TITLE: Dead Like Me
GENRE: Adult Mystery
Homicide Detective Kate Springer discovers she has something in common with the thirteen-year-old female victim in her latest case—the man the teenage girl cleaned house for is the same man who molested Detective Springer as a child.
Swiping a last tear from my cheek, I forced a smile which was becoming increasingly harder to fake. I nodded to the officer standing guard. Afraid to speak, my voice would hold too much emotion. I signed my name into his logbook.
“Two more miles to the north, and all of this would have been someone else’s problem,” he said, barely containing a yawn.
After a second nod, I ducked under the yellow crime scene tape strung between two ancient oaks, towering on either side of the driveway's entrance. Early this morning a call came in from Thonotosassa, a small city bordering Tampa on the northeast side. Just on the fringe of our jurisdiction. The body of a young Caucasian female had been discovered by a neighbor walking his dog.
Following the dirt driveway, I arrived at a vacant, single-story house. Scratch that. Make that a rotting, vacant house. The weather's so different in Florida compared to where I grew up in the burbs of Chicago. Up north the drastic temperature changes make paint peel away from the houses. Down here, the paint stays intact, but left unchecked a black mold can devour a home. Consequently, you got a place that looked like the one standing in front of me—as if some disease ate away at it from the inside out. I estimated the bungalow stood on three acres of land. Although there were neighbors on either side of the property, the trees surrounding it gave it a secluded feel.