ORDER A COPY: Honor Code (A Mystery Novella)
Publishing Date: October 8, 2012
eBook: 90 pages
Rating: 4 stars
In a small southern town where everyone knows each other’s business, veteran detective Larry Robbins must solve the disappearance of eighty-year-old widower George Beason.
When evidence arises that Beason may have left town on his own, it would be easy for Robbins to close the case, but his gut instinct tells him more’s at stake. As he uncovers clues about Beason’s deceased wife and his estranged daughter, Robbins must untangle conflicting motives and hidden agendas to bring Beason home alive.
Det. Larry Robbins is called to the house of Mr. George Beason in a declining neighborhood of Newberry, South Carolina. Mr. Beason’s neighbor is concerned. He disappeared in the middle of the night and his car is missing. Although Mr. Beason’s mind is still sharp, his eyesight is not so great. So there is no reason he would leave his house to go for a drive before dawn. Plus, his back door window is broken.
When Det. Robbin and his partner enter Mr. Beason’s house, they find it in turmoil. Someone has been looking for something and they were in quite a hurry. But no one reports hearing his dog barking early this morning, so did he know the person who entered the house? He took his wallet with him. Would a kidnapper let you grab your stuff before you leave?
The more they investigate, the more questions come up. Until they find Mr. Beason, they might never know if he was kidnapped or if he went willingly? Did he know the person who came to his house? There something shady going on and is Mr. Beason a victim or a co-conspirator?
This is a very short story, but it was still very interesting. The author attempts to give Det. Robbins more depth to his character by adding some issues at home, but there really wasn’t enough to be remarkable.
If you like police investigation stories, this was an enjoyable story and quick read.
Received a review from the author. Thank you.
“A couple of the neighbors mentioned a car leaving around four AM, but no one heard a dog barking.”
“Why didn’t the dog bark?” Robbins laced his fingers behind his head and studied the ceiling. “Either the neighbors’ hearing’s gone or the dog didn’t bark because she recognized whoever entered the house.”
“Or they slept right through it.”
“Maybe. Old people are usually light sleepers.”
Jordan roamed the squad room, nearly bouncing on his toes with enthusiasm. “What’s our theory? Think Beason left on his own?”
“Doesn’t look like it. The dog. The ransacked house.” He left out the daughter’s accusations for now.
“Old man like him. Not the most likely kidnapping target.” Jordan moved to the white-board where they’d listed the known chronology and points of contact.
“For that community, Beason had money. He owned an electronics shop downtown. The big box stores and a throw-it-away-instead-of-fix-it world shut him down a while ago.” Robbins opened the Bojangles sack. Chicken sandwich and dirty fries. He fished a few fries out of the packet. Sharon might not want him to die of lung cancer, but she hadn’t started in on a heart attack.
“Some of these dirt bags will kill you for a dollar if they need a fix bad enough. But the dog would’ve barked at a druggie.” He bit into the fries. They had enough pepper to kick start his taste buds.
“I heard burglars will throw a dog drug-laced meat so it doesn’t bark.”
Robbins unwrapped his sandwich—a Cajun Filet. Was it as simple as a burglary turned ugly? “That implies planning. I don’t see it. Someone went through Beason’s house on a rampage.”
Then again, he hadn’t seen anything that looked like a baseball bat. “The missing wallet makes me wonder if Beason left on his own.”
Like the daughter said.
“Because?” Jordan dropped into his chair and dove into his food.
“If you’re being hustled or dragged out the door, you don’t usually say, ‘scuse me, I need to grab my wallet.”
Jordan chewed on that along with his sandwich. “If someone broke in and cleaned out the wallet—the cash and credit cards—they’d have dumped the wallet. What if they forced him into the car to hit an ATM for more cash?”