20 Feb

A GSP release from Author of the week Steven P. Marini.

Aberration by Steven P. Marini

Jack Contino moves to Cape Cod, takes a job on the Dennis Police Department planning to live life in the slow lane, but things speed up when a black man is murdered. It’s similar to a killing in Needham, but the trail leads to a South Shore white supremacist group.

DeeDee O’Hare and Judy Black are twenty-somethings sharing a summer rental in Dennis. DeeDee worked in a restaurant with the victim and has a boyfriend, Jared Wilkes, a local bartender with a roving eye…for Judy. Jack checks them out and learns that Jared has a checkered past calling for close scrutiny. He finds that Jared and the hate group have a link.

Mob figure Tommy Shea, Jack’s old nemesis, is in the mix, but how is he involved? Jack has to find out. It’s hard to solve a local murder when the Boston Mob has it in for you.


I needed a stiff drink.

Cape Cod, the premier vacation spot in New England, was my new home. I was supposed to be able to relax here, live life in the slow lane and not get shot again. My days as a Boston cop were over. Leave the Winter Hill boys and the Boston Mob to younger men. Join the Dennis Police. With my pension from the Metropolitan District Commission Police, known as the METS, and a full salary from Dennis, I nearly doubled my income. Nat’s salary as a nurse was gravy. We could slide.

I was the Chief of Detectives on the Dennis, Massachusetts PD, but I was the only detective on the Dennis PD, so I didn’t catch any crap from subordinates. I told Natalie I’d have to work late, checking on a housebreak in Dennis. Told her not to make dinner for me, that I’d grab a bite someplace. It took over an hour to wrap things up at the crime scene. Afterward, I needed some time to myself.

I stopped at a little place near home in Yarmouth at about eight o’clock, and parked a few rows back in the lot. No need to have my car easily spotted near the door. Just a precaution. As you entered, Goodfellows was a sports bar on the left side, a diner on the right. It was a hole in the wall, but the food was great. You could get as good a steak or prime rib here as any of the big name restaurants in the mid-Cape region.

So why did I feel so uptight? The belly wound that almost killed me a couple of years before gave me some pain once in a while, but after, was it three years?—hell, I could handle it. It wasn’t the pain. It was the memory. That scum Secani put a round into me before I could react. Was I getting too old, too slow?

Maybe Nat was right. Maybe I should give up police work. But I just couldn’t. Too many bastards out there just had to break the law. They needed to be stopped. Too many assholes making life harder for innocent people. Too many shits like Tommy Shea, who needed to have their luck run out. But on the Cape it was supposed to be easier. I was supposed to be able to take it slow, and I was trying to. So why did I get so damned wound up sometimes?

I navigated my way to a stool away from the door, on the far left and just around the bar’s corner. From there, I could see the door and the whole room, left and right. Perfect.

“Jim Beam, rocks,” I said when the bartender came around.

“Got it. Name’s Jack, right? I’ve seen you in here before. We chatted a little. You’re with the Dennis PD, right?”


He looked at me, eye to eye, then he shifted his gaze to my sport coat.

“So, Jack, you’re carrying now, right?” he said.

I sat up straight. “That’s procedure. I’m on my way home.”

“No problem, Jack,” he said. “I just figured, you know?”

There was a full house on the diner side, a few couples and some guys my age wearing ballplayer’s uniforms. Senior Softball league guys. Pretty cool, those old bastards still playing a boys’ game and running around the bases. Still drinking pitchers of beer after a game. Good for them. Better to get a strained hamstring than a bullet.

The bartender brought me the bourbon, setting it down on a napkin in front of me.

“What’s your name again?” I asked.

“Barry. Barry Morgan.” He smiled.

Barry was in his mid-forties, I’d guess. He was about six feet and had a decent build, fairly strong and not much gut. His hair was brown and thick, no signs of gray yet.

“Enjoy your drink, Jack,” he said and walked away.

I enjoyed it all right. Then I enjoyed another.

After two good ones, it was time to go home.

I pulled into the driveway around eight-thirty. A guy my size has a tough time entering the house quietly, so I didn’t try. But I’m not a door slammer, either.

Nat was reading in the living room, sitting in a recliner near a floor light. I strode up to her, bent down and gave her a smooch on the cheek, stumbling a little and grabbing the back of her chair for balance.

“Hi, hon, you okay?” she said.

“Yeah, yeah, I just lost my balance.”

“You ate, I guess.”

“Yes, I grabbed a bite on the way home.”

“And some bourbon, I guess.”

“I had a couple with dinner, that’s all.”

Nat didn’t respond to that. She just got up from the chair, folded her book and laid it on the table beside her chair. “I’m going to bed, Jack.” She started to walk to the stairs but stopped, turned and came up to me. “Was it a bad day, Jack?”

“I’ve had worse and I’ve had better,” I said. “Thanks for asking.” I took Nat in my arms and gave her a big hug, lifting her off her feet. She felt great in my arms. I held her like that for a few seconds, then let her down slowly. “Don’t worry, hon, tomorrow will be better, I’m sure. It’ll be Friday. Things get better for everybody on Friday. You wait and see.”


http://www.gypsyshadow.com/StevenPMarini.html#Aberration Exc.



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