The following is another excerpt from my work in progress, The Throuple Private Eye—Business is Booming, a Jen McDowell Series. This is the second draft. I’m at 38k words now. If you want to catch up, order the novella The Throuple Private Eye—Hate Crimes, on Amazon ($2.99). The link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084LTTHGN. I made few changes to Chapter 8 for this second draft. Enjoy.
The next day was a rainy day in Georgia. Jen and Molly headed for their weekly PTSD group session. Jen was driving the Audie that Doc had given her for her last birthday. As they were passing a retention pond, the car behind them sped up alongside of Jen.
“What the Fuck, lady,” Jen yelled. “This is a no passing zone.”
Suddenly, the passing car swerved to the right, colliding with Jen’s car and force it off the road. The car slid down a small embankment and toward the retention pond. Jen braked to no avail as the car slide into the pond and began to sink. Jen and Molly both started screaming as water started to fill up the car. Both women stopped scream and arched their necks to keep their heads above the rising water.
Finally, Jen asked, “Molly, are you okay?”
“You mean am I dead?” Molly replied. “No, I’m still here.”
“I don’t think the car is sinking anymore,” Jen said. “I think this pond is only three or four feet deep. We can get out.” Slowly, both women forced their doors open and exited the vehicle. On the bank were a couple of people shouting and asking if they were injured. Jen recognized one person as a woman from their PSTD group therapy.
“Yeah, we’re okay,” Molly yelled. “We just picked a bad spot to have an accident.”
The woman waited as Jen and Molly walked out of the water. “That was no accident,” the woman said. “I saw the driver. She passed me to get to you and then tried to run you off the road. It was deliberate.”
“She?” Jen asked.
“Yeah,” answered the woman. “I saw her as she drove by me. It was a woman. I got part of the license plate. I already called 911. The police should be here any minute.”
The police arrived and took statements from both women. The offending driver didn’t stop. The police took a description from the witnesses who saw the incident. An ambulance arrived and started checking Jen and Molly to ensure they were okay. They wrapped them in warm blankets and had them sit in the ambulance as they took their vitals. A tow truck arrived and soon had Jen’s car out of the pond. Jen and Molly were retrieving their purses as Jonah pulled up with his partner, Ji-Su Lee, a short Korean man. Jonah introduced him as Jessie Lee.
“Ms. McDowell, please retrieve the registration from your car, and I’ll initiate a BOLO for it,” Jessie said. “We’ll also start canvasing repair shops. The car that hit yours will be damaged by the looks of the damage done to your car. It looks like it was a blue car based on the color that scraped off onto your fender.”
“That’s correct, detective,” the witness said. “I saw it. It was a four-door sedan. I think it was a Toyoda. I also have a partial license plate.” She handed a slip of paper to Jessie.
“Great. Thanks,” Jessie said. “I’ll take care of the BOLO. Jonah, you want to start getting statements?” Jonah nodded.
As Jessie walked back to their car, Jonah whispered to Jen and Molly. “Jessie likes to think he’s in charge. Nice guy though.”
“Is he from Korea?” Jen asked. “He has a Southern accent.”
“Nope. Born and raised here in Atlanta,” answered Jonah. “I think he’s third or fourth generation. You should see him interrogate people. He acts and talks like he just got off the boat. It fools people and it work well for him.” Jen and Molly laughed.
Jonah decided he could get statements from Jen and Molly at home. He talked to the witnesses and took their statements. When he was finished, he arranged for a ride for the women so he could get to work on this case.
A few hours later, Jonah called to say they found the car. It had been stolen and then abandoned.
Later that evening, Jen got a call from detective Pete Barrett in vice. His job was to pose as a young teen on his computer and trap pedophiles. He uses the dark web to contact the pedophiles. His job earned him the nickname of Pervert Pete, that plus the way he leered at female cops.
“Jen, I hate to tell you this, but that incident was no accident,” Pete started. “You and Molly were targeted. Someone was trying to kill you.”
“What do you mean?” Jen asked.
“You know in my job I monitor the dark web. There’s a place there where people can post contracts for hits. Someone has put out a contract on you. I already informed the FBI. You’ll probably hear from Special Agent Andrews.”
Jen was shocked. “Why? Why me?”
“Well, think about it,” Pete said. “You went undercover and brought the FBI down on a far-right boot camp. You also were instrumental stopping a hate group bomber and sniper from killing a bunch of people here in Atlanta. That’s the why. That’d the easy part. The who is the big question.”
“Are people still mad about that?”
Pete went silent for a minute. Finally, he said, “At least you still have your sense of humor.”
“You can’t figure out who posted the hit?” Jen asked.
“No,” answered Pete. “Not yet. I can’t trace it on the dark web.”
“What do you mean, not yet?” asked Jen.
“The contract is open ended, meaning anyone can attempt to claim it,” Pete continued. “The attempt today was strictly amateurish. A professional would have checked out that pond to make sure it was deep enough. Next time you may not be so lucky.”
“How much is the contract?” Jen asked.
“$10,000,” Pete answered.
“For Molly and me?” Jen asked.
“No,” answered Pete. “It’s $10,000 each.”