An Eye for an Eye
The Izzy O Crime Files, Book One
Rookie detective Izzy O’Donnell is on the trail of a serial killer who’s murdering victims and leaving behind body parts wrapped in Bible verses. Izzy tracks him down with the help of her two partners—a very enigmatic Moreno and a rather grumpy Cal—her injured dad’s former partner.
Meanwhile, her wacky sidekick, Apple MacIntosh, totes a pet rabbit around in a baby sling, insisting he’s telepathic and can smell death on Izzy’s clothes. Unnerved by unexplained dreams, Izzy forges forth to solve the case. A homeless man, a philandering televangelist, and a mentally challenged gardener are among the suspects who distract Izzy from seeing the killer, who has been getting to know her all along.
Moreno was already on his knees near the body with a forensics team member.
“You finished taking pictures?” Cal said shoving his way past Izzy into the room.
“Yes. All the pictures are in. We’re looking for trace evidence and prints now,” the techie said. “We haven’t spent a lot of time with the body yet. The medical examiner is on his way. You can take a look if you like, but just follow protocol.”
“Right,” Cal said, shooting the techie his best duh look. The techie shrugged and moved on. Cal turned to Moreno. “There’s a lot of blood. Call the spatter guys and get them over here.”
“Sure,” Moreno said. He pulled out his cell and dialed.
Izzy still stood in the entryway, transfixed by the scene.
“C’mon, kid,” Cal said. “Show us what you’re made of.”
“Comin’,” she said, pausing to look around the room.
The blood had dried, indicating it had been a while since the murder. Cal waved her into the room on his way to the fireplace.
Moreno hung up the phone and walked past Izzy, purposely brushing her elbow with his. Startled, she jumped and looked at him.
“You hangin’ in?” he said.
“Guess I’m a little shell shocked.”
They crossed the room and met Cal at the fireplace. He was bent over, examining the body.
“Cal, Moreno, you’d better take a look at this,” said one of the techies. He motioned them over to the blood-soaked couch.
Izzy hadn’t been called over, so she stayed at the fireplace. The scene was gruesome and the stench wafted up her nose. She gingerly touched the body with a stainless steel probe. It crunched. She steadied her queasies and took a deep breath. Get back on task.
She scrutinized the area, searching for fibers and trace evidence. When she picked up the fireplace poker that lay nearby, a blood-soaked packet tumbled off the hearth and plopped on the carpet. Izzy glanced around to see if anyone else had noticed. When she realized she was the sole recipient of this piece of evidence, her heart skipped a beat. This could be her first break—her way to show those seasoned guys that this newbie knew her stuff.
She fished around in her kit and found an evidence bag, leaned over the object and picked it up. It was heavier than she expected, and cold. Blood smeared the paper and streaked her gloved hand. Trying hard not to think about it, she held it up.
“Look at this,” she said.
Cal and Moreno rushed over. “Open it,” Cal ordered.
Izzy opened the paper revealing an object that was short and small and very bloody. A gemstone dangled underneath it. The contents of her stomach headed north. She coughed and choked down bile.
Moreno stated the obvious. “I believe that’s an ear.” He looked up at Cal and then over to Izzy. “What you want to bet our vic is missing hers?”
That was it. Izzy took off at a dead run for the door but she didn’t make it. Her lunch spewed all over the carpet.