by Thomas Rowe Drinkard
By Rich Weatherly
Homicide detective Malacca Longwood of the NYPD thought he’d seen everything but this case made him want to wretch. He and his partner were up against a demented serial killer who preyed on members of the medical community. The press had given this sicko the nickname ‘Nanny ’ because he did his dirty work in the homes of families with children. After disabling the parents, the sociopath would drug the children then carry out his horrific flaying and mutilation ritual on the parents, one small strip at at time. The killer would bind the parents, tape their eyelids wide open and force their partners to watch. You’ll need to read Devil’s Blade to fully comprehend these depraved acts. Simply put, the book title, Devil’s Blade is an apt title for one of the instruments used to satisfy this person’s abominable deeds. The objects of his fascination would be carefully laid out in an artful presentation for investigators to see. You see, the killer is not only a serial killer. This is a ritualistic serial killer.
This has been a baffling case for Malucca, or Mal, as he is know by his friends and relatives. Fortunately, the shade of Mama Marie would be the source of answers to the mystery. Mal would listen, and listen closely.
Excerpt from a scene with Mama Marie:
I stood there in a sort of suspended animation as she took a long drag on the foul cigarette, then half-turned to her right and blew the smoke toward the closed window.
Her black eyes glittered, squinting back sidewise at me through the haze she’d created, as if they reflected ritual bonfires. She seemed to draw all of me into their depths.
Madame Marie Duminy Clapion, Mama Marie, watching me from the chair, died when I was eleven years old. I wept at her elaborate, ritual funeral in New Orleans— twenty-two years ago.
Continuation of the excerpt…
“You up agin’ a bad ‘un here, Honey. This man you lookin’ for is just plain evil— crazy, too. Watch everythin’ real close. You gotta catch him ‘fore he kills a bunch more more people. You’ll see when you face him—he’s cold as a copperhead. Watch him close now.
Watch ever’ little thing he do. You gotta stay calm, too, jus’ like I taught you when you was a chile.” She spoke quietly, her mouth a flat grim line and a hard glint in anthracite eyes. She began to fade slowly into transparency and was gone.
The smell of Picayune cigarettes faded more slowly than her shade, or maybe it was just the memories, awakened by the smell.
After a series of murders matching the killer’s profile, police got a break. A man wearing hospital scrubs had been stopped for running a red light. A diminutive man who stood about 5’5’’ looked chilly and slimy. He worked at Mount Sinai as a surgical nurse. Good detective work and a tip from Mama Marie, led to the conviction of Halyard M. Moonleigh in spite of a hard fought battle in court against Moonleigh’s high priced attorney. Moonleigh had connections. Moonleigh was convicted of murder and received a life sentence. His defense managed to get him shipped off to a high-security mental institution. During the trial, the defendant made eye contact with Malacca. If looks could kill, Malacca would be dead. Evil reached out from the man’s stare.
Some time later during a dark and stormy night, Moonleigh took advantage of a power outage and light staffing caused by the emergency conditions. In spite of a determined effort to find him, Moonleigh had vanished.
A few months later we find Malacca on the trail of a mafia don named Lagano. This event will complicate future efforts by the detective to capture their fugitive.
During the course of the story we learn that Malacca is dating a highly sought after fashion model. He’s the envy of everyone he knows. The model, Chloe has captured Mal’s heart. She was gorgeous and loved Mal as much as he loved her. Chloe’s mother was one of the lucky one who managed to get out of South Vietnam while there was still time when the country fell in 1975. Mal and Chole manage to keep a warm and growing relation in spite of their frequent separation caused by a long distant relationship due to their travels.
One day, Mal receives a call from his cousin, “Skeet,” William Andrew Longwood. Skeet serves as a county sheriff in Alabama. Skeet has disturbing news. An anonymous caller dialed 911 to report a murder scene. During the investigation, Skeet found a note addressed to him but stating, “Tell Malacca I’ll look forward to seeing him again.”
The news shocked Malacca and he knew he had to head back home to Alabama to assist with the investigation. This sets up a chain of events that will have you flying through the pages. You’ll get a glimpse of small town life in Alabama. You’ll see warm but hesitant reunite. Rivalries will resurface and before all is said and done. Malacca, Chole and his family will find themselves caught up in a deadly mystery that only Malacca with the help of Mama Marie can bring to an end.
Purchase link: Click for Devil’s Blade on Amazon
Thomas Drinkard Page on The Intependent Author Network
Author’s Website, Pinnacle Writing
Thomas Drinkard Biography
Thomas Rowe Drinkard was born and reared in the Deep South–Alabama.
He graduated from the University of North Alabama with a degree in English. At graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and went on active duty eight days later.
Within two years, he volunteered and was accepted into the Special Forces (Green Berets). After Airborne and Special Forces school, he’d found a home. With a few other assignments in between, he spent ten years with the fabled unit. He was unhappy with the Army’s plans for his future and left active duty, joining the reserves. He is now a Major, retired reserve.
After the Army, he found his way into teaching and writing in the securities licensing preparation business. His textbooks, articles and CE courses are in use today.
His poetry can be found in a number of literary magazines, including Negative Capability, Cotton Boll/Atlanta Review, Elk River Review and several others.
“Piety and Murder” was his first piece of long fiction to be published. Since publishing that book, he has published “Where There Were No Innocents,” “V-Trooper-First Mission,”V-Trooper-Second Mission-The Demon,” and “Overload.” The “V-Trooper” books are novellas. He has novel, “Devil’s Blade,” a work in progress, planned for publication near the end of 2012.
He has also published a collection of poetry drawn from his Vietnam War experiences, “Finding The Way Home.”