dirty kitchen Women in law enforcement. Careful, what and how you say it matters. Just like men, there are those that succeed and those that fail. My time began when women were already in the larger departments but just beginning to be hired by the others. It all worked out.

Detective Christie O’Shea works the tough cases. One of the toughest is when one of your own goes down. In my third crime/detective novel, SIDE SLIP, she has to bend a few rules to get to the truth and the trail of a killer. Sometimes you have to be able to effectively communicate with a stubborn bad guy:

No one answered the pounding on the door and the deputy with the ram felt the lieutenant rap him on the shoulder. The old wooden door fell off the top hinge at the blow and swung at an angle into the living room of the duplex. The lieutenant swept past the ram deputy and stepped in and right as one of the men behind him shouted, “Sheriff’s Department, search warrant!” The room filled with black suited tac team members and movement began toward the kitchen and hall, each deputy covering a specific portion of each room with automatic shoulder weapons.

As the team moved into or past each opening, shouts of “Clear!” echoed. A team of two deputies pushed into the last room in the back of the house and found a sleeping white male matching the description of the tire foreman. Other team members filed in and he was yanked from the bed to the floor and handcuffed almost before he woke up.

Even before Christie was escorted into the house they figured out the sleeping male was not the tire foreman. He was stoned and his works were on the night stand next to the bed so he was going to get to spend a while as a guest of the county. Christie took him by the cuffs and sat him in a chair at the kitchen table. She caught the movement of a palmetto bug across the counter near the sink and the table had crusted food on dirty plates sitting where they had been left, who knows how long ago.

“What’s your name?” she asked. A drip of snot was forming at the end of his nose and he had a huge pimple just below his lower lip.

He never looked up at her and said, “Lawyer. Lawyer, lawyer.”

She sat with him feeling the floor shake from the weight of the search team moving in and the tac team moving out. “Nice name. Must have picked that up in the slam. You’re not who we want, but you’re still going to jail. Just the dope on the needles will be enough to hold you for a while. And if we find anything else…” she cocked her head to the side and raised her eyebrows.

He finally looked up and sneered, “Lawyer.”

Christie stood and stepped over to him. He only had his boxer shorts on and was barefoot. She reached behind him and pulled him up out of the seat by the handcuffs and whispered in his ear, “Screw you, lawyer, lawyer. It’s just you and me,” she twisted the cuffs hard and he yelped. A detective in a raid jacket was starting to come into the kitchen carrying a pack of evidence bags when he stopped, turned and left.

“I’m asking you about him, not you. Try to get this through your junkie head. He murdered a deputy sheriff. You now know that and if you lie to me or give me phony shit, I’ll charge you. How long can you last without your dope? Wanna go through that in a cell or get out on a low bail, your choice.”

He didn’t say anything and just as Christie was about to grind her boot into his bare instep he croaked, “Maybe.”

She held him up a moment longer and then sat him back down, “Tell me.”

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