Author: S. McDonald Powell
Release Date: December 7, 2015
Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF
Cover Artist: Aria Tan
Category: Literary/Genre Fiction
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Word Count: 91600*
Sex Content: Explicit
Light Work on Dark Days
©Copyright S. McDonald Powell 2015
All rights reserved
The texture of the book was smooth and leathery. Eryn knew it was made of human skin. She turned it over, feeling its weight in her hands, then opened it and looked at the small, red, anatomical drawings within. Meticulous notes had been made on particular parts of the body. Next to the notes were letters and numbers.
“Does this mean anything to you?” Luzzatto asked. “Are the letters and numbers code?”
“Sort of,” she muttered, still concentrating on the content. She had seen one such book in Strasbourg when she was working on a case. The letters signified the race of the body and whether it was male or female, young or over twenty. She flicked to the back pages and saw codes that had been crossed out; codes that had already been used, Eryn surmised. The last entry had not been crossed out which meant that there was still hope.
“Any clues you’d like to share?” Luzzatto asked in a friendly tone. “I’m pretty sure it’s way too early for any news from the autopsy or the body parts.”
“Way too soon.” She looked into the detective’s dark eyes and was overcome with the desire to reach out to her. She had spent nearly four months successfully pushing down any feelings she had for the detective but now they seemed to be unwilling to remain concealed. Emotions she hadn’t felt in some time were refusing to remain dormant. Her resolve never to allow another woman close enough to love was creaking under the strain.
“If you can give us anything on the book that we could check out, that would be helpful.”
Eryn broke eye contact. “During my time in Europe, books like this cropped up every so often. One did so when I worked in Strasbourg.” She flicked to the back of the book. “Tell me if you think these codes could be map coordinates of New York City.” She handed the book back to Luzzatto.
While the detective looked at the codes, Eryn turned on the office laptop on her desk and waited for it to load. After entering the password, she typed in what she knew were map coordinates as Luzzatto read them out.
“Where’s that?” the detective asked.
“A funeral home on the Upper East Side.” Eryn turned the laptop so they could both see the screen.
“What?” Luzzatto said in a tone of surprise as she looked at the screen. “Now, what’s there that Franklin Heller and Meric Sutherland are so interested in?”
Eryn would rather avoid bringing the police into the matter, but she had no one watching her back as she had in Europe, and so had no choice. “I don’t want to sound melodramatic but, if I tell you, it may put your life in danger.”
“I am a homicide detective—my life is always in danger. Not one week goes by without some asshole threatening me because he thinks acting psycho to a cop will get him released. What do you know, Dr Wilde?”
Eryn wondered how to tell the detective what she knew without coming across as insane. Eryn lowered her voice. “We aren’t talking about one lone, deranged asshole. We are talking about an altogether more dangerous creature. One that is protected by society’s powerful and is above the law.”
Luzzatto frowned. “Will you just tell me already?”
Eryn leaned back in her chair. “From my experience, you will find people at those coordinates, usually young people.”
“Two or three, usually, unless it’s a big event.”
Luzzatto was confused. “What are you talking about?”
Eryn looked at her watch, switched off the laptop and stood up. “We don’t have much time and I can’t explain it all to you now. If you want to save those young lives, we have to leave now.”
Though ruffled, Luzzatto carefully stood. “Leave to go where?”
“The funeral home. We have to move, now.”