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    Hi Crime Fans !!

    Here are the first few pages of my blockbuster "Death and the Pumpkins". I think it is really good. Maybe you could suggest some improvements ?

    WARNING It is quite fruity

    The weak spring sunshine cast vague shadows across the cheap formica desktop. They partially disguised the horror of the black and white photographs scattered haphazardly across the chipped and stained surface.

    Sergeant Troy Baker sighed wearily and poured himself another three fingers of Jim Beam. He stirred the amber liquid with the muzzle of his Desert Eagle magnum pistol, listening idly to the clink of ice against burnished steel.

    Troy reached into the top drawer of the rickety desk and pulled out the .357 round which he kept there, along with a diving mask and a sponge from the Red Sea. He rolled the heavy metal bullet in his blunt surfer’s fingers, letting his mind take him back to the sunbleached shoreline of Wadi Nabir where he had passed the previous summer vacation.

    He slipped the ammunition gently into the cheap faux-crystal whisky glass and watched it roll through the golden liquid.

    Its menacing bulk reminded him of the bull sharks which patrolled the limpid waters of the Wadi, seeking out the scent of prey.

    For a few agonizing minutes he had become that prey. Only luck and world class surgeons had managed to save him on that fateful July day. His partner Leanne had not been so lucky. Troy’s glance flicked to the small ochre amphora on the mantelpiece. He had picked it from the seabed the day before his life was turned upside down by the marauding shark.

    Originally the baked earth vessel had contained wine from the fertile plains of the Negev. Perhaps even the same vintage which Our Lord had drunk at the Caana marriage feast.

    Now the barnacle encrusted antiquity was home to the ashes of Leanne. The evening before the attack she had seemed somewhat bashful as they enjoyed grilled fish and salad on the verandah of their beach chalet. As the sun set she placed her arms around Troy’s muscular neck and whispered her news in his sinewy ear.

    Her condition had not dampened her enthusiasm for sex that memorable night. On the contrary Leanne had seemed even more inventive than usual and amazed her athletic partner with her unbridled lust. They had collapsed exhausted as rosy fingered dawn broke over the rugged hills behind the Wadi.

    If only they had stayed in bed instead of going down to the beach. If only, if only. If only that goddam shark had managed to catch a grouper or a barracuda it would not have chowed down on Leanne as they copulated on the pedalo.

    Troy retrieved the bullet from his whiskey and wiped it on the short sleeve of his uniform shirt. Then he slid it into the breech of the heavy pistol. The temptation was strong. A gentle squeeze of the trigger and all his troubles would be over. He was sure that Leanne and their unborn child ( a boy, he was certain ) were waiting for him on the other side.

    He laid down the pistol. Not this time. He still had his parents to think of and his younger sister Nancy. She was a recovering atheist and relied on Troy for moral guidance.

    Also he felt obliged to solve the murder case which had shocked the tranquil community of Clipper’s Creek that autumn.

    Three students from Framlingham High had disappeared during a fraternity Halloween party. They had set off in a stolen Mitsubishi Lancer to buy beer across the state line. The wrecked automobile was found the next day half-submerged in Twelve Trees swamp, a desolate alligator infested wetland on the edge of town.

    At first it was assumed that the drunken teens had crashed and been dragged from their vehicle by hungry reptiles, to be consumed in some dank underwater lair. A memorial service had been arranged and the tight-knit community had expressed its grief in the usual way. The Sheriff’s department had organized searches of the swamp and surrounding woods but had only found a baseball cap which may have belonged to Dean Kowalsky, the oldest of the three students. Of the other two, Jason Le Noir and Kelly Bougereau there was no trace.
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