Hi there. Angel Johnson here. I’m a homicide detective in Dallas and proud to call Big D my home. I may not be able to stay for long. When working homicide you never know when you are going to be called to a murder scene. I wish I could say our cases are all as exciting as what you see on television, but the truth? The life of a homicide detective can be pretty routine.
That daily routine, however, does not interest people who watch television or read books for entertainment. So my partner, Sarah Kinsgly, and I get thrown into some pretty tight situations in the stories our creator has come up with.
Speaking of my partner, she is a case all by herself. She doesn’t just have a chip on her shoulder, she has a boulder. And she has the nerve to say that mine is bigger. Not my shoulder, my chip. Yeah, I do have one, but here’s why.
We were thrown together as partners as part of a PR move. Our boss said it wasn’t, but it doesn’t take a psychic to know what the real reason was. See, Sarah had just shot a young black boy in a drug bust that went sour, and the black community, including my father, was screaming for her badge. When I had to tell Daddy that Sarah was going to be my partner… well, let’s just say it’s a good thing his heart is strong. It didn’t matter that I was already unhappy about the pairing, Daddy had to make sure I was miserable. I tried to explain that I had no say in the matter, but Mama told me to hush and not sass him.
I don’t know why Sarah is so unhappy about the partnership. Maybe because nobody can replace the partner she lost in that shootout. But I suspect there is more to it. She “came up hard” as some folks like to say. She told me just a little bit about that when my Mama was so sick in the hospital. That was the only time I really felt close to Sarah, but I don’t think she told me everything.
It’s hard for cops to talk about some things. People may think it is just part of a characterization in fiction, but it is really true. Maybe that’s because of what the job does to us. It’s like the soldiers coming back from war and trying to adjust to a new reality that doesn’t include killing and dead people. Even though solving the crimes is so often the same routine of interviewing witnesses and possible suspects, and reviewing evidence, the crime scenes never fail to take my breath away. You can’t imagine what it is like to look at dead bodies practically every day. Sarah acts like she is used to it. She’s been in homicide longer than I have. But I’ve seen her turn away and pinch her nose.
We do that not only because of the smell, but it helps us keep our stomach and our emotions under control. You could try it sometime when you don’t want to cry. Pinch that place on your upper lip where it meets your nose. The more you want to cry, the harder you should pinch. That stops those tears like you’ve thrown a switch.
Whoops, my phone just went off. Hold on a sec. “Okay. Yes sir.”
Gotta go. That was my boss. We got another dead body. Hope it’s not a kid, this time. I really hate it when it’s a kid.
STALKING SEASON is the second book in the “Seasons Series”, and it releases this month. You can ask your local library to order the book.
** To celebrate the release of STALKING SEASON, Maryann will do a random drawing from the comments and give one (1) copy of Open Season to the winner. Contest ends December 7. **
Meet the author
Maryann Miller has won numerous awards for her screenplays and short fiction, including the Page Edwards Short Fiction Award. She is a best-selling author of novels of mystery and suspense and loves writing a short story when her muse gifts her with one. She has been writing all her life and plans to die at her computer or out in her garden in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas where she lives with her husband, one horse, one goat, one sheep, one dog and four cats. The cats rule.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.