Series: Katrina Williams #3
by Robert E. Dunn
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Pub Date: 8/7/2018

Sheriff's detective Katrina “Hurricane” Williams confronts deep-rooted hate
and greed in the Missouri Ozarks in this riveting police procedural…
What at first appears to be a brush fire in some undeveloped bottom land
yields the charred remains of a young African-American man. As
sheriff’s Katrina Williams conducts her in-spection of the crime
scene, she discovers broken headstones and disturbed open graves in a forgotten cemetery.
As Katrina attempts to sort out a complex backwoods criminal network
involving the Aryan Brotherhood, meth dealers, and the Ozarks
Nightriders motorcycle gang, she is confronted by the sudden
appearance of a person out of her own past who may be involved. And
what seems like a clear-cut case of racially motivated murder is
further complicated by rumors of hidden silver and dark family
histories. To uncover the ugly truth, Katrina will need to dig up
past crimes and shameful secrets that certain people would kill to keep buried . . .

Katrina Williams Book 2

Pub Date: 9/12/2017

From the author of A Living Grave comes a gripping police procedural
featuring sheriff's detective Katrina Williams as she exposes the
dark underbelly of Appalachia . . .

Dredging up the Truth

Still recovering from tragedy and grieving a devastating loss, Iraq war
veteran and sheriff's detective Katrina Williams copes the only way
she knows how—by immersing herself in work. A body's just been
pulled from the lake with a fish haul, but what seems like a
straight-forward murder case over the poaching of paddlefish for
domestic caviar quickly becomes murkier than the depths of the lake.

Soon a second body is found—an illegal Peruvian refugee woman linked to
a charismatic tent revival preacher. But as Katrina tries to
investigate the enigmatic evangelist, she is blocked by antagonistic
FBI agents and Army CID personnel. When more young female refu-gees
disappear, she must partner with deputy Billy Blevins, who stirs
mixed feelings in her, to connect the lake murder to the refugees.
Katrina is no stranger to darkness, but cold-blooded conspirators
plan to make sure she'll never again see the light of day . . .

                Burning is not the best way to dispose of a body. It’s hard to get a fire hot enough, long enough, to burn through the layers of fat, muscle, and bone to destroy all the evidence you need gone. It doesn’t smell very good either.
                Before it ever got to me, the situation had worked through a few preliminary steps. First, the pair of teens who discovered the fire debated calling it in. They had been parking and fooling around in a secluded spot off a rutted dirt track—usually used by fishermen going to the lake. I imagine it was a tough debate among hormones, responsibility, and fear of angry parents. They told me later they would have let the blaze go if the boy’s father hadn’t been a volunteer fireman.
                After a brutally stormy spring, the summer had been hot and dry. Over recent weeks, the Ozarks had fallen into a deep drought. Lake levels were way down, crops were withering, and small fires were whipped into big ones by even the smallest breeze. The boy had been lectured about it so many times, it was impossible for him to pretend ignorance.
                After the kids called 911 to report what they believed was a trash fire, deputies and the fire department were dispatched. The boy’s father showed up on the pumper. I understand there was a parenting opportunity that involved a little tough love.
                That opportunity was probably lost when the embers were raked out and doused. In the center of the smoking pile was a charred lump everyone assumed was a log. When it was hit with direct pressure, the log split open. Under the black surface was pink meat and steaming flesh. That was when they called me.
                My phone rang a few minutes shy of two a.m. Late Saturday night—or early Sunday morning—depending on how pedantic you are about that sort of thing. I’m not at all, at least not at that hour. I was in bed, and not yet sleeping because it wasn’t my bed.
                Every call to my phone rings the same tone except one, the Taney County Sheriff’s Department. I knew it was a work call even without the tone. Real life always intrudes whenever I find a bit of peace in my life.
                “This is Katrina,” I said softly into the phone.
                “Who’re you whisperin’ for?” our jailer asked. He laughed like he actually knew something. It was a thick, rheumy cackle that made me picture the soggy cigar in his jowled face.
                I was actually relieved. If he was calling, I might be able to stay in bed. “What do you want, Duck?” His name was Donald Duques, earning him the permanent sobriquet, Donald Duck—always shortened to simply Duck. He laughed again and I became unpleasantly aware of being naked.
                “Got a body,” he interjected between wet hacks of laughter.
                “What?” Given who he was and the old school Ozarks diction, I can be forgiven for thinking he was commenting about my appearance.
                I was about to give him some choice thoughts on his manners when he said again, “We got a body. Out on the west side shore of Bull Shoals by Kissee Mills.”
                Detective Billy Blevins shifted in the sheets behind me. His arm moved against my bare thigh and hip. I was distracted by the warm contact. “What?”
                Duck laughed again. “What’d I catch you doin’? Work can’t hold your attention?”
                “Why are you calling me?”
                “I told you—”
                “Why you, Duck?”
                “Oh,” he swallowed the laugh. “Gettin’ a little overtime. Workin’ weekend overnights on dispatch.”
                “Then stick to the job at hand, would you? What’s the call?”
                “Couple ‘a kids called in a fire. Calvin called for a detective when the fire department found a body in the brush heap.”
                “Where?”  I stood and broke contact with Billy’s arm. My skin immediately regretted the loss.
                “That undeveloped bottom land, down the fishing trail that goes off of Hole Road.”
                “Who’s there?”
                Duck told me the names of deputies on scene and I started searching for my underthings. They were close by on the floor. Finding them made me think of losing them. I smiled.
                “I’ll be half an hour,” I informed Duck.
                “From your place?” He sounded surprised.
                “Half an hour,” I repeated and broke the connection.
                Moonlight through a high window illuminated Billy lying in the sheets. It was a nice sight. I was amazed—and alternately delighted and terrified—by that development in my life. Not as amazed; however, as I was that he’d never woken while I talked on the phone and dressed. Maybe I was projecting. My own sleep was fragile and filled with ghosts. Billy seemed to have the ability to sleep without demons.
                He and I had circled each other for years. We were deployed to Iraq at the same time. In the worst moment of my life, Billy appeared for the first time. I don’t even know if the memory is real. Everything else about that time is solid and undeniable. I was brutalized by two superior officers. They left me for dead in the blowing brown dust that eddied behind a mud wall. Grain by grain, the dun-colored wind piled a grave on top of me. I pulled myself from the dirt, staggered then crawled to a road. Insurgents found me first. They would have shot me like a rabid dog in a ditch if an Army patrol hadn’t shown up. All of that is true. And it’s true that a young medic, a corporal, cleaned and stabilized me in the back of a rushing Humvee. There’s a little piece of that, the piece I believe but don’t know: Billy Blevins was that medic. He’s never said and I’m afraid to ask. But I believe.
                There were so many reasons why we never should have gotten to this point. I hated giving up any moment of lying naked with him.
                Still. . . I’m a cop and the real world was calling.

Katrina Williams Book 1

The first in a gritty new series featuring sheriff’s detective Katrina
Williams, as she investigates moonshine, murder, and the ghosts of
her own past…

 Katrina Williams left the Army ten years ago disillusioned and damaged. Now a
sheriff’s detective at home in the Missouri Ozarks, Katrina is
living her life one case at a time—between mandated therapy
sessions—until she learns that she’s a suspect in a military
investigation with ties to her painful past.

The disappearance of a local girl is far from the routine distraction,
however. Brutally murdered, the girl’s corpse is found by a
bottlegger whose information leads Katrina into a tangled web of
teenagers, moonshiners, motorcycle clubs, and a fellow veteran
battling illness and his own personal demons. Unraveling each thread
will take time  Katrina might not have as the Army investigator
turns his searchlight on the devastating incident that ended her
military career. Now Katrina will need to dig deep for the
truth—before she’s found buried…

Robert E. Dunn was born an Army brat and grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. He
wrote his first book at age eleven turning a series of Jack Kirby
comic books into a hand written novel.

Over many years in the, mostly, honest work of video and film production
he produced everything from documentaries, to training films and his
favorite, travelogues. He returned to writing mystery, horror, and
fantasy fiction for publication after the turn of the century. It
seemed like a good time for change even if the changes were not always his choice.

Mr. Dunn is the author of the horror novels, THE RED HIGHWAY, MOTORMAN,
and THE HARROWING, as well as the Katrina Williams mystery/thriller