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Scenes from Sugar Island

 

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A short segment from "Murders in Strangmoor Bog"

 
 

Neither Jack nor Kate had actually seen anyone in the parking lot. But it did appear to Jack that what Kate had spotted was a light shining out from beneath his Tahoe, and that they needed to investigate.

Jack silently stepped out of the front door. It faced the river. He was careful not to allow it to shut loudly behind him.

Once outside he stood silently for a moment, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dark.

Kate slipped out the back door and headed for the driveway entrance. They figured that if someone was tampering with Jack’s truck, the culprit would have to escape toward the road or the river.

From just outside the door, Jack inventoried the boats tied up at the pier. Not noting anything unexpected, he cautiously made his way toward the St. Mary’s River. Could be one or two men dragged an inflatable up and hid it on shore, he reasoned. Perhaps someone is even lying in wait in the tall grass.

But he did not have time to confirm his suspicion.

Within seconds, Jack saw the figure of a man walking rapidly toward him from the direction of the parked Tahoe.

Jack dropped to his haunches. The man had not yet spotted him, and so he was headed directly to where Jack was waiting.

When the man approached to within thirty feet, Jack raised his Glock to a ready-to-fire position and shouted, “Stop right there! I want to see both hands above your head! Both hands! Now!”

The man stopped in his tracks and raised his hands over his head.

While Jack did observe that both of the man’s hands were empty, he could make out what appeared to be a large black bag strapped over his shoulder.

“Stay right there!” Jack shouted. “You alone? Or you got friends? Speak up before I drop you!”

“I’m alone,” the man said. He was dressed totally in black and was wearing black paint on his face.

“Why don’t I believe you?” Jack replied. “Where’s your buddy?”

“Nobody’s with me. I’m alone.”

“Still don’t believe you,” Jack said. “Who brought you here?”

“I’m tellin’ you the truth—I’m alone,” the man said, starting to put his hands down.

“Get ’em back up there!” Jack commanded. “Or I’ll blow your knee off. … Do it!”

The man sensed Jack would do as he threatened, so he immediately thrust his hands back above his head. But as he did he gave away the location of his partner by glancing over Jack’s right shoulder toward the St. Mary’s River.

Unfortunately, there was no time for Jack to react. Before he could even follow the man’s eyes, a sharp but muted “pop” pierced the silence behind him. His hand involuntarily released his Glock, and it fell useless to the ground. He watched it tumble in front of him.

He knew immediately what had happened. Someone in the deep grass along the river had fired a round using a suppressor. The bullet caught him under his right arm, which was left exposed by his protective vest.

Jack leaped to his left to avoid additional gunfire, reaching for his calf-holstered Walther .380 as he rolled onto the ground. It was an awkward move, as he had to use his off hand to pull the smaller gun from the holster. He continued scrambling in the grass until he had fully retrieved it.

Handling the Walther with his left hand, Jack rolled to his stomach and clicked off the safety. First he pointed the gun toward the area of the shooter. Seeing nothing, he cranked his body around and surveyed the area where he had last seen the man in black. Still seeing nothing, he turned back to where he suspected the shooter had been.

A few seconds later Jack heard the sound of an outboard motor. Writhing in pain, he reengaged the safety on the Walther and then felt around until he found his Glock. Struggling to his feet, Jack momentarily switched the Walther to his right hand, to which some feeling had returned, while he strapped in his Glock.

When he switched the .380 back to his left hand, he saw just how much he was bleeding.

Slowly he walked toward the bank of the river, arriving just in time to see the back end of an inflatable motoring off across the river to the southeast.

Kate had not heard the suppressed shot, so she held her position at the road. Finally, Jack turned and headed toward her.

“Dad,” Kate said as he approached. “You okay?”

“I’m going to make it,” he said. “So I suppose I’m okay.”

“What happened?”

“I had one of them pinned down, but could not determine the location of the second. I must be getting old. I had to assume that there would be a second, and that he would be positioned near the river. But the guy from the parking lot came at me from a bad angle—caused me to expose my flank.”

“What’s wrong?” Kate asked. “What’s up with your right hand?”

She had seen that he was carrying his backup pistol in his left and that he was just dangling his right arm.

“I took one. Under my right arm. Not sure how severe it is. Starting to hurt like hell when I try to move it.”

“Let me take a look,” Kate said as she hurried toward him.

“I don’t think you can see much. It entered under my right arm,” Jack said. “I’m not about to try to lift it. Need to get it to a hospital, I suppose. I’m going to sit down here. You call Mary and have her pick up the boys for the night.”

The “Mary” Jack was referring to was Mary Fletcher. She and her husband Jim were caretakers at Kate’s Sugar Island Resort and frequent caregivers for Robby and Red.

“Call for an ambulance?” Kate asked.

“No. Just drive up here and pick me up. It’d be quicker than waiting for the ferry twice. If my senses are not deceiving me, I feel a lot of moistness under my shoulder blade. I think it might have hit a rib and bounced backward. Otherwise, it’d have punctured a lung, and I’d have trouble breathing. At least I think that’s what happened. Don’t know—I’m no doctor. But just hurry and grab the car. Not the Tahoe. Who knows what’s up with that?”

Kate drove around to where Jack was waiting, and started to get out to open the door for him.

“Stay there—I’m not dead.” Jack said, letting himself in the passenger door. “… I’m just hoping the bullet didn’t drop out of my clothes. Sure felt like it did exit. Make sure they look for it at the hospital.

“You have your key for the Tahoe?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, here’s mine,” he said, handing her his whole keychain. “Make sure no one tries to start it. Hard telling what that painted man was doing under it.”

Painted man? What does that mean?”

“His face was painted black.”

“Maybe he was African American.”

“No reason to think that,” Jack said. “He was dressed totally in black, and it looked to me like he had his face painted.

“Get a bomb squad out here as soon as possible. Those boys were up to no good. … Could be something remotely activated. Or maybe it detonates when driven away from a specific location.”

“Activates if driven away from a transmitter planted at the scene?” Kate asked.

“Could be something like that,” Jack said. “And if the battery in the transmitter gets weak, might activate the explosive anyway. Relate those concerns to Sheriff Green … or the FBI. Whoever the hell does the investigation. And make sure Mary gets the boys far away from the resort, and that the sheriff gets on this right away.”

“Mary is on her way to pick up the boys right now,” Kate said. “I’ll call the sheriff.”

Just as Sheriff Green answered Kate’s call, Jack laid his head back on the seat, winced, and said, “Might be bleeding a bit inside, too. I feel cold. I think I’m going to get a little sleep now.”

He then shifted his weight slightly to his left side and collapsed on the center console.

 

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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