The Love Songs Murders

What does 'PR' mean?

Find out what PR means. PR is explained by Kelly Marshall - author of The Love Songs Murders


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Chapter 2: Chapter Two
"...PRick enjoyed the verbal volleyball with his partner. Strom was tough, unflappable, and the best damned partner he’d ever had. He’d taken heat from other detectives when his new partner had been announced. He’d walked out of Lieutenant Nelson’s office to a room full of smirking faces and dead ..."
"... Strom was as muscled inside as her compact, sculpted body was on the outside. Her face never changed exPRession when she overheard a comment about her sexual PReference. No eye twitch, no downward movement of her mouth, no furrowing of her brow. She just kept doing her job. Nick ..."
"... “Shut up, Nick. Check it out. His fly’s open.” Nick glanced down and caught a glimpse of white PRotruding from the victim’s beige Dockers. “Wonder if he had company. Maybe he didn’t pay and the lady got pissed.” “Possibility number one. Here’s the CSI team.” ..."
"...PRCan you tell me anything?” Nick asked John Carter, the rumpled, chronically tardy ME. The coroner looked up. Vicks Vapo Rub glistened below his nose. Applying Vicks on the nostrils was an old trick used by cops and forensic teams to mask the rancid odor of dead flesh. Though he ..."
"... the aging ME struggled to his feet. “Fly’s open. Can you test for semen and saliva?” the detective requested. “Could be a PRo that wanted more than her fifty.” “And you know the going price these days?” Carter chuckled. “I’m a happily married man, ..."
"... Can you test for semen and saliva?” the detective requested. “Could be a pro that wanted more than her fifty.” “And you know the going PRice these days?” Carter chuckled. “I’m a happily married man, Winston.” “Happily married men indulge.” “Not this one,” ..."
"... asked, “You want lunch?” “You buying?” “Alright, but it’s you next time. And I don’t mean tacos. It’ll be PRime rib. I’m tired of when you buy, it’s Taco Tienda and then you lift your leg and fart all afternoon.” “Such a sweet ..."

Chapter 3: Chapter Three
"...PRfter turning the microphone off, she spoke out loud to the empty studio, “You need to dump that jerk, girl.” She PRessed a button on the phone beckoning her assistant. She mashed the button again. “Felicita, where the hell are you?” After a third attempt didn’t summon her ..."
"... “Diet tonight. There’s some maraschino cherries in the fridge. Be a luv, and drop a couple in for me. And take the phones for awhile. It’s been all downer calls tonight. I need to recharge. Peter is being such a PRick about listener hold time. Gotta keep them entertained and happy.” ..."
"... and happy.” Jasmine returned to the studio, PRessed a button and put the control board on auto segue. Sinking into her chair, she picked up a fan letter, then scribbled something on it in red ink. Child-like hearts framed the text in the center. The letter read: My Dearest ..."

Chapter 4: Chapter Four
"... Nick stooped and ran his fingers over the back surface of the couch. “It must still be in here.” He stuck his gloved finger in the hole. “I feel something hard. Either of you got a Leatherman? Strom PRoduced the multi-purpose tool from her back pocket and handed it to Nick. ..."
"... bumper sticker had a signature. He tossed it back in the drawer. Strom opened a closet that bulged casual clothes and two suits, one black, one gray. Shoes lined the floor with military PRecision. “Not the fanciest dresser.” “Your girlfriend might like them.” “That was low, even ..."
"... holds. Anything you need, give me a call, ya’ hear.” She stifled the urge to say something about his mother’s PRofession and his unfortunate parentage, but opted to be gracious instead. “I’ll do that, Lieutenant.” Two days later, John Carter, the medical examiner confirmed ..."
"...PRwo days later, John Carter, the medical examiner confirmed both bodies were shot with the same gun. Ballistics matched .22 pistol rifling striations. And both victims tested positive for saliva on their penises. Nick whistled as Strom gave him the news at the police station at 5th and Cherry. “So ..."

Chapter 5: Chapter Five
"... keys, and walked with long strides towards her blue Spyder. As she PRessed the button to automatically unlock her car, she heard someone yell her name. She turned to see a thin man appear from the shadows and run towards her. “What the hell?” Jasmine hurried into her car, slammed ..."
"... her cell phone and with trembling fingers dialed 911. After reporting the incident with the stranger, she reluctantly gave her phone number and address. The operator PRomised a patrolman would be at her house within the hour. As her heart rate decreased, she eased off the gas pedal ..."
"...PRJasmine James opened the door wearing a sheer linen mini-dress and little else. She held a glass of red wine casually in her left hand. Nick smiled in shocked apPReciation. He swallowed hard. “Hello. I’m Nick Winston.” He flashed his badge. “I understand you had a PRoblem earlier this evening.” ..."
"... He slammed it shut. She caught his look and smiled, this time seductively. Taking a notebook and pen out of his inner jacket pocket, he swallowed hard and PRepared to take notes. “What did this guy look like? “It all happened so fast and I was frightened. I don’t remember him being ..."
"...PRWell, I don’t have them here. They’re at the station, of course. If you come by KLOV tomorrow evening, you can have them all. I certainly don’t want them. Although, I have saved them for just this reason. I never know when one of my listeners is going to go ..."

Chapter 6: Chapter Six
"... on the water. Not cheap.” “No kidding.” “Ansel Adams PRints on the wall. Broyhill in the living room. Plasma TV. All the electronic bells and whistles. The radio still playing when I got there. Funny, he would leave that on.” “Some people do that to give the impression ..."
"...PRick found himself glancing at his watch often. Late afternoon he headed back to his apartment, showered down and gave special attention to his hair. He combed and restyled it several times. He selected dark slacks and a white shirt, no tie. At five PM he climbed in his car ..."
"... he whispered. The steel and glass Littell Broadcasting building sat tucked neatly in an office park on NE 8th Street in Bellevue. At six PM the front door was locked and Winston PRessed a buzzer as instructed by a sign on the door. A Hispanic female voice answered, “Jes?” “Nick Winston ..."
"... Broadcasting. Five radio stations were listed in pink and aqua lettering just below the Littell logo. He located KLOV in suite 905. He made his way to the elevators, climbed in and PRessed the number nine button. He rattled his car keys nervously as the metal car ascended. An attractive ..."
"... the metal car ascended. An attractive Hispanic woman met him at the elevator. “Detective Winston, I PResume.” Dressed in a caramel-colored tight fitting jacket and beige short skirt, the young woman smiled broadly. Nick felt her gaze travel up and down his body. “ Is Miss James ..."
"... “I’m Felicita, Detective. Miss James’ PRoducer.” She offered a hand that glittered with a ring on every finger, her hand surPRisingly small and strong. “Jasmine is cutting a commercial. She should be done in a few minutes. You can wait for her in the deejay lounge.” ..."
"... assistant save the envelopes?” “No. Once she enters contact information into our database, she throws them away. It would be a space PRoblem to keep them. I only save those letters that are special in some way. I am thinking of a book in the future.” Nick folded the letter and put it ..."

Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
"...PRck turned on the radio as he drove home. Etta James crooned, “At Last.” He felt mellow, pensive, and hummed along, but the singer’s voice wasn’t the one he wanted to hear. For the first time ever, he begged for a commercial break so Jasmine could fill the airwaves ..."
"... shoes. “Unlucky dinner date,” Nick commented. Strom peered underneath the table. “It looks like a slightly different MO. His pants are zipped. Maybe the evening didn’t PRogress as planned and she offed him before sex.” “Maybe they were done or maybe this is a different ..."
"... a radio perched on an end table in the living room “That’s her, you know.” “Her who?” “Jasmine James.” “Oh yeah, the Love Songs Lady. PRetty voice.” “And a face and body to match.” Strom chuckled. Nick had seldom commented about women in her presence other than ..."
"... the Love Songs Lady. Pretty voice.” “And a face and body to match.” Strom chuckled. Nick had seldom commented about women in her PResence other than to tease her. “She got your shorts in a bunch, Nick?” “Nice, Strom. You talk to your mother with that mouth?” Strom let the ..."
"... You talk to your mother with that mouth?” Strom let the comment slide and squatted down to get an eye-level view of the victim. Gierke’s yellowed teeth PRotruded from his mouth. A fettuccini noodle hung PRecariously from a front tooth. Nick said, “Let’s meet with Carter when he ..."
"...PRhe ME continued the autopsy by making a Y-shaped incision from Gierke’s two shoulders to just below the breast bone. He then made a neat tail to the Y by extending his cut to the pubis. Opening the chest cavity, Carter sawed through the victim’s ribs and clavicle and removed ..."
"... day. The smell alone…” “You never get used to the smell of death.” Nick addressed Strom, “Let’s head back to the station. Jasmine James and her assistant are coming down to give us PRints.” “Can’t wait to meet her, Nick.” “Not your type, Strom. You can be sure ..."
"... I didn’t know you had a female partner, Nick.” “She’s the best.” Strom apPReciated Nick’s PRaise. “Thanks. I didn’t know you cared.” She touched two fingers to her forehead in a mock salute. “Don’t let it go to your head, Strom. Now, have you two been printed ..."
"... “Thanks. I didn’t know you cared.” She touched two fingers to her forehead in a mock salute. “Don’t let it go to your head, Strom. Now, have you two been PRinted yet?” “No,” Felicita answered. “Well, follow me, ladies.” Nick escorted the women to the processing ..."
"... “Well, follow me, ladies.” Nick escorted the women to the PRocessing room. Nick watched as Calvin Everett fumbled while fingerPRinting James. He did the right thumb three times before getting the computer to accept the PRint. Nick understood. Touching the lady was an intense experience. ..."

Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
"... him?” “I can answer that, Nick,” Jasmine interjected. “Pete Capshaw, my PRogram director, doesn’t want us to be rude to the listeners. So it’s his big no-no to ever hang up on a listener. We just leave them on hold. Most sane people give up and go away. Not this guy.” “I ..."
"... Both women were silent as Nick read the fawning letters. Jeff wrote of imagined dreams: the two of them vacationing in exotic locales and living a life of love, luxury, and oh yes, plenty of sex. The writer bragged of his PRowess, entranced with a voice and a woman he could never have. ..."
"... lot of lonely men.” Nick tapped his finger on the letters thinking of three dead male bodies in the morgue. “Certainly. There’s that element. But we PRogram our show for women.” “Lots of men listen to the show, Chasmine. You know that.” “Felicita, please. Of course, we have a ..."
"... “It is a risk. But it makes locating him a lot easier. I’d be there. We’d wire you. Give you full PRotection. There would be an army of guys PRotecting you.” Nick flashed a full Tom Cruise smile. “I don’t think there would be a lack of volunteers on this stake out.” ..."
"...PRAh, thanks for the offer, Ms. Hernandez, but this will only be effective if Jasmine agrees to meet with him. It’s her he’s after.” Nick turned to Jasmine and said, “I want you to write down everything you remember about this guy. Anything about the way he talks, what he ..."

Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve
"... And paced some more. He felt ashamed that some two-bit celebrity chaser had gotten the drop on him. Shot him, for Chrissakes! He should have been able to PRotect Jasmine James. He was there to PRotect her. Instead, he had been left lying in a pool of his own blood. He called his partner, ..."
"...PRe called his partner, but Strom had given him nothing on Jasmine’s case so he peppered Frank Riley with questions and hounded Forsythe to let him participate in the investigation. Forsythe had been adamant, following orders from the Chief not to let Nick get involved. Still he PRessed the detective ..."
"...PRtrom shook her head. “There’s too much we just don’t know, Nick. What’s the connection with Jasmine and the vics? Did she know them? Did a crazed fan kill them because Jasmine knew them? Are they all fans? ‘Love Songs’ is a popular show. I talked with Peter Capshaw, ..."
"... Are they related? Working together?” Strom shrugged her answer, but looked intently at him. “This woman got under your skin PRetty quick, Nick. Sure she’s a looker, but you act like a man who’s got it bad. I mean what is this?” He couldn’t meet her eyes, but fixed his ..."

Chapter 13: Chapter Thirteen
"...PRsmine couldn’t hold her bladder and soiled herself. Hysteria and thoughts of death had melted any embarrassment she would have had in the past. Incontinence paled as a PRoblem compared with a lack of air. She tried to calm her breathing, taking small shallow breaths. The smell of earth and ..."
"... Buried alive! It was the plot of grade B Vincent PRice movies or supermarket tabloids, but not real. It couldn’t be real! Tears made a salty trail down her face. She scraped her dry tongue over chapped lips. Anything for a glass of water! Her bones ached and, God, she was cold! So ..."
"...PRGet rid of her, Jasmine. She hurts you with your listeners. Let’s get you into some dry clothes. Looks like you had a little accident, baby.” Owens pulled Jasmine to him. She reflexively pulled away. He roughly pulled her back into him and mashed his mouth on hers. “Ah, those ..."
"... “Don’t, please.” Owens slipped his hands up and laced his fingers around her neck. His grip tightened and dug into her flesh. She struggled against the PRessure, clawing at his hands, until she saw stars, then everything faded into deep black. Jasmine woke to Jeff Owens ..."
"... in the phone receiver. Flynn took a moment to collect her thoughts, then gave the standard police department rhetoric. “Locating Ms. James is a top PRiority of the Seattle Police Department. However, I can’t reveal details of our investigation without damaging…” “It seems to me a ..."
"...PRayor Fleming, having been alerted by Jack Hudson to listen to the Mike and Mandy show, heard the scathing calls about his police department. Fleming’s resulting phone call to Chief Flynn was part supportive and a call to action. “I’ve got to put PRessure on you, Sharon. Hudson has some ..."
"... give you a call if that changes.” She sucked in her breath and dialed the mayor’s direct line. He was less pleasant this time. “Chief, this is getting to be a real PR PRoblem for me. I’ve got to have something to throw to these animals.” Sharon Flynn answered the mayor, ..."
"...PRharon Flynn answered the mayor, “Rick, I understand the PRessure you are feeling. Please understand my position, too. I can’t just throw a suspect’s name out to the media, like a bone to a dog. We must get this right. And frankly, we don’t have a suspect yet. I am ..."

Chapter 14: Chapter Fourteen
"...PRHe remembered with delight their last contract negotiation in August at Sullivan’s in Kirkland. The small intimate restaurant offered unobstructed views of the water and PRivate rooms for power meetings. The waiter had cat-walked to their table so quietly that Hudson had been spooked by his sudden appearance. The server ..."
"...PRhe pulled the cigar from between his fat lips and examined it. “I can see what Monica Lewinsky liked about cigars.” Running her pink tongue down the sides of his fat stogie, she lapped the unlit cigar like a PRo. But the coupe de gras that sealed the deal was ..."
"... “What don’t you like about me?” “Kidnapping for starters.” “You’d never pay attention to me otherwise. I tried for a couple of years just to talk to you. I could never get past your PRoducer.” “Felicita chose who I talked to.” “Would you have dated ..."

Chapter 16: Chapter Sixteen
"...PRck weaved in and out of the mean Seattle traffic, stopped in at the CSI Office and handed over the letter Felicita had given him. The technician gave him a copy and told Nick he’d call if he got a hit on any PRints. The pale, quiet Tech with a ..."
"...PRick headed to the Police Department, just a few blocks away, pulled into the underground parking garage and spiraled down until he found a spot. Exiting the car, he jogged to the elevator and ascended to the main floor. He waved to the Sergeant on duty, then scurried to his ..."
"...PRick had only a first name and a zip code, but he decided to scour the Internet to see where that would take him. If he got lucky, information that other state PRograms shared with the Police Department, combined with online research, would shake out something useful. He knew his ..."
"...PRhe Seattle Times had published the Police Department’s sketch of Jasmine’s abductor. The deejay’s popularity fueled interest and drew a large number of publicity seekers wanting to be a part of the investigation. Strom had chased down a few PRomising leads, but so far the end result was zilch. Two ..."
"...PRver fifty-five possibilities popped up on his computer screen and he PRinted the list. He’d guessed the man’s age at anywhere between thirty and forty-five. He quickly eliminated a number of names on the list. Too young. Too old. He cross-referenced the names with vital statistics and found two Jeffs ..."
"... take some time to talk to everybody. Let’s hope we get lucky early.” “Stay on your list, Strom. With the sketch out there, you’ll PRobably hit before me. Just keep in touch. I want in if you catch a good lead.” “I’d rather be working with you. Forsythe is seriously ..."
"...PRick woke to funk mouth and a seriously aching neck and back. He lifted his head off his desk. Twisting his neck to the left, a pop, pop, pop eased the PRessure in his neck but the noise unsettled him. He thought a body shouldn’t make such creaking sounds. His ..."
"...PRYeah, that’s the monsters. They’re good kids, but I could kill them sometimes.” Mrs. Nolan must have suddenly realized she had just mentioned the potential murder of her offsPRing. “Well, you know I was just kiddin’. They are good kids. Da’quan is on the honor roll. We’re real PRoud ..."

Chapter 17: Chapter Seventeen
"...PR02 Highland Street. Dark green trim framed numerous windows in the two-story pale green house. Paint chips dotted the lawn of the aging home. With old truck tires littering the yard and a molding orange PRint sofa on the front porch, the house qualified for a reality show television home ..."
"... A detached garage with a sagging roof nestled behind the house. Nick knew that even though the house appeared in disrepair, it was easily worth half a mil because of location alone. He drove slowly past. Set on a corner on a small rise, discreet surveillance of the house could PRove difficult. ..."
"...PRick drew his service revolver and stepped into a small laundry room at the back of the house. A dirty, blue, wool coat hung from a peg in the wall. A washer and dryer sat lonely in the corner. Rust made an orange river down the side of the Maytag. ..."
"... He found his small flashlight and illuminated the stairs. A door at the top PRotected the second floor. He creaked upstairs. The molding walls suffocated him and Nick stifled a cough as he inched upwards. Reaching the top, he turned the door knob and entered an eerie world of Jasmine James. ..."
"...PRictures of the dark beauty covered every wall. The room felt stuffy, airless, hot. He coughed again. He moved closer to the photos, growing angry as he studied image after image. Owens had taken pictures of Jasmine as she entered and exited the radio station. Snapshots of her leaving her ..."
"... warrant and we’re going to talk about this downtown.” “How come SWAT answered a 10-70? You usually answer calls about PRowlers?” Nick placed his gun on the floor and found his ID, sliding it across the linoleum to the officer. “Neighbor called it in. Seems she saw a gun through a ..."
"... Winston. Anything you got here is sullied.” “This is life or death. I could give a fuck about PRocedure. A woman’s life hangs in the balance. We save her, it doesn’t matter. Besides the asshole that took her just might fall on a knife.” “Don’t say that to me, man. You mean it, ..."
"... Nick thought better of his boasting. “I’m just blowing steam. We been drawing blanks on this investigation and we finally got a genuine lead. What I found in there PRoved it. We want to find this guy before the victim gets dead. He’s a nut case. You saw the room; he’s obsessed.” ..."

Chapter 19: Chapter Nineteen
"... heard about Tacoma.” “Flynn’s okay with me. It’s covered.” “Not if you found anything in Owens’ house. It’s tainted for the PRosecution. They can’t use it in court.” “Nothing says I can’t get a warrant and go back. In fact, that’s my plan now. ..."
"... replied, “She’s taking the heat on Jasmine’s abduction. She wants results and I’m going to give them to her.” “Still stuck on that PRetty lady.” “Wouldn’t you be?” Strom paused before answering. “She’s got a lot going for her. But what do you know about her, ..."
"... I can’t see her with men like our vics.” “She could have strange appetites. Who knows? Look at Jackie Kennedy and Onassis. All I am saying is, check with the PRoducer. Betcha she knows everything going on with Miss Love Songs.” “Onassis had money. Beautiful women don’t date ..."
"...PRick hunkered down with binoculars resting on the steering wheel. Three hours dripped by. Strom begged off and asked for some snooze time. Nick kept his eyes peeled on the green two-story. He made a mental list: verify Owens employment at Ruston Ironworks, locate family and friends. Nick reasoned Jasmine’s ..."
"...PRtrom also took off her shoes and then PRoceeded to peel off her clothes. Nick heard the rustle of fabric and opened his eyes. His partner unabashedly dropped her thong panties and red satin bra and marched to the bathroom. Nick was thunderstruck. Strom was a fucking fox! And ..."
"...PRe turned his back to the sound of the shower and feigned sleep. Unwelcome sexual thoughts disturbed his efforts to shut his mind down. Would he ever be able to look at Strom the same way again? Until now, their relationship had been PRofessional, platonic. But damn, the girl had ..."
"... Bile rose in his throat. The thought of Owens touching her in PRivate places, sullying the body he craved, enraged him. Stepping from the shower, he peered into the fogged mirror, and saw his own reflection, flushed not only from heat but from a driving anger. “I’ll find you motherfucker.” ..."
"...PRGood idea.” Nick punched in Nelson’s extension. He listened, then left a message. “Yeah, Lieutenant, we are staking out the Jasmine James abductor in Tacoma. If he moves, can you get us backup from Tacoma?” Nick knew quick support would not be possible from Seattle. The Emerald City’s sister community ..."

Chapter 20: Chapter Twenty
"...PROwens is taking the Olympic Drive exit. Damn!” Nick PRessed the car ahead of him by moving in closer leaving only inches between the two cars. The Jeep Cherokee ahead tapped his breaks warning Nick off his back. “Are we in the middle of an asshole PRocession this morning and ..."
"... Strom eyed her partner and sported a half-grin. “Don’t join the asshole PRocession, Strom. I need you on my side this morning. Just keep your eyes on Owens. He’s going to have to slow down to pay his toll. We’ll catch up then.” “Roger that.” Nick floored the gas, and the ..."
"... that.” Nick floored the gas, and the two detectives were PRessed back into their seats as the Mustang flew onto the entrance. Its tires seemed to hover above the pavement. The tollgates to the Tacoma Narrows bridge loomed ahead. Owens breezed through the tollgate. “Tell me, ..."
"...PRDespite what you think of my mother, sir, you are not going over the bridge until you have paid the toll. All law enforcement jurisdictions were notified of our policy when we opened the new span of the bridge. Departments have issued transponders to their patrol cars. If your supervisor ..."
"...PR county deputy with a PRotruding belly and heavy jowls apPRoached and signaled for Nick to roll down his window. He asked for a driver’s license before Nick could PRoduce his badge. Nick showed both. The deputy nodded to Strom then said, “Seems like you left a DOT employee mighty ..."
"... truck. Rusted bed. “What’s his name and what does he look like?” Nick described Owens. “Does he have any PRiors?” “Don’t think so. If you find him, hold him on suspicion of felony kidnapping. We’ve got him made for ..."
"... you guys in Seattle got the big bucks. For next time.” “Thanks.” Johnson nodded and plodded back to his SUV. Strom said, “He could have been a PRick.” Nick pocketed the five. “No doubt. Maybe someday I can repay the favor.” “Now that Owens made us, surveillance is ..."

Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty-One
"...PRasmine retreated and looked for something to PRotect her body. She grabbed the cotton comforter from the bed and returned to the window. Padding the window sill with the blanket, she once again hiked one leg through the window and braced her back by pushing against the window jam. ..."
"...PRanking the blanket from the window, she draped it across her shoulders. Over the past week Owens had returned at unPRedictable intervals. She never knew when she would wake up to find his sickening face floating above her. He was a perverted monster intent on power. He would have ..."

Chapter 22: Chapter Twenty-Two
"... Or did they know? Maybe they just suspected him? PRobably Felicita. When Jasmine returned to the air, she’d have to get rid of that cow. He hadn’t decided on Jasmine returning to the air yet. Time would tell if she could be trusted. Owens stayed straight as Highway 16 jagged right, ..."
"...PRwens slowed and made a careful turn into the small opening of the PRivate drive that led to his cabin. Trees limbs hung low over the entrance so few drivers that passed along the Key Peninsula Highway South were aware a road existed. Branches scraped and whipped at the windshield ..."
"...PRhe drone of the Focus motor intruded on the deep silence of the forest. Owens wondered if Jasmine welcomed the sound of his apPRoach. If not now, soon. His heart raced as he neared his cabin. Jasmine would be grateful for the food and milk he’d brought. He had been ..."
"... old men and those trips. They had been the highlight of a sad and lonely childhood filled with cruel neighborhood kids who chided him for the simple life his parents had PRovided. He’d kicked around the school playground by himself, defiant and angry. An only child, he’d been born ..."
"...PRn only child, he’d been born late to Charles and Hannah Owens. At 45, his mother had been stunned to find herself PRegnant at her age. It had been a difficult PRegnancy, and an even more difficult birth. She never seemed to warm to him. Never held her arms ..."

"...PRsmine tripped on a gnarled root and went sPRawling face first in a mud puddle. “Shit!” she hissed. Slowly picking herself up, she plunged into the dark undergrowth. Branches whipped her legs. Wincing from their sting, she draped the blanket around her body and chose her path more carefully. Still, ..."

"...PReary from the intense search, he stopped momentarily, closed his eyes to rest them and let the rain dribble down his face. He sucked in clean air, remembering other wet days on this peninsula as he hunkered in secluded spots waiting for deer. His patience had always served him well. ..."

"...PRlthough grateful to be free of her cabin PRison and Owens’ fawning, sickening mindfuck, she moved forward with dread. Evening’s deepening shadows reminded her she would be alone, in the elements, in the dark. What would she do if she came face to face with a coyote or God forbid ..."
"...PRasmine looked up. The rim of the cave was still several feet away. Halfway there. No going back now. Yet another heart-stopping step up with only a tiny fissure in the rock to keep her from falling to the ground below. She knew the fall wouldn’t kill her, but damn ..."

Chapter 26: Chapter Twenty-Six
"...PRlunging deeper into the forest, Owens retraced yesterday’s steps until he found the spot where he’d ended last night’s search. He knelt to study the forest floor. No broken branches, no tracking clues spoke to him. He’d simply have to use the PRocess of elimination. He chose a path and ..."
"...PRhat if I don’t find her? What if she somehow finds help before I can get to her? The thought of years behind bars created a knot in his stomach. No way he could live with that. Endless years of steel bars and orders from hicks hired by the state ..."
"...PRe retraced his steps to the spot where he’d wandered off and started in another direction. God dammit, Jasmine! This disobedience would earn her an all night stay in the hole. That should scare the shit of her. Deep in the ground, no water, no food and the sounds ..."
"...PRHe loved the thrill when he shoveled the dirt off the makeshift grave, opened the lid and there she’d be. Beautiful and dirty where she had soiled herself. Miss High and Mighty disheveled and lying in her own body wastes. That brought her down a notch or two. And, oh, ..."

"...PRe two detectives had pulled surveillance on Owens’ house for two long, uneventful days. Since Owens had “made” the Mustang, Nick had requested one of the new unmarked Dodge Chargers. The supercharged police car could outrun most vehicles on the road, but loaded with computer, shotgun and other law enforcement ..."
"...PRick listened to one side of the conversation between Strom and Ruston Ironworks and watched his partner’s head bob up and down. “Yes, Ma’am, I understand about PRivacy issues, but this is an official investigation. We’d like to have access to his personnel files.” Strom paused and listened to ..."
"... other person was saying. Her voice solicitous but PRofessional, Strom replied, “Certainly, Ma’am, we will submit a letter from the Seattle Police Department requesting access to his employment files.” Strom rung off. “Well, that was a waste of time.” Nick offered, “Nobody ..."
"... by the book.” Strom snorted, then turned and eyeballed her partner. “Now you are the last person to be PReaching to me about official PRocedure. I seemed to recall Tacoma SWAT taking your ass out of here at gunpoint because you entered his house without a warrant.” Nick grinned ..."
"...PRtrom called dispatch, got the number for US Forest Service and redialed. “Yeah, hey, this is Detective Pat Strom with the Seattle Police Department. Yes, sir. What’s your name? Yes, Ranger Crane, we’re in pursuit of a kidnapping suspect. We’ve followed him to the Key Peninsula and he’s turned ..."
"...PRhe nodded to Nick and gave a thumbs up. “Is there anyone else in the vicinity we can call on until the County shows up? They’re saying three quarters of an hour before they can get here?” Strom listened to the Ranger and then said, “Our suspect is a white ..."
"... from the back.” Nick and Strom eased the car doors open, then gently PRessed them closed. Crouching low, they melted into the trees as Crane inched the SUV forward. A red Ford Focus sat in front of the cabin. Only the occasional sound of a vocal bird broke the silence. Crane parked behind ..."
"... Strom eased her way toward the Focus, dropped to a squat and removed the valve cover from the right front tire and PRessed the valve with her pen. Air hissed out of the deflating tire. She duck-walked to the rear and repeated the PRocedure until all four tires were flat. She then ..."
"... Drop any weapons you have on you!” Owens swung around to face Crane to his right. When he did, Strom rushed up behind Owens and kicked his legs out from beneath him. Owens’ face smashed against the ground and he yowled. PRofanities blued the air. Strom straddled the captive and had ..."
"... bedroom. We know you took her. Talk now, motherfucker, or I’m going to rearrange your fucking ugly face!” Strom stepped in. “Nick, this man has a right to due PRocess.” “The only due process he’s going to get is my shoe in his face.” “Let’s take him in for ..."
"... to rearrange your fucking ugly face!” Strom stepped in. “Nick, this man has a right to due process.” “The only due PRocess he’s going to get is my shoe in his face.” “Let’s take him in for questioning.” Crane slipped into the cabin while the two Seattle detectives ..."

"...PRrom was taken back with the sudden metamorphosis of Roger Crane. He had struck her as an aw-shucks good ole’ boy. Now, he towered over Jeff Owens, a scowl creased his forehead and his lips were drawn in a thin, angry line. “Mr. Owens, we have evidence that you are ..."
"... ugly lips of yours shut, I can assure you your life is going to change from this moment on.” Owens instinctively pulled away, intimidated by the Crane’s PResence and amplified voice. “Get away from me, cop. You can’t touch me. You hurt me, you lose your job.” Crane let ..."
"...PRrane and Strom escorted Owens to the Charger where Nick drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. Strom locked the PRisoner in the back, then Nick watched Roger Crane slip her a business card as she climbed into the passenger’s side of the cop car. She looked down at her ..."
"...PRnce they arrived at the Seattle Justice Center, the two detectives escorted Owens to the PRocessing room. The suspect kept a nervous cool but his gaze bounced around the room as the cop began the PRocedure to photograph, fingerPRint, and assign him a PRisoner number. Nick noticed Owens’ fingers shook ..."
"... maintained his silence. Strom entered and motioned for Nick and the suspect to follow her. She instructed Owens to sit, then PRoceeded to read him his rights. “Be aware, Mr. Owens, this room has a surveillance camera and our entire conversation is being recorded.” “That should keep your ..."
"... crime to write a fan letter?” Strom interjected, “It would appear your attraction goes beyond just admiration.” The female detective PRoduced the letter enclosed in a plastic evidence bag. Opening the bag, she pulled it out and read the fawning letter. My Beloved: I can’t wait for ..."
"... makes you think she would be attracted to a white-trash motherfucker, like yourself?” A ghost of a smile twitched at the corner of Owens’ mouth. “She’s PRetty crazy about my white-trash tongue.” Nick acted quickly. Underneath the table, he kicked Owens’ chair and the subject ..."
"... Police Chief is personally involved with this. There is a public outcry, Mr. Owens. Can I call you Jeff?” “I don’t care what you call me. I’m not going to PRison.” “Let me talk to my boss, Jeff. Let me see what I can hammer out. I’ll talk to the feds, too.” “Not the ..."
"... but they haven’t conferred yet.” Flynn tapped her red, acrylic nails on the conference table. “I understand your PRedicament. We can’t out-and-out lie to him. But we must gain his trust enough for him to show us her location. Any ideas?” “It’s a cinch I have to offer the ..."
"... pleasure.” The Chief smiled. “Mine too.” The door swung open and Fritz Steiger rushed into the room. “I-5 is a particular bitch today, ladies. Good morning. I understand we have a PRisoner willing to sing.” The Chief addressed the towering DA, “I don’t think ..."
"... Chief Flynn stood and walked to the window, closing the Venetian blinds against rare invading Seattle sunshine. “This is a PR mess, Fritz. The Mayor, KLOV radio, and countless Love Songs listeners are looking to us to rescue Jasmine James. We have to offer him whatever it takes to find her. Dead or alive. The heat on this has been very uncomfortable.” Sharon Flynn pursed her lips. “KLOV Radio equated ..."
"...PRWe’ll say we’re working on it. Gotta get me to apPRove it,” Steiger responded. “Don’t offer him any specific PRison time deal. Tell him it’s open. We’ll reduce the federal kidnapping charge down. Shorten the time for wounding a cop. Do you have a feel if the vic is alive ..."

"...PRHer holidays were ski vacations at Mt. Hood or Aspen. Or if the Seattle winter had been particularly gray, a trip to Kauai became a quick fix for the seasonal blues. Her mother left tearful entreaties for her to come home and oh how PRoud they were of their little ..."
"...PRasmine PReferred upscale hotels, subdued bars, and hot sex for the holidays. Her favorite Christmas was not a juvenile memory of finally getting her favorite doll. No, siree, it had been Cabo and Eric Baldwin with scorched couplings on the Mexican sand, many long cool drinks with caresses under the ..."
"... how to ask for that? She made a bargain with God. She PRayed to be saved and vowed to be a better human being, but she wasn’t sure God was real or that he was listening. In the end, she PRayed for Owens to return. She arched her neck and sucked deeply on the plastic tube. ..."

Chapter 30: Chapter Thirty
"...PRick glanced back at his partner. She didn’t look stressed. Strom always got a pissed-off look when she was uptight, trying to work things out. This wasn’t it. No, something else was bugging her. He shrugged it off and concentrated on the yellow line streaming out in front of the ..."
"...PRI think I see it.” Nick stopped the car in the middle of the Key Peninsula Highway South. Looking right, then left, he confirmed the road’s location. Blackberry branches scraped along the sides of the vehicle as Nick eased the car onto the narrow PRivate road. The screech of ..."
"... up?” “I cut myself going through the window. There must be some leftover glass still in the frame.” Strom retrieved her flashlight from her pants and spotlighted the window. “We got dried blood here. Did CSI PRocess the cabin yet?” “No. We’ve got a request ..."
"... the window. “We got dried blood here. Did CSI process the cabin yet?” “No. We’ve got a request in, but because there’s no body to recover, the supervisor said it would be lower on the PRiority list.” “It would be interesting to see whose blood this is. Do you have any ..."
"...PRter swiping the blood left on the window frame with a Q-Tip, he dropped the sample in a plastic bag, PRessed the closing ends together and deposited it inside a front pocket. “We’ll have to let CSI know you left a sample of your own on the sill. Finding ..."
"...PRtrom defended the Chief. “Crystal Mountain reported an avalanche yesterday. Search teams are busy looking for two snowboarders who went missing. Besides, she can’t order a search—only request it. Different jurisdiction and we have to PRess Pierce County about how important this is. She and Steiger were hoping for ..."
"... cops’ crunchy footfalls were the only sounds in the deep, silent night. Nick PRoduced chalk from his pants pocket and held it in the flashlight’s beam. “Boy Scout training.” He marked a large rock on the ground. Strom snorted. “I thought you were more the Girl Scout ..."
"... coverage this deep on the peninsula.” “Quit worrying.” The two trudged forward, flashlights arcing from ground to trees and back to the obscure path they were following. An owl questioned their PResence. “Hoo Hoo.” Nick continued to mark fallen logs and large rocks with huge ..."
"...PRI knew it once. After Rachel, I knew I couldn’t go back. The sex…awesome. Unbelievable connections. Like you said, I felt her PResence when I walked in a room. Even before I saw her, I could feel her. When the phone rang, I knew it would be her voice before ..."
"...PRick’s mind flashed back to the other night in the hotel room with his partner. Visions of pointed nipples that Bob Seger so eloquently sang about “sitting up firm and high” popped into his brain. And she had a caboose any sister would have been PRoud of. “So what ..."
"...PRike other cops, he’d chosen the PRofession to make a difference. After fifteen years of loyal service, he had a commissioner’s citation to thank him for a career of dealing with the underbelly of society. Miserable weasels like Owens reached and grabbed what they wanted, no matter how much ..."
"... his throat. “Tacoma General.” Avoiding the deep ruts in the two-lane track PRoved difficult, but Nick backed the car out without scraping the undercarriage. Once on the highway, he floored the accelerator and quickly caught up to the ambulance. At Tacoma General, Nick swung into the ..."
"... Room. Nick quickly parked the cruiser and rushed into ER. Strom and Crane stood near the registration desk and Nick joined them. Strom offered, “She’s already being seen. They PRocessed her as PRiority. She seems traumatized, but I didn’t see physical injuries. Did you, Nick?” ..."
"... appear to be anything serious, but infection has set in on the leg wound. We’ll treat her with antibiotics and sedation at least for tonight. She’ll be in a PRivate room on the fourth floor. 420.” Nick’s locked eyes with Forsythe and dropped his voice so others in the waiting ..."
"... rape? Did you check her for sexual assault?” The doctor nodded. “It’s standard operating PRocedure. As far as any pending charges you may be considering, rape isn’t going to be an issue, but certainly battery. And she has been molested.” Nick’s face flushed. “I’m not following ..."
"...PRYou heard the doc. He sedated her. She’s going to be out for awhile. You can come back after the conference. The Chief is going to be more than grateful we found her. Don’t get on her bad side, Nick. I know you like this lady. She’s not going anywhere. ..."

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