Excerpt // Bird In Hand by Nikki Stern
“Lieutenant,” he called out. “Sorry to bring you out on such a soggy night.” He suppressed an involuntary shiver.
“Duty calls, Deputy. You did the right thing.” She looked around. “Where’s the person who called it in?”
McCready cleared his throat. “I’m guessing he took off.”
She understood the young deputy’s discomfort. Poaching was a serious offense. On the other hand, the watermen who flouted the law were friends and neighbors to people with whom she worked.
“Never mind. Let’s see what he found. Grab your flashlight.”
Sam pulled a handheld marine searchlight out of the trunk of her cruiser.
“You got anything specific we can use as a starting point?” she asked.
“Dispatch said the caller mentioned sand. The shoreline is mostly rocky around here, but maybe there’s a sliver of open space right up at the point.”
Sam pulled out her phone and pulled up Google Maps. “I see it,” she said. “We’ve got to pass between these trees and the water to get to it.”
“Careful, then,” McCready said. “We’ll probably run into some pretty slippery going what with the mist and all.”
They headed towards a copse of trees adjacent to the manicured lawn. Dawn hadn’t shown itself. Absent any other illumination, they relied on their beams as they picked their way over the uneven surface.
“This is probably about the only piece of land left undeveloped around here,” McCready observed. “You wouldn’t believe how much building has gone on just in the last fifteen years.” He stumbled. “Shit! Sorry, Lieutenant.”
“Nothing I haven’t heard before, Deputy.”
They came upon a slip of sand about a hundred feet long and perhaps fifteen feet wide.
There it was, a body, face up, the left arm extended over the head as if to ward off a blow. The right arm rested on the chest as if in benediction. Both hands were blackened.
She set her searchlight down and crouched by the corpse. The beam coming from McCready’s flashlight wavered.
“You okay, Pat?” she asked.
She heard him swallow. The light steadied. “Yeah, it’s just that, damn, that’s Arley Fitchett.”
“You know him?” Sam asked.
“Everybody knows Arley Fitchett.”
Excerpt from Bird in Hand by Nikki Stern. Copyright 2020 by Nikki Stern. Reproduced with permission from Nikki Stern. All rights reserved.
The book… allows Tate to more fully come into her own as a formidable character on whose shoulders future procedurals could confidentially be placed.Kirkus Reviews
Bird in Hand will have prior Sam fans and newcomers thoroughly engrossed, all the way to the unexpected end.D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Even better than the first…leaving this reader eager for a third.Teri Case, author of the award-winning TIGER DRIVE
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nikki Stern. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on November 1, 2020, and runs through November 16, 2020. Void where prohibited.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Nikki is the author of five books, all of which have earned critical praise. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, and Humanist Magazine as well as in three anthologies. She collaborated on a series of interactive murder mystery musicals that make up the Café Noir series, published by Samuel French.
Click here to view Bird In Hand by Nikki Stern Participants via Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.