Title: The Bibliophile
Genre: Thriller / Urban Fantasy
Serial killers require a souvenir of their conquest, their art. Detective Christian Blake knew this as he pulled Nuriel from its holster and kicked in the bedroom door. The wooden frame groaned and splintered. Blake aimed Nuriel at the dark shape bent down in front of the closet.
"Stand up slowly," Blake said to the black-robed figure. All he could see was his own daughter’s face grafted over the skinned body in the symbol-covered box. He summoned all his will against squeezing the trigger. He was a good cop, he told himself.
The man stood, his knees popping. A hood shadowed his face. He raised his hands, but in one swift motion, threw a white powder. Blake recoiled from the cloud, covering his face with his arms.
After the powder passed, Blake scanned the room. The killer’s legs slid out of view through the window and Blake heard the body thump against the wet pavement outside. He hoped that the guy broke something on his way down, but the echoing footsteps suggested otherwise. Blake yelled after the suspect as he shimmied out the window. His stomach wasn’t as flat as it used to be and Blake felt his age as he maneuvered into the back alley between the row houses of Philly’s South Side. A wisp of black robe rounded the corner.
Blood. Box. His daughter’s face. His not-daughter. Blood-wet hair.
"You’re going to pay," Blake said under his breath and started running.
He was a good cop. Really.