A King of Infinite Space (Long Beach Homicide)
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Long Beach, California, homicide detective Danny Beckett is pouring the weekend’s first shot of vodka when the call comes in: Elizabeth Williams, a teacher at nearby Warren High School, has been brutally murdered in her classroom. When Danny arrives at the school, the blood-spattered crime scene turns even his veteran stomach. What could this young woman have done to make her the target of such a violent attack? And what is the significance of the victim’s left hand, taken by the killer as a grisly trophy? Beckett delves into the case with his usual tenacious cool, yet as he pieces together the facts, long-suppressed anguish from his own past rises up with stunning force. His hunt for the murderer soon morphs into a personal quest for atonement as he struggles to come to terms with the loss of his wife and family. A King of Infinite Space is a riveting crime novel that serves as a memorable introduction for Danny Beckett to the ranks of fiction’s favorite hardened detectives.
lives and find the genuine core of their friendship. Most detectives have neither the patience nor the empathy to work that approach. My partner did. We listened to Angela speak for almost an hour. She told us how she and Beth had decided to go to the same college, how they’d taken different paths but both finally settled on English education majors, how they’d experimented, rebelled, and matured. She told us what she knew of Beth’s strained relationship with her former fighter-pilot father, her
sitting at our desks. Colonel Ronald P. Williams, USAF, Retired, gave us another semi-nod as he passed. His wife paused at the edge of Jen’s desk. “He’s—” she caught herself in midsentence and looked down at her hands for a moment. When she looked up again, she simply said, “Thank you,” and walked out the door with her husband. “Semper Fi,” I said. “That’s the Marines,” Jen said. “Same difference.” After we finished our reports and squared away our plans for the next day, I loaded my
notes and copies of the day’s paperwork in the leather postal-carrier bag I use for a briefcase. “Want to grab some dinner?” I asked Jen. “I’ve got plans.” “Plans?” I asked. “Family thing?” Jen was one of the few people I knew who actually came from a functional family. It was an unusual week if she didn’t see her parents and brother at least once. “No. Bob Kincaid and I are going to grab something.” “You’ve got a date with Dimple Boy?” “It’s not a date,” she said. “He’s looking for some
deepwater canals on both sides of us, cranes towered above worn docks, surrounded by thousands of multicolored containers that looked like huge rusted LEGOs, waiting to be snapped onto the flatbeds of trucks and trains. The unmistakable smell of the harbor—a mixture of engine oil, smog, and dead fish, carried on a fresh ocean breeze—blew in through the vents. At the other end of the bridge, we spent thirty seconds southbound on the Harbor Freeway and then headed up the hill into some of the
seen the first news van, so it wouldn’t be long before others picked up the scent. Jen took out her cell phone and speed-dialed a number. “Tom,” she said, “it’s Jen. It’s a little after nine on Friday night. I’m not going to be able to make class tomorrow. Just keep them going on what we worked on last week, okay? Especially the ukemi—none of the newbies can roll for shit. And let me know if Rudy shows up. I’m really starting to worry about him. Just give me a call on my cell, all right?” She