Skip to main content

An Excerpt from The Reluctant Detective

The Reluctant Detective

So this is what dying feels like, she thought.

Wilhelmina Anne Brown was neck-deep in the black water and all but invisible under a black night sky. The cold crept in slow measures up her arms and legs; her mouth and cheeks grew numb, and an alarm pulsed soundlessly deep within her.

She had lost track of how long she’d been in the water, but it had been long enough to realize that she was losing the feeling in her limbs. In fact, she wondered if she still possessed any control over them at all. She could climb the ladder to the wharf just a few feet above her head, but her stalker might still be lurking nearby. Instead, she tried to move her leg, if only to prove that it still could move. It flexed and straightened itself again, but she couldn’t see it and, because of that, her confidence wavered. A doubt took root. Perhaps she had only imagined it moving. Perhaps it was a phantom motion. A delusion. A desperate final grasp at hope.

More minutes passed. The wind kicked up ripples. The water slapped against the wharf’s retaining wall and the ladder to which she clung. The sound of it was frenzied. Like manic laughter. It created an endless watery hysteria that made her want to scream.

Then she heard soft scuffing footsteps amid the dirt and sand on the concrete deck of the wharf above her. He was coming back. If he found her, he would kill her.

Return to Summary