I'm participating in a project called Sample Sunday. It involves tweeting samples of books hither and yon. Since I'm a Twitter newbie, I can't tell you much more than that. Anyway...here's a sample of Wounded Earth. Enjoy!
Babykiller was meticulous in all things. It was his defining quality. Attention to detail was the key to longevity in his chosen profession, and Babykiller had been in business a long, long time.
Most of his competitors from the early days were dead or in prison, and he couldn't claim responsibility for all their misfortune. No, they had simply chosen a dangerous line of work. He was well on his way to outliving a second generation and he was considering retirement. At least he had been, before the oncologist's verdict. Retirement planning seemed so futile when death was certain.
Babykiller had created a life out of certainties. He left nothing to chance. He made no mistakes—at least, he made no mistakes that were obvious to the cretins who purchased his services. He had built a seamless organization that ran like a Volvo. It was reliable. It required little maintenance. It was safe. It was boring as hell. Even if his organization survived him—and he cared very little whether it did or not—it was a plain-vanilla sort of legacy for a man of his caliber.
Babykiller had more money than he could have spent in a normal lifetime. He had more than a fair share of cunning. And he had a long list of scores to settle with the world before he took his leave of it. It was time to retire and focus his considerable attentions on something more interesting. Or someone more interesting.
Babykiller had kept extensive files on his target for years, ever since he began thinking of retirement. He had videotapes and audiotapes. An accordion file labeled "BioHeal Environmental Services" held her company's annual financial reports, one for each of the twenty years she'd been in business. His clipping file bulged with articles dating to her first appearance on the cover of New Orleans Business News.
Larabeth McLeod had enjoyed good press from the start, for the usual reasons. She was an easy interview. Her field, environmental science, was red-hot. She was witty and down-to-earth. Her strong jawline made for good photographs. Reporters loved her.
She smiled out of the manila folder at him, wearing her success like a crisply tailored suit. He replaced the clippings in reverse chronological order and closed the file over her elegantly sculpted face. He remembered that face. He had cherished it long before the photographers fell in love. He had seen it contorted in pain, spattered in blood.
He would like very much to see it that way again.