Monday, May 21, 2012

Excerpt: JUSTICE FOR EMILY by Sandy Wolters

Rachael Merchant, a Phoenix Homicide Detective is running from the images of her last case that are embedded deep in her soul. Before her journey is over, she will find herself embroiled in a murder investigation that involves the Chief of Police of Brownwood, Texas as the main suspect. Officer Sheehan will do whatever it takes to keep her near him to get Justice For Emily. 
Patrick gazed at the faces of the mourners at Emily’s graveside service. It was apparent how many people loved her.
Emily grew up here in Brownwood, Texas, and always extended a helping hand to those around her. Although she was only thirty-three years old at the time of her death, over the years she had sculpted herself into the matriarch of the inhabitants of this small town. She genuinely loved the town and the people in it. Outside of her children, it seemed her only interests were helping those around her.
Joe Clapton and his wife, Cheryl, were here with their children. Several years ago, Joe lost his job, and they were finding it difficult to keep food on the table. When Emily heard of their circumstances, she started a food sharing program by visiting the local restaurants and convincing them to donate all cooked food that was earmarked to be thrown away so it could be distributed to those families who needed it instead.
Walt Sheridan was standing off to the side looking bereft. He had been a friend of Emily’s since grade school. When he was arrested for burglary, Emily went to visit him in jail to find out why he had chosen this path. She found out that he was unable to find work and felt he had no other options. Against her husband’s objections, Emily helped Walt start a successful lawn service.
Katie Spencer was also here with her boy, Joshua. Katie had been a sixteen-year-old girl who found herself pregnant. Once again, thought Patrick, enter Emily. Emily had provided Katie with emotional support as well as advice on her options. Emily’s influence resulted in her keeping her baby and finishing high school.
There were hundreds of people here for this woman who had made a difference in their lives in small ways and in large ways.
Patrick’s attention turned to Boyd Campbell, Emily’s husband and his boss. A rage so deep that Patrick felt it ripple through his entire being gripped at his soul, making him edgy. It was apparent Boyd felt Emily did not deserve a funeral. He probably wouldn’t have had the graveside service except there were so many people in town who loved Emily that he felt he had to do something to keep up appearances. Noticeable to all, Boyd failed to bring the three most important people in Emily’s life to say goodbye: her children.
Patrick remembered the night of Emily’s death. Lucas Graham and his wife were at Brownwood Regional Medical Center having their first child so Patrick was covering his shift. The call came in from Boyd himself. He stated, clearly agitated, that Emily had killed herself, and he wanted her body removed as soon as possible so the children would not see her.
That was two days ago. Boyd had systematically skirted all protocol in regard to Emily’s death. He wanted no investigation, no autopsy and no funeral. Patrick’s hands clenched into fists at his sides as he recalled what Boyd had said to him the night Emily died: “Get the bitch out of here immediately. I’ll sign off on this. I’m Chief of Police here, and nobody will question it.”
Boyd had her body cremated the following day, and here they were two days after her death grieving for her at her grave. There was no way in hell Patrick could let this stand as it was. He knew deep down that Boyd had killed her. He was just going to have to figure out how to prove it in a manner that Boyd wouldn’t realize an investigation was underway.
As soon as the pastor was done, Boyd turned and left without a backward glance.
Patrick watched as the townsfolk moved forward, said their goodbyes and left. When everyone was gone, he moved forward. He looked at the deep, cold hole in the ground with what was left of Emily. “I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I promise you, Emily, that I will not let him get away with this. Thank you for everything you did for me and the people around you.”
He tossed a rose into the hole and walked away.

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