Curse of the Ancients
by Hawk MacKinney
As Craige Ingram climbed the stairs of the derelict building, that peculiar stench of a dead body hit him. It was the same smell no matter where—SpecOps SEAL encounter gone sour, or in a vacant, roach-infested apartment. Inside, his SEAL buddy-turned head of Buckingham Parish Homicide’s Investigative Support Division, Grayson MacGerald, was huddled with the coroner next to a swollen decaying corpse that was days old and hardly more than oozing dead meat. The PI inside Craige had a gut feeling that there was more to this than a dead body, and Craige’s Grannie always told him, “Trust your feelin’s.” But that was before Mihály Keaulescu set down two of his Black Falcon choppers on Craige’s Moccasin Hollow private airstrip in an uninvited stopover. It got worse. From his airstrip to Israel, to Turkey and a nightmare-dream of one-of-a-kind ancient artifacts that not only threatened the serene life Craige knew and loved at Moccasin Hollow, it would destroy the world.
With a twist of one strap he hoisted his heavy canvas field pack of fence-fixin’ tools over his shoulder. Cut across the hayfield behind the house toward the new section. At the fence he looped the strap over the corner gatepost he’d set and cemented two days earlier. He slipped on heavy-leather gloves, and grabbed the post-hole digger. Humidity already thick, it was gonna be another one of those early sweat-and-lots-of-water days. As he jammed deeper into the rusty red sticky sandy-kaolin hole, his handset gave an interrupted buzz. Not many people had access to any of his numbers; even fewer had the code to his scrambled satellite uplink. He leaned the posthole digger against the stump, shucked his gloves and knocked them together to get rid of the gritty clods. His tattered sweat-soaked straw hat pushed to the back of his head, he brushed back the wet brown curls plastered across his forehead. He needed a haircut.
He reached inside his pack and grabbed the handset, “Ingram.”
Gray said, “You tied up with anything you can’t turn loose?”
The tone of Gray’s usual studied voice was a bit more hurried than let’s-grab-an-early-lunch. “You sound full-awake even after River Disco.”
Gray said, “Getting around to breakfast this morning was a bit slow.”
Craige could tell this was business. “Stringing new fences and burying posts has waited this long. No reason it can’t wait longer.” He gave his caked gloves a final whack against his snake boots and brushed a shirtsleeve across his eyes, smudging the sweat off his forehead. Gray was not one for beating around the bush when it came to homicide business. It was one of the things about Gray that Commanding Officer Craige Ingram relied on.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
With postgraduate degrees and faculty positions at several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to his work in classrooms and laboratories, he has written numerous professional articles on chordate neuroembryology and authored several novels that reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for both the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Hidden Vault of Secrets and Westobou Gold, Books 1 and 2 in the series, have received national and international attention. Hawk is also writing a science fiction series, The Cairns of Sainctuarie.
Hawk will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway