Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nightfall #Excerpt by Brian White #Crime #Mystery

Reality is not what it seems. Any science teacher worth his salt can tell you that. An infinite number of extra dimensions, microscopic black holes flitting into and out of existence right in front of your nose. They’re all around us, but we can’t see them except through numbers on paper.
Sometimes, though, reality tilts and you catch a glimpse through the wormhole into the surreal nature of existence. It can happen because you gaze up at the night sky and for a fleeting moment you grasp what infinitemeans. Or it can happen because you find yourself being stared down by a monster of a man outweighing you by almost two-hundred pounds who wants to introduce you to the cast-iron wrench he’s holding.
When reality tilts you find out what your life really means.
That momentary understanding is the most frightening thing I can imagine.
My name is Ezzy Morgan. The Ezzy is short for Esmerelda, but please don’t call me that.
I worked for fifteen years as a paramedic in the city of Middleton, California. That’s ten years longer than the average. And it was probably ten years too long.
Middleton has the highest rate of EMS provider suicides in the country. There is something in the water here that makes people just a little uglier to each other than anywhere else, I guess. As a paramedic you get to bear witness to it all.
At some point I started getting nightmares. They were always the same.
In them I would be flying. The air screamed past, pulling my cheeks back against my skull. I would be going so incredibly fast that at first I’d laugh with the thrill of it.
Then I’d open my eyes and see the ground. Far away. Miles to go until I got there, but rushing up at me, closing the distance faster than I could react.
That’s when I’d realize I was falling, not flying. Plummeting like a meteor.
Clouds always formed below me. White towering tips reaching up to touch me, ready to drag me into their belly where darkness waited.
I would claw at the air, seeking purchase and finding none. Tears would be ripped from my eyes before I could blink them away.
I would plunge into the storm and become lost in the dark.
Warm wet drops would pelt my skin. You’re not supposed to be able to feel physical sensations in dreams. Someone forgot to tell my subconscious, because I could feel the rain inside the storm.
Only, it was never rain. The taste of copper would fill my mouth and when lightning flashed I would see my bare skin covered in blood.
Somewhere in the darkness a woman would utter a mad cackling laugh, and a child would scream in response. The scream was always cut off mid-breath. Always.
Then the clouds would vanish and the ground would be there terrifyingly close. I’d throw my arms up, but really, there was nothing I could do except wake up.
I woke from the nightmare entirely the day I walked into my supervisor’s office and slid my resignation across his desk. I walked out of his office and never looked back.
If you asked me why I became a private investigator I couldn’t tell you. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
It’s been a long time since I rode around in the back of an ambulance. The nightmares are less now, but every once in a while they still come, and I’ll fall through the bloody rain and see the ground hurtling up at me.
It’s been said you see your entire life in the instant before you die. All your good deeds and bad. Everything in between.
I don’t think that’s true. I think we all have the same thought:
Just give me one more day.

A beautiful young escort is strangled to death, her corpse discarded in a back alley dumpster. The killer’s identity is a mystery, and the homicide has gone almost unnoticed. Welcome to Middleton, where these things happen every night and the police are too busy or too jaded to notice.
Ezzy Morgan once roamed these blue collar streets as a paramedic. Here she was weaned from innocence and taught the cold-blooded nature of the human heart. Now she works as a private detective and has shut the door on shootings, stabbings, and the constant specter of death. But her life is about to be shattered when the dead woman’s only surviving friend seeks her out, looking for justice.
Clues are sparse and the trail seems to be a dead end before it has even begun. But the mystery takes a macabre turn after another death is dropped at Ezzy’s feet, and she’s hit with an ultimatum from the world of organized crime: find the killer in the next twenty-four hours . . . or die.
This murder mystery turned terrifying struggle between life and death will expose a cover-up spanning two generations involving a sadistic psychopath, a burned-out cop with a cocaine habit, and a powerful man willing to commit murder just to ensure a secret stays buried.
With the noose tightening and the clock winding down to her own demise, Ezzy must come to terms with a darkness she thought she’d left behind years ago. Nightfall has come to Middleton, and she might not live to see the dawn.
Brian White has crafted a captivating tale in the new noir. Nightfall, with its crisp prose and razor-sharp dialogue, is a thrilling tale of crime and suspense that grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the end.
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Genre - Crime, Noir, Mystery
Rating – R
More details about the author
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