Title: Sink Rate
Author: Mike Fuller
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3
State Police Corporal Sam Deland leads his tight knit squad of troopers desperately trying to solve a brutal double murder that has stunned their quiet upstate community.
Corporal Sam Deland has a lot on his plate. He’s a dog lover, single dad, jet pilot, likes girls and his tight knit state police squad is buried under the weight of an unsolved brutal double murder that has stunned his quiet upstate community. The pressure mounts as Sam’s team tracks the bad guys into Philadelphia’s tough, gritty streets. The characters are the real story though, and with humor, hard work and luck, Sam’s team draws the reader’s mind to unexpected and surprising places. Realistic police work with a rich descriptive character and scene portrayal is carefully crafted into a story that you will not want to put down.
Calvin said, "He's slowing down." Just as he said that, the brake lights came on and the passenger door came open.
"Wait, Johnny. A man's getting out. Man, that guy fits Yancey's description!" Calvin had to make the call. He grabbed the mic and said quickly, "Valley 17 to Philly 35, blue van out front pulling away, grab Dugan and try to get it stopped, we're going in." Calvin popped the door handle and was out on the sidewalk. Johnny shut off the car and grabbed the keys. He was about six steps behind Calvin as they sprinted toward the figure walking from the van up to the front door.
Don thought he heard something on the radio. It was muffled from where he was standing in the dark alley just behind the big station wagon trying to piss as fast as he could. He drank a lot of Mountain Dew with the salty ham and it was catching up to him.
Frank Dugan saw the van pull up and the black guy get out. The light was better on his side of the house and he recognized Jerome Yancey from the mug shot. The van was driven by another, bigger, black male and it pulled quickly away as soon as Yancey was out. Dugan decided, fuck the van, he knew the troopers wanted to talk to Yancey. Now appeared to be the time. He popped his door open and figured he would meet up with the troopers and see what Jerome had to say.
"Hey, Jerome, got a minute?" Calvin called from two houses away. Jamal was on the step and turned to see two men, one black and one white, running toward him. He knew what that meant, cops.
"Valley 17, did you call me?" Don spoke quietly into the radio microphone. "Calvin, did you say something?"
Jamal accelerated into the front door and hit it hard with his left shoulder and turned the handle at the same time. It was locked, but only with the knob latch. That gave under his weight and the door burst inward with a crash. Dugan saw the suspect slam into the house and started running as fast as his out of shape legs could move him.
"Johnny, do you copy?" Don asked over the air.
Calvin got out, "Police, stop!" but only Jamal's back was visible going through the door. Calvin caught the movement of Detective Dugan to his left and shouted to Johnny, "He's gonna come out the back!"
The two women and the older man visibly jumped when Jamal exploded into the room from the front door. The mother got out a "Hey!" as Jamal leaped the coffee table and knocked over the bottle of beer in front of the man, flashing between them and the new television.
Calvin started his turn to the right and motioned with his left hand pointing to Dugan advancing on the front steps. Johnny was just registering Calvin's warning about the back and now tried to interpret what he meant by the hand signals. They hadn't gone over this part. Calvin was even farther ahead of Johnny by now and was up to sprinter's speed angling for the right side of the house. It flashed in Johnny's mind that Calvin wanted him and Dugan to go through the house to keep Jerome from going back in and they would grab him in the alley. Yeah, that was it.
Dugan huffed across the small lawn, almost tripping over the short step up onto the front walk and could see the front door was open and lights were on inside.
Jamal was through the dining room and into the kitchen in four long strides and went straight for the back door. His right hand was behind him reaching for the Colt and he extended his left to the lock set above the knob. He knew it would be locked. He reached the door and his forward motion pushed him into it hard. The .45 wasn't firmly in his grip and almost tumbled from his hand. He caught it by the barrel and held on.
Calvin crossed the yard and went down the side of the house. Several lawn chairs and a small table were on a concrete slab between Calvin and the back. He had to slow and clipped one of the chairs as he passed through them. His feet stumbled in the dirt and he had to slow even more to regain his balance.
Johnny watched Calvin pulling away and move into the dimmer light of the side yard between the houses. To his left he could see Dugan trudging to the steps and followed him up and onto the porch.
Jamal got it on the second try and yanked the door open. He took a quick step out, bringing his pistol up and out in front of him. Hesitating just a moment, he looked for any cops at the back before starting onto the landing and down the steps to the alley.
It was close enough to see the back door just past the red Lexus open and a figure step out. The figure sort of jumped onto the little porch and stopped. Jeez, that guy's got something in his hand, Don thought. The man on the porch then jumped down the steps and was in the alley looking to his right.
Dugan stopped at the door and Johnny almost ran him over. He sidestepped around him and brushed past to enter the house. Even with the television on, Johnny could hear the back door bang against the frame.
Calvin did a stutter step and got back on course for the right rear of the house. He took three more big steps and saw something move behind a big bush at the corner of the house. He knew it didn't belong there and as his body moved closer, the movement turned into the shape of a gun barrel. Calvin thought gun and started to reach for his Glock at his right hip. The next step he took was a bit longer than the last and his foot didn't hit the ground at the same level as the last one did. Calvin's left knee extended and his upper body began to drop.
Jamal heard the noise as he moved in the alley to the right rear of the house. The .45 swung at chest level toward the corner and he closed the distance in two quick steps. His thumb pushed the safety off and he started his trigger squeeze.
He couldn't move fast enough. Don saw the man take the steps down in a leap and swing the gun out toward the corner of the house. Don's left hand was on the door handle and his right was gripping his automatic, while his whole body moved left to get out of the car.
Johnny slowed to look at the occupants of the room. The younger woman was starting to get up out of the chair and the woman on the couch with the man had her hands up to the sides of her head and began a scream.
Calvin was falling and he knew it. The hole was only four inches deep, but the effect it had when he stepped into it with all his weight was to jolt him hard and force him down and to the left. He couldn't get his hand on the gun and now could clearly see it was Jerome standing just beyond the bush pointing the gun at his chest.