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Pilate's Key (excerpt from the novel)

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By J. Alexander Greenwood

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Copyright © 2011 by J. Alexander Greenwood/Caroline Street Press.

Serialized Weekly for Wattpad

Review

The mystery of what John has gotten himself into is what kept me reading. The danger, drama, and weird situations that John gets into are of no shortage. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to read a mystery - and with 206 pages - it was a pretty quick read. --Sweep Tight dot com

Backstory

Life's A Beach for John Pilate. On the mend from a near-death experience in the snowy Midwest, John Pilate is taking it easy on the sun-soaked beaches of Key West. Umbrella drink in hand, Pilate is writing a book and getting some much-needed therapy to deal with his imaginary friend Simon. He's also pondering the future with his new love, Kate. Life is looking up for John PilateÉuntil he is drawn into a world of murder, pirates, conch fritters and smart aleck remarks from invisible men. He has blood on his hands, a mysterious poker chip in his pocket, shadows over his shoulder and a sexy cop in his bed. John Pilate is in trouble again--and the only way out is to find the key...Pilate's Key.

*** This is Book Two in the acclaimed John Pilate series. Book One: Pilate's Cross is available now on Amazon in ebook and paperback.

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This book will be posted to Wattpad for a limited time. Come back every Tuesday for a new installment. If you would like to order a paperback or ebook version, visit Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com or Lulu and search "Pilate's Key." Be sure to visit the Wattpad homepage for news about the upcoming Pilate's Key contest for your chance to win great prizes!

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All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the authorÕs imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

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www.PilatesCross.com

Cover illustration by David A. Terrill www.davidterrill.com

Dedicated to my longstanding (and long-suffering!) friends: Brian Hutton, Mike Hulsey, Jeff Hamilton and Scott Bartley.

CHAPTER ONE

A lifeless eyeball stared at Juan from the deck of the sloop. Juan looked away from the dead man's face and focused on securing three diving belts to Yves Marchand's nude body. Juan's back ached, and he thought perhaps he had pulled a muscle tussling below decks with the Frenchman. Rising to his feet, he groaned. The sloop deck pitched lightly in the calm waters off Duggan's Key, but he still felt sick. Juan vomited, covering the mutely outraged body of Marchand with his partially digested lunch.

"Sorry, jefe," Juan said. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve and positioned himself between the cabin wall and Marchand. He dug his right heel into Marchan''s stiff right side and pushed. The body rocked up on its side until the pitching of the deck forced it to fall back. I'll have to use my hands. He crouched and put one hand on Marchand's hip and another on his shoulder. He again felt the urge to retch when he glanced at the vacuous eye. The left eye was completely red; the socket was crushed by the blows from the ridiculous Trafalgar Victory Mallet that Juan had removed from the captain's cabin wall just before Marchand came aboard.

A seagull called overhead. Juan trembled, inhaled, and pushed. Stiff with rigor mortis, Marchand's body rode up on its side again. Only about three feet to the rail, Juan thought. He grunted and pushed again. Marchand's body slid to the edge of the deck this time, his right side hanging overboard like a scarecrow improbably lost at sea. The head lolled, the face turned to Juan, and the right eye was impassive. He grunted, scrubbed his face with the crook of his elbow, and dropped onto his butt. He put both feet on Marchand's torso and pushed. The last thing he saw before the body splashed into the water was that horrible vacant right eye. Juan made the sign of the cross and stumbled below deck.

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