Murderous Passions
The Turner Hahn/ Frank Morales Series Book 1
by B.R. Stateham
Genre: Detective Mystery
The first novel in the Turner Hahn/Frank Morales detective series. Two homicide detectives and old friends who take on the homicide cases no one else in the police department want to touch.
Two cops. Four homicides. One case involves a college professor and six thousand suspects. The second involves a dead farm girl, a dead gigolo, and a grieving housewife. The third is a jewel thief who likes to play with big caliber guns. The fourth involves a drug-crazed hoodlum with a killer’s desire to challenge the world. It’s just another working day for Detective Sergeants Turner Hahn and Frank Morales.
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Murder is such an up-close and personal venue.

Especially if the weapon of choice is a garrote made with piano wire.  The C-string.  With wood handles carved with a craftsman’s precision to fit the end of the wires for a firm, deadly grip.

Yes.  A garrote is a very intimate form of death.  It requires strength. Perseverance. Patience.  It’s not like shooting someone with a 9mm.  Stand ten feet away.  Aim at the chest.  Pull the trigger and then walk away.   The garrote is not mundane and pedestrian.  To kill with a garrote means you must stand close to your victim.  As close as two bodies intertwined in a lover’s embrace.  You must stand close enough to feel the victim’s body heat.  Smell the victim’s fear.  Taste the victim’s blood.

It’s messy.

The victim doesn’t die by strangulation so much as by drowning.   If the proper technique is used the carotid artery is severed.  Blood spurts everywhere.  The victim drowns in his own blood.  A macabre sense of retribution.  Dying by drowning in your own blood.

Yes.  Garroting is very personal.  Someone choosing this method meant the killer wanted to enjoy the act of snuffing someone’s life out.  Like a wine connoisseur wanting to savor every passing second of a rare wine.

The victim was Dr. Walter Holdridge.  The Walter Holdridge.  Nobel prize winner in Physics and for the last dozen years the academic catch for our own Anderson University.  The victim lay sprawled across a computer terminal in the basement of the campus’ Computer Sciences building.   Very dead.  Very messy.  And promising to be a case which would bring an overwhelming amount of bad publicity to the university.  Publicity of the unwanted kind.

Anderson University is a synonym for ‘money.’  It’s in the dictionary.  Look it up in Webster’s and the number three definition will say, “Anderson University–and lots of it.”  The campus is six blocks of downtown prime real estate.  Sculptured lawns, big platters of well-manicured flower beds, and red brick buildings of various architectural styles which somehow blend together describes the school.  It has ten thousand students and each student is in the top three percent in the nation.  Smart kids.  Rich kids. Money and lots of smarts.

For a cop that’s a bad combination.

B.R. Stateham is a fourteen-year-old boy trapped in a seventy-year-old body. But his enthusiasm and boyish delight in anything mysterious and/or unknown continue.
Writing novels, especially detectives, is just the avenue of escape which keeps the author’s mind sharp and inquisitive. He’s published a ton of short stories in online magazines like Crooked, Darkest Before the Dawn, Abandoned Towers, Pulp Metal Magazine, Suspense Magazine, Spinetingler Magazine, Near to The Knuckle, A Twist of Noir, Angie’s Diary, Power Burn Flash, and Eastern Standard Crime. He writes both detective/mysteries, as well as science-fiction and fantasy.
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