. No one was sitting in the booth with the sheriff, but the table was littered with empty bottles, heaping ashtrays and crumpled wrapping paper. Louis scanned the gifts while he waited for Mobley to finish flirting. A bottle of Leopold’s Gin with a
card
that read:
Gin makes you sin.
Three cans of John Fr
ie
da hair
mousse duct
-
taped together.
A bundle of cigars.
And a twelve-pack of animal print condoms.

             
Louis
had
known Mobley a
few years now
. Knew he was a publicity hound,
a
n office iron-pumper, a ladies’ man
, a closeted lounge pianist
. B
ut probably most important,
he was
a competent sheriff who used his charm and good looks to mask his lack of good judgment and investigative
skills
.

             
Louis glanced around the bar.
H
alf the Lee County cops
-- and more than handful of city cops --
were here
. No matter what
Mobley w
as, his men liked him.
And that was important.

             
Mobley’s voice broke his thoughts. “Sit down, Kincaid.”

             
Louis slid into the booth. Mobley grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels and poured himself another shot.

             
“You want a drink?” Mobley asked.

             
“Sure.”

             
Mobley tried to signal the bartender,
and
when he was ignored he searched the cluttered table for an empty glass. He found a
used
shot glass beneath a crumple of gold paper and filled it for Louis.

             
Louis
let it sit in front of him.

             
“So what did you want to talk to me
about
that was so important you’re interrupting my birthday party?”

             

You
told me to meet you here,” Louis said. “You never said you’d be at a party.”

             
“Fuck it,” Mobley said. “Talk to me.”

             
Louis glanced down at the whiskey
and decided to drink it.
His throat was still burning when he spoke.

             
“I’m here to ask you for a job,” Louis said.

             
Mob
l
e
y’s
brow shot up and his eyes took a moment to focus. The bar was no
i
sier than hell but suddenly it seemed
as if
there was no one here but the two of them.

             
“I want back inside,” Louis said. “I want to wear a badge again.”

             
Mobley
continued to stare
at him,
but
as understanding sank in, his lips tip
ped
up in a small smile. 

             
“And I didn’t think
this day could get any better,” he
said.

             
Suddenly someone slapped Mobley
on the back of the head,
mumbled
something about the sheriff getting lucky tonight
and wandered away
. Mobley
p
aid him no attention, his gaze still on Louis.

             
“You’re too old,” Mobley said.

             
“I’m twenty-nine.”

             
“You look
thirty-five easy
.”

             

It’s s
easoning.”

             
“You’re too controversial, too
well known as a PI
,” Mobley said. “I don’t need any deputies who get their names in the papers.”

             
“You mean deputies who get their names in the papers
more than you do.”

             
“See, that
attitude is
exactly what I
’m talking about
,” Mobley said. “
You’ve been rogue too long.
You’ve
forgotten what
it’s
all about
, lost
respect
for things like
protocol and even fucking
rank
.”

             
Louis leaned over the table. “
List
en to me
,” he said. “I graduated pre-law from Michigan. I trained in one of the best police academies in the country and graduated third in my class. I
’ve been shot at, stabbed and nearly hanged and have worked with some of the best investigators in
this state and in Michigan
on half a dozen cold cases.
W
ith all due respect,
you have no idea what kind of cop I was or what
kind
I will be
.
Sir.”

             
Mobley’s dimmed expression never changed. For a few moments, the bar was a cacophony of noises -- clinking glasses, deep throated laughter and the pounding music of Guns and
Roses’s
“Welcome to the Jungle.”

             
“No,”
Mobley
said
, turning back to his drink
. “Go ask Chief Horton
for a job
. He
seems to like
you.”

BOOK: Claw Back (Louis Kincaid)
12.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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