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“The killer dumps his victims’ bodies in the middle of the rice farms thirty miles west of Houston, a place once noted for magnificent waterfowl migration. But why?”
One by one, over a span of two weeks, four members of the exclusive Pine Hollow Country Club in Houston are murdered. Curiously, their bodies are dumped, wrapped in plastic sheeting, in the middle of the rice farmlands thirty miles west of town.

Although the police are doing their best, they have no clue as to who the killer is. As a result, the country club hires private investigators Rhett Sanders and his wife, Toni, hoping that they can determine who, if anyone, might have a grudge against Pine Hollow.

Rhett and Toni, characters inspired by the author’s admiration for the memorable Thin Man movies of the 1930s and 1940s, quickly learn that there are actually several credible suspects to investigate. Solving the case will take time, and time is all the murderer needs to prolong the carnage.

Unfortunately, Rhett and Toni discover that merely investigating suspects will not be sufficient to end the bloodshed. To do that will require a climactic and perilous confrontation with the killer.





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Chapter 1
Sunday evening. Houston. Undisclosed location.

“You feeling like a big shot now, Mister Brandon Johnson?”

What Brandon Johnson was feeling at that very moment was not like he was a big shot at all. Instead, he felt dread. Confusion. And helplessness. Twenty minutes ago, he was taking his regular Sunday, solitary and mind-clearing afternoon jog in the neighborhood, when someone he recognized pulled up beside him in a car and asked him if he would lend him a hand. The person requesting assistance promised it would only take a few minutes, and Brandon Johnson, always willing to help others, nodded without asking any questions and hopped into the car.

The driver of the car thanked Brandon Johnson, and told him the task required two people, but that it would not be strenuous. Brandon Johnson imagined the task involved moving something like a large table. They drove for five minutes and as they reached their destination, the driver reached down in the compartment of the driver side door, produced a pistol, and pointed it at the man sitting in the passenger seat, Brandon Johnson. The man wearing Nike running shoes, shorts and a partially sweaty singlet was, of course, shocked and readily agreed to do exactly as he was told.

Now Brandon Johnson was sitting in a metal folding chair with his hands tied behind his back. The chair sat on black plastic sheeting. The kind painters use as a drop cloth. The kind some homeowners might use to cover fragile vegetation when a freeze was expected. This plastic sheeting had been cut into one large piece, ten feet wide and ten feet long. Brandon Johnson worried that this plastic sheeting’s purpose was to prevent any blood from making a mess on the floor. His blood. Brandon Johnson hadn’t understood the question. “Feeling like a big shot, now?” He asked, “What’s happening? Why are you doing this?”

The man was still pointing his gun at him. It was a nine-millimeter Beretta with a silencer. He pulled the trigger and the sound was barely audible. The bullet hit Brandon Johnson in his left shoulder. Blood slowly began flowing.

The shoulder was knocked back by the force of the bullet, and then the burning sensation began. Johnson did what felt natural at the moment. He pleaded for his life. “For God’s sake. Please don’t kill me.”

The gunman asked, “You feel special now, Mister Brandon Johnson?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”...
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