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Dark Oak Books
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College student Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.
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“A missing college student, an unresolved death, and a ghost make for another delightful visit to Rocky Bluff, CA. Add to these a wedding, more developments in the relationships of the RBPD, and a Charles Manson connection, and you have the makings of another engaging F.M. Meredith mystery. A winner!” --Larry K. & Lorna Collins, author of The Memory Keeper
Praise for the series…
“...F. M. Meredith’s Rocky Bluff Police Department series fans will be delighted to learn that it delivers everything we have come to expect in these books – characters that feel like neighbors and a handful and a half of subplots all neatly woven together. Meredith wraps everything up in a most satisfactory fashion. These books are a sort of cross between The Waltons and Hill Street Blues, and I hope there are many more to come. --J. Mike Orenduff, author of The Pot Thief mysteries
F. M. Meredith also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of nearly forty published books, mostly mysteries. She first became interested in writing about law enforcement when she lived in a neighborhood filled with police officers and their families. To learn more about her books, visit http://fictonforyou.com/
The silver Toyota Prius stood empty and idling in the short driveway. The driver’s door gaped open. A plump, and obviously distraught, middle-aged woman ran barefoot down the cement steps of the small older home toward Officer Vaughn Aragon.
He’d responded to a call from the dispatcher about a missing person. Ordinarily, the caller would have been asked to come to the station to file a report, but the circumstances in this case seemed urgent.
“Thank God you’re here. My granddaughter, Veronica, she’s gone.” Gray strands mixed with the woman’s long black hair she’d pulled back and tied with a scarf. “Please find her.” Tears threatened in her dark eyes.
Without touching anything, Aragon poked his head inside the running vehicle. A large purse lay open on the passenger seat, belongings scattered, among them, a cell phone. On the floor lay a multi-colored backpack.
Though blond, Aragon, having grown up in East L.A., spoke fluent Spanish. Because the woman had dark skin and hair, he assumed she was Latina. He introduced himself in English and Spanish, and asked for her name.
She frowned as though his Spanish confused her. “I’m Mrs. Randall.” She added, “And I’m not Mexican. Please, help me find my granddaughter.”
Though flustered by his mistake, Aragon said, “When was the last time you saw her?”
“A few minutes before I called the police. We finished breakfast and she went out the door, on her way to school. She is a student at UCSB. I started to do dishes and then I noticed her car still parked in the driveway. I came out to see what was wrong and found the car like this.” Her voice rose. “She disappeared.”
“Maybe she went to a neighbor’s.” Though Aragon thought it unlikely she’d leave her car running.
“I’ve been to both houses. No one is home on the right, and I woke up old Mrs. Hill. She hasn’t seen her.” Tears filled Mrs. Randall’s eyes. “That’s when I called the police. Please, you must do something.”
“Ma’am, I’m going to call for assistance. Do you have a recent photograph of your granddaughter I can use?”
“Yes, of course. Right away.” Mrs. Randall turned and hurried toward her house.
Using his portable radio, Aragon called the station, asking to speak with one of the detectives.
Detective Doug Milligan came on. “What’ve you got, Aragon?”
“A missing young woman.”
“How long has she been gone?”
“Not long, but the thing is, Detective, her car is in her driveway and it’s running. Her belongings are still in the car. It looks like someone may have kidnapped her.”
Milligan asked for the address. When he heard it, he said, “Not far from my place. Find out any information you can about this woman, description, etc.”
The detective promised that he and his partner, Felix Zachary would be there in a few minutes.