What happens when you mix the city that never sleeps, the world’s oldest profession, and a methodical killer? You have the ingredients for one hell of a roller coaster ride.
When Det. Joseph Hall gets called to the scene of a dead prostitute, at first, he works it as a random case. But, when another body turns up, he begins to realize that something more calculated and sinister is at work.
Can they stop this madman before he claims his next victim? Will the streets of New York City be safe again?
His room was ice-cold. He was huddled underneath of his favorite
blanket, the one with the dinosaurs on it. He hated being cold. He
wished his mother had paid the gas bill so that their apartment would be
warm and comfy. It was the dead of winter in New York, and they had
been without heat for the past several days.
All of his friends, the few that he had, had heat and didn’t have to
worry about it. It wasn’t fair. He’d even asked if he could go
over to one of their homes, but his mom had said no. She’d told him
to stay away from them since their mothers liked to gossip about her.
It wasn’t his fault that she was so “loose” as he’d heard them
call her. Maybe, if she stopped having so many visitors, they would
stop talking about her.
As if on cue, he heard the familiar sounds of adults having sex coming
from his mother’s room. Burying his head further under the covers, he
tried to block out the racket. Why did he have to share a wall with
her? Why did they have to make all that noise? He’d asked himself
those questions many, many times before. Thankfully, it never lasted
He was reaching for the flashlight on his nightstand, when he heard
yelling coming through the wall. Quietly slipping out of bed, he eased
open his door and tiptoed to his mother’s room. He nudged her
slightly ajar door further open. He wasn’t sure what he was seeing,
but it didn’t look like it was a good thing. And, panic struck him
like cold air.
A large man was straddling his mother, with his hands wrapped around her
throat. She was struggling beneath him as she frantically clawed at his
fingers trying to loosen them. The man said something to her, but Tom
couldn’t hear what he said. He just saw the large man continue to
squeeze until his mother suddenly stopped moving and her hands fell to
her side, ending the struggle.
“Mom,” he called out in a tiny voice to get her attention. But the
man was the one who turned and looked at him.
Seemingly frozen in place, Tom watched as the man jumped off his mother
and lunged at him. Reaching out his hands, the man grabbed Tom around
his throat and roughly slammed him down on the bed beside his mother.
The sweaty man tightened his grip, and Tom twisted and kicked. He
couldn’t move very much against the man’s weight and started to slip
“What’s going on in there?! Open up this damn door, Trisha!”
called a voice from the front door. It startled the large man, and he
released his grasp.
Scurrying around the room, he grabbed his clothes off the chair by the
bed and quickly fled down the fire escape. Gasping for air, the last
thing that Tom saw before he closed his eyes was his mother, staring at
him, with dead eyes.
Excerpted from "Beauty and Bloodshed" by Lorine S. Thomas. Copyright © 2017 by Lorine S. Thomas. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.