After Detective Kerry Harrison’s partner dies, she is paired with Ethan James who is both good-looking and infuriating. They are assigned to a murder case in which Kerry and Ethan disagree about the guilt of the suspect. Further research into the case causes them to find that there have been similar murders in other places and that the suspects are all members of a secret club. Kerry finds out that Ethan not only knows most of the suspects, but also has knowledge of the club. Their partnership and friendship is tested when Kerry learns the true nature of the club… and Ethan’s involvement.
Her breath was coming fast and hard as she ran. She was glad that she ran every day or she wouldn’t be in good enough shape to even think about outrunning him. Her heart was beating hard in her chest as she tried to be faster than him. She couldn’t let him be faster than she was or someone else would die. She was scared. If she failed, there would be a tragedy.
She scaled a fence and flew across several neighborhood lawns. The distance between her and the killer was getting more and more narrow. They were closer and closer the more they ran. Suddenly she caught him and knocked him down to the ground. She wrenched his arms behind his back and roughly pulled him to his feet.
“You have the right to remain silent….” she said as she read his Miranda rights to him – this dirt bag that had killed seven women in the last month.
At that moment, her partner came up huffing and puffing, and he was red-faced and sweating. Roger had gotten out of shape in the last couple of years and, at 55, he was overweight and unhealthy.
“Are you okay?” she asked him.
“Sure,” he said breathlessly. “I just need to rest a minute.”
Several uniformed cops came up then to take possession of the suspect, and Kerry was glad to be rid of him. It would keep her from being tempted to take out her Glock and blow him away. She was harboring way too much anger over this one, but he had eluded the Chattanooga Police Department for weeks and so many women had been killed.
She turned to Roger to talk to him about the capture and saw that he was holding his chest. On his face was a grimace of pain and he seemed to be swaying.
“Roger! I think you’re having a heart attack!” she screamed and was on her radio in a flash.
“Kerry….” he started, but he was unable to say more as he fell to the ground.
She hurried to him and started performing CPR. The paramedics arrived at that moment and took over from her. She watched anxiously while they worked on him, but after trying as hard as they could, the paramedics couldn’t save him. He was gone.
“No!” she screamed, slamming the palm of her hand against the side of the ambulance. The tears started hot and wet down her face. There was a hard lump in the pit of her stomach as she watched her partner, her mentor, being loaded into the ambulance with a sheet draped over his whole body, including his face.
She began to feel numb as she stood there, finally alone, not knowing what to do. She felt lost without Roger, who had taught her everything she knew about police work. They had been partners since she was a rookie. He had been like a big brother to her for six years and she loved him. And now he was gone. The depth of her grief was more than she could bear. Where did she go from here?
Kerry was finally able to move, and she traced her path back to her department car. Roger always drove. But he wasn’t here anymore. She got behind the wheel and started the engine. Then she laid her head down on the steering wheel and wept harder than she had since she had been a teenager.
When she had herself back under control, she drove to the police station and walked into the captain’s office without knocking and sat down in the chair across from his desk. Captain Tom Bruce was a good captain and a good man, and Kerry really liked him and felt like she could always talk to him. They sat there and stared at each other for several long minutes before he spoke.
“Kerry, I’m sorry. Roger was a good man and losing him is a tragedy. I want you to take some time off….”
“No!” she exclaimed. “I need to work. If I took time off, I would sit around and think about Roger and be miserable. I can’t do it, Captain. Please don’t make me.”
The Captain sighed. “Alright, Kerry, if you feel like you would be better off working, I won’t make you take time off. Maybe you ought to work at a desk for awhile, though.”
“Captain, no. I can’t do a desk job; you know that. I have to be out doing what I do best. Protecting people and arresting dirt bags.”
“Kerry, I’m concerned that your judgment might be impaired right now. I need you to be one hundred percent when you are out there.”
“And I will be. I promise; I’ll be fine.”
“You know you’ll need a new partner.”
“I don’t want a new partner. I’ll be okay on my own.”
“You know it doesn’t work that way, Kerry. You’ll have to have a partner. Go on home for today and I’ll pair you up with someone tomorrow morning. And Kerry, I don’t want you to give the new guy a hard time, okay? It’s not his fault that he’s not Roger. Got it?”
“Sure, Captain. I got it.”
She walked out of the captain’s office, went outside, and got into her 1969 Dodge Challenger. Her tires squealed against the pavement as she took off out of the lot and into the street. She stopped and got a cheeseburger for dinner and took it home to her small apartment. She sat at the kitchen table, eating the burger and drinking a diet cola. She couldn’t remember a worse day in her life.
Roger had been the only guy on the force who was willing to give her a chance. It seemed that women weren’t always welcomed with open arms by this group of southern policemen. But Roger was ready to accept her and he had proved to be a great teacher and friend. It was he who caused the other guys to warm up to her and accept her as an equal. She just couldn’t believe he was gone.
She finished eating and took a second diet cola into the living room and turned on the television. The news was on and she should have known that Roger’s heart attack and death would make the news this evening. She turned the channel and found an action movie that she could watch without having to think too hard. She fell asleep in her recliner and woke up stiff and sore at about two o’clock in the morning. She went into her bedroom, got into her bed, and went to sleep with a wet pillow.