Only a few days away from the official launch of THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY, which will happen on July 20th. I’ve been piling up some prizes, which include a couple of glow-in-the dark “bee” bottle openers, a Jack style flask, Amazon gift cards, a couple of paperback copies of THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY and IN THE BONES, and an ass-load of e-books.
So far I’ve shared interviews with the star of the show, Jack Murphy, his wife Jenny, his mistress, Whitney, the business partner, Ray, and the conman cousin, James. Today we meet Jack’s primary nemesis and the reason for what happens in the final pages of the book, Detective Newman.
When you stop by the official Facebook launch party on the 20th, these little introductions will be quite handy, because some freebies and fun will include the information I’ve provided in the interviews and excerpts. Katrina Monroe will also be live-tweeting with Jack trivia, offering some swag for Twitter folks too. Follow me (@ReneeMJ) or Kat (@AuthorKatM) or use the hashtag “#WWJMD” to get in on that fun. Twitter folks will get the opportunity to win digital copies of the first 4 books in Darke Conteur’s Watchtower series, and you’ll all have the chance to win books by other authors too. There will be a grand prize for local folks, meaning those of you from Tweed who have been so awesome in your support of my books.
While you all know Jack is one of my personal favorites, when I was writing this book, Detective Newman came in a little late. I had a male detective in mind, but then she appeared and I knew she’d be the perfect foil to Jack’s assholery. So let’s all meet Detective Newman.
Occupation: Homicide Detective
My father was a homicide detective and so was his father. My mother’s grandfather was also a cop, although he was only a traffic cop. I have two older brothers who chose to become lawyers instead of cops, so it was left to me to carry on the tradition. People have underestimated me my entire life because of my appearance, so I’ve become accustomed to proving them wrong. Jackson Murphy is just one in a long line of assholes.
Strong. Smart. Determined. I think that’s about it.
I believe in God. I was raised in a strict Catholic family and I fully embrace the Church and everything it stands for. A sin is a sin, no matter what the reason behind it.
I don’t get emotional.
I’m realistic about my appearance. I’m fat. I know it. It’s a thyroid thing. But hey, there are a lot of men out there who prefer women with a good amount of meat on her bones. Due to a hormone imbalance, I have some body hair issues. We’re trying to figure out the proper dose of hormones and such to fix that.
What do you fear?
Do you have secrets?
A few. I’d share, but most of my secrets are linked to my job. Sometimes you have to bend the rules a little to crack a case and make an arrest. I don’t break the law, mind you, but my superiors would have to fire me if they knew what I’d done in the pursuit of a criminal.
Jack had some trouble convincing Whitney to stay home while he met with Detective Newman the following morning. It’d be awkward meeting a new woman while the old one hung off his arm. Maybe Newman would make a good side-fuck, just in case Whitney became too much of a nuisance.
After arguing about it most of the night, he finally made Whitney understand how awkward it would be to introduce his hot young girlfriend to a person who might question such a thing so soon after Jenny’s death.
He left for the police station before Whitney woke, just in case she felt the need to offer moral support again.
Jack arrived a few minutes early and stood in the foyer of the police station, surprised at the order and calm within the stone walls. He’d imagined a noisy, criminal-filled lobby with cops everywhere. Instead, three officers wandered about with Styrofoam cups and a pretty receptionist sat to the side in a glass enclosure.
“Excuse me…” He leaned on a ledge that ran around the receptionist’s desk and smiled.
The girl glanced up and sighed. Perhaps he’d interrupted her romance novel or something equally important. Beauty didn’t make them any better. He learned early in life that women were bitches no matter what their package. But it was easier to tolerate them when the wrapping was nice to look at.
“I’m here to see Detective Newman. My name is Jack Murphy.”
She frowned, her eyes narrowing. He assumed she reacted to Newman’s name. It’s not like his should cause such a sour expression. She looked like the type who liked attention. Why put out the effort to look that hot if you didn’t want a man to notice? But there was no need for such cattiness. Christ, she worked at a police station. Did she have to have all the men?
“One moment please.” She stood, straightening a very tight black skirt over nice thighs and walked through a door at the back of the enclosure swinging her tight ass.
So many women…
Jack sighed and glanced around the room while he waited. Two cops watched him. Why’d they always have to stare like that? Likely because they could. Who in his right mind would tell a cop to stop looking? They unnerved him so Jack turned back to where the receptionist had sat moments ago.
She took her sweet time. Good thing he had nothing better to do.
“Mr. Murphy?” A gorgeous voice called.
His smile froze when he turned. The voice did not match the face. Jack struggled to recover but couldn’t do anything but gape.
“I’m Detective Newman, I’ve been expecting you.”
She smiled, making things worse. Wasn’t there a weight restriction for a person to be in law enforcement? Maybe she’d gotten in under some kind of equal opportunity bullshit or something. The woman had to be at least six feet tall, and pushing two hundred fifty pounds with a mole on her face bigger than her gigantic nose.
She’d restrained her frizzy black hair with a grey hair band that really didn’t help anything. Thick glasses with red rims emphasized an angry scar on her chin.
The smile deepened and her face folded like a basset hound’s to swallow the mole. “Let’s go to my office. There isn’t much I need, just a recount of the last time you saw Mr. Campbell. It might help us get an idea of the events leading up to the crime.”
“The crime?” Had he been tricked?
“He did kill two people, and it may have been intentional.”
“Oh.” Glancing over at the two cops who had been watching him, Jack scowled.
They grinned so wide, their faces threatened to split in two. The bastards knew exactly what he’d thought. How many suckers did they watch each day react like that?
She led him through a large set of steel doors and down two flights of stairs, to stop in a dim hallway with several doors.
“I just made detective, and there aren’t any real offices available,” Newman explained as she opened a door. “I get to use an interrogation room for a while. Just until someone retires.”
If he was her, and he thanked God he wasn’t, Jack would kill someone just to get out of such a hole. Obviously, her ambition only went so far, but when you looked like that, there wasn’t much point in striving for anything.
The room was brighter than the hallway with a small desk in a corner. Two steel chairs faced it and a filing cabinet sat propped against the opposite wall. A plant on top looked like it died years before. Someone, he assumed it was Newman, had taped concert posters to the cement walls. Sure, it might be hard to hang any real art on those walls, but Milli Vanilli’s pouty lips super-sized made the already hideous décor worse in Jack’s opinion.
“Are you okay?”
“You look, I don’t know… scared.” She smiled again.
He suppressed a shudder. Her jowls were like some kind of mouth chomping down on the mole, and then throwing it up when the smile went away. “No, I’m fine. I guess I’m still getting used to the idea that Ray is… I can’t believe he’d set anyone up like that. He was so nice and kind, he cried more than I did when my wife passed.”
“Yes, so I heard.”
Jack glanced up.
She offered a knowing smile and touched his hand.
He resisted the urge to yank it away.
“Michael Thorne stopped by the scene early this morning. He was supposed to pick up some papers from your partner. Apparently, he didn’t intend to return to your business. He was planning to partner with this Mr. Thorne. Allegedly, of course.”
“Thorne…” Jack grimaced, as though she’d just struck him.
“No, he wouldn’t. He was just taking a leave of absence. He would have come back. Mr. Thorne is mistaken; Ray would never do that to me.”
“Perhaps that’s what pushed him over the edge,” she suggested.