{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
Susan Woods Claridge would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Candy Shop

By Susan Woods Claridge All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Thriller

CHAPTER 1

It was close to midnight when Special Detective, Rocco Sterling, squealed the tires of his black Hummer, cutting across traffic and whipping into the strip mall parking lot. At the rear of the mall, he leapt from his vehicle and made a beeline for Lieutenant Barkley and Officer Peters who were standing alongside a rusted out dumpster.

“Is it what I think?” Rocco asked, pulling a small flashlight from the pocket of his black, pleated slacks, while stepping atop a milk crate and shining the light into the dumpster.

“Depends on what you’re thinking,” Lieutenant Barkley grunted, adjusting his belt and maneuvering his pants up and over his beer gut. Barkley was in his late fifties and both his physique and enthusiasm for the job had seen better days.

Peering into the dumpster, Rocco grimaced. Not again. It was exactly as he had feared. There lie an attractive African American woman with her throat slit, her left ring finger severed and a single flower pinned to the front of her shirt.

“Third one this month,” Lieutenant Barkley snorted. “So if you’re thinking we’re dealing with one sick, serial killing SOB, then it IS what you’re thinking.”

Rocco shook his head, narrowing his dark brows. “Who found the body?”

“Three kids who said they climbed into the dumpster, looking for donuts,” Barkley explained with a snort, as if the idea was inconceivable.

“I remember doing that. We used to call them Dumpster Donuts,” Office Peters interjected.

“That’s gross,” Barkley groaned.

“They’re still fresh,” Peters defended. “They just didn’t sell during business hours so as soon as they were thrown away we’d climb into the dumpster and retrieve ’em.”

“Yeah, well, you grew up in the ghetto,” Barkley sneered. “Out here in the suburbs we bought our donuts like every other upstanding citizen.”

Peters bit down on his lip. If he hadn’t been the new kid on the force he might have dropped Barkley right then and there.

Climbing down from the crate, Rocco shined the flashlight along the outside of the dumpster and across the pavement. “I want the entire area printed and a DNA analysis on everything you find,” he ordered.

“We’ve done that with every victim and every crime scene,” Lieutenant Barkley objected. “We’ve never been able to find anything other than a trace of Lye used to burn off all of the victim’s fingerprints. That is, except for the finger that’s missing. This killer is clean and careful.”

“Do it again,” Rocco demanded.

“But…”

“Do it again!” Rocco seethed, whirling around to face Lieutenant Barkley. “Are you going to be able to follow my orders or should I get someone else for this case?”

Officer Peters’ eyes widened as they maneuvered their way from Barkley to Rocco and back to Barkley. It was obvious that he had never witnessed Rocco’s rage firsthand, though he had certainly heard the stories. Rocco Sterling had a reputation that superseded all others. He was the best detective in the city; maybe even the country and he had yet to fail at solving a murder case. He was known for becoming so intensely involved in his work that he would occasionally lose touch with reality. “If you want to find a serial killer, you have to think and act like a serial killer,” Rocco gritted, taking a step closer to Barkley and leaning into his face. “You have to live and breathe like a serial killer. You get it?”

“Yeah, I got it.” Narrowing his eyes, Barkley raised his chin in a slight upward nod.

Rocco headed back to his Hummer in long strides. Stopping just before opening the driver’s door, he turned to Peters. “Oh, and I used to eat Dumpster Donuts too,” he said, shooting Barkley a sarcastic grin and then directing his attention back to Peters. “Bear Claws were my favorite. Finding a Bear Claw meant it was going to be a great evening.”

“Right on,” Peters blurted and nodded his head enthusiastically. “I was a Long John man, myself.”

Barkley sneered.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

cuzley: I enjoyed this read, the romance and the "who done it" worked well together, I would recommend this story to both romance and mystery readers .

BFIrving: A first rate story and well crafted, the blend of horror and action worked very well indeed and had me turning page after page. When not actually reading it, I found myself thinking about it which is always a good sign.There are quite a few grammatical and spell-checker errors but nothing anothe...

Barbara Zavela: Do you know the song, 'Imagine' by John Lennon?If you had a chance for a world like the one described in that song, would you grab it with both hands or turn away and reject it.This story pulls you in from the beginning with well-written scenarios. The author offers you the opportunity to bring y...

Tavis Ryan King: "What Happened to Charlie Carmine" is a fabulous mo-gee-toe cocktail fuelled midget orgy of psychology, fantasy and sarcasm. I laughed out loud when reading this novel so many times it made the London commuters I shared space with look at me with curious disdain - and I did not care.The protagoni...

nikole carr: After starting and stopping several books tonight, this book caught my attention from the very beginning and i stayed up until 6 a.m. to finish reading. The plot has many twists and the sexual scenes keep it interesting, too. im a florida native so the Caribbean location is fun to read about. th...

Kaitlyn Bier: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.

More Recommendations

Jessica: This is a story that I could not stop reading. It is amazing how everything flowed together and what happened in this book is one that I would not have expected. Very talented author and a great read.

kim: This is great! Maybe it could just be a little more specific. One of the keys to great writing is describing things in detail. I think you're off to a great start. I wish you much luck.

matrixmark: I thought that the introduction to this was relly well written and structurally sound in its presentation.The introduction to the cabin in the woods was good too. To me, it felt like a Blair Witch of yesteryear, but the things which you added in about the mutilated boys were certainly something n...

borkarprasad: Nicely laid story. Needed a little more ghost and Raven conversations. Initially, Had everyone on suspect list but satisfied by the precision to capture the killer. Waiting for more Raven and Cade adventures.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.