Defiled: The Sequel to Nailed Featuring John Tall Wolf (A Ron Ketchum Mystery Book 2)

Defiled: The Sequel to Nailed Featuring John Tall Wolf (A Ron Ketchum Mystery Book 2) by Joseph Flynn

Book: Defiled: The Sequel to Nailed Featuring John Tall Wolf (A Ron Ketchum Mystery Book 2) by Joseph Flynn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joseph Flynn
Tags: Mysteries & Thrillers
Jeeves, the butler?”
    “Last I heard, Alejandro was his name.”
    “That’s cool, too. But he’s not here now. So who’s going to draw my bath?”
    Ron attended to that and other duties.
     

Chapter 10
     
    Doctor Perri Dahlgren’s idea of culture was bacteria growing in a petri dish. The medical examiner of Alta County, called in to do the autopsy of Hale Tibbot, considered herself to be a scientist. Unlike so many boobs in the general population, especially faith-based politicians, she didn’t believe in magical thinking. She lived in the real world.
    If a hypothesis couldn’t be proved by the scientific method, it was hogwash.
    So she wasn’t amused when Sergeant Casimir Stanley of the Goldstrike PD had told her the chief of police didn’t want to hear that a vampire had been responsible for Tibbot’s death. As if she’d ever say that even in jest. The sergeant had said it was the chief who had been joking.
    Dr. Dahlgren wanted to say some people’s work — hers — should be taken seriously. But then she supposed a cop could say the same thing. She’d heard about Ron Ketchum defusing that dirty bomb. An avid downhill skier, Perri Dahlgren would have been heartbroken if her favorite slopes had been despoiled by radioactive fallout.
    Also wouldn’t have been good if people had been killed, she supposed.
    So, yes, cops had their serious moments. That being the case, they should have recognized when other people did work you shouldn’t joke about. She never understood the concept of black humor. Or pretty much any humor.
    Her colleagues said she had just the right bedside manner for her job.
    She ignored their barbs.
    What she couldn’t deny was that some misbegotten mass of protoplasm, one she couldn’t believe was fully human, had drained Hale Tibbot of enough of his blood to do a barroom full of vampires credit. A normal adult male had roughly six quarts of blood on board. Any blood loss of forty percent or more could cause circulatory failure and death.
    Hale Tibbot had been tapped for three quarts, half his blood supply.
    Seated in his erect posture, the remainder had pooled in his lower extremities.
    Given the volume of blood loss the victim had suffered, the walls of the room where he’d been found should have been painted red. The crime scene photos showed just the opposite. Not a drop of blood was to be found anywhere. Doctor George Ryman had speculated, fancifully, that perhaps a desiccant-filled collar had been affixed to the murder weapon. Queen Elizabeth the First hadn’t worn collars big enough to do the job.
    No, the means of this spotless killing had a much simpler explanation. Dr. Dahlgren knew from the size of the wound what the murder weapon had to be, a large bore needle. Maybe sixteen gauge or even fourteen. At any rate, it was a size similar to that used to do transfusions and donations. Just like a donation, Tibbot’s blood must have wound up in a plastic bag.
    To be used for what purpose, Dr. Dahlgren wondered.
    She stopped herself from even speculating.
    She didn’t want to know.
    There weren’t any vampires out there but there certainly was a ghoul.
     
    Walt Ketchum, owing to the almost two months he’d spent at Clay Steadman’s place, had become a known quantity on the streets of Goldstrike. Not wanting to get behind the wheel of a car for fear his brain might go haywire again and he’d run over a pack of Cub Scouts, Walt walked everywhere he went. After the first week, his legs and feet hurt so bad he thought he might have to be put into a wheelchair. The prospect hadn’t pleased him. Whenever it might be that he breathed his last, he wanted to be operating under his own steam.
    He’d confided that to Clay, who said he shared the sentiment.
    The mayor also brought in a bright-eyed little Chinese woman who stuck so many needles into Walt he thought he’d have to join the pincushion union. She also massaged his feet and calves until he felt so good he decided he

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