Sampler from The Serena McKay Dystopian Crime Series by Chariss K. Walker
January 1, 2021
Enjoy the gritty story of a feisty, albeit flawed, private investigator who gets down and dirty solving dystopian crimes.
Serena McKay, P.I., won’t be your grandmother’s favorite female sleuth, but she might be yours.
She’s certainly not of the Jessica Fletcher ilk and this is not a cozy mystery. It’s a dark, dystopian crime story like none other where Serena McKay kicks some serious butt.
Once a detective, now a private eye, she is paid to investigate, to snoop, and to get to the bottom of things. She finds missing persons and explores child abductions. Serena stalks the stalker and shadows spouse and child abusers.
Her main goal is to help people and, if possible, to stop bad things from happening. She knows “bad things” first hand because she has suffered her own abuse. Still, in spite of her conflicted past, Serena helps those who can’t help themselves.
She finds out “who’s doing who” and digs deep to get the real dirt.
Serena McKay Crime Novels Complete includes the following dystopian crime novels:
•Purple Kitty – Serena chases a notorious serial killer while he is after her. Can she catch him?
•Blue Cadillac – Serena gets a chilling message that could have only come from him. Is he back?
Enjoy the gritty story of a feisty, albeit flawed, private investigator who gets down and dirty solving crimes … all while a notorious serial killer is after her green eyes.
Author warning: Emotional triggers of all kinds.
Six months after the first six bodies were discovered, Theodore David Malanchik inserted himself in the investigation as a witness. Any time someone has more information about a crime than the Cops, their involvement tends to draw speculation and scrutiny.
Normally, witnesses don’t do anything except give a statement. At the very least, it made Mr. Malanchik a person of interest. He insisted he had details and information about the last victim’s abduction, but also demanded an interview with the lead Detective. That was me. I made the appointment as requested.
“Tread lightly, McKay,” Sarge warned. “The Malanchik family is the most prominent family in August City. They’re a great friend to the Commissioner and Governor. They attend each other’s Christmas parties, for Pete’s sake. You get my meaning?”
“Yes Sarge,” I recited the only two words he liked to hear. “I understand. I’ll be the perfect visitor and I promise not to show my ass.” He laughed at my reference to his favorite admonition.
When I arrived at the esteemed and massive estate just outside Summerhaven, I was naturally astonished and impressed by the abundant wealth and splendor displayed. Nothing comparable to this mansion was seen in any of August City’s four districts. It was huge, at least two hundred feet long and eighty feet wide, sitting on twenty acres of pristine land with lavishly landscaped grounds and formal gardens.
The interior was even more extravagant with oak and rosewood paneled rooms, large imposing fireplaces, teak floors, and specialty lighting fixtures in each of the 38 plus rooms. I stood in the breathtaking vestibule for a few moments with the butler before another uniformed servant led me beyond the entrance to an elaborate waiting area. Mr. Malanchik arrived in a motorized wheelchair.
“Mr. Malanchik,” I greeted as I held out my hand.
“Please, call me Teddy,” he smiled, briefly taking my hand in return. He had a slight British accent and a soothing, mellow voice. My first impression was that he made a handsome and charming host. “What lovely eyes you have, Detective McKay. The media photos don’t do you justice. You’re quite dishy. Skin. Hair. Eyes. All perfect. You’re quite the lovely indeed. From what I’ve read, all the victims had green eyes. Is that true?”
“Yes, it’s true,” I admitted, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. Even though that bit of information wasn’t anything the media hadn’t already divulged, the question felt invasive as if I was the one interrogated.
“Does that frighten you?” he asked, but didn’t wait for an answer. “Pity. Such lovely orbs. Please this way,” he lightly directed as he turned and maneuvered the chair so that the front wheels were off the floor in a wheelie. He jovially laughed and waved for me to follow. “Don’t worry. I don’t bite,” he teased as he led the way to a large solarium with various cozy seating spots. He pointed to a particular loveseat with a coffee table in front of it and then deftly parked his chair at the end of the small sofa. “This is more private. Would you care for tea or coffee? I’m having tea, but you can have anything you like. Perhaps, an espresso or macchiato?”
“Black coffee, please,” I replied. The maid disappeared with the orders as silently as she’d appeared.
“Did you bring the folder?” he eagerly asked. I handed over the file of the sixth victim and watched as he enthusiastically turned the pages while we waited for the beverages.
The folder contained before and after headshots of Suzanne Meadows. While he looked it over, I studied him. Like me, Teddy Malanchik is in his mid-twenties. His face is handsome and even, almost symmetrical, beneath short dark hair. Unlike me, he attended the University of Oxford. He’d completed his education when tragically struck by a hit and run driver. The accident caused severe nerve damage to his lower extremities. The driver and car were never found. His interest in how cases were solved was understandable.
“Yes, yes,” he softly whispered. “I do believe this is the girl I saw that day.” He briefly paused while a tray was delicately placed on the coffee table and continued after we were alone again. “She was leaving a bookstore, The Bookworm, in Summerhaven on Sixty-Third Street. I saw her talking to a man about six feet tall with dark, close-cut hair. He was lean, but athletic. Possibly a runner. If I’m not mistaken, they shared a cab…at least there was one at the curb near where they stood. Perhaps that’s a new lead for you?”
“I’ll certainly check it out,” I responded. “Do you remember anything else about the man you saw? For example, how was he dressed? What was he wearing? Did you notice anything that distinguished him from others outside the bookstore?”
“His appearance was certainly distinctive,” Teddy recalled as he thoughtfully twisted a class ring. “He was quite dashing, dressed well, far better than the average bloke. Perhaps, his clothing was tailored. I can’t be sure about that. My driver slowed briefly for a traffic light, and then we moved past the area. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. It was almost a year ago.”
“How tall are you, Mr. Malanchik?” I inquired. If not confined to a wheelchair, the description given perfectly represented Teddy Malanchik. Very few men in August City had both short dark hair and wore immaculately tailored clothing. I noticed his legs appeared strong and lean, not atrophied, as one would expect.
“Oh my,” he lightly chuckled as a slight flush rose to his cheeks. “Have I put myself in the line-up by that description? That’s a little exciting. Nothing much has happened to get my blood pressure up in quite a while.” His disarming comments didn’t sway me. I remained silent, waiting for a response. “Give or take a few centimeters, I’m six feet one inches tall. I’m afraid I’m losing bone density while confined to this chair.”
“Thank you very much for your time. Most people don’t like to get involved so The Department appreciates that you did,” I acknowledged, preparing to leave.
“I only wish that some wanker had come forward as a witness when I was struck down and left to bleed to death in the middle of the lane,” he bitterly expressed. “You know what they say…do unto others and all that bloody rubbish.”
“I really do have to get back to the precinct,” I explained, feeling uncomfortable and anxious to leave.
“I’ll ring if I think of anything else,” Teddy offered.
And that’s how the dance began with Theodore Malanchik. A waltz, a foxtrot, a tango.
Please click HERE to find the Serena McKay Dystopian Crime Series on Amazon.