But without Sam to annoy her this time. Not that she would mind. Sam healed and then flew to Pennsylvania and his own set of challenges. Now Detective Christie O’Shea is back on the job after she has been cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting of the creep that shot Sam. No shortage of cases to keep her busy and help her mask the memory of the quiet state trooper from up north.
One of three stories we follow in this third SAM DELAND CRIME NOVEL, Detective O’Shea has to bring her best game with her to investigate a devastating tragedy that gives every cop nightmares. From the soon to be released novel, SIDE SLIP:
Christie treated herself to a small chocolate Frosty. Dinner, actually lunch and dinner, she had been so busy. Two for three. In baseball it would be a fantastic average. For evening interviews it would have to do. She sat in her Jeep listening to the scattered chatter on the sheriff’s radio that was stuffed into what used to be a glove box. She could close it up and no one would be able to tell it was a detective car, but tonight she had it open and the noise kept her company as she made notes on the victim interview she had just finished. The victims all reacted differently, but most seemed to appreciate the personal contact. Christie found them all. It was her first priority barring a bad guy standing there with a bloody knife in his hand.
The victims were responsible for clearing a lot of her cases. They had their own sources of information and she put her business card in their hands so they had her direct line. It took more time and effort than just calling the victim on the phone but paid off. She heard the siren come across in the background as the radio filled with a road patrol deputy in pursuit of a vehicle heading east on Bee Ridge Road. She was nowhere near and could not help, but stopped what she was doing to listen to the deputy’s voice get louder and go to a higher pitch as the chase got up to speed.
She sometimes missed the action in patrol but not enough to go back to uniform. She then thought about the latest sergeant’s exam and the list that had been posted. She was fifth on the list and would have been first if she had another year’s seniority. If they reached down the list to her she would be back on the road supervising a squad, probably on midnight shift. It made her shudder.
“Still on Bee Ridge toward Clark!” the pursuing deputy was shouting now. Bee Ridge swung south from east and two other zone cars and the shift sergeant joined trying to keep the runner in view. Christie pictured the roads out there and packed her notes and case files away in case the bad guy turned back toward the Gulf, toward her. Bee Ridge would T into Clark Road and the car would have to go east or west. East meant into the wilderness and through Myakka State Park toward Arcadia. She quivered a little again, but this time it was from remembering the shootout with the kidnapper last month that happened on a cattle ranch out that way almost to the Desoto County line.
“Back west on Clark,” a different, calmer voice was now calling the pursuit. One of the trail cars so the lead deputy could concentrate on driving. They were coming toward her now. She set her jaw, threw the Frosty out of the open driver’s window and put the Jeep into motion. As she cleared the parking lot, she reached and pulled her red gumball light from where it was kept under her seat and got ready to plug it in.
“Crash, crash! Signal 4, he crashed at, at…” the deputy was trying to find the cross street. “Aventura, didn’t make the turn. Start a rescue unit, no deputies involved.”
Christie felt the adrenaline pumping her up and her hand shook just a bit as she slowed and tossed the red light onto the passenger seat. She kept moving toward the scene in case the pursuit was the tail of something far more serious. Which it usually was.