Something strange is going on in Grooster, Indiana. Nightly Satanic rituals in the park and the infusion of drugs into the community have everyone on edge. When Clancy Rogers’ daughter, The Princess, comes up missing, Clancy takes to the proverbial trail to find her.
Unfortunately that trail is littered with a weird and wacky cast of characters, including a palm raping psychic with a rabid love of chocolate snack cakes, a Shakespearean wanna-be reporterette who gets pelted with dog poop while spying on the Satanists.
A local veterinarian who looks like he was dropped to Earth from the planet Zorgon and who holds conversations with his patients on a regular basis. Add to this mix a guy who looks really hot in tight jeans and scuffed boots, but who unfortunately likes to follow all the rules Clancy keeps stomping on, and you have trouble in Grooster with a capital T…A…D!
The Grooster police department was housed in a small, white building on the corner in an older part of town. The building was actually quite tidy looking and nicely presented, despite its surroundings. It faced an adult bookstore and exotic lingerie store and was flanked on one side by a donut shop and on the other by the Poke and Pierce, Grooster’s tattoo and body piercing parlor.
The public information and complaint area in front was empty and quiet when she arrived. A bell over the door announced her arrival. Sheriff Bone came lumbering down the hall within seconds of her arrival.
He held out a large square hand and smiled at her, his wide craggy face crinkled faintly with concern. “Thanks for coming in, Clancy.”
She clasped his hand and he encompassed it in both of his. “How are your parents?”
Clancy nodded. “They’re great, thanks. Enjoying Florida.”
“That’s good. That’s real good. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Soda? A bottle of water?”
She shook her head. “I’m fine, thanks.”
He lowered his head and nodded. It seemed to Clancy like he wanted to say something else. But then he looked up and motioned her toward his office. “Let’s get started then.”
Clancy preceded him down the hall. She entered the dimly lit office and moved to a chair in front of his desk, glancing around with nervous anticipation. Something was up. The Sheriff’s obvious nervousness was starting to affect her. Suddenly, she wondered if her kids were in trouble and her heart rate picked up. Maybe the tying up of the twelve-year-olds hadn’t been just a teenage prank.
He moved around behind his desk and swept a large hand toward the corner behind her. “Clancy, this is Agent Thadeous Johannsen, with the DEA.”
Clancy jumped and swung around. A tall man stood across the room, in the shadows. His broad back rested against the wall, one denim clad leg crossed over the other at his ankles. Strong arms crossed a wide chest. A cowboy hat slanted across a square jawed face, hiding eyes that Clancy knew would be dark and suspicious.
He lowered his head slightly in a nod. “I believe we’ve met, Sheriff.” His voice was deep and husky, making Clancy think of candlelight and strawberries dipped in sweet cream. Her body clenched in sudden need and her face grew warm with embarrassment.
The man pushed himself from the wall and approached her, moving like a jungle cat in a small cage. He held out a hand that was rough and warm when she clasped it. “Nice to catch your name though, Clancy.”
She opened her mouth to respond, but something had hold of her tonsils and nothing would emerge. Finally, after croaking a couple of times like a gawky adolescent, she simply nodded and whispered, “Mr. Johannsen.”
He stared at her from beneath the shadow of the hat’s wide brim and a slow smile spread across his lips. Clancy found herself staring at that smile and pressing her knees together in self-defense.