Welcome to my new blog. It will be a hodgepodge of sense and senses. The senses will include pictures, videos, recipes and the odd political rant that makes sense to me. It will include excerpts from my new novel, "The Straw Buyer", a work still in progress, that you will be able to comment on, along with all the other entries. I will try to make it diverse enough to keep you coming back.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Straw Buyer

In this excerpt from "The Straw Buyer", we meet the main characters, faced with what appears to be a routine investigation...

By the time Judy Prior got out of her car, her gun was cutting into her right kidney. It was going to be another hot day and she would certainly have preferred not to have to wear a damned blazer to cover the gun. As she stood, she adjusted her belt to relieve the discomfort and checked that her badge was clipped to her belt. She had never forgotten her badge, but always felt for it to make sure it was still there. She pulled her short blonde hair back and secured it with an elastic band. Judy felt that with her hair pulled back, she looked more like one of the guys she worked with.
That was not the case. Though not very tall, Judy was perfectly proportioned, a fact not well hidden by her blue blazer. She wore a white blouse that was like a man’s shirt, tucked into khaki pants that weren’t too snug but still curved in all the right places. Even with her hair pulled back in a very short ponytail, Judy was a looker. She had freckles on her nose that made her look very friendly but she had the skills to pull down any man twice her size.
Though the Sarasota Police Headquarters was air conditioned, she removed her blazer as she entered the building. She strode past the duty sergeant at the front desk, giving him a small wave as she breezed by. He looked up from his newspaper and gave her a short salute without uttering a word.
She continued on to the glass door that opened into the Criminal Investigations Division and walked through the department that was already buzzing with activity. She continued on to her desk that was piled with files and notes. She pulled back her chair and looked across at her partner, whose desk faced hers.
“Hey, Alex,” she said, “What’s up today?”
“Alexis,” he answered, leaning back in his chair with his hands behind his head as she sat down.
They went through the same ritual every morning when he would correct her for shortening his name. She would do it every morning then call him Alexis the rest of the day.
Alexis Kinyara was a Rwandan immigrant who had acted as an interpreter for the UN security forces during the period of genocide in Rwanda, following its independence in 1962. He was allowed into the States in 1996 as a political refugee. Through extremely hard work, he had become a police officer, earned a gold shield and was now an American citizen.
His ebony colored skin looked highly polished except where he bore three ritual facial scars on each of his cheeks. He smiled, revealing gleaming white teeth.
“You’re late,” he said, leaning his tall frame forward, folding his massive hands together on his desk.
“Yeah, well I gotta drive all the way up from Osprey, ‘cause I can’t afford to live here,” she answered, pushing some of the files aside.
“I live here,” he responded, flashing another smile.
“In a rooming house.”
“It’s not a rooming house. I’ve got my own place with a bathroom and a kitchen.”
“No offense Alexis, but the way I’ve heard you describe it, it sounds like a shoebox. I want to live in a real home and I can’t do that here. The prices have gone crazy and working people can’t afford to live here anymore.”
Alexis made a dismissive gesture with one hand and raised his eyebrows. Compared to Rwanda, he was living in luxury.
Judy continued, “We’re the ones that hold this city together. It’s propped up on our backs so people from outside can live here safe and sound. But we can’t afford it ourselves. It’s simply not fair.” She pulled back the papers she had shoved aside out of frustration. She looked down at them without really reading anything and asked Alexis, “So, what have we got on today?”
“Nothing very exciting,” he replied. “Captain wants us to have a look at some mortgages that have gone bad.”
“Mortgages? Is that all he can come up with? Isn’t there anything more exciting happening in this town?”
“There seems to be some kind of weird financing going on and some of the new condos are having more than their share of foreclosures. The captain wants us to have a talk with one of the banks that has been affected.”

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