Deceived - Laura S. Wharton


A Sam McClellan Tale

© 2015 by Laura S. Wharton

All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the expressed written permission of the author. The characters and event portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Address all inquiries to:

Broad Creek Press

253 Farmbrook Road

Mt. Airy, NC 27030

Wharton, Laura S.

Deceived/by Laura S. Wharton

Mt. Airy, NC: Broad Creek Press, 2015


p. cm – (Deceived)

Summary: With the help of sassy sidekick Molly Monroe and other well-rounded characters, Detective Sam McClellan uncovers a vast drug network which winds its way through the resort beach towns of North Carolina.

Print Book 978-0-9904662-4-6

[1. Thriller—Fiction. 2. Adventure—Fiction. 3. North Carolina—Fiction. 4. Sailing—Fiction.]

Printed in the United States of America

For John and Darlene.

Truth is often stranger than fiction.


Other novels by

Laura S. Wharton

Award-winning novels for Young Adults and Adults:

Stung! A Sam McClellan Tale

In Julia’s Garden, A Lily McGuire Mystery

Leaving Lukens

The Pirate’s Bastard

Award-winning mysteries for Children:

Mystery at the Lake House #1: Monsters Below

Mystery at the Lake House #2: The Mermaid’s Tale

Mystery at the Lake House #3: The Secret of the Compass

Mystery at the Phoenix Festival

The Wizard’s Quest

All titles are available as print and e-books.

To learn more about Laura’s other books,

visit LauraWhartonBooks

Chapter One

“My partner Lee was lighting another cigarette. I saw the glow when I came out of the store with these Fritos,” said Sam McClellan. He waved the crushed bag in the cop’s face as the man wrote down Sam’s account of the incident. “God, how I hated his stinking up my car.” Sam blinked back glistening tears in the nearly abandoned Circle K’s glaring lights. This particular gas station was just outside Wilmington, North Carolina, near the town of Navassa.

“What happened next, Sam?” The Navassa officer waited patiently for Sam to tell his story as a flurry of activity surrounded Sam’s black Chevy Blazer, its passenger door hanging from one hinge thanks to an over-zealous rescue attempt. Crime scene investigators buzzed about like flies as they collected evidence: samples of shattered glass, samples of blood on the dark seat, and a hunk of matted hair and mangled flesh dangling from the steering wheel. Sam knew that from here on out, it was just procedure. Different police force, same rules.

“We were on our way back from dropping a bunch of kids off at their homes. Lee’s car wouldn’t hold them all after a day of bowling, so I volunteered to help get them home. The kids were friends of Lee’s, I guess. I didn’t ask. He just needed a ride for all of them, so I obliged. After that, we stopped here to grab a snack before I drove him back to the bowling alley to get his car. Then, I dunno. All of a sudden, I heard the explosion of gunfire, and Lee’s head was…gone. Just like that.” He snapped his fingers for effect. “I raced out here, but I was too late.”

“Do you have any idea who would want him gone?” the officer asked without looking up from his notebook. Sam didn’t like the tone of this guy’s voice. Sam didn’t know his name, didn’t even bother to look at his nametag above his pocket. He just knew he hated this particular cop for his show of disrespect toward a fellow officer, even if he was from a different town.

“No.” Sam made no attempt to hide his disgust.

“Did you see the shooter’s car?”

“I was focused on Lee, so I didn’t see anything,” Sam muttered. “But I heard it. A souped-up muscle car. It idled real rough.” He’d file that sound away in his brain. He didn’t have a choice: the sound still rang in his ears, and Sam knew he’d never forget it.

The officer scribbled some other notes before telling Sam to stick around.

“Like I’ve got any place to go,” quipped Sam, wondering whether the officer now trotting away toward the police car could feel the daggers Sam was mentally hurling into his back. Noticing the bag of Fritos still gripped in his hand, Sam threw it to the ground in disgust.

Finding a curb to wait at, Sam fought back the tears he felt welling up behind his eyes. He’d known Lee Elliott since their police training camp days. When they both wound up on the same force, in the sleepy seaside town of Carolina Beach just up the road from the more frenetic Wrightsville Beach, it was natural they became partners. They had hung out