Read Justice Served: A Barkley and Parker Thriller Online
Authors: R. Barri Flowers
Tags: #thriller, #mystery, #police procedural, #serial killer, #vigilante, #domestic violence, #legal thriller, #female killer, #female offender, #batterer, #vigilante killer
By R. Barri Flowers
Copyright 2005 by R. Barri Flowers at
Smashwords. All rights reserved.
Cover Image Copyright 2011 by Lewis
Justice Served is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the
author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to
actual events, locales, business establishments, or persons, living
or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal
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ALSO BY R. BARRI FLOWERS
State's Evidence (A Beverly Mendoza Legal
Persuasive Evidence (A Jordan La Fontaine
Dead in the Rose City (A Dean Drake
Murder in Maui (A Leila Kahana Mystery)
Dark Streets of Whitechapel (A Jack the
Killer in the Woods (A Psychological
Ghost Girl in Shadow Bay (A Young Adult
Haunted House Mystery)
Danger in Time (A Young Adult Time Travel
Christmas Wishes: Laura's Story (A Teen
The Sex Slave Murders
Gone But Never Forgotten
The Jury Has Spoken
RAVE REVIEWS OF JUSTICE SERVED
“A clever mystery with many suspects....
Vividly written, this book holds the reader’s attention and speeds
“An A+ suspense/mystery with a touch of
heartfelt romance.... Is not just simply compelling, it also
activates reader’s consciousness.... Powerful legal suspense is
“This author weaves a magical web, as well
as, a tangled one [and] wraps up the mystery thriller
beautifully.... Will be recommending this title to many!” —
Huntress’ Book Reviews
“Justice Served is a model of crime
fiction.... Flowers may be a new voice in modern mystery writing,
but he is already one of its best voices.” —
“The magic behind R. Barri Flowers’ terrific
suspense thriller is that the serial killer is in plain sight as
the clues are laid out for the audience to determine.... Fans of
police procedural serial killer thrillers will want to read this
fine tale while anxiously waiting to follow the next
“R. Barri Flowers has
created a superb mystery.... There’s just enough romance and
romantic triangles to keep the interest going. It’s a great book
that any mystery lover will adore.” —
“This novel has lots of
twists and turns and is a very fast read with believable characters
and a very tense setting.”
— Midwest Book
In memory of my dad—Johnnie Henry Flowers,
Sr.— who gave me the tools to build my own success in life.
And to my mother, Marjah Aljean Flowers,
whose love and support has made all the difference in the
Lastly, to my dear wife, H. Loraine, to whom
I owe everything as a husband and writer. Thank you for being there
through thick and thin.
* * *
She hid under the bed, carefully controlling
her breathing. She didn’t move, not even a twitch. Her pink dress
was dirty from the pine hardwood floor and her pink shoes were
scuffed. The curls of her raven hair billowed around her head like
a halo. She could see their shoes, moving around as if dancing to a
tender love song.
Only she knew it was no dance.
And it was no love song.
She heard the sound of his fist as it smashed
against her mama’s cheek. Her mama immediately crumpled to the
floor like a rag doll, dazed and moaning. Blood spilled from a
corner of her swollen mouth like a red stream.
Her mama’s face ballooned, her cheek
shattered from the blow. One eye was swollen shut, protruding like
a golf ball. With her good eye, mother and daughter made eye
contact in a moment of sorrow and sheer terror.
She wanted to help her mama and save her from
him. But she knew that she would be no match for his brute strength
and drunken rage. In that moment of mental connection, her mama
told her to remain still as the night so that she too would not
face the fists and battering he had inflicted upon her.
With all of her willpower she closed her eyes
tightly; her instincts telling her nothing would ever be the same
again. Not that she ever wanted things to be.
Not this way.
Not with him.
When her eyes opened, her mama was no longer
on the floor. She had been dragged to her feet and thrown onto the
bed like a sack of soiled clothes.
“Bitch!” She heard him roar like a lion,
hovering over her mama as if her shadow.
Then he hit her again. The blow must have
been tremendous, for her mama’s dentures went flying across the
floor like a bird, landing harmlessly beneath a chair in the
corner. She was pounded several more times. Her mama’s blood
curdling screams had turned to faint whimpers.
Then the bed suddenly sank to the point where
she thought she might be crushed or cut by the jagged springs
nearly touching her. It was all she could do not to make a sound,
though inside she was crying as loudly as she could muster.
He had gotten on the bed with her mother.
“This ain’t over, bitch,” he spat. “Not by a
She listened as she heard him unbuckle his
“I’ll show you to smart mouth me. When I’m
done with you, you’ll know who’s boss, and who ain’t nothin’ but a
damned ugly assed whore!”
She could hear some rustling noises, heavy
breathing, and groans—the last coming from him by the wicked
deepness of it. She couldn’t bear to think of what he was doing to
her mama. But she knew it was something awful. Something that would
make her curse him even more than she already did.
When he was finished, she heard him roll
over. Moments later he was snoring like a bear, the sound coming
from deep within his throat, punctuated by labored breathing. She
could hear no sounds from her mama, but suspected she was too
afraid to even breathe—afraid he would wake up and continue hurting
She was also afraid. After waiting there
paralyzed with fear for what seemed like an eternity, she nudged
her way beneath the springs till she was out from under the bed.
Her pink dress was covered with dust and blood from where her mama
She stood up, intent on taking her mama away
from him forever. But it took only one look at her to know this
would never be. Her face was almost unrecognizable—horribly
discolored and at least twice the size as normal. Her clothes had
been ripped apart, exposing a frail thin body, marred with marks
and bruises both fresh and from other beatings he’d inflicted upon
her. Her legs were spread wide, blood oozing from between them,
seeping onto the sheet like red dye.
Her mama’s eyes were wide open, as if held
that way by toothpicks. Whatever life was in them had vanished
Beside her, he lay naked in a drunken sleep,
his breathing erratic and uncertain.
She felt the hatred in her build like steam
in an engine. This was softened only by the love for her mama and
hardened again by her feelings of helplessness and guilt.
She climbed atop her mother’s battered,
broken, and bloodied body and lay there with her thumb in her mouth
like it contained magical properties. It was as if she would be
rocked to sleep and would wake up and find that everything was all
Deep down she knew that would never be the
case. He had seen to that.
She began to hum a song she made up on the
spot, somehow soothing her, no longer caring if he woke and hurt
her as he had her mama.
After all, she could feel no greater pain,
bleak darkness, or emptiness than she felt at the moment.
Judge Carole Cranston sat on the bench and
banged her gavel. The courtroom immediately came to order on this
late July afternoon. She was a no-nonsense judge who only wanted to
expedite things as quickly as possible from trial to trial,
preferring to be in the comfort of her condo overlooking the
Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. It was especially nice at
this time of year when the summer breeze came in and the sun
bounced off the water as if too hot to remain in one place. She was
reminded of trips to the Bahamas where she had fallen in love with
Grand Bahama Island in particular. She could imagine herself maybe
one day retiring to the Bahamas, Jamaica, or even Hawaii, and drink
in its beauty and perennial sunshine each day for the rest of her
Carole returned to the present, realizing
that at thirty-five years of age and three months, she was hardly
able to begin thinking about retirement just yet.
Not when she had a job to do—no matter how maddening and
disillusioning at times—and people who depended on her to dispense
justice to the best of her ability.
She turned her espresso eyes on the
prosecutor. His name was Julian Frommer. He was in his early
thirties, but looked about twenty-one with dirty blonde hair a bit
too long, and a small goatee that looked almost taped under his
chin. His wool navy suit was ill fitted on a tall, lanky frame.
“Are you ready?” she asked him routinely.
“Always, Your Honor.” He pasted a flirtatious
smile on his lips.
But Carole had not even noticed as she turned
her attention to the defense. George McArdle, fortyish,
African-American, and built like a house, was already on his feet
and showing off a three-piece tailored gray suit. His closely
cropped dark hair had a slightly crooked part off to the side. He
acknowledged her with a twinkle in his eyes.
“The defense is ready to present its case,
She nodded and looked at the defendant.
Roberto Martinez—a thirty-six-year-old, muscular, Hispanic
construction worker—had been charged with beating his live-in lover
half to death. The medical report said that she had sustained
multiple fractures, including a shattered nose, broken jaw, broken
arm, and broken leg. But she would live. And so would the
Martinez grinned crookedly, as if to say: “It
would have been more fun had you been on the other end of my fists,
Carole glared at him. She could feel the tiny
hairs stand on the nape of her neck. But this was invisible to
those before her who saw only the cool, calm, and collected
attractive judge. Her russet colored individual pixies curved under
her chin and onto slender shoulders, contrasting a beautiful
butterscotch complexion. Beneath the black robe was a tall, shapely
body with long, runner’s legs.
She faced Julian Frommer again. “You may call
your first witness, Counselor—”
* * *
It turned out his first witness, the victim,
was a no-show. She was going to be wheeled in from the hospital
where she was still recovering from her injuries. She had
apparently had a change of heart and now refused to testify against
Martinez. The State’s case further began to unravel when it was
revealed that the only other witness was a known drug dealer whose
testimony came as a result of a plea bargain that would keep him
from doing hard time.