first in the Bill Parker series, it introduces a look at what's
happening to Vermont. A reviewer said she 'couldn't put it down."
Mystery and intrigue and real legislation make this book a
page-turner, and introduce some interesting Vermont characters, too.
second in the Parker Series, it exposes a whole new scam of the murderous
kind. It takes Parker to Colorado and Arizona tracking a killer, with the
final pulse-pounding finish in Grand Isle County in Northern Vermont.
Parker's wife, Addie, finds danger is looking at her, too, as she steps in
to help her husband.
this third novel of the Series, Bill Parker comes
forward to help a friend who finds that the most innocent of
Vermont's unofficial institutions can be the most deadly to
deal with. Things get rough when murder takes a hand and
a middle school art student points Bill's way to the truth. The
plot boils over during Parker's quiet trip into the Northeast
Kingdom of Vermont.
LEGISLATIVE BODY SNEAK PEEK:
It was completely still as
he stood in the doorway to a short passage that led to the House Chamber.
This was the area known as the “Card” room, where legislators played
cards during slow times. “Slow times” had evaded Parker,
and everybody else, completely for all the years he’d been in the House.
Parker could see that the lights were at a minimum in the Chamber,
and as he walked along the short passage to the darkened interior of the
huge room, he heard a sound that abruptly broke the stillness up into pieces
and shards. It was a muffled, but still loud, sound as if an enormous wet
sand bag had been dropped from a height, followed almost instantly by the
smashing sound of something destroyed by that sodden weight Bill Parker
never considered himself a coward, but then again, he knew that in Vietnam
he had some control over what might startle him.
that something would always be groping upward at him on every mission, and
he learned how to deal with it. He knew it was
controlled fear. But this sound was totally unexpected
and the loud noise was even more intrusive because of the environment of
complete stillness which surrounded it.
He froze in the
passageway, unable to come to grips with this sudden disruption of the total
quiet. He didn’t know what had caused it, but he
instinctively knew that this sound was in the wrong place and at the wrong
time. He also knew that some form of terrible trouble
had decided to come out of its cave – and that feeling instantaneously
flooded over him, taking him back to Southeast Asia.
Parker had created this trouble-and-cave thing as a protection when friends
did not come back from missions. He never thought he’d
feel it again.
After a few seconds, Parker moved forward to the door into
the House Chamber, propped open for the night. The side
door where Parker entered the Chamber was at the corner of the open north
end. Parker knew that the sound had come from the direction of the south
end, and turned to the right and headed that way. At
first he didn’t see anything different and out of place.
The lights were at their minimum illumination, which was customary at night
in the State House. But they were enough to show the
contrast of the white ends of broken wood where they shouldn’t be.
It was at that same moment that Parker saw, on the floor at the edge
of the main passage dividing the House, a body. It was
lying on its face, the head at an unnatural angle, with what looked like a
grooved skull. There was surprisingly little blood,
based on Parker’s previous experiences. Next to it were
the remains of a desk that had apparently taken the brunt of the fall.
Parker ran out into the entrance area of the House and hollered for
the security guard. He returned to the injured man and
looked at him more closely. Parker would never again
debate Representative Kermit Mayes and then have a beer with him afterwards.
STILL WATERS SNEAK PEEK:
Always Good to Have Visitors Leave Early
Waiting for time to pass can be the one thing
that can try a person’s patience to the point of shattering. As the
early-morning light allowed things to become more than just fuzzy blobs of
non-color, Parker knew that Kate had to be here very soon. He wondered if she
had decided not to come. Or if she had fallen and was unable to continue. Or………,
and then Parker heard someone coming up the stream – whistling! It was Kate, stepping from stone to stone, nimbly negotiating the
stream edge toward her goal. Parker slithered forward to the edge of the drop,
the climbing rope right in front of his body, within easy reach. The early
morning light was becoming stronger.
As she came abreast of the killer’s probable
hiding place, Parker tensed, wondering if the killer would step out right then.
There was no movement. Kate continued along toward the
dam. She had stopped whistling, and slowed her walking gait, no doubt looking
for the first spot where she would begin taking pictures. She reached the dam, set her backpack down, and
began to look at one of her cameras, both of which were slung around her neck.
There was no movement anywhere around her. And it was completely quiet, except
for the musical chiming of the running water, spilling over the top of the dam
at the place where the beaver had designed for it to run. And then Parker saw
the first indication of motion downstream. It was a man, carefully stepping out
from his cover and walking quietly to the edge of the stream. Kate had her back
to him while she adjusted her camera for her morning’s work. He was still fifty
feet, or so, from her back, and heading up toward her. She was so engrossed in
her preparations that the man could have probably been whistling, too, thought
Parker, and she still would never have been aware of his presence. And,
suddenly, the early morning sun came out from behind a rim of mountain and threw
a flash of light across the scene. It was so abrupt that Kate looked up,
probably to gauge her position in order to take her first picture with the sun
being the principal subject as it cast a sheen across the still waters.
turned east, to see this brilliant landscape, and when she did, she saw the man.
He was about twenty-five feet downstream from her. He was wearing camouflaged
clothing, and a floppy Ranger hat that hid his face. But, Parker knew that Kate,
by her reaction, was afraid of this man. Then, the man stood erect, and raised
his head, and Kate stumbled back against the dam. The man was wearing a ski
“Don’t try to run, Kate,” said the man in a soft, husky voice. “It won’t
do you any good. There’s nobody around here for miles. And I have a job to do,
don’t I?” He continued to walk slowly toward her. “You’re the last piece of my
puzzle, you know, and then I’m done forever with my plan and all its work.” Kate
couldn’t speak. She looked desperately for a chance to run. But there was no
chance for her. He’d planned everything perfectly - except for one thing that
his arrogance and confidence caused him to ignore. Somebody
else knew what he’d been doing. Parker grabbed his rope in his gloved hands and
leaped over the edge of the sheer wall of rock and plummeted down toward the
dam. “Run, Kate, run!” he shouted, as his boots hit the hard surface of the
anchor end of the dam. He almost fell, but desperately gained his balance in a
GREEN MOUNTAIN SNEAK PEEK:
decided to change the subject. “Where’s your boss? I assumed he’d be here. Then I could talk with him,
too.” It was an inane way to change directions, he knew, but he didn’t
trust this screwball to remain stable for too long.
“He left about 7:00 AM this morning. He’d been trying to reach somebody all
night. He got no answers, I guess. So, he left, and in a hell of a rush, too. As
I think about it, I guess he must have wanted to reach his helicopter – yes, we
have one of those, too, Parker. We’re very well equipped, you know. He’ll be
back any time now, I think. However, you won’t be able to talk to him, I’m
He motioned with his silenced pistol. “Now, out the
door. And no sudden movements, please.” He looked at Parker, who was standing
askew, keeping as much of his weight off one leg as he could. “Parker, you look
a little like that leaning tower thing, or whatever. Bad leg, I think? You’d
better not be trying to make me think you’re not dangerous. I have my Master’s
degree in sniffing out that sort of crap, and I’m not lying about it. Now, move
out, both of you,” and he motioned to Jan. As they stepped
through the door and into the darkness outside, Parker
thought that he might have an advantage. The night would make a lot of things
easier for him and Jan and he’d be looking for it. That thought dissipated when
Mr. X switched on the outside lights as he stepped through the door.
The two lights, one on each side of the door, were not bright. The bulbs
were obviously undersized for the job of illuminating the outside area behind
Parker continued to look around the cones of light produced by the
inadequate lamps. Beyond the splotches of light was blackness. Jan Evlin had not
said a word. Parker thought that she was numb and wasn’t understanding what this
crazy man was about to do to them. “Jan,” Parker said
quietly, “are you okay?” She nodded vacantly, first looking at Parker and then
the pistol. Parker knew that his question was totally dumb. If she doesn’t
understand, that’s probably better, he thought. “When do you expect your boss to
be back? He may not be very happy when he learns that you’ve harmed us,” Parker
said, as equably as he could. “I think he’ll give me a bonus for getting rid of
you, Parker. And I don’t think he cares about the woman at all.” “What does he
mean, Mr. Parker? Is he going to kill us?” asked Jan. Her voice was showing her
panic as she seemed to understand what all this preparation work meant. “I’m
afraid so, missy,” Mr. X said, “but it will be. . . ”