Tearing the Tape – a crime novel

I’ve always enjoyed writing, picking up a pen and writing my first story at the age of nine. It was about 120 pages long. Since then, my passion for novel writing hasn’t changed. This year, I began a new story called Tearing the Tape, a crime novel about an overworked homicide detective and his struggles in solving a new case, whilst looking deeply into his personal life.

Here’s a portion of the first chapter:

CASE FILES stacked high on Atticus’ desk weighed his desk down just as much as it weighed him down mentally. An emerging serial killer, nicknamed The Butcher by the media due to their brutal killing style, involving mutilation and dismemberment of their victims’ bodies, was stalking the streets looking for their next victim, and it was his job to find the killer.

“Ugh, I need a coffee,” Atticus mumbled as he slowly stood up, placing his pen down on top of the victim file. He’d been filling in paperwork for a few hours and, quite frankly, he’d had enough. His back ached and his eyes felt strained. He runs his hand through his hair, a constantly perfect example of a blunt scissor-cut style, and sets off for the staff kitchen, trying to think whether or not he had any of Maya’s leftovers still in the fridge.

.

‘I just want to go home. I miss Maya,’ he thought as he walked into the staff kitchen, grabbing his favourite espresso capsules and making himself his sixth consecutive coffee in 24 hours. He quickly checks the fridge, but he had nothing left. He sighs, disappointed, but shrugs it off and grabs the mug from the coffee machine, hoping the stimulant would fill him up until he could get a break to go get food.

The kitchen was a mess, containers and cups with stains all over them piled high on the bench. The window hadn’t been opened for days, and the stench of old food sat heavy in the air. He took it upon himself to open it, standing by it in order to ensure he was breathing fresh air.

“Hey Atticus, thanks for that.”

Said Axton Zuch, a sergeant at the station.

“For what?” Atticus questioned as he turned around to face the man.

“Opening the window. I was dying in here before.”

“Why didn’t you do it yourself?”

He said, raising his eyebrow and crossing his arms across his chest.

Axton shrugs his shoulders.

“Don’t know. Just never occurred to me, I had other things on my mind.”

“Fair enough. Guess you can’t think of everything all the time.”

Atticus said with a sigh, his disdain evident in his voice.

Axton smiles at him, not noticing the not-so-subtle jab at his quality as a human being. He goes about making his dinner, and Atticus turns back to the window, taking a sip of his cooled down coffee.

“Are you going to wash the dishes?” Axton inquired, but Atticus shakes his head and turns around, giving him a hard look.

“I’m not your wife.”

“Fair enough, boss. Sorry about that.”

.

“Lieutenant!” A female’s voice echoed through the hall. “Lieutenant Brewster!”

Atticus turns around, walking to the doorway. “Yes Quinn?” he answers, but gets no response.

He sighed, and made his way down the hall to Senior Constable Quinn Bluett’s office, the closed curtains and dim lights, he found the office because he memorised the entire layout of the office.

“What happened?” he asked impatiently as he walked into her office, and leant against the doorframe.

“Nothing happened, I just wanted to make sure you’ve met Constable Kuruk.”

Kuruk Cavendish, the new constable, was setting up his desk in the corner of Quinn’s otherwise large office, and looked up when his name was mentioned.

“Kuruk, this is Lieutenant Brewster.”

Atticus held out his hand for Kuruk to shake. “Nice to meet you, Lieutenant.” Kuruk said, taking his hand.

“The pleasure’s mine, Constable. I look forward to working with you.”

His attention went back to Quinn as Kuruk’s hand left his.

“Is that all Quinn?”

She nods, silently prompting Atticus to leave. Returning to the kitchen, nothing and everything ran through his head at the same time. His mind travels back to when he started in the force as a constable. Back when work hours were mostly concrete, when spurts of energy and motivation jumpstarted his dying interest in filling out paperwork, back when he looked up to the detectives, even if they didn’t do as good a job as they should’ve, just because they were where he wanted to be.