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Faye Snowden | Exclusive Excerpt: A KILLING RAIN


A Killing Rain
Faye Snowden

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June 2022
On Sale: June 21, 2022
ISBN: 1787586138
EAN: 9781787586130
Kindle: B09JPJYG8F
Hardcover / e-Book
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Also by Faye Snowden:
A Killing Rain, June 2022
Fatal Justice, October 2006

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Detective Breaker met the chief and Raven next to the recently poured foundation of the new obstetrics wing of Memorial Hospital. The chief introduced him before stepping away to placate Dr. Fabian Long. Long was CEO of the hospital and wanted the crime scene wrapped up as soon as possible so the fellas, as he put it, could get back to work.

 

Detective Breaker was a handsome man with curly black hair and a haunted look in his eyes. He wore an expensive three-piece suit under a perfectly draped trench coat. Raven didn’t know what annoyed her more – the gold watch chain or the diamond and onyx pinkie ring. But where was her empathy? She remembered how her stepmother dressed, mini-skirts, matching tops, and always the bright red heels. The more Floyd’s crazy showed itself, the fancier Jean dressed, the higher and sharper the red heels. If she couldn’t control her marriage, at least she could control the way she presented herself to the world. Perhaps Breaker felt the same way about this case.

 

“Where’s the scene?” she asked him, wanting to get the entire thing finished so she could get back to the restaurant before closing.

“Down there,” he said.

‘Down there’ meant the very foundation of the new Memorial Hospital wing. In the throes of construction, the imagined wing was a large, square hole rimmed by slanting walls of packed dirt, and floored by concrete. By the several people in orange vests and white jumpsuits walking all over the smooth surface, Raven concluded that the still clean and white concrete must be bone dry. The entire scene was lit by haloed circles of white light that pooled onto the concrete floor, making it gleam in places while leaving others in shadowed darkness. A crane on the edge of the hole stretched a long tentacle up toward an overcast sky, appearing to touch the pockmarked moon.

“You know who it is?” Raven asked.

“No idea. Chief called a halt to everything when he thought it’d be another Sleeping Boy case. Had to wait on Your Grace.” Breaker said.

She cocked her head at him.

“That’s you,” he explained.

“Hey,” Raven said. “Not trying to step all over your Gucci shoes, Detective. Chief asked me to take a look, that’s all.”

“What good is a look going to do except waste my time and everybody else’s?” “Fresh pair of eyes,” Raven said. “And then you can have your serial killer all back to your little ole self.”

He appraised her for a long moment before gesturing to a uniformed officer with a clipboard. She recognized the officer, a big man with a handlebar mustache named Newell Taylor. She didn’t know why Taylor never liked her, but he didn’t. He gave her wide berth when she worked for the department last year. When they were forced to work together, he provided one-word answers when speech was required, and grunts when it wasn’t.

After Raven signed in, Taylor handed her a pair of booties and a jumpsuit. She pulled the booties on but looked skeptically at the jumpsuit.

“Really?” she said.

“Chief’s orders,” Taylor said. “It’s the way we do things around here now. No cowboys. Or cowgirls.”

“How about cow woman? Or cow person?” “Medical examiner here, yet?” she asked Breaker.

“No, still waiting on her, too. Tonight’s been an exercise in patience.”

“But I see BLPD crime scene investigators,” she said. “How did they beat Rita here?” “She’s finishing up at another scene. I hear she’s on her way.” He looked at his watch.

“Should be here in about twenty or thirty minutes.”

Raven saved that piece of information in her head. It’s not that she didn’t like Rita.

Sandbourne, the medical examiner, it was that she didn’t want the questions she knew Rita would ask. And she didn’t want the memories, or the pressure to return to the force.

 

“So we don’t have time of death yet,” Raven said. “What time did everybody leave work?”

 

“By five thirty p.m. this place was a ghost town,” Breaker said. “Union.” “Who found him?”

“A supervisor wanted to make sure he set the alarm,” Breaker answered. “You know, like when you leave home and think you left the iron on? Came back around eight thirty to check. So, it looks like the killer dropped the body between five thirty and eight thirty p.m.”

“There was an alarm?” Raven asked.

“Now, that’s wishful thinking,” he said. “He did forget. No alarm. No camera.” “Convenient,” Raven said. “I hate convenient. I’m sure you’re detaining him.”

“We’re taking his statement, yes,” Breaker said.

Raven tilted her head to the side and said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, Breaker, but how long you been in homicide?”

His lips twisted into a smile. “First case, came from major crimes. I’m sure the chief already filled you in.”

“Okay,” she said. “Piece of advice. Don’t just take his statement. Detain him, question him on even the smallest detail. And question him yourself. Don’t turn it over to a uniform.” “You automatically think he had something to do with it?”

“I don’t automatically think anything, that’s why you need to question him.”

She turned away from him and studied the foundation. More lights in the northeast corner, which had been cordoned off with police tape along with a set of white metal stairs leading to the concrete floor below.

“You think that’s the entry?” she asked. “The stairs?”

“Yes, why wouldn’t we?”

Raven studied the slanted dirt walls. “The killer walked daintily down the stairs carrying the dead weight of a body wrapped in a blanket, not knowing who might wander down here?”

“I don’t know if the walk was dainty or not, but that’s the only way down there. What else could he do, drop the body in from the sky?”

She said nothing, just gave him what Billy Ray called her ‘Floyd’, deadpan serial killer stare.

 

“I see,” Breaker said. “This is going to be a waste of my time.”

She grinned, telling herself to lighten up a little. “More than likely,” she said.

“Thought so.”

He took his trench coat off and handed it to Officer Taylor, who was standing next to him like a valet. Taylor took the trench coat without delay, pressing down the neat folds, brushing off any imaginary dirt. The coat was followed by the jacket. Breaker put the jumpsuit over his slacks and the vest with the gold watch. After he was done, he slipped on the shoe covers and said, “And for the record, my shoes are Berluti, not Gucci.”

Copyright © Faye Snowden with permission from Flame Tree Press

A KILLING RAIN by Faye Snowden

A Killing Rain

Dark, Southern gothic tale of homicide detective Raven Burns, with a complicated past and a desperate case to solve. Black Girls Lit recommends the first book, A Killing Fire "to crime fiction and mystery lovers and fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn.”

After former homicide Raven Burns returns to Byrd’s Landing, Louisiana to begin a new life, she soon finds herself trapped by the old one when her nephew is kidnapped by a ruthless serial killer, and her foster brother becomes the main suspect. To make matters worse, she is being pursued by two men— one who wants to redeem her soul for the murder Raven felt she had no choice but to commit, and another who wants to lock her away forever.

 

Suspense Psychological | Thriller Serial Killer [Flame Tree Press, On Sale: June 21, 2022, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781787586130 / ]

Buy A KILLING RAINAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | Walmart.com | Book Depository | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Faye Snowden

Faye Snowden

Faye Snowden is the author of three published mysteries with Kensington— Spiral of Guilt (1999), The Savior (2003, 2004) and Fatal Justice (2005, 2006). She has published short stories and poems in various literary journals and small presses including The African American Review, Calliope, Red Ochre Lit, Bay Area Poets Coalition and Occam’s Razor.

Although born in San Fernando, California, she was uprooted while young to a place where supposedly people had swamps in their backyards and alligators for pets. She didn’t have any pet alligators in Shreveport, Louisiana, but an amazing, resourceful single mother raised the family of six in a shotgun house. And she had a cat named Blue.

At eighteen, Faye left Louisiana to join the Navy. The Navy gave her an opportunity to spend some time living in Naples, Italy and on both US coasts—Washington, DC and northern California. After the Navy, she went to work as an information technology professional in various industries while on her way to a masters in English literature. Aside from her publications, she also managed two boys, a husband, five dogs and three writing fellowships following her Navy years. Today, Faye works and writes from her home in Northern California.

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