As stated in my last blog post, Cornered is the story of a detective and a female veterinarian who become intertwined both professionally and romantically. The detective struggles to solve mysterious disappearances of five people.
I've included an excerpt from the book:
The pale blue BMW sped into the City of Temple’s municipal building parking lot. With tires screeching, the driver made a sharp right, and drove down a row of cars until zipping into the first available parking space.
Temple was a medium-sized city by Texas standards, situated about an hour north of Austin. The city was laden with friendly people, uncongested streets and five hospitals, four owned by Scott & White and one by the Federal government—the Olin Teague Veterans Hospital Center.
The driver, an exceptionally pretty black-haired woman in her early twenties, flung the car door open and stepped out into the bright March sun. After shouldering her purse and adjusting her black trench coat, she pushed a tendril of hair off her forehead. Reaching inside the BMW, she pulled out a briefcase then trekked across the lot.
The light-complected woman pointed the key remote over her shoulder. The car’s horn beeped and the tailights flashed.
Had she bothered to look around, she would have seen the dirty van creeping along the row of cars behind her. She’d have seen the short middle-aged man dressed in a worn-out Navy pea coat, with graying unkempt hair, standing between two parked cars, a short distance away.
The young woman jumped when her cell phone chimed. She took the pink-colored phone from its holder but before she could answer it, a sudden thump to her back knocked the phone to the pavement. A thick muscular arm wrapped around her chest pulling her backward. She screamed.
The homeless man stood there, frozen in place.
Her scream was cut off when a hand holding a rag smothered her nose and mouth. She dropped her briefcase. The young woman clawed at the hand holding the rag.
Her captor jerked her off the ground. He moved back towards the open van like a spider carrying its prey.
Her legs kicked at empty space. She stretched her arms out towards the gray-haired transient like a drowning woman reaching for a lifeline.
When he saw the muscular captor glare at him, the homeless man cringed then backed away in short jerky steps. In less than a minute, the young woman’s captor hoisted her into the van, tossing her onto what appeared to be a mattress. The transient heard the grating noise of the door followed quickly by a loud ‘bang’ as he watched it slam shut. The van sped out of the lot, turning south on North First Street.
The ragged homeless man waited until the van drove through the traffic light at Central Avenue and out of sight. He trudged over to where the cell phone and the briefcase lay. He did a 360, looking at the Municipal Building then all around the lot before rummaging through the briefcase and pulling out a paper lunch sack. Inside the sack was a sandwich wrapped in wax paper. Peeling the paper back, he took a bite before stuffing the sandwich in his coat pocket. Peeking inside the briefcase again, he spotted a cell phone charger and a banana.
The roll of thunder made him look up. A dark bank of clouds seemed to be moving fast towards Temple from the west.
The scruffy man’s eyes had a hard look about them. Casting sideways glances, first right then left, he pocketed the charger and the banana. Then he bent over, picked up the phone and trotted across the lot towards Third Street. By the time he crossed Third Street, a steady rain pelted him.
by Alan Brenham