Title: Fire on the Mountain: A Detective Mike Eiser Novel
Author: Clabe Polk
Peter Stanwick did one thing wrong; he got killed.
Stanwick, the dead ‘cook’ for Jack Haven’s crank operation, was found with Jack’s wife, Susan’s cross in his pocket; its chain broken. How did it get there?
Mike Eiser needs to know.
Jack’s lab where Stanwick worked is torched. Susan is beaten severely. Jack dies suddenly. A traffic accident or murder? Who burned the lab and why? Why was Susan beaten and by whom?
Mike Eiser needs to know.
The Havens are a dynasty of bootleggers with history dating back to reconstruction progressing from bootlegging moonshine whiskey to growing and distributing marijuana. Brothers Jack and Jason compete to produce and distribute crank. DEA is unable to locate one or more crank labs in Jericho County. Will Eiser’s investigation of Standwick’s murder lead the way?
Mike Eiser needs to know.
Can Eiser, his girlfriend, Arson Investigator Donna Miley, and his partner Malcom “Mini” Moore wade through the Haven family’s entangled motives while sorting through piles of twisted confused evidence to solve multiple murders?
Will Susan use the ongoing investigations and the internal family tension to burn the Haven family down?
Mike Eiser needs to know!
“Hide your eyes,” Sondra said. “You looked last time!”
Quinton huffed. “Did not!”
“Yeah, yah did!” said Sondra. She spun him around to face the river. “Cover your eyes like this.” She placed her hands over his eyes from behind. He raised his hands on top of her hands. She moved her hands away, leaving his to cover his eyes. “That’s right,” she said, dashing away upslope. “Keep ‘em covered!”
Quinton covered his eyes tightly and focused on counting. At ten, he heard a loud thump, bushes rustling, and a groan. Whirling around, he saw Sondra lying flat on her belly among the grass and underbrush. The sarcastic comment that burst from his mind to his tongue died there as Sondra flailed around, rolled over to her left, and seemingly levitated to her feet with a blood-curdling shriek while backpeddling down slope, falling backwards over a tree root still screaming, a wild, terrified look in her eyes.
Quinton caught her and pulled her to her feet. “Wot happened?”
Sondra opened her mouth to speak, then closed it and shook her head. She shook free of Quinton and raced to the trail, walking quickly back the way they’d come, hugging herself tightly and sobbing uncontrollably. At the tree line she yelled through her tears, “Damn, QT, let’s get out of here!”
“Yuh goin’ ta tell me wot’s up?”
Pointing a shaking hand, she answered, “There’s a…a…body back there!”
“A body?” QT grinned. “Yah sho’?”
“Damned straight I’m sure! I freaking know what a body looks like. If you don’t believe me, get your ass up there and look!”
“Okay…okay, Ah believe yuh.” He walked uphill toward where she’d fallen. “Gimme a second, okay?”
“Shouldn’t we call the police?”
“In a minute. Jes’ lemme look, okay?” Quinton could now see what caused her to trip. A foot clad in a black boot protruded from the ground. He squatted for a closer look.
The boot was attached to a blue jeans clad leg that disappeared into the soil. A couple of feet away, a hand extended from a camouflaged shirtsleeve that emerged from underground in the same manner as the boot and blue jeans. Softened by digging the grave, the soil had been eroded by recent spring rains. Quinton could not see the head or any other details, but a sunken impression marked the edges of the grave. The hand was not decomposed; the body had not been there very long. Wild animals had not picked at it, meaning it had probably been uncovered by the hard rain the night before. Displaced soil and leaves showed Sondra had fallen squarely on top of the grave. No wonder she freaked out.
Hearing footsteps behind him, he turned in time to intercept Sondra coming up behind him. “Whoa!” he said. “Yuh don need ta see any mo’ o’ dat!”
“I’m okay now. I want to see it,” she said.
He stepped back. “Okay...whatever.”
Sondra studied the grave, including the boot and the hand carefully, and then with a deep involuntary shudder, whirled abruptly and headed back toward the trail. “We need to call the cops.”.
“’Cept for de dancin’, dat’s da bes’ suggestion yah’ve had all day.” Quinton grinned.
“Wow, Mike…just when we thought we’d finally get a Saturday off the dead bodies start appearing. Crappy timing, huh?” groused Detective Malcolm “Mini” Moore as he and Detective Mike Eiser walked the Muscovy River trail. “It must be hard to find time to work on the house.”
“Yeah,” answered Eiser, “today I was supposed to be doing electrical work, putting in a new load center. I have to rewire the whole thing to bring it up to code, so I might as well start with the basics.”
“That stuff takes time, and spare time is something you haven’t got. How long have you been working on that thing now? What does Donna think about how long it’s taking?”
“She’s fine with it,” replied Eiser. “She even gave me a dog yesterday, a Rottweiler, to ‘keep me company while I work’ she said. “I’m ripping out all the drywall so rewiring it won’t be so tough.”
“Yeah. Makes my back hurt just thinking about it. You need to hire some help,” Mini said.
“Can’t afford contractors,” said Eiser. “I need to do most of it myself.”
“I hear you, man. But just one helper? It would make a big difference.”
They walked a while in companionable silence. Mini Moore, the gentle giant, was a former college football linebacker standing six foot five and over two-hundred thirty pounds of hard muscle. A well-educated black man, a power-lifter, and talented investigator with common sense, he had been Mike Eiser’s partner since Charlie Bozeman’s death to a sniper a couple of years previous.
Eiser, on the other hand, was a hard-charging five-eight, one hundred-sixty pounds of investigative determination who had replaced Charlie Bozeman as Sheriff Glenn Glassman’s chief of detectives. The popular duo were called “Mutt and Jeff” by their fellow officers.
“A dog, huh?” said Moore, breaking the silence. “A puppy?”
“Nah, he’s about a year old. She got him from the shelter. He’s already ninety pounds.”
“What’d you name him?” Moore asked.
“Bad Ass. I call him BA.”
“Shit!” exclaimed Moore with a belly laugh. “That’s a riot! With a name like that how can he go wrong? What did Donna think about it?”
“She thought it was funny but she said I could have thought of something a little classier.”
“I’ll bet she did,” said Moore. “Donna’s a classy lady. Naming a dog, even a Rottweiler, ‘Bad Ass’ would never occur to her.”
“There they are. Oh Lord! It’s QT and Sondra,” Eiser said, nodding toward the young couple standing at the edge of the path with a uniformed deputy. “Damn, looks like Artie’s here too.”
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Mountain-Detective-Eiser-Novel-ebook/dp/B078NGDJGR/
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Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fire-on-the-mountain-24
What makes this book a must-read and/or what inspired you to write this story:
My books are about people who are victimized in some way; by growing criminal activities, by technology, by changing attitudes toward personal responsibility for one’s actions, by government or corporate actions, by age, by disease or by other factors. The Detective Mike Eiser Series poses the question “What happens when urban crimes common to a large metropolitan area spill into adjacent small towns and change their social environments?” Who are the victims? Who protects them? To what degree can they protect themselves?
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CLABE POLK is into a second career as a writer of fiction. So far, he has written four novels, three novellas, several short stories, and has a couple of other novels in process. He is a lifelong reader with a great variety of life experience.
With a background in biology and natural sciences, Mr. Polk has more than thirty-seven years in professional environmental protection program management and law enforcement.
He lives in Powder Springs, Georgia with his wife, two daughters, and the family’s Cockapoo named Annie.
Social Media Links:
Author website: http://clabepolkmysteryadve.ipage.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClabePolk (@ClabePolk)