A Murder Mystery
by Charles P. Juraska
Debut, character-driven, police procedural mystery fiction.
Homicide Detective Jack Jeffries can smell a bad case, and he thinks this one stinks.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Sam Weston is the go-to guy for tough cases, and Jeffries is bugging the hell out of him about the Heath case—a case the police department wants closed.
For Sam it’s a simple case, a gift actually—the easy case requiring little time in an overloaded and backed up case file. But after years of working with Jeffries, Sam knows that the often irascible and always cantankerous detective has keen instincts for ferreting out the truth.
At first blush the case seems simple enough. While making his rounds at a local research center, a security guard surprises a thief rifling through files. The intruder panics, guns are drawn and fired, the security guard is killed instantly, and the intruder is critically wounded.
Weston’s wife Mary, a part time journalist, thinks the facts are too neat and easy. She decides to do some sleuthing at the research center in the hope of uncovering something, anything, that would validate her as an investigative journalist and result in her byline on the front page of the local newspaper.
But the solution of this case will also require the aid of a gung ho army sergeant who finds solace in booze while being forced to finish his career as an army recruiter, a young doctor who attempts to stand up to Jeffries’ steam-rolling tactics, and a former thug who now makes book while being a short order cook in his own sleazy diner.
Along with everyone else, two detectives, who would rather play golf than catch criminals, aid in solving what really happened that night the security guard was killed—and in proving the case to be anything but easy.