Within (A Detective Series of Crime and Suspense Thrillers)
What's really within the mind of a killer...
Months earlier, Detective Jacob Hayden fought for his life against a psychopath in, The Game of Life or Death. Now, he’s trying to determine if the Devil is really killing people in Washington, D.C. Witnesses have described seeing someone leaving murder scenes with jagged and sharp teeth, fingers that look like knives, and pale white skin. As the bodies pile up, the pressure is on Detective Hayden to find a potential serial killer who by all accounts, is the embodiment of pure evil.
Within is a true psychological thriller that not only questions what is real, but who is real.
Excerpt - Prologue
He opened his eyes, looked at his hands, and didn’t recognize them. The hands were pale with gangling bony fingers and large blue veins snaking underneath the skin. He extended the fingers and saw long black razor-sharp fingernails.
The hands felt sticky. He smelled the strong stench of rusty iron and turned over the hands to see that the palms were painted in blood. He looked along his arms and saw that his sleeves had been ripped and shredded.
Then he looked around and noticed that he was in an abandoned room with graffiti-filled walls and a dusty concrete floor covered in trash. A large dingy blanket hung over a window with a few candles providing dim light to the room.
He didn’t know why, but an impulse overcame him, and he raised his palms to his lips. He inhaled the rusty smell, opened his mouth, and let his tongue glide along his palms until the blood covered it. He closed his eyes and swallowed.
Then he heard a whimper.
He turned around and, there in a corner, he saw a woman with short brown hair stripped down to her underwear. She lay on the floor with duct tape covering her mouth. Her arms and feet were tied with a noose, and her body was ravaged with open wounds.
She looked at him with desperate eyes full of despair. He knelt down and brushed some of her hair away from her face, seeing dark smeared eye liner covering her cheeks. He should have been surprised, but he wasn’t. The woman whimpered again. But instead of pulling the tape from her mouth, he glided the tips of his fingernails along her face, menacing with torment.
She started to cry, but he didn’t feel sorry for her. Instead, he laughed. His voice didn’t sound the same; it was deep and muffled, which didn’t surprise him.
“You’re going to die slowly,” he told her.
Then he lowered his right hand to her neck and pressed his long nails against her flesh until they punctured the skin.
The woman cried through the duct tape, “Plee . . . no!”
He pushed the nails deeper until blood gushed from the wounds.
The woman cried in agonizing pain.
He removed his blood-soaked hand from her neck and then stood up and watched as a puddle of blood filled the floor just behind her head.
The woman tried to wiggle free to no avail, and the more she moved, the more she squirmed in pain. As he watched, he knew that death was ready to take her. In the final few seconds of her life, her body jerked a couple of times and then it stopped. He stood there for a moment and took in the reality of what had just happened. He then knelt back down and looked into her vacant eyes that stared unblinkingly back into his. He removed the duct tape from her mouth, leaned forward, and pressed his lips against hers.
“You are just the beginning. They will soon believe in me.”