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Authors: E. H. Reinhard

Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Police Procedurals, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Crime, #Murder, #Serial Killers, #Thrillers

Progeny

BOOK: Progeny
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Progeny

 

 

 

by:
E.H. Reinhard

 

Copyright © 2015

All Rights Reserved

AUTHOR’S NOTE

This book is a work of fiction by E. H. Reinhard. Names, characters, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Locations used vary from real streets, locations, and public buildings to fictitious residences and businesses.

 

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

 

E.H. Reinhard

 

 

 

 

Progeny: Cases of Lieutenant Kane Series, Book 5

 

Tampa homicide lieutenant Carl Kane has led up grisly crime scenes before, but this one is different—it’s identical to the remains left thirty years prior by a man who had whipped the city into chaos.

 

But Jack Redding, or as the media called him, The Quilter, had been put to death in the nineties. These murders are the doing of a copycat—someone with inside knowledge of the original crimes.

 

As the bodies pile up, the motivation for the killings and the connection shared by the victims become clear.

 

Kane must race around the clock to find the person—or persons—responsible for recreating the work of the most heinous murderer Tampa has ever seen.

 

Little does Kane know his path will lead him to one of the most horrifying scenes he’s ever witnessed. In his line of work, and after recent events, that’s saying something.

 

The Lieutenant Kane series:

 

 

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prog·e·ny

 

[proj-uh-nee]

 

noun: a descendant or the descendants of a person, animal, or plant; offspring.

Chapter 1

Carmen and Angel pulled into the last available spot in the Green Gardens parking lot. They’d entered the complex through a service entry as to avoid the guard in the guard shack at the front. Angel’s silver Ford sedan reflected the evening sunlight off its hood and roof. She lowered the windows, shut the car off, and stretched back in the seat. The bubbling of the pond’s fountain and the talking of senior citizens throughout the grounds were the only sounds.

“How much time do we have?” Angel asked.

“Five minutes or so,” Carmen said.

“It’s always the same time?”

“Yeah. Every day.”

Angel ran her hand through her long dark hair. She let out a long breath. “I wish Daddy was here. I wish he talked to me, like he does to you.”

Carmen smiled. She rubbed the side of Angel’s face. “He’ll talk to you soon, baby.”

“That’s what you always say. I think he just doesn’t want to.”

“That’s not it. Your father loves you.”

Angel turned her head toward Carmen. “If he really loved me, he wouldn’t have left me.”

Carmen’s face went stern. She grabbed a handful of Angel’s hair and yanked. “Don’t you speak of your father like that. He didn’t have a choice. Understand?”

“Yeah, ouch, geez.”

“Do you understand?” Carmen asked again.

“I said yeah.”

Carmen let go of Angel’s hair. “You know better than to talk like that.”

“Sorry, Mama. I just… I just want to know him like you do.”

“You will. As soon as this is done, we’re both going to meet him. He told me he’d be waiting.”

“I know. What about Cynthia?”

Carmen scowled. “What about her?”

“Will she be there?”

“She’s in hell where I put her.” Carmen snorted. “Try to take my daughter…”

“But she was daddy’s wife. Won’t he want her there?”

“No. That’s final. Don’t bring her up again.”

“Sorry.”

“Whatever. Get out and go get ready. He’ll be coming any minute.”

“Okay, Mama.” Angel got out and walked to the front of the car. She leaned back and sat on the edge of the hood.

“Is he coming?” Carmen asked.

Angel looked back over her shoulder and saw Carmen climbing into the backseat. “I don’t see anyone.”

“He walks the same route every day. He should be there any second. Just keep watching.”

Angel looked at her watch. “It’s already a little after five thirty. Do you want me to go look for him?”

“No. Stay put, baby. He’ll come.”

Angel turned her head forward and looked at the pond. Cattails sprouted from the water. Beyond the pond was a tree line of oaks and palms. Birds walked the edge of the water and pecked at fish or frogs or whatever birds pecked at. The large fountain sprayed three streams of water twenty feet into the air. Angel focused on the sidewalk and rear door of the assisted-living complex. An old man approached, twenty feet away. He wore a tan long-sleeved shirt with gray slacks. A white key card hung on a red cord from his neck. His black Velcro-strapped shoes shuffled along as he walked. The man was mostly bald with a little bit of white hair on the sides. Large glasses wrapped his eyes.

“Is that him, Mama?” Angel asked.

Carmen poked her head out from the rear door of the car. “Yeah, that’s him. Just like what we talked about.”

“Okay,” Angel said. “Sir?” Angel called. “Excuse me, sir?”

The old man fumbled with the key card hanging around his neck, preparing to let himself into the back of the building. He stopped and looked over at Angel, standing at the front of her silver sedan. “Yes?” he asked.

“Could you do me a huge favor?”

“What’s that, miss?”

“Could you do me a quick favor?” she asked again, more loudly.

“A favor?” he asked.

“Can you hold this car door for me while I get my mother out? She lives here. She had surgery on her knee and needs help getting out.”

He looked over, crouching to get a look at the woman in the back of the car. “What was that?” he asked. He squinted, trying to get a better look.

“Could you just please help us. Please? It will just take a second,” Angel said.

“You need help?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Sure, I can help.” He slowly shuffled down the sidewalk toward the car. He began wheezing and fumbled through his pocket until he produced an inhaler. He neared Angel’s car. “Sorry, I don’t hear as good as I used to. You said you needed some help?”

“Just some help getting my mother out of the back.”

“Help a woman in distress, huh?” he said. He chuckled and looked at Angel. “It will be my good deed for the day. What can I do?”

“I just need you to hold the door here. It keeps trying to shut.”

“Okay.” As the man rounded the front of the car, he put the inhaler to his mouth and took a puff.

“Thanks so much for helping,” Angel said. “Just hold the door here while I go around to the other side.”

“Sure,” he said.

Angel walked to the back of the car. She looked around the parking lot and saw no one in sight. “Do it now, Mama!”

Carmen reached out for the old man through the open door. She grabbed him by the front of the shirt and yanked him into the car. The inhaler dropped from his hand and landed on the floor of Angel’s sedan.

Angel ran back to the rear door and pushed the man’s feet in. She slammed the car door, rounded the back of the car, and took her seat behind the wheel. She looked over her shoulder.

The man flailed at the door handle trying to get out. He kicked at the backs of the front seats. He screamed for help.

Carmen held her arm around his neck. “You ain’t going nowhere,” she said. Carmen grabbed the cord around the man’s neck and pulled it backward. She twisted it in her hand until it was tight against his skin. The man gasped for breaths. With each breath he managed to get in, Carmen twisted the cord tighter. The man kicked the back of the passenger seat. His arms pawed off Carmen’s long black hair. He managed to get a handful and pull. Carmen yanked the cord tighter around his neck. After another minute, and the man stopped moving, Carmen let go. The man was dead.

“Flip down the seat back and push him through,” Angel said.

Carmen scooted to the side, dropped the larger portion of the rear seat back, and muscled the old man’s body through to the trunk. Then she flipped the seat up again and let out a long breath. “Easy as pie. Let’s get him back to the house and get started.”

Angel looked in the mirror at Carmen in the back. Carmen was digging around by her feet.

“What are you doing?” Angel asked.

“He dropped something,” Carmen said. She picked the item up from the floor and spun it in her hand.

“What’s that?” Angel asked.

“It looks like some kind of inhaler. I guess he won’t be needing it now.” Carmen lowered her rear window and tossed it out.

“Fingerprints, Mama,” Angel said.

Carmen shrugged the comment off. “Your father told me to throw it. The cops can’t find me anyway.”

Angel said nothing. She put the car in reverse, made a Y-turn, and pulled from the parking lot.

Chapter 2

The clock on the unmarked Charger’s dash read a few minutes before seven in the morning. The sun wouldn’t be up for another half hour. Hank and I had been called in early to report to the scene of a body dump in Tampa Heights. The neighborhood was one of the oldest, and most crime abundant, in Tampa, which was a shame. The low property value inspired a lot of investors to come in to rehab the historic area. While some succeeded in opening new businesses, a number of the investors went belly up. They left the area with a lot of unfinished plans and what I assumed were empty promises to the residents.

The pitter-patter of the old, red brick road vibrated our car. Lights from marked TPD cruisers up the block lit the trees along the edge of the park. Hank and I pulled up behind other police cars parked on the corner of East Adalee and North Central Avenue. I killed the motor and stepped out from the driver’s seat. I hung my badge around my neck. To the right of the T intersection where we parked, and tucked behind evenly spaced oak trees, was Joseph Robles Park—a two-block-by-three-block patch of grass with a kidney-bean-shaped lake taking up a good portion of the center. At night, the place became a popular hangout for drug dealers and gangbangers. Crime there was commonplace. The park was the scene of our dump.

Hank and I walked toward the first uniformed officer we saw. Officer Quinlin was sitting on the push bar of his car.

“Quinlin, where is the body?” I asked.

The horizon to the east was beginning to break the darkness of the morning. The current shade of the sky was something between purple and orange. Quinlin’s eyes were wide in the brightening dimness.

Quinlin pointed north toward the park’s lake. “About thirty feet from the water’s edge there. Can you see the guys?”

I looked to where he was pointing. I saw the shadows of our officers and the light from their flashlights. “Yeah, I got them.”

“That’s some gruesome stuff over there,” he said.

“Gruesome how?” Hank asked.

“I don’t really know any other way to describe it. For lack of better words, the man was skinned.”

I pulled my head back in disbelief. “Did you just say
skinned
?” I asked.

BOOK: Progeny
10.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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