Barren To Change

Barren To Change

by Maurie Chan'nel

ASIN: B073X5Z97D

Publisher Maurie Chan'nel

Published in Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

Chicago's never seen scary like this. Frederick, Jackson, Donnie and Tre', are all connected and University Hospital is the gateway. How they end up together is determined by the others fate in this psychological thriller.

Sample Chapter


"She's not moving and I can't find a pulse!" Luke screamed. One of the homeless women standing nearby ran to his side. "Shake her, do something please! Do something! What did she take? said the woman. Luke panicking, shouted "I don't know but she's not responding." A nearby resident peeping out the window noticed the commotion and called the cops. Bums were panicking, packing what they could wondering how they'd get their next hot meal, let alone trying to find another abandoned building to sleep in. "Oh my God, sirens!" exclaimed one of the homeless men running across the alley. "Hey Luke the cops are coming," Tony shouted from the car. "You gotta leave her man.”

“I can't!" Luke screamed. Tony gets out the car. "Man, you gotta. Cops show and we all go down. I can't go back to Stateville. I'll never see the light of day again." Weeping as he lay her head on a bloody t-shirt on the granite floor... she inhales sharply, eyes wide open, last thing she sees is an Illinois license plate number EX73M48, driving off leaving her to die...alone.  

Harold Means

"I'm not going to let this go that easy Frank"...Harold scolded at his Captain. "Cold case is only considered cold because we let go." Shrugging and cramming the last of his ruben in his mouth, Frank places his hand on Harold's shoulder. "I understand Means. I've been doing this for over 25 years and believe me I've had my sleepless nights and dead ends praying for a different outcome with each case but learned that making it personal is not going to bring any of those victims back. You do what you can and when the time comes, you have to let it go and keep your strength to find the next." Harold was fighting his demons with the woman found at the abandoned warehouse. With no leads, no arrest ever, not even a dental record...Just what appears to be a birthmark on her right pelvic area. The woman found seemed so out of place and surprisingly beautiful. Doesn't make any sense at all, Harold thought.

Always working late hours, Harold often stressed over the loss of the dead and when lucky, he could at least provide some leeway for the families. To those that were left with the endless pings of heartbreak and at most times were unfortunately happy their loved ones were found dead than not at all. Harold only longed to provide that contentment. Everyone in the department playfully referred to Harold as the FBI Director of the Precinct or the MC of solve it or bust and even created a plaque that read Thou shalt not give up on any case or endure the wrath of Means... presenting it to him on his birthday. He scoffed at the thought. Laughing matter to them but for the missing, for those that disappeared into nothingness, it was heartbreaking. Harold felt at most he had become an acquaintance of the grim reaper, bringing bad news or no hope at all. Too many cold cases and his mind was fresh on empty.

Harold was a loner...raised on the south side of Chicago. Single parent home along with an older sister. He was 6'5, solid, natural, chocolate build with a degree in Political Science from Hampton University in Virginia. He had no kids of his own nor a relationship for that matter. When he wasn't working, he'd spend a lot of time at Donnie's Sports Bar and Lounge, a popular hangout downtown. Watching whatever sports genre of game was on...he didn't believe in favorite teams, only those who put up numbers. "Chicago's Top Elite...Who's YOUR favorite Bachelor?" Donnie laughed offering Harold a drink. Harold annoyed shook off the bar owners comment shooting back his Jägermeister slamming the glass on the bar motioning for another. It was normal for a beautiful woman to spark a conversation, offer to buy him some form of intoxication and the more than few that slipped their numbers in their precarious ways was only a nuisance to Harold. He wasn't the overnight type. He was a one-woman kind of guy, in his prime, ready for a long and satisfying relationship but with his career, it seemed so far gone. "Whatever man," Harold responded. The buzzer sounds from the television indicating the basketball game was over. "Cavs did it again" Donnie replied back detecting Harold's agitation. "Shots on me tonight, I'll have one with ya."

"Thanks, sorry, another long much for protect and serve...more like let's see what happens next and maybe we'll catch up," Harold bellowed. "I heard about the raid at the warehouse. Any leads?" Donnie said. "No, nothing Don. It's early so I'll give it a few days but when cases start like this, they all end the same." Coursing the room Donnie replied "I'll have the fellas watch for anything out the ordinary. Been buffing up security so we'll keep you posted detective."

"Thanks Donnie. I really appreciate it,"...Anytime my man, you good people. Besides every time you come in here I swear it's three or four hotties that follow you in, hawking like cheetahs on the prowl grrrrr lol. That's more business for me and potential dates for you. C'mon man how you do it? You wearing axe or something? Sniff, sniff...I need to know". Harold laughed. "Okay, okay whatever Donnie. No more liquor OR sniffing for you." He replied shaking his head. Feeling better, he dabbed with his old friend and they saw one another off.

Jane Doe, Harold sighed, staring at her face, checking for any clues he could find. "No sexual assault," said the medical examiner. "Would you like to know her last meal?" Not really, thought Harold. "It may help," he said aloud. "Whelp, looks like she may have had a glass of wine and wings." "Wings? As in chicken wings?" Harold responded. "Yes, we're waiting on the toxicology report. I'll have more in a few weeks. You mind locking up?" "Sure" Means replied. Great thanks, I'll reach out soon...Gotta get home to the wife. Think she's starting to get jealous of the women I work with but I assured her they don't talk back unlike herself," the examiner said letting out a repugnant laugh. Sorry buddy just a little morgue joke. It gets pretty lonely in here not to mention the audience, they're so cold.” He laughs again. “Good Night." Harold smirked with a I just want you to leave nod hoping that would end the examiners odd humor.

"Good Night Todd, get home safe," he finally responded back. Still, he wasn't able to get over how pretty the Jane Doe was or how she didn't appear to be an addict. How'd she end up in a dump filled with crack feens and dope heads? And who the hell would just leave her there in that warehouse alone? Hopefully will know more once the results are in. One thing Harold was determined to do was find out who knew her and what led her to that forsaken place. At least he could uncover her story and make sense of it hoping the family would come looking for answers so he could bring them some sort of peace. He covered the body and stepped outside the morgue. "I'll find who did this to you. God as my witness, I'll bring your family justice...whoever they are.


Excerpted from "Barren To Change" by Maurie Chan'nel. Copyright © 2017 by Maurie Chan'nel. 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.
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Author Profile

Maurie Chan'nel

Maurie Chan'nel

Maurie Chan'nel currently resides in Florida. She has a MIBC degree from Everest University and also attended Fayetteville State University majoring in Psychology along with earning several other certifications in nursing, mixology and manicuring respectively. Writing has always been a special interest.

View full Profile of Maurie Chan'nel

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