The final episode: Joe scales the stonewall outside Sophie’s estate and creeps toward the house. He finds the side door open. Forced. Johnson has a new crowbar.
Once inside, Joe discovers he can still save Sophie. Joe fights Johnson to a climactic finish upstairs.
Back in Austin, a shattered Joe has an eventful meeting with his ex-wife, Rose. In the last scene Joe takes Chandler and Callie to Krause Springs.
Excerpt from the final episode of Hill Country Siren.
The wall stood eight feet high. I jumped to grab the top, hoisted my legs up and over, and dropped lightly amid the junipers. A high wind rustled fronds in the fan palms. As I walked toward the house a thrashing noise came from the ferns beside me.
I turned that way, my nerves on edge.
It was only a small animal. I took slow, measured breaths to steady my heart rate.
At the edge of the patio I crouched behind a flower bed to survey the backyard. The outdoor spots lit the pool and deck area. Bright lights shone in every room in the house, but I detected no movement.
Rico’s words rang in my ears.
But Sagebrush is a serial killer.
I ignored the words and flexed my shoulders to stretch the muscles in my back.
I crept from chair to chair on the patio, pausing often to watch the windows. The bamboo wind chimes rang on the back porch. The palm trees swayed. I looked behind me, and all around the yard. I made it to the back right corner of the house and tiptoed up four stairs to the side door.
It stood open. Forced. Johnson had a new crowbar.
He might have watched my every move from the security room inside. Had Rico reached the local police? I pulled out my cell and dialed 911. When they came on the line I whispered, “I’m outside Sophie Tyler’s residence at 1102 Benedict Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills. A serial killer is inside the house. Tell the police to be careful. He could have hostages.”
“What is your name, sir?”
“Joe Robbins. I’m a friend of Sophie Tyler’s.”
“Please stay on the line while I contact the police.”
Seconds could mean everything.
I hung up and rose to look through the door window. The mudroom on the other side was empty. I had to be silent now. Luckily, the door opened without squeaking. I stepped inside and searched the room for a weapon. I found an umbrella, not much use against Johnson’s crowbar.
I opened the door to the kitchen, every nerve alive, the umbrella held at the ready. The overhead lights shone brightly. I heard faint human voices. It sounded like an argument, but I couldn’t discern the speakers. My chest tightened.
A broken plate lay wedged in the corner at the far edge of the floor. In search of a better weapon I quietly opened a drawer on the left and saw odds and ends: spatulas, mixer attachments, can openers. I took another step into the kitchen.
A pool of blood seeped from the edge of the butcher block.