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Scenes from Sugar Island

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A short selection from "Sugar Island
Girl Missing in Paris," fifth book in the "Getting to Know Jack" series

 

"Whadda we got here?” the desk sergeant groaned. It was four in the morning on a Sunday. Sergeant James Lawrence (JL) Gordon had worked all night dealing with the Saturday night regulars, and he did not want to be bothered with any more late arrivals.

“He was driving under the influence,” Deputy Hopkins said. “And he’s a genuine troll. License says he’s from Detroit.”

Those who live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan commonly refer to those from the Lower Peninsula as trolls—in other words, creatures that live under (or south of) the Mackinac Bridge. It is, of course, intended as an innocuous pejorative.

“What’s his name?” JL asked. “Or better yet, does he have friends in the city? Someone who might be so kind as to come and take him off our hands?”

“No. He said he was on his way back home,” Deputy Hopkins replied. “His driver’s license says he is one David Russell Hughes.”

“Lucky me,” the sergeant said. “Couldn’t you have just escorted him out of town? Wasn’t there something you could do besides bring him to me. Anything?”

“We don’t do stuff like that. Besides, he’s got a story the boss is gonna want to hear … right away.”

“What’s this ‘we don’t do stuff like that’ bullshit? Look, once I snap his picture, we’re gonna have to process him. Isn’t there something you can do to get him outta our hair?”

Deputy Hopkins was not paying attention to his grumbling.

JL took a long look at the prisoner standing in front of him. The man appeared to be in his early forties. His expensive designer jeans and tan button-down shirt stood out, but it was the black Armani Collezioni Leather Bomber Jacket that really looked out of place in the Upper Peninsula, much less in a holding cell.

JL lined him up for his mug shot and snapped it.

“Six feet three inches—you’re a tall one,” JL mumbled.

The prisoner did not acknowledge the comment.

There was something about this guy that JL found striking, but it had little to do with his height or his clothes. It was mostly in the manner he handled his steely dark eyes. He had a way of looking past you, instead of at you. Deep creases between his brows accented further the power of his stare, giving him the appearance of intense constant preoccupation.

And he did not respond verbally to directives; he merely did as he was told in a supremely stoic fashion.

JL noticed that the handcuffs appeared to be cutting off the prisoner’s circulation, so he examined them to be sure no damage could result. These hands do not belong to a working man, he thought. As he was satisfying himself that the cuffs were tight, but not overly so, he observed a two-digit number tattooed on the inside of the right wrist.

“Prison ink, right? Where did you do your time?”

Again the prisoner did not respond.

“There’s nothin’ the old man wants right now except to sleep it off,” JL said. “If you know what I mean. I heard he closed up Moloney’s last night … this morning, actually. He can’t be feelin’ so hot right now.”

“He’s gonna want a call, trust me,” Hopkins said. “You call him, or I will. But he needs to hear this guy’s story. And, by the way, make a note on your form that the prisoner has a bandage below his right ear—an existing minor injury.”

“Fine, then you call the sheriff,” JL said, tossing a pair of slip-on booties at the prisoner.

“Lose those fancy shoes, and the jacket,” he said. “The boys in the back will have a field day with you if they see any of that stuff.”

JL then handed the prisoner a basket for his personal belongings.

“Looks like you know the drill, partner,” JL said. “You get locked up a lot?”

The prisoner did not respond; he just slipped his black Forzieri Italian handcrafted leather cap-toe shoes into the metal basket and then carefully folded his jacket and placed it on top of the shoes.

“Exactly what is it you need to tell the old man?” JL asked.

“I’ll talk only to the sheriff,” the prisoner said not looking at JL.

“Fine then, have it your way,” JL snorted back. “But don’t count on our sheriff cutting you any breaks. That’s not how it works around here. I’ll just get you processed. And then you can go back and get acquainted with new best friends.”

“The sheriff says to just put our buddy in an interrogation room until he gets here,” Deputy Hopkins said.

“Then the old man’s coming down here?”

“He sure is.”

“What exactly is it that this fellow wants to tell the sheriff?”

Deputy Hopkins waited until two officers had escorted the prisoner back to an interrogation room before responding. And then he said, “I think he might be the dealer who supplied that guy with heroin. You know, that Reginald Black guy—the one that OD’d a week or two ago. Well, he suggested to me that it wasn’t an accidental overdose—that somebody wanted the guy killed, and that he, this Hughes guy, might even have taken part in it.”

“Really! He says it was murder?”

“That’s right, and he said he’s willing to make a deal. But only with the sheriff. My guess is he’s goin’ in for a long time with any kind of conviction. You know, because of his record. And he desperately wants to avoid that.”

“He looks more like a pimp than a dealer to me,” JL commented. “I don’t know much about fancy clothes like that, but I’d guess he was sporting a couple grand, at least.”

“You’re just jealous.”

“Hardly,” JL replied. “Where’d I wear that coat, or those shoes? Anyway, when’s the old man gonna get here? After I’ve gone home, I hope.”

“I don’t think so,” Hopkins said. “He sounded pretty excited to me. I’d bet he walks through that door in the next five minutes.”

“I hope he ain’t driving,” JL said. “He’s gotta be drunk on his ass.”

“I’m sure he’s driving,” Deputy Hopkins chuckled. “And I think it’d be a really great career move on your part were you to share that opinion with the sheriff—the part about him being drunk on his ass. I’m sure he’d like to hear your view on that.”

Looking down at his paperwork, JL did not crack a smile at Deputy Hopkins’s humor.

JL had been with the department for the past six years. He was well liked by the community and by his superiors but was impatient at times with what he perceived to be Deputy Hopkins’s inappropriate behavior and occasional failure to respect authority.

JL had tried to keep the night shift professional, making sure all of the regulations were followed. He felt that sometimes Hopkins came off like a real jerk to witnesses and detainees, as well as to other officers. JL made mental notes of this inappropriate behavior, thinking that someday the boss might want to know exactly how things were handled when he was not there to supervise.

Only a few moments had passed when Sheriff Green bolted through the door.

“Where’s the prisoner?” he demanded.

“Follow me,” JL said, as he headed down the dimly lit hallway toward where the officers had deposited the prisoner.

“Room A or B?” the sheriff demanded, pushing past the sergeant.

“B,” JL replied. “A is in use right now.”

When the sheriff looked through the one-way glass in the door he shouted, “What the hell is this!”

Alone inside interrogation room B, on the floor beside a stainless steel table and overturned stainless steel chair, with his hands still securely cuffed, lying in a growing pool of blood, twitched the body of Mr. David Russell Hughes—his throat slit from ear to ear.

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  Michael Carrier's "Getting to Know Jack Series"
 
  Jack and the
New York
Death Mask
(Jan. 2013)
Murder on
Sugar Island
(Aug. 2013)
Superior
Peril
(Nov. 2013)
Superior
Intrigue
(Aug. 2014)
 
   
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  Sugar Island
Girl, Missing in Paris

(Aug. 2014)
Wealthy Street
Murders

(June 2014)
Murders in
Strangmoor
Bog

(June 2015)
Watch for New
Jack Handler
Series in 2016
"Jack's Justice"
 
   
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Click here to read what people are saying about Michael Carrier's latest books.

 - --Mario are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By Katie--Mario are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in