Touch & Go

Free Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner

Book: Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lisa Gardner
Tags: Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, PURCHASED
as an employee sought new ways to fund his or her drug and alcohol issues. Lately, the murder rate had been spiking uncomfortably. Death by hatchet. A disgruntled employee who’d brought his high-powered bow to his former job site at a sand and gravel company. A number of vehicular manslaughter cases, including an eighty-year-old woman who swore she ran over her eighty-five-year-old husband by accident. All three times. Turned out he’d been cheating on her with their seventy-year-old neighbor. Hussy, the wife had declared, which came out more like fuffy, because before “accidentally” running over her husband three times, she hadn’t bothered putting in her teeth.
    Certainly, the job was never boring, which Wyatt appreciated. A quiet man by nature, he liked a good puzzle, followed by a just resolution. And, as crazy as it sounded, he liked people. Interviewing them, investigating them, arresting them, people never failed to fascinate. He looked forward to his work, just as he looked forward to coming home from work. Build a case, craft a wine cabinet. Each project was compelling in its own way, and each, on a good day, yielded tangible results.
    Now Wyatt checked his pager, sighed a little and hoofed it back inside his cabin to grab his cell. Missing Boston family. Fancy jacket with a built-in GPS emitting a signal forty miles to the south. He knew the area. Long on trees, short on people.
    Wyatt asked a few questions, then started in on his next list.
    No more wine cabinet. Instead, he prepared to assemble some manpower and go snipe hunting in the woods.
    ON WYATT’S FIRST DAY AS A COUNTY OFFICER, the sheriff had given him the lay of the land: Basically, there were two New Hampshires. There was the New Hampshire south of Concord, and there was the New Hampshire north of Concord. The New Hampshire south of Concord served as a Boston suburb. The neighborhoods featured either 1950s ranch houses for the working class, or 1990s McMansions for the wealthy Boston executives. That New Hampshire, being a small geographic area with a dense, tumbling-over-each-other population, was entitled to a police force where multiple officers worked every shift, with backup never being more than a couple of minutes away, and each department boasting its very own collection of modern forensic tools to better facilitate criminal investigation.
    Then, there was the New Hampshire north of Concord. Where the remaining one-third of the state’s population sprawled helter-skelter over the remaining two-thirds of the state’s terrain. Where entire towns were too small to justify their own police force, and even the towns that did generally deployed one officer at a time, patrolling vast expanses of rural roads, woodland forests and lake borders all alone. Backup could be an easy thirty to sixty minutes away. And heaven help you if you had a complex investigation involving real forensic tools; chances were you would have to borrow them from another department, maybe even two or three other departments, in order to get the job done.
    New Hampshire south of Concord had city cops. Whereas New Hampshire north of Concord had basically the Wild, Wild West. City cops traveled in packs and could go an entire career without ever drawing their weapons on the job. Wild West cops handled entire shoot-outs alone, and drew down at least a couple of times a year. Hell, Wyatt had been on the job for all of four hours when he’d pulled his sidearm for the first time. Called to a scene of a domestic disturbance. Getting out of his patrol car just in time to be charged by a knife-wielding drugged-out lunatic. Wyatt had kicked the guy inthe stomach first, so shocked by the sudden attack he actually forgot for a second that he was a cop and had a whole duty belt complete with Taser and pepper spray, and, oh yeah, a Sig Sauer P229 .357 semiauto.
    Sky-High Guy popped back up, which was the problem with drugged-out lunatics—they just didn’t feel the pain. This time

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