In this episode we hear the first chapter of the audiobook for Close Enough To Touch by Cade Brogan narrated by Emily Beresford
Close Enough To Touch by Cade Brogan
Joanna Grey injects the deadly poison into the chamber of the syringe – time after time. She’s murdered before and she’ll do it again. She’s intelligent, educated, and beautiful.
At 35, Rylee Hayes is a respected homicide detective. Her best friends are her grandparents, her coonhound, and her partner – in that order. She’s about ready to give up on the idea of a relationship. She hasn’t seen the love of her life, Kenzie Bigham, since college.
At 34, Kenzie Bigham is the single mom of a 13 year old, a church secretary, and a woman who’s struggled much of her adult life with her own sexuality.
Their paths will cross when Rylee’s new investigation involves members of Kenzie’s congregation. They’ll discover that the passage of time may have offered them a second chance at love – just as Joanna sights her next target. Will Rylee have what it takes to meet the challenge of a serial killer who’s proven herself to be a more than worthy opponent?
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please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
you are listening to book clips a mini podcast in which authors and erasers do readings from novels check out the show notes for the synopsis and by links for this book
it would be impossible for me to stop poisoning people Anna zwanzig our poisoner 1811 it wasn’t so unusual women hunting joanna removed the red stabilizer now the use of blowpipes well she had to admit that was rare but not to the point where anyone would consider it strange hunters used them in the rain forest to take down prey monkeys and toucans primarily veterinary techs used them in zoos to immobilize vaccinate and medicate much the same as zoo patients her targets were animals confined to small spaces out of the ordinary but not strange now the use of poison well that was as common as could be especially for serial killers of the female persuasion she injected the deadly poison into the chamber of her syringe using pliers to mount a hypodermic needle with a snap the safety cap was in place as she slipped the tube like weapon into a specially sewn pocket along the outside seam of her jeans she imagined her day there was nothing she enjoyed more than killing it had been that way since the very first day she flashed back to a painful memory pushing it far away that had nothing to do with anything she told herself she had convinced herself long ago that it had been no more than a coincidence that her stepdad put his hands all over her that day she flashed again collecting her keys get back she spat to the unpleasant recollection you have no right to spoil my day the neighborhood was older mixed apartment buildings snugged close to single-family dwellings mom-and-pop mrs. squeezed in between a few structures were condemned but most looked well-maintained black folk lived next to white folk Chinese lived next to Indians gays lived next to straights Muslims well they lived next to Christians Buddhists Jews and atheists how could this area be known for having one of the lowest crime rates she slowed as she neared the rundown three-story building her destination not the kind of place she’d ever choose to live not even if she lacked a penny to her name it was however the kind of place that she often found her victims she thanked God for her all brick ranch in her all-white neighborhood but there was always something that ruined everything in her neighborhood it was the house on the corner the one with the old man and his concubine he was raising a biracial grandkid a girl seven or eight the kid was cute enough Oh too bad she had to be mixed had she not been so young Joanna would have chosen her as her next victim but killing kids was different disgusting she’d only done it once or twice oh well it wouldn’t be so long before this kid turned 18 God willing she’d still be doing what she was doing it was her contribution to the world purifying restoring order as God intended she parked in the lot across the street and turned off her engine her pulse raced as she locked her gaze on a particular third-floor window she’d been watching it for days she bit her lower lip in anticipation knowing that her first kill since moving here was minutes away when the bathroom light switched on she tied her scarf and exited her vehicle she scanned her surroundings as she made her way toward the rear entrance as always she was prepared to carry out her Christian duty with a tuck the heavy fire door groaned open she held her palm against its surface to shut it quietly having visited this place on several occasions she knew it would slam and potentially awaken the building unlike the guys she didn’t kill on random impulse instead each dispatch was completed with care and consideration it was better to get to know the victim to see how she lived and memorize her routine before taking her life it was a time-consuming endeavor but one with the payoff that she’d never been caught she climbed the stairs slow and soft one two three flights up tug when the door opened without a groan she paused bright red and shiny it had been replaced since her last visit to the property a solitary bulb dangled in the dimly lit hallway with feather-light steps she moved to door 37 the home of her target she inserted her tension wrench soundlessly glancing to the left and right before wiggling her pick into the lock she looked both ways again as she applied torque back and forth back and forth back and forth with a soft click the last pin set she pushed but not too hard water the sound of water spraying in the shower caused her to nudge it a little more light there was only one in the tiny apartment it beckoned her from underneath the bathroom door she lifted the safety cap leaving the sharpness of the needle exposed her blowpipe was loaded and ready to go she lifted it to her lips as she tiptoed close to the door show time darling she thought as she touched the knob thud the door slammed into the wall steam hot steam from the shower fogged the mirror and captured her arousal she paused her lips parting as she admired the silhouette behind the frosted door bad girl bad bad girl she told herself you know what you deserve when you get home she watched the door Rumble down its track to the ceramic what the hell the woman shouted you get the out of here her hands flew up to her chest leaving the rest of her cocoa colored skin exquisitely exposed I’m calling the cops Joana squinted sighting her mark it was a vein at the base of her victims neck the best location for quick delivery of the toxin Hey what are you doing the woman asked in a shrill voice her eyes darting from one side to the other Joana puckered filled her lungs and let go what the victims eyes enlarged to the size of saucers as The Lancet delivered its poison what she choked her brown eyes bulged unblinking her nostrils flared and she trembled uncontrollably when her head jerked back her mouth became a dark cavern fingers don’t work so well huh Joana commented softly as she watched her struggle to wrap her fingers around the deadly projectile don’t worry he won’t be long now gasp moan gargle GAD gulp the woman’s eyes glazed over as she went down down down more times than not they crumpled halfway in and halfway out of the shower her name was Sally dee Smith Joanna knew because it was printed on her mailbox she wondered what the D stood for hmm maybe Diane she supposed she retrieved the sprig of bramble from her pocket and taped it to the mirror it was her signature her calling card everyone had won some sick some not some were complex and some were straightforward hearse was simple but not one cop in 24 years 351 dispatches had ever figured it out oh not a surprise they weren’t known to be the sharpest crayon in the box she on the other hand was more intelligent than most she smiled retrieving a small pair of scissors and a specimen bottle from her inside pocket closure suited her she enjoyed finishing things off she licked her lips and moved closer snip collect screw on the top fill out the label April 24 2017 dispatch number 351 Chicago Illinois with a satisfied smile she took one last look around all except the sprig was as she’d found it good job she thought tonight in the darkness of her bedroom she reward herself chapter 2 it was Riley’s day off the first in almost a month and whether buckshot liked it or not they were going come on she called out nothing there you need to concern yourself about she cocked her head frowning come on I said let’s go the coon hound lifted his nose made eye contact and promptly put it back down no doubt something died in that spot he’d roll in that rotting pile of leaves and stink up her new truck if she didn’t move him along I said come on she barked shaking the end of his leash so he noticed don’t make me clip this on he fell in step within a moment he was a smart dog and her third coon hound she got him last year just after she turned 35 she got her first when she was 4 a gift from her mom wasn’t long after that that her mom had her first breakdown Riley sucked in air clearing her mind come on buckshot they sped up making their way down the hill as they rounded the bend she caught sight of the pond she’d fished with her grandpa sand she was a child he hadn’t come with her for quite a while maybe next Sunday she thought there were lots of great fishing spots up and down the coast of Lake Michigan with the best being right downtown but even with the drive to the country this one would always be her favorite one she settled on to a rock and cast her line into the murky water she could count on a string of bass bluegill and catfish by the time she finished up around four she’d clean em fry him up and share him with her Grandma and Grandpa Riley rubbed buckshots ears at the sound of a squirrel barking in the distance minding his business like you need to be minding yours she commented as he lay back down she’d no more then turned back to check her line than her cell rang in her pocket only one reason she’d be getting a call from the precinct this early on a Sunday morning got a 15 minute hike back to my truck she said breaking her hair back with her fingers and then just over an hour drive back to shy town she dropped her tackle box into her box be there as quick as I can she added at least it’s not rush hour she exhaled meeting her dog’s eye ah come on buckshot Riley exited the expressway onto a multi-lane Chicago the third most populous city in the United States with its sirens blaring horns honking and graffiti’d walls was home she passed Chicago read a state run 200 beds psychiatric hospital as she traversed the northwest side of the city her mouth went dry averting her gaze from what she knew to be her mom’s room the sound of a jackhammer returned her attention to the road it seemed no one had a day off this Sunday morning you guys just finishing up she asked ducking under the strip of yellow tape restricting access to the crime scene yep just did the tech responded he had what looked to be a DNA kit tucked under his arm your partners in there he added nodding toward what she assumed to be the bathroom victimís to medical examiner should be here by 11:00 to pick her up good deal Riley said pausing to scan the entry area before making her way past the kitchen and through the living room she came up beside her longtime partner as he shifted his position to the edge of the bathroom doorway rich was a good-looking guy tall and muscled out 45 and african-american lining up a shot she guessed her eyes narrowing as she looked into the room no blood she commented scratching her head you don’t see it right off rich responded looking her way pure luck Jones and O’Malley saw it at all he nodded downward look for yourself Riley squatted down next to the body the victim already stiffening with rigor mortis good job Jones and O’Malley she said softly noting that a solitary prick had resulted in a miniscule drop of blood Dart I’m guessing she added as she stood up what’s this she asked noticing a thorny twig in the upper right corner of the mirror rich moved closer totally missed that he admitted corsets way up above my eye level small and high it was a critical piece of evidence that could suggest they were looking at the work of a serial killer that’s it Riley responded cocking her head make a toll joke while I solve a murder for you while you solve a possible murder for me rich countered autopsy is not until late tomorrow death could still be due to natural causes pretty sure it’s not Riley said as she positioned for a measurement and then a shot I think it’s a blackberry bramble she said but I could be wrong a C in botany can only carry a guy so far she gently removed the bramble from the mirror dropped it into an evidence bag and labeled it her shoulders tipped back as she took another look around wondering if she’d be able to locate her old botany textbook she had the sense that it was in her grandparents attic somewhere so what do we know about her 32 last month rich said lived alone according to the super he described her as a good tenant found her at Oh 9:15 and called 911 25 claimed the neighbor across the hall called him after the door stood open for a couple of hours said he came right up to check it out he lives on the first floor did he talk to the neighbor Riley asked she hated coming in late on a case even if only by a couple of hours no not yet rich responded continuing time of death was Oh 600 ice contacts or mom it’s an Arizona a landline he took a breath let it go and met her eye i tried but there was no answer i’ll call her riley offered knowing that her partner had a difficult time telling parents they’d lost a child the problem started after he lost his 15 year old son to gang violence that was two years ago since then she’d tried her best to do all their informing any priors she continued reported a credit card stolen last year rich answered but that’s all riley nodded still looking around no sign of struggle she’d have fought back if someone came at her with a needle yeah probably rich responded unless she knew him maybe she had someone over for a shower and they took her by surprise he shook his head with his fingers on his chin I still think it could be natural causes though I guess we’ll know tomorrow I tell ya it’s not natural causes Riley countered look at her young healthy and strong stranger things have happened rich responded whatever whoever got her got her quick Riley continued she didn’t even have time to grab a towel with one spare second sheet of grabbed one she shook her head as her upper lip curled sick bastard she muttered sneak up on a woman while she’s in the shower if she was murdered rich said sick bastard is right she was I tell ya Riley responded she had a sense about these things call it woman’s intuition or good police instinct call it whatever you want she could feel it in her gut fish biting today rich asked changing the subject they were gonna Riley answered as she went under the yellow tape stepping into the hallway she shook her head you think we’re ever gonna get a full day off she asked with a sigh I don’t know rich answered following her maybe maybe not I sure hope so though they stepped the stairs to the parking lot we have any had a chance to get the camper out of storage with violent crime on the rise and detective positions left unfilled days off were increasingly hard to come by Chinese he asked pausing next to his unmarked squad car the place on Archer Riley asked of course rich answered good Riley said glancing across the lot to her truck because buckshot loves their crab rangoon you have been listening to book clips check out the show notes for the synopsis and buy links for this book if you are interested in showcasing your novel then check out the show notes for more information [Music]