PAPERBACK BOOKS
OF POISONED MINDS

Andrea Griffith seemed to have it together. She was very  attractive, extremely popular and held a successful career as a journalist. So why did someone want her dead? 

The body of a Chinese boy is then found in the early hours. He was murdered before being callously dumped in a causeway. A branded mark on his neck leads to the Gui - a secretive  Chinese organisation. 

Somehow the two deaths are linked... 

Andrea’s husband Robin, a prominent doctor, is devastated by his wife’s death. Detective John Morton wants to believe that Robin is the prime suspect but there’s just one problem; the murder attempt was aimed at Robin as well. 

Morton is led into the sinister Chinese underworld, lured by the beautiful and mysterious Ming Lee. He’s also at loggerheads with his own partner Detective Regina Gardner while she struggles with depression following the death of her close friend Leigh Baxter. 

Leigh’s death, Gardner learns, was not so straight forward either. Furthermore Gardner holds a personal secret and it’s not only driving a wedge between her and Morton, her relationship is on the skids and she’s pushed to the limit. 

Something has to give in this nightmare. 

There’s only one problem with nightmares…you’re seldom in control. 

In Store Price: $AU29.95 
Online Price:   $AU28.95

ISBN: 978-1-921574-02-3      
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages: 330
Genre: Fiction - Crime
 

 

By the same author:
Elephant Speak

Static

www.rlongmire.com

 


Author: Randall Longmire
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2009
Language: English

HOME PAGE

Prologue  

    Andrea Griffith was riveted to her magazine as she walked through the dining room. Although she’d written the article that had her attention, it was different seeing it on the glossy pages of a journal. She imagined she was looking at it for the first time and the mere thought of countless others reading it made her nervous. This was her hard work and now it was public and open to criticism.

Guided by her peripheral vision as well as the spicy aroma of Chinese food, she set foot in the kitchen. Her mouth watered and her stomach panged with hunger. A few days away on business had somehow built an insatiable appetite.

She looked up from the medical journal to her husband. He had his back turned to her, his mind obviously elsewhere, occupied by the bottle of wine he was uncorking. The chardonnay that had his full attention was fresh from the fridge and the door was still open, the alarm softly chirping its signal that the temperature was slowly increasing and the camembert on the top shelf – God forbid – might start to turn. The fancy fridge was Robin’s idea. He really had to have the best of everything. She smiled knowing this; after all, he had her. She was now distracted enough to do away with the journal.

Dr Robin Griffith turned in triumph with the throaty pop of the cork and dropped the bottle opener onto the bench. ‘Andrea honey, can you grab the glasses?’

Andrea turned and opened the cabinet’s frosted glass door then reached for the shelf just above eye level.

‘Not those ones; they’re for red,’ Robin said with a nasal tone of annoyance. He waved his free hand as his eyes peered over his spectacles, which were halfway down his nose. ‘The ones below. They’re smaller. Perfect for white.’

Andrea rolled her eyes as she pulled her hand back and repeated angrily in her mind, Not those ones, the ones below, perfect for white. She reached forward once more and grabbed the correct glasses, this time from the lower shelf as she’d been so politely instructed. ‘Pain in the arse,’ she muttered aloud to herself almost laughing. ‘Who gives a fuck what you drink it out of!’

‘Sorry, darling? You say something?’

She turned, cheeks flushed. ‘I said I think there’s a stain on this glass. You don’t want to find muck on it when you’re drinking, do you?’

She was still seething with frustration as she placed both glasses on the counter near the food. She glared at her husband as he poured the wine. You always have to be completely anal with absolutely everything, she thought wildly. Yes, even down to the fucking glasses you drink wine from. Jesus, even your beer has to be in a pilsener glass. It couldn’t be in a regular tall glass, could it! What’s the bloody difference? It still tastes the same!

This tormented dialogue was, of course, only in Andrea’s mind. She’d never speak such private thoughts aloud to her husband. Not in that way. She respected him, his job and the life he’d built for them both. She was no spring chicken either, a successful and well-known medical journalist in fact. She could live comfortably on her own if Robin wasn’t around. She made over one hundred and fifty grand a year; not even a fifth of her husband’s earnings, but still generous.

Robin’s anal habits she could bear, but only just. He was driven to perfection by nobody else but himself. It was an endearing quality and one she admired but, as far as she was concerned, he always trod a very thin line.

‘Are you okay?’ she said, noticing he was pale.

‘Yes … at least I think so.’

A dirty fork on the counter caught her eye and what looked suspiciously like sauce on the prongs. ‘You big sneak,’ she laughed. ‘You’ve had a go at the food all ready.’

‘Guilty as charged. Anyway, considering you paid for it and took delivery at the front door you already had your chance. It’s not my fault you ran back to your journal article.’ As Robin raised his glass, Andrea sensed a wave of pain wash across his face. He grabbed a stool and sat down quickly.

‘No, you’re not okay. What’s wrong?’

‘Stomach cramp,’ Robin managed through clenched teeth. His brow creased. ‘A burning cramp.’

‘It can’t be the Chinese. It wouldn’t hit you so quick.’

‘There’s never been anything wrong with Alan’s food.’ Alan owned the Chinese take-away.

‘What have you eaten today then?’

‘Just a salad roll for lunch, toast at breakfast. Nothing unusual.’

Andrea rushed around to the sink and came back to the counter with a glass of water. ‘Try telling me this is the wrong glass.’ She sat the glass in front of him and placed her hand inside his unbuttoned shirt to feel his chest.

‘What?’ Robin said.

She laughed darkly while she enjoyed the feel of his hair against her palm. ‘Nothing. Listen, drink slowly. It might just be heartburn or something.’ She pulled her hand away and grabbed the fork Robin had just used and poked at the Mongolian Lamb. ‘This spicy?’

‘A bit, but you still should like it.’ She hated spicy food. If he was eating Mongolian Lamb on his own he’d probably have asked for it to be spiced up, but not tonight.

Andrea took a mouthful of food. Satisfied, she reached for a bowl, then proceeded to tip half the container into it. She followed this with a few spoonfuls of steamed rice then perched herself on the other side of the counter across from Robin.

‘I can’t remember the last time you were sick,’ Andrea said with her mouth full. She paused to swallow. ‘Come to think of it, Dr Rasson has been asking after you for a while now. He said you haven’t seen him in about a year. You’re not as infallible as you thought, eh? You want me to get him to come over? You might have a bug.’

‘Give me a little while. If the cramps don’t go soon, yes we can call him over.’ Robin looked at his watch. ‘Does he make calls this hour anyway?’

‘Of course he does.’ She nodded and then squinted her eyes. ‘It’s been a while since you last saw him, hasn’t it? I’ll call him in half an hour if you’re no better.’ She dug her fork back into her bowl.

Robin grabbed the other plastic container and started to eat straight out of it. ‘You had any more trouble since that photo?’ he asked.

Andrea’s face flushed white at the sudden and unexpected change in subject. She hadn’t thought about the photo for a couple of weeks and Robin’s comment caught her completely off guard.

‘It still worries you, doesn’t it?’

Andrea managed a nod. ‘Yeah, but I’ll be okay. After all, no harm has been done.’ Her words didn’t match her heart rate, which was thumping like a drum. Ever since Robin had shown her that photo, she’d been constantly watching over her shoulder. It wasn’t just the picture. It was the words written on the reverse. She’d had plenty of admirers over the years; when you’re in the media spotlight that can happen. But the latest one was different. She didn’t want to think about that now. She changed the subject and they talked about work for the next half-hour.

Robin stood to put the empty bowls in the sink.

‘Oh, shit,’ said Andrea, suddenly.

‘What?’

‘I think I’m going to be sick.’

‘Perhaps you’ve got the same bug,’ Robin said lightly.

‘It wouldn’t be the first time in history.’ Andrea grabbed at her stomach, tears welling in her eyes.

‘Honey, you okay?’ Robin said more seriously. He followed suit, hugging his abdomen as though the same searing fire raged in his belly.

‘No. No, I’m not okay.’ Andrea moved off the stool and her head spun wildly. Within seconds her legs collapsed under her. She hit the floor with a slap, her hands and forearms taking the impact.

‘Andrea!’ Robin moved around the counter and knelt down to her.

‘Oh, God. Oh this is brutal.’ Andrea started to salivate profusely. It came out thick and white. She wiped the back of her hand across her mouth and when she pulled it away, she noticed it was foamy and she could smell … almonds. ‘Poison,’ she gasped.

‘What?’ Robin said. ‘Oh, hell!’

‘Ambulance! Call an ambulance.’ Andrea then screamed as though a blade were slowly being run down her torso. Her arms gave out and she collapsed flat to the floor. Her cheek thudded on the hard cold tiles and she closed her eyes, trying without success to block out the pain. Her body started to shake. She couldn’t control it.

Robin gingerly got to his feet and grabbed the phone, dialling triple-0. Within seconds he’d given the address.

Then he went back to Andrea and collapsed beside her. 

*** 

Robin woke with the pressure of a tube probing his mouth and the back of his throat.

‘Okay, Dr Griffith, stay with me,’ came a male voice. ‘Blood pressure …’ The voices faded away. He came to again to the sting of his face being gently slapped. ‘Dr Griffith, try to stay focused. If you can swallow for me it will make it easier to get this tube down your throat.’

Robin tried to shake the tube away. He gulped, ‘Ah Andr … ‘

‘Your wife is already on her way to hospital. Please swallow this so we can get you to hospital quickly. On the count of three. One, two, three …’

Robin felt the tube press against the back of his throat and he swallowed as requested. He closed his eyes and within moments felt himself being lifted into the air. As the stretcher was wheeled outside, the paramedic grabbed his radio and announced their pending arrival at the hospital.  

Click on the cart below to purchase this book:                 

 

HOME PAGE

All Prices in Australian Dollars                                                                    CURRENCY CONVERTER

(c)2009 Zeus Publications           All rights reserved.