Authors: LYNN BOHART
Dedicated to my dad
who loved a good mystery.
My sincere thanks go to
Grub Street Reads for endorsing my book. It feels great to be acknowledged as an “indie” author. Thanks also go to
my friends, family, co-workers, and fellow writers who continue to support this obsession I have with writing. It can’t be easy. Special thanks to my good friend Chris Lavender for giving me Grosvner’s name. So perfect! Thanks to those who vetted fact: Kevin & Pam Miles (retired Catholic priest and nun) and retired police officer, Don Persson. Thanks to my friend Valerie O’Halloran who gave me some good revision advice, and my brother for the wonderful cover photo. I couldn’t have written Detective Giorgio Salvatori so authentically if it weren’t for my long-time friend, fellow thespian, and police detective, Mike Magnotti, on whom some, but not all, of the character is based. He actually did say that becoming a police officer cured his insatiable desire to be on stage. That statement was one of the things that inspired me to write the book. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my home town of Sierra Madre, a lovely community of only about 20,000 that really is nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. While I lived very near the resident Catholic monastery there, I chose to create a completely fictitious monastery for this story. Most of all, thanks to my daughter, Jaynee, not only for designing the cover, but for putting up
with me on a day-to-day basis!
Premonitions were taken seriously in the Norville family.
orted a trip to Florida
to celebrate the birth of her niece
of a dream
the night before in which the plane crashed
he plane she
the next day
did, in fact, crash
due to a faulty suspension rig,
killing all two
and forty passengers.
was twelve, his
her millionaire husband-to-be at the altar because
about the honeymoon
went on to Aruba
and was killed two days later
was home on leave from the Navy,
he’d been about to cross a downtown street when
an inexplicable feeling
A moment later
n old van
barreled through the intersection
followed by a police car, both
to within inches
would have been standing
Yes, premonitions were taken seriously in the Norville family.
’s old Chevy truck
pulled into the west parking lot of the massive Catholic monastery
worked five nights a week
as a janitor
down from the cab
linger on the
glance at the
through a clump of trees at the south end of the property
made him shudder
Something was wrong.
He could feel it
s impulse was to run
He turned his head
listen, remembering the night several months before when a child’s voice had sent him scurrying through the mammoth building
looking for the source
Since then, cold spots had stopped him in the middle of heated hallways and once, when a pair of invisible fingers slid across his forearm, he’d thought seriously about finding another job.
acid pouring into
made him wish he had.
rising up from the southern tip of the property
across his shoulders like a thousand sand crabs
It was five minutes to nine.
He had to make up his mind.
his lunchbox from
closed the battered truck door
e needed to
ignore the voices in his head
and get to work
His fingers flexed around
in his pocket
comfort. With a shake of his shoulders,
he hurried toward the west door
before he could change his mind
Lights blazed in the banquet room
and the sound of laughter
catering van was still parked in the lot.
young Miss Fields
would depart soon, leaving behind a small clean-up crew.
These parties often lasted until well past midnight, so no telling when he’d have access to the banquet room where his job was only to
pick up the trash,
and spot clean the carpet.
ignition of a car engine
made him turn around
as he reached for the door
pair of headlights flick
on in the parking lot
familiar Toyota Camry pulled out.
Syd slipped inside the back door
down a short hallway towards the cleaning closet
e would start tonight at the other end of the building in order to avoid the party guests.
He liked to mix up his routine, sometimes going through the building clockwise, sometimes counter clockwise, sometimes all out of order.
It helped to relieve the boredom.
hirty years as a shop manager
this work meaningless, but
fter surgery to remove a kidney
prognosis was good
he image of his plump little wife sitting comfortably at home warmed his insides,
reduce his jitters
the feeling of dread beginning to
, he stepped into the closet and flicked on the single 40-watt bulb that served as an overhead light.
only illuminated the area right next to the door
but Syd could have found his way around blind, he was that familiar with how things were organized.
sweetness of the powdered soap that
sat in boxes
on a shelf to his left
, but a
n almost imperceptible tingling at the back of his
made him think there was something more
It was an odor he didn’t recognize
, something dank among the aroma of pine and borax.
With trembling fingers, he tucked his lunchbox under one arm and reached
the small flask
in his pants pocket
emoved the cap
with practiced ease
and took a
he searing flow of whisky inflame
his muscles relaxed
tremors in his hands
began to disappear