Thursday, June 5, 2014
Settling into her new life in Oregon and expecting her first child, FBI profiler Jo McDaniels' serenity is shattered when her old boss turns up with some devastating news. The serial killer who managed to elude them in Maine has resurfaced.
Harland Briggs is every sadistic monster Jo has profiled rolled into one. Leaving his hunting grounds in Maine, he's making his way across country leaving a path of destruction in his wake.
After learning that in the past three years an alarming number of teenage girls had been abducted across the country, Jo goes against her husband's wishes and agrees to go after Briggs. Once again, her sanity, as well as her life, is in jeopardy…and the life of her unborn child.
Jo fixed a pitcher of lemonade and they went into the living room. "So what brings you to Oregon?" She motioned to the sectional sofa.
He waited as she eased herself onto the cushions before joining her. "Just in the neighborhood and thought I'd stop in and see how Portland's finest new agent is doing."
"Save your mendacities for someone that doesn't know how much you hate to fly." She arched an eyebrow at him. "Now what gives?"
Isaac shifted beside her then slowly reached into his suit jacket. "These came into my office two days ago." He handed her a white envelope.
Jo took it and opened it. They were newspaper clippings. The first was from the Washington Post, an article done on her shortly after the news of her marriage got out.
She read the caption, AGENT FINDS LOVE IN THE MIDST OF MADNESS. Glancing over the story, which followed it, it went on to describe her as the FBI's Prima Donna of Profiling, giving mention of a unique talent, which helped her to track serial killers.
Attached to the article was a clipping from another newspaper, this one unidentified and undated. THIRD LOCAL TEENAGER REPORTED MISSING, POLICE FEAR SERIAL KILLER.
"The envelope has a Minneapolis postmark but we weren't able to get any decent prints from it. We assume the parents of one of the missing teens sent them. We tracked the story to a small community outside of Minneapolis. Kerry Rhoads, age fifteen was first reported missing three weeks ago. One week later, Lauren Shipley, same age, disappeared while walking home from school. Last week, Roberta Mitchell, age fourteen, failed to return home from school."
"Only one and you're not going to like it."
"Why is that?"
"Does Louke, Minnesota ring any bells?"
Her eyes widened in recognition. "Harland Briggs was born and raised there before moving to Maine."
"Now you know why I'm here."
As if sensing her fear, the baby stirred within her, prompting her to stand. Stunned by the news, Jo began to pace the room. She thought back to the case that continued to haunt her almost three years later. Detective Harland Briggs had abducted, raped, tortured then buried alive twelve little girls ranging in ages of eight to thirteen years old, and through a horrible miscarriage of justice, had managed to get away with it.
"In the past three years there have been an alarming number of teenage girls abducted across the country, but never more than one in a certain area. We've no idea how many he's connected to, or if he's even involved."
"Oh it's him all right," she said softly, "I can feel it."
"Yeah, me too." His dark eyes revealed the torment he too had gone through on the case. "The Director has authorized me to put together a taskforce from our Washington and Quantico field offices…"
"I want Lindsey Hammond. She's the best lab tech I know."
"I'll get her." He stood, placing his hand on her shoulder. "You don't have to do this, Jo. I only came here to run it past you and I'd never have done that had I known you were pregnant."
"I need to finish this, Isaac, not only for myself but for the families of his victims. We need closure."
"Most people think the killer died in prison."
"But we both know that's not true."
"How long before you can leave for Minnesota?"
"I have a doctor's appointment in the morning for a sonogram. We can leave after that."
"I'll call your supervisor then book our flight. I don't imagine your husband is going to like this much."
She gave a heavy sigh. "No, I don't suppose he will."
Posted by Anne Patrick at 7:54 PM