Title: Darkness Knows Me
Author: Chrinda Jones
Release date: April 1st, 2013
Tour: Irresistible Reads Book Tours
Richard McMann hangs by his arms from the rafters of Red Curtain Club- naked. His ankles are bound together and his throat is cut in what appears to be a gruesome still-life tribute to Christ’s crucifixion. There is no blood in spite of the gaping wound to his throat and his entire body is covered by what looks like a fine white powder. The salt granules scattered on the dance floor beneath his feet and the fact that his body faces due east, make his murder different yet similar to the death days earlier in a club a few blocks away.
South Dallas police detective, Olivia Gates and criminal psychologist, Dr. Will Green, engage in a game of wits with a serial killer who haunts the nightclubs of Deep Ellum, leaving behind ritualistic sacrifices of those people he believes deserving of the act. Is he a raging psychopath, killing just to kill, or is there method behind his madness?
“So, what sedative did he use if it wasn’t Ketamine?”
“They listed the overridin’ chemicals in McMann’s blood as diphenhydramine, heroin, acetaminophen and salicylic acid. Then all the other chemicals, minerals, etc you expect to see in a blood work-up.”
“Cheese Heroin and aspirin,” Olivia said.
“Judging by the size of the dose he took of salicylic acid, the fella had one hell of a head banger before whoever got hold of him, got hold of him. His ears must have been ringin’ like a bicycle bell.” Verna said.
“Big guy, big dose. Makes sense to a person who doesn’t make a habit out of reading dosage labels.” Olivia never heard of this particular type of heroin being used purposefully as a respiratory depressant.
“I had them run a break down on a sample of the Cheese we found in McMann’s mouth. I wanted to know the percentage of heroin used to make it. The test came back at twenty percent. That’s three times higher than the five percent found in the original samples they ran years back when it appeared in the schools.” Verna’s pastry slowly oozed amoretto filling with every piece she tore from it. She licked the filling off the tips of her fingers and said, “Black Tar Heroin is thirty percent Heroin. The drug we found is nearly that level. Considerin’ the effects of an increased amount of acetaminophen and diphenhydramine, we’re lookin’ at more consumer deaths due to respiratory failure.”
Olivia handed Verna a napkin and asked, “Anything else? What about the weapon?”
“Flip through those papers with the blue paper clip until you see the section that talks about the knife wound.” Verna waved her sticky hand in the direction of the open file folder. “I took swabs from the outside edges of McMann’s neck wound and from inside the wound itself and sent it to the lab with the rest of the specimens. The results came back showin’ animal blood mixed with McMann’s blood at the site. Odocoileus virginianus - White Tailed Deer for people who speak English.”
“White tail live mostly in Canada, but there are some as far south as here and Louisiana.”
“How do you know that?” Verna asked.
“I’m the daughter of an avid hunter with no sons. You would be surprised by some of the things I know.” Olivia continued flipping through the pages, skimming the rest of the report. “So, that probably makes our murder weapon a hunting or survival knife like I thought.”
“Ya, I guess it does.”
“Exsanguination makes sense now that we know he’s probably a hunter.” Olivia said.
“But what does exsanguination have to do with his method? Why do somethin’ so freakin nasty?” Verna shuddered.
“I’m almost certain it has to do with the act of sacrifice. If he’s working from the Old Testament version of ritual sacrifice, blood has to be spilled in order for forgiveness to be granted.” Olivia said this with confidence, certain of her assumption, at least where the sacrifices were concerned.
“So, the murders are ritualistic. Girl, that’s just weird.”
About the Author:
Chrinda Jones was born in 1964, in Sacramento,CA. She lived the first 30 years of her life in Oregon and has since lived in several different states across the U.S. She began learning to write in earnest when her four children started leaving the nest. She is the author of the Olivia Gates and Will Green crime series set in Dallas, Texas, of which “Darkness knows Me” is the first installment. A musician and lover of books, she lives in Murphy, Texas with her husband and her Jugg, Abby.