TITLE: Breeding Grounds
GENRE: Adult Literary Fiction
When a young woman is found dead in a rock pile, talk is her fisherman husband did it. But if he wanted to get away with murder, he could have cut her up for chum. In this small New England town where ethics are a luxury and the desire to escape is as strong as the urge to make do, Breeding Grounds carries you down to the depths, where even the foulest deeds make sense.
Eight o’clock in the goddamn morning, blueblood cold outside and someone was downstairs banging on the barroom door. I’d been working the Walleye for going on ten years, and my ears were my own personal Emergency Broadcast System. Still had drool on my cheek, but I opened my window anyway and had a look. It was the Little Sergeant of all people. He’d been around long enough to know the Walleye wasn’t open till noon on Sundays. The church ladies would throw a fit. And, after waiting on piles of stinky old fishermen till closing time, so would I.
He stopped banging, looked up at me and said, “Police, Open Up! Police!”
“No kidding,” I said, slamming the window shut. Like my week wasn’t shitty enough already. I grabbed my robe, lit a cigarette, and opened up the window again.
“What seems to be the trouble, Officer Alvarez?”
He really didn’t like it when I called him “Officer” but he hated being called the “Little Sergeant” worse, and when I saw his face, I was glad as hell I didn’t call him that. You know, I always figured I could find one redeeming quality in anybody. The only thing I ever really liked about the Little Sergeant was that for all the ribbing he took, he seemed like a man in his own mind. But down there, with the street empty behind him, the Sunday morning quiet and that gray New England cold, he was just the opposite.