The Deepest Wound (Jack Murphy Thriller #3) - Rick Reed


His hands stopped shaking, but every muscle in them ached as he knelt, clutching the toilet seat and tasting the bile that burned his throat. He looked at the body in the other room, sprawled on the floor, legs spread, arms bent, hands limp on either side of her head. Dark hair spilled across a face that five minutes ago was beautiful, now drawn into a rictus of death.

“Dear God!” He ground a knuckle into his mouth as his mind flashed back over horrible images—shoving her, her head hitting the brick fireplace, hands around her throat, thumbs driving deep into the flesh until something crunched. And the blood—he’d never seen so much blood.

He hadn’t seen anyone outside when he came to her house—no lights on, no sound coming from any of the houses on the block—and in his panic he thought about fleeing the scene of the crime. But he knew that wasn’t going to help him in the long run. He had undoubtedly left fingerprints, fibers—they could find all sorts of things these days. The most damaging evidence was the body itself.

Maybe he could dispose of the body. And there was that other problem he had to deal with.

Who am I kidding? I’m no killer. But that isn’t true anymore. I am a killer. But she brought this on herself. I only wanted to talk to her, explain my side. All she had to do was keep her big mouth shut.

She had deceived him. Betrayed his trust. Women were like that. All nice when they wanted something, then baring their claws when they didn’t get it the way they wanted. She had called him to come over, and it surprised him. It had been months. And just when he was feeling good about coming to see her, feeling good about himself, she dropped the bomb.

She told him she knew about the girl named Hope and that he’d gotten the girl pregnant. She wanted him to do the right thing. Let Hope have the child, and stop pushing her to abort it. She even went so far as to say he should pay Hope to raise the child. When he laughed at that ridiculous idea, she became angry and started with the threats of public exposure. The bitch had somehow found about the other affairs, and she threatened to go public, ruin his career. He couldn’t allow that to happen.

That was when he lost it. Had gone into a homicidal rage. Any man would have. He could still feel his pulse pounding in his ears, and he felt the urge to retch again, but his stomach had nothing left. He wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his dress shirt, flushed the toilet, and buried his face in his hands.

I killed her. I’m a murderer!

And then he realized he knew someone he could call for help. Someone he trusted completely. They would know what to do. They knew people who could fix this.

He took his cell phone from his pocket and punched in a number.


Jack watched the festivities from Katie’s kitchen window, thinking about how his life had changed over the last few years. He was still young, or youngish, but his solid six-foot-one build was getting a little soft, and this morning he’d spotted some gray hiding in his dark hair. This house was his childhood home. He and his wife, Katie, had lived here. But then came the divorce, and everything had gone to shit—his life, his marriage, his home, and his happiness.

Jack Murphy was a police detective, not a fortune-teller. He noticed if someone was right- or left-handed, calm or nervous, lying or telling the truth, going for a weapon or likely to run, but he’d never seen today coming. They didn’t teach you in cop school how to react when your ex-wife got engaged to another man. If he were a fortune-teller, he wouldn’t be here.

When he and Katie divorced, they had remained close because of the friends in common. She had dated and he had dated, but it was never serious for him until he met Susan Summers. He thought maybe she was the one. Three months ago, Susan accepted a position as chief parole officer for the state of Indiana, which necessitated moving to Indianapolis. It was only a three-hour drive, and they had promised to get together often, but neither of them kept that promise. The last time they spoke, Susan said she was dating someone, and he realized that he was