The Daily Gazette lay open on the desk. It was just a short article on page three that had Dewey chewing, once again, on a toothpick that was moving to and fro in the deputy’s mouth.
“The body of one Robert Sands was found
floating in Deer Creek on the afternoon of
June 7. There were ligature marks around his
neck. At the time of this article no suspects
have been taken into custody. A search of his
living quarters produced a letter which had
been mailed from Sun Valley. Little else is
known at this time.”
Dewey’s head was nodding as the wheels in his mind turned. He would have to make a trip to Hinton and find out if this was the man some locals had called Bobby. Mighty peculiar that the letter had come from Sun Valley, not far from where the body of one Terrance Hilliard had been found back in April. What did that lawyer fella, Joel, have to do with any of it? That Terrance guy, wasn’t his body found after the Jackson place was ransacked? Murder was not the normal course of events around these parts. No sir. Something was going on. Was Jason Gardner part of any of this? He had never been in trouble before, but maybe something happened and he just got in over his head. Nobody’s perfect. Why would anybody want to hurt Fawn and her grandmother? Too many questions, not enough answers. But he’d get to the bottom of it. Molly had talked about a man wearing pointy-toed black boots and smoking a pipe. This puzzle needed to be put together, and quick, before someone else turned up dead.
The storm hit hard and furious, with no warning. Sarah Beth was outside playing and picking wildflowers when the sun disappeared and the sky turned black. The wind whipped her dress and hair. She looked up at the sky and saw lightning bolts knife through the clouds at the same time she heard the thunder roar. Two large raindrops pelted her face as she ran to the house, the flowers forgotten as they dropped from her hand. “Mama,” she screamed. She could not remembe...