Monday, December 5, 2016

Blood Remembered by Douglas Pratt

“Tom, what’s up? Do you have any idea what time it is?” 
“Yeah, Max, I've been up for over four hours, I actually have some information I thought you might be interested in.”
“What?” My curiosity was peaked. Tom doesn’t make it a habit to call unless it is important. Certainly anything I would be interested in at this hour had to be life and death.
“Amanda Rawls was arrested last night for murder.” The hangover that had threatened to ruin my day had suddenly vanished as a surge of adrenaline pumped through my body with hydraulic pressure. I don’t know whether it was the mention of a murder, or the association of Mandy’s name with it.
“What? Who.... who did she kill?” 
“Mark Lofton.” 
“Her fiancĂ©?”
 “Ex-fiancĂ©, he got married to another woman a week ago.” I had never met Mark; however, I had planned to go to the wedding that was scheduled in about a month. I had not heard from Mandy in several months. I knew she was supposed to be getting married, and she had recently sent an invitation to the event. “How long have he and Mandy been broken up?” 
“I don’t know yet. I am sure I will find out soon.”
“Did she do it?” I was almost sure I knew the answer was no. However, a jilted lover is often capable of anything.
But I have known Mandy for as long as I can remember. Mandy and I met in high school. I was in tenth grade and she had been a year behind me. We got to know each other one day when she and I had been paired together for a theatre project. We performed a scene from A Street Car Named Desire. That spawned a relationship. 
We dated until the summer before our senior year, and we have always been close friends. She was my first love, and like most first loves, she was hard to forget.

Blood Remembered:
A Max Sawyer Novel
Book 1
By Douglas Pratt

Being awakened by your friend and lawyer to hear that your first love was arrested for murdering her fiance' could have elicited two responses...glad to see she's going to get some payback...or, in Max's case, immediate action...he had never forgotten Amanda Rawls and they had remained friends. Max was wealthy enough to help a friend in trouble...

Especially since his lawyer, Tom had also been elected to Prosecuting Attorney in Hellenston, Arkansas, and he was not only unable to defend her...he would be prosecuting her!

But Max knew that, within the limits of the law, Tom would do anything he could to help Max work on her behalf... She needed it, especially with how they'd found her, standing over the naked man...

Tom said, " says she was out of town, and came home to find him. But he was found in her living room, naked, with a hole in his chest. The .12 gauge was lying on the floor with her prints on it.”
...Cynthia’s eyes widened, “She killed him?”
“I don’t know yet. But she may need a lawyer. I am going to see if she needs anything. She may need some financial help. I just want to make sure everything is okay with her."

I set the cruise control at 67 miles per hour. Even though I could make excellent time in this car, I try not to speed. This car looks like its doing sixty when the keys are in my pocket.
I fiddled in the ashtray for the remote to the CD changer. I clicked it a few times until I found B.B. King belting out one of my favorites, "Ain't That Just Like a Woman." With his deep voice extolling the virtues of woman kind, I drove north toward home and a handful of unexpected surprises.

Returning to Arkansas was not an easy trip. Max had left ten years ago after his parents had been murdered in bed... and rarely returned... But before he left, he had found the murderer...the town Sheriff! Breaking open corruption in that office had never been Max or the town...

With the breeze through his hair and the sound of Eric Clapton tributing Robert Johnson, Max drove twelve hours, 637 miles, to pull into his home town... The familiar town was looking better since they ran the last mayor out of office...

News was spreading fast across town and everybody knew he was here to help Mandy...While he was out talking with people, another of his old girlfriends showed up...and asked Max to help her investigate and help Mandy... Actually, Lisa Day was an investigative reporter and wanted the big inside story!

Amanda was soon out of jail and staying with Max as agreed upon with the court...He was living on a small boat and before long they were both remembering their time together years ago.

Only thing is that, once Max had agreed to allow Lisa to work with him...he also began remembering being with her! Whoa!

The first thing needed was to talk to the murdered man's wife... Yes, Mandy's fiance' had gotten involved with another woman and had quickly married... But anybody who knew her...or even saw her...would wonder...WHY?

The late Mr. Lofton’s bride sure seemed to be coping with the murder of her husband. I got into the car and glanced into the bag. It was quite a little goodie bag. I set the bag down on the passenger seat and started the car. As I put the car into gear, I noticed the curtains of one of the windows brushing open and Leigh Rozen peering through the window. She was running her fingers of her left hand over her breast. She tried to give a seductive smile. I waved at her as I pulled away from the trailer. I touched the accelerator and sped back down the dirt road toward the highway. As I drove along, I pulled a few pieces of the papers I had extracted from the drawer. There were several telephone numbers on them. I had a friend who worked in D.C. for the F.B.I. He was a surprisingly good contact for information about these things. 

Well, he quickly learned she was selling, had whatever drug he asked for...and she was also available...if he wanted to buy anything else... He got out of there quickly, threw the drugs away and wondered if Lofton had been involved, or even using...

Stopping back at Amanda's house to pick up some clothes, he immediately began looking around, seeing the home he'd visited years ago, now as a crime scene...Naked? What had happened to his clothes? And where was his car? Walking around outside, he realized once again how isolated the house was... It was unlikely anybody heard the gunshot... So how did the police get there so quickly...

Just like the police quickly came when Lofton's wife, where Max had just been, was found dead..

I must say that Pratt has created a main character that is strong in investigative skills. And soon Max was moving fast, to put together the facts he was discovering. I'm looking forward to seeing Max (with Lisa the investigative reporter, I hope) in further books to learn what happens next! The book is written in first person, and has a whiff of  character Mike Hammer by Mickey Spillane, a favorite of mine... as well as the other more recent comparable characters that have been mentioned.

Really didn't have a clue regarding the ending...Great, right?! I love to be stumped in a whodunit...Don't you? Check it out!


I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. I have been a reader for as long as I can remember. When I was in third grade, I started writing quirky poems that either sucked or I plagiarized. When I reached fifth grade, I wrote a book about Frisky the Frog. It was a collection of short stories, mostly ripped off of comic books and movies. However, it did instill the bug of writing.
During high school, I dabbled in short stories and poems. I found a new reason to write. Apparently, girls really like poetry. I won't tell them that I sometimes recycled the poems for different girls. I was a crass boy.
I attended the University of Memphis (actually starting the school while it was still called Memphis State University,) and I attained a degree in Journalism.  Blood Remembered is my first novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment