Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sample 60 Saturday: IM

MLR Press E-book edition cover
Every Saturday, until I run out of books--or decide to go to page 70--I will present an excerpt, page 60, from one of my books. No matter what it says--funny, filthy, scary, dumb, or tantalizing--you'll get it here.

And I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and let me know if this made you want to read more.

Let's go chronologically and start with my 2007 serial killer thriller about a madmen preying on gay men via Internet hookup sites, IM.

One by one, he's killing them. Lurking in a digital underworld, he lures, seduces, charms, reaching out through instant messages. In this killer's world, IM doesn't stand for instant stands for instant murder. Openly gay Chicago Police detective Ed Comparetto is on a quest to unmask a killer--who may himself be dead--before he loses everything, including his life.

Page 60:
And now his brothers were dying; slow, horrible deaths, Ed was sure. Deaths marked by terror.
The phone rang. Ed picked it up. “Hello.”

“Ed? Is this Ed Comparetto?”

The voice was unfamiliar and male. “This is he.”

“Hi, Ed, this is Peter.” A pause. “From the library?”

“Oh sure, how are you?” Ed rolled his eyes.

“Good. Listen the reason I was calling is you, well, I don’t know if it matters or not, but you left behind your pen when you were here the other day.”

“I did?” Ed hadn’t noticed.

“Yeah. It’s a pretty decent pen, a pewter Cross fountain pen, and I thought you’d like it back.”

IM paperback cover
Ed didn’t own a Cross pen, fountain or otherwise. He was partial to Bics, the cheaper the better. Either that, or a pencil. He started to tell Peter that the pen wasn’t his, then thought of the guy’s face, the way he smiled and how helpful he’d been. Maybe, especially since his days were lately filled with nothing but TV and brooding, he shouldn’t be so hasty to cast away this opportunity. “Oh?” Ed didn’t want to say the pen was his, but he didn’t quite want to close the door, either.

“Yeah. I brought it home with me for safekeeping.” There was a long pause and Ed felt for the guy. Who hadn’t been in this situation before? This call had nothing to do with a pen. “I was wondering if I could get it back to you.”

“That’d be great.” Ed was suddenly feeling generous. “When do you work again? I’ll drop by the library.”

“Actually, I’m off for four days.”


“But I was thinking maybe I could meet you someplace. Um, maybe we could have a drink or something and I could give you your pen back.”

“Well, my schedule’s pretty open. When’s good for you?” Ed could feel the relief at the other end of the phone.

“How about tomorrow night?”

“That would be just fine. How about Carlisles, say nine o’clock?”

“Sure. I’ll see you then.”

As soon as he hung up the phone, Ed thought of hitting the automatic callback code and calling the whole thing off. What was he doing? He was in no state to be meeting people, gloomy and preoccupied as he had been lately.

A little voice inside chided: You might get rid of some of that gloom if you got out and met someone, maybe, God forbid, even got laid.

“Oh shut up,” Ed whispered to the little voice, and grinned. He flipped the sound back on and switched to another channel. It was time for Roseanne.

Buy the print version of IM. Buy the e-book version.

And do let me know what you think...
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