Flashes from the forensic cameras made lightning strikes against the darkness. Detective Emma Cole screeched to a halt in front of the yellow police tape. Strands of the crime scene ribbon fluttered in the biting wind. Red and blue lights from the squad cars pulsated a warning that something terrible had happened.
At first glance, it seemed that the three young people had been partying too much, but the blood told an entirely different story. Forensic evidence would prove that a hail of gunfire had killed the first victim, while the second victim had been shot and savagely beaten to her death.
Detective Emma Cole walked upstairs. She paused briefly outside the first bedroom before opening the door. She took a step inside and stopped abruptly. Nothing could have prepared her for the sight that met her eyes…
Targeted Age Group: Over 18s
Genre: Mystery and thriller
The Book Excerpt:
“Take this,” he ordered, handing his accomplice a gun. Carefully, she placed the gun in her bag. She did not fight with him or ask any questions. They walked slowly up the drive, watching out for anyone who might see them. He rang the doorbell. Nadine answered, happy to see her friends.
They walked into the house. She was nervous, knowing what they were about to do, and began to cry. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m so sorry.”
“Why? What’s wrong?” Nadine asked, concerned to see her friend upset.
Adam and Kate were sitting on the couch, watching television. They looked at her quizzically. They weren’t afraid. They were friends from school and had known each other for years.
He pulled the gun out and pointed it at them, going from one to the other. “Don’t move.”
“Why are you doing this?” Kate asked.
“Shut up!” he yelled. “Get your gun out!” he roared at his accomplice. She immediately did as she was told. They stood in front of their three friends, brandishing their weapons, holding them at bay. He pointed his gun at Adam.
“Please, take whatever you want and leave. Take everything,” Adam pleaded.
“Go ahead, take it,” the others said, echoing Adam’s words, begging for their lives.
He shot Adam first, taking out the biggest threat. He was well aware of the rules. That first shot initiated the barrage of gunfire. All hell broke loose. She shot uncontrollably, crying as she aimed her weapon at the girls, firing blindly at them. Kate made a run for it. He followed her upstairs.
Gunshots and a piercing scream rang out from upstairs. She started firing until she ran out of ammunition. “Go!” he yelled, running downstairs. There was blood on his hands. They walked slowly down the drive, and jumped into the car. She belted herself into the passenger seat. This was part of their plan. She glanced at her watch. Everything was timed perfectly. She had to be at work in twenty minutes and there was just enough time to get there.
“I have to go back,” she said, her face transformed into one of steely determination.
“I have to make sure they’re dead.”
“I’m going back.” She jumped out of the car and ran into the house.
There was blood everywhere. She ran upstairs; she had to know what he had done to Kate. She was naked on the floor in front of the bed, dragging herself towards her mobile phone. She stood over her, staring down. Kate was choking on her own blood.
“Why?” Kate asked. “How could you?”
She took out her gun, levelled it over her friend’s head, and started hammering on the back of her skull, rage fuelling every blow. She wanted to make sure she was dead this time; there would be no chance of her surviving. She pounded the gun relentlessly, spattering blood over the walls, the carpet and even on the ceiling. Breathless, she struggled to her feet, and covered her friend with the duvet. “It didn’t have to be like this,” she whispered.
Finally, satisfied that Kate was dead, she ran back out to the waiting car, where he was sitting with the engine running.
“Take me to work,” she said, an eerie calm settling on her. She didn’t need a drink to forget about the triple murder they had just committed. She didn’t need to talk about what had happened. She didn’t even need to leave the city. All she wanted was go to work, so he drove her to the supermarket where she was just in time to start her shift.
She walked into the supermarket and clocked in promptly at 5.30 p.m. She put on her apron, washed her face and hands, and then sat behind her register, waiting for the first customer of the evening. Her hands shook slightly as she scanned the grocery items and made small talk, but she was okay considering what she had had just done. She glanced at her hands and shuddered when she saw tiny specks of blood under her nails.