- N. N. Light
When Push Comes to Shoot by @RenaKoontz is a Mystery/Suspense pick #suspense #giveaway
When Push Comes to Shoot
Emma Hunter’s tyrannical brother deserved to die, even if the manner of his murder was horror-movie gruesome. As a police lieutenant, she’s duty-bound to provide whatever assistance she can in hunting down her brother’s killer, but she doesn’t mourn his loss. Business acquaintances, former friends, and even his relatives agree the world is better off without the despicable bully.
With no clues and too many suspects, it looks like the murderer might be home free—until tenacious Detective Jared Jones' suspicions turn to Emma’s sweet sister-in-law. Emma knows for a fact that her brother’s mentally and emotionally abused wife is innocent, but conflicting loyalties prevent her from speaking up and turning the investigation in the right direction.
What’s best for her brother’s widow could cost Emma everything she values—her career, her reputation, even her freedom.
Blood was everywhere, pooling on the faded Persian
rug, splattered against the peeling wallpaper as if an
oscillating fan had spread it, coagulated on the pale
blue sofa in a spot sunken by years of weight dropped into it.
Emma stared at the sight, her stomach threatening to return
her morning coffee even though the asshole deserved this.
For a brief moment, her mind drove her back to happier
times in this room. Christmases. Birthday parties. Summer
barbecues when the breeze from the trees bordering the property
fluttered the curtains. The memories were hazy snippets
recalled from some deep recess in her brain she’d almost lost.
How long had it been since she stepped foot in this house? Too
many years to count.
The place was eerily quiet. Like when the dead are present.
Even the birds outside sensed it and stayed silent.
Her brother slouched in front of the TV. His feet were
propped on a pile of newspapers, his tea mug leaving yet
another ring on the coffee table. Only the TV wasn’t on. And he
Not much had changed in this room since the days when
she was welcome here except the piles of paper, amount of
mail, unread magazines, and boxes lining both sides of the
hallway had tripled. The passage from the living room to the
family room was merely a precarious tunnel between the
stacks. She shivered.
From his high school picture perched in the right-hand
corner of the mantle, her brother stared back at her under a
thin film of dust. His eyes were defiant even back then, some
twenty-five years ago. Demeaning. Angry.
The sweet odor of blood stung her nostrils and she gulped.
Homicide scenes were not her bag. Her eyes watered from the
smell. There were twelve years between them, enough of a gap
for him to resent a pesky little sister. Nevertheless, she’d
worshipped him as her older brother, not comprehending that
his disdain for her spread even then, like a slow-growing
cancer. Disdain that would mutate into contempt. An attitude
she refused to accept once she was older.
She reached for the picture but stopped her hand in midair.
She wouldn’t touch him if he stood alive in front of her.
Why should she touch him now that he was dead?
She whirled around, the intrusion of the officer’s voice startling
her, and shoved her hands in her pockets like a guilty child.
“Ma’am, I’m afraid you can’t be here. The sergeant asked me
to secure the premises from everyone until forensics arrives.
The scene hasn’t been processed yet.”
“That’s all right, Officer…” His name gleamed from the
polished nametag. “Petrus. I assure you I haven’t touched
anything. I just wanted to see…” she cleared her throat, “you’re
right, of course. I’ll leave. Do you know where my sister-in-
“My sister-in-law. The victim is my brother.”
The young patrolman snapped to attention. “My condolences,
“At ease, Officer Petrus. Thank you but it’s not necessary. I’m
concerned about his wife. D’you know where she is? Was she
here when it happened?”
“I don’t know, ma’am. You should speak to Sergeant Taylor.
I believe he’s on the grounds. I’m only assigned to the
With one final glance at the couch, Emma walked to the
kitchen door, noting the dirty dishes piled in the sink, the
opened cereal box on the table and the puddled butter in the
container on the counter. The hinges squealed when she
stepped outside and inhaled deeply. The door needed oil. Odd.
Her brother usually kept up with the house maintenance. Or at
least he used to.
The back door had always served as the main entrance
because the driveway that crawled up the hill circled the house
to this point before descending again. It seemed natural to stop
the car here and go inside.
Sergeant Taylor waved her over. “Lieutenant Hunter? What
brings you here? Did the chief send you?”
She’d heard the rumors about Taylor’s missteps on his last
few cases and some off-duty shenanigans that the department
frowned upon. The boss certainly wouldn’t assign this homicide
investigation to him, would he?
“Relax, Sergeant. I’m not here in an official capacity. The
victim is my brother. As soon as I heard the radio call, I came
His shoulders visibly relaxed. “My sympathies, Emma. But
you know you can’t be involved in this investigation. It’s a
blatant conflict of interest.”
“I understand. Are you handling the case?”
“And it means you can’t ask any questions. Not without
getting my ass in a sling and I’ve had enough of that recently.”
His thumb jabbed the air in the direction of the navy blue four door
making its way up the drive behind the forensics van. “Here comes homicide now.”
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I'm a lifelong journalist and an award-winning author. My writing career has taken me into the sports arena, politics, feature writing, editorial writing, and my favorite, cops and courts. I've chased fire trucks and police cars, covered all sorts of crimes, including murders, and reported criminal, civil, high profile, and ordinary trials.
And that's what I write about. In my books, cops are the good guys and the good guys always win.
My books are based on real incidents. Plus, I'm married to a retired FBI agent whose stellar career fuels my ideas and whose technical advice is invaluable. He also takes credit for the steamy scenes!
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