They call him the Killer Cartographer because he carves the map coordinates of each victim on the femur of the one before. Then he tattoos the information on his skin. Can Detective Kendra Dean bring him in, or will she become his next tattoo?
Girl in Clover
Kendra’s mouth fell open, and her heart dropped into the pit of her stomach when she realized she was looking into the empty black eye sockets of a skull. Oddly, though, this skull was not half-buried in the earth the way one would think it should be. Nor was it scattered in pieces as if it had been dug up and deposited there by wild animals. No, indeed, this skull appeared to be right where it belonged, sitting at the top of a fully formed skeleton reclining on a bed of clover, hands clasped on what would have been its chest.
The detective’s headache was forgotten. Her dizziness was also forgotten, washed away by a wave of adrenaline. She didn’t scramble backward in an attempt to put distance between herself and the remains the way most people would have done. Instead, she pulled out her iPhone and began to snap picture after picture from every angle. Then she realized she had a signal, so she immediately dialed nine one one and told them who she was and what she had found.
In less than a minute, Sheriff Gray Puckett called her back. He was already on his way. Kendra could hear the ding-ding-ding of the seatbelt alarm as he climbed into his cruiser.
When he asked her why she was in that particular area—on a workday—she told him everything about being on paid leave. Kendra had nothing to hide. She also told him about going fishing and getting the feeling that someone was watching her. When they hung up, she immediately called Woody and told him what was going on.
“I was going to call you about those case files,” she said. “But I may not have too much time after all.” And then she told him what she’d found. She thought about sending him the pictures she had taken but was afraid Sheriff Puckett might not appreciate her sharing evidence before he’d had a chance to see it.
“Wow,” Woody exclaimed. “What’d you do, get so bored you just searched until you found a case right there in your own backyard? I mean if you wanted to work I would’ve driven the files over myself—”
“That’s quite enough,” she said, stemming the flow of sarcasm. “I was just out fishing when I felt this sudden certainty I was being watched.”
“Are you there alone, now?” Woody interrupted.
Kendra immediately grasped his fear. “Yes,” she said, “but I’ve got my weapon, and I’ve scanned the area, no one is around. No one alive that is.” She glanced down at what she was fairly sure would turn out to be a woman. No one ever arranges men’s remains this carefully, she thought. Men’s remains almost always show evidence of sudden violence, gunshot wounds, bashed in skulls, shattered bones. These remains appeared to be posed, right down to the odd placement of the thigh bone on top of the victim’s ribs. Other than that, there were surprisingly few signs of violence about the remains at all.
“I’ll be right there,” Woody said.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Ann will be awarding a character named after the winner in her next book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantom Pilot series, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, one rescue dog, two rescue cats, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy. When she’s not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.
Book Links and Public Contact Information:
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/cfakkue
Books by Ann Swann
2011 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Pilot – Cool Well Press
2012 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Student – Cool Well Press
2013 Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge – Createspace
2012 All For Love – 5 Prince Publishing
2013 Stutter Creek (Book One) – 5 Prince Publishing
2015 Lilac Lane (Book Two) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Copper Lake (Book Three) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Takers: Apocalypse in Eden – coming soon
“Bamboozled” Alfred Hitchcock Magazine
“Aftermath” Binnacle Magazine
“The Gap” and “In Search of Water” The Rusty Nail (previously published in The Sandstorm)
“Soul Gardener” Timeless: Cool Well Press, Anthology
“The Fee” A World of Terror: Grey Mouse Publishing, (formerly titled The Warning)
“SleepAway Pounds” Seasonal, Sweet, and Suspenseful, Anthology