No sooner has Joe solved the fraud mystery than the perpetrator is brutally murdered on a dark street in Austin. The motive is unknown.
On the bright side, Joe spends more one-on-one time with his teenage idol, Sophie Tyler.
Episode 4 will be released on Thursday, April 21, 2016.
Excerpt from episode 3 of Hill Country Siren.
I was sound asleep when the phone rang.
Three thirty-seven a.m.
I rubbed my eyes and cleared my throat.
“What . . . what is it?”
“Do you know a man named Bryan Slater?”
“Um . . .” My mind grappled with sleep, fighting its way to awareness. Bryan Slater . . . “Sure. Yes, I saw him tonight at Antone’s. He used to date Sophie Tyler.”
“He’s not dating anyone now. He’s dead.”
I sat up so fast my head grew dizzy. Bryan Slater was dead. I’d seen him only a few hours before.
“I’m looking at him. Someone caved in his skull. Wasn’t he involved somehow in that fraud thing you’re doing for Adrian?”
Involved? He was absolutely involved. I’d pinned him as guilty an hour earlier, and now he was dead. I reached for the light switch on the bedside lamp, my head clear now.
“Can you come over here? Maybe you can give me some facts on this thing.”
“Where are you?”
“Red River Street. A half block north of Cesar Chavez.”
“Give me twenty minutes.”
The police flashers swept the brick building with red and blue lights. I pulled the Jeep to the side of Red River Street and walked to the taped-off area at the corner of a parking lot. Bryan was behind a Dumpster at the farthest point from the street. The police had erected two light stands to illuminate the scene.
He lay on his back with one leg straight down and the other bent awkwardly. His face appeared untouched, but his forehead looked wrong, concave instead of convex, and his ear was misaligned with his face, the lobe pointed toward his nose. His head rested flat against the asphalt, and the blood had flowed in a thin stream to the edge of the lot a few feet away.
His eyes were closed, and his mouth formed a wry smile. He had always worn his hair carefully disheveled, but now it just looked weird, ugly clumps matted with blood. I stared at him, my eyes locked on his hardening shape, lifeless on the pavement. He looked calm, as if he had lain on the parking lot to take a nap.
I thought of his still heart, pumping only a few hours earlier, perhaps skipping a beat when the sexy woman asked for his autograph. His brain had processed her looks and her request, sent signals through complex networks to trigger the response of his infectious grin. All that wonderful machinery was now shut down, in darkness. Bryan Slater was a fellow human being with thoughts and problems and aspirations, and someone had brought his unique attributes to an abrupt and permanent end.
I don’t hate many things in life, but I do hate murderers.