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pabrown
May 29th, 2009, 10:15 AM
L.A. Heat is now available in both ebook from Bristecone Pine Press and paperback from MLR Press.

Title L.A. Heat
#1 in the L.A Series
Author P.A. Brown
ISBN# 978-1-934531-85-3 (print)
Release Date April 2009
Cover Artist Deana C. Jamroz
Paperback: 325 pages


Also available in Kindle and Mobibook
ISBN# 978-0-9817464-4-9 (e-book)


The trailer for L.A. Heat was created by AM Riley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aIWQBklxjU

:detective:
Sometimes finding a witness just isn't enough. They have to be coherent, too.

Excerpt:


Sunday, 3:15 a.m., Galer Place, Eagle Rock, Los Angeles

"PACK OF fucking jackals," Martinez snapped.

The uniformed officer who had been called in to help with crowd control threw him a wary look. "Sir?"

"Just watch everybody, Schmidt," David said to the
confused man. Personally he could never figure out where the crowds came from, but no matter what time of day or what location, they always seemed to show up. And they always managed to get in the way if you let them. "Keep them all clear of the crime scene."

"Sneaky bastard is what your average reporter is," Martinez added, as though someone might have missed his point. "Don't ever trust 'em, Schmidt. Them or lawyers. If any of those assholes so much as pokes a nose hair over that line, bust them."

Schmidt smiled weakly. "Yes, sir."

"What do they teach 'em these days?" Martinez muttered after Schmidt left.

David crouched to examine an impression in the stained and cracked pavement in the alley behind Galer Place, where the latest body had been found. "Same thing they taught us. Why?"

"So how come we're so much smarter than them?"

He couldn't help it. He laughed.

"What? You're saying we're not smarter?"

"Come on, Einstein." David clapped Martinez on the back. "Let's have another go at your witness. See if we can wrap this up before morning. I really don't want to see what this place looks like in broad daylight." Two men loaded the body into the coroner's wagon. The flashing lights of the emergency vehicles strobed over the alley.

After making sure the vehicle got through the growing mob, David slipped back between the two buildings. He watched where he put his feet. Gelatinous puddles littered the alley; the odor of urine underlay the stench of rotting garbage. SID had already been over the whole length, photographing and sampling everything. Photos were taken of the crumbling walls and cardboard boxes and even a discarded bicycle found behind one pile of garbage.

He followed Martinez back to the dumpster where the body had been found. A luckless scavenger had made the discovery while looking for tin cans to exchange for a bottle of Thunderbird. The shivering man now huddled under a broken lean-to that some inventive soul had erected using discarded tin and rotting pallets.

Martinez had sent one of the unis to get coffee for their
witness. Now he hovered around while the man greedily sucked back coffee and mumbled answers to Martinez's questions. The witness, in a cast-off overcoat two sizes too big, and Martinez, in a green jacket over a paisley shirt and dark brown pants, made quite a pair. Fashion was not Martinez's strong suit.

"Any luck?" David asked.

Martinez shook his head. "Guy's having trouble giving me his name, at least one he can remember more than five minutes. He does claim he found the body before it got completely dark. I checked with LAX, sunset was at 19:25 tonight. Full dark would have come twenty, thirty minutes later."

The call hadn't come in to the switchboard until nearly nine o'clock. Long after sunset. "Is he saying he hung around for nearly an hour after he found the thing?"

"He won't say. I think he took advantage of the light that was left to collect more cans."

"He hung around a body that Lopez thinks has been dead at least three weeks looking for scrap?"

"Hey, SID got the cans away from him. A couple even
contained fluid from the body. At least one housed some
wandering maggots."

David grimaced. "How'd he call it in?"

"Pay phone at the end of the alley. Good Samaritan, huh?"

"Any chance your guy knew the victim?"

"He didn't seem to think so. But then I'm not sure at what level he's actually thinking. Lopez seems to figure this victim's another young guy. Can't see them running in the same circles, can you?"

"So, this is just another dumping ground."

"Techs are still running luminol tests, but so far there's
precious little blood." The luminol spray reacted chemically to blood and glowed under an alternate light source.

"One thing I'll give him, he's tidy."

"He's not geographically impaired, either," Martinez said. "He likes to move around."

"A mobile serial killer. Not exactly unique."

David had seen the body after Lopez was done with it.
Maggot activity had been so far advanced there was no telling what condition that body had been in when dumped. Still, he had to ask, "Raped?"

"You think Lopez would say? You know she keeps things
close to her chest. I figure we're lucky to get her to speculate on his age."

"Your guy see anyone else hanging around?"

"I was working on that when the coffee got here. I'm kinda hoping the stuff will wake up a few brain cells. Who knows? If he hangs around here all the time, maybe he did see our mutt. Wouldn't that be a nice break?"

Their witness watched them approach, clutching his empty Styrofoam cup in one dirt-encrusted hand. David flashed his badge. "Detective Laine. We'd like to ask you a few questions, if that's okay, Mr--?"

"Dante!" The man shouted. "Circles of hell!"

"Your name, sir?" David asked."The elves did it.""The who did it?"

"The elves. The elves!"

The babbling man sprayed spittle, which David wiped off his cheek. "Yes, sir."

"The elf was golden."

"Can you describe this... elf?" He glanced at Martinez, who shrugged.

The elf man drew himself upright, wrapped in the dignity of delusion. "The elves are golden, but cold."

"Okay, we've got one golden elf," David said. "Was he
alone?"

Martinez cut in. "Did you see this elf, or anyone, put
something in that dumpster?"

"A golden chariot," he shouted.

"Great, did Charlton Heston bring a body to the dumpster?" David muttered. "What did this guy look like, anyway?"

"I'm dry." The elf man licked his lips, tugging at the filth-encrusted beard covering his face. "Got a buck you can spare?"

"Tell me about the elf."

"Will I get a buck then?"

CharmedGirl
June 1st, 2009, 12:22 AM
Sounds good Pat.

Annie Alvarez
June 13th, 2009, 05:43 PM
:smilingsun:Sounds very interesting! Love the whole elves thing.