Chapter excerpt from Reading The Dead - The Sarah Milton Chronicles

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What follows is a chapter from the paranormal detective thriller, Reading The Dead - The Sarah Milton Chronicles.

About the book:

While investigating the brutal murders committed by a mysterious serial killer known only as "Raithe," bookish LAPD Detective Sarah Milton is unprepared to have her entire world turned upside down. Innate powers to see the dead, lying dormant since her mother's murder, have reawakened in her after a near-fatal shooting. Along for the ride is Sarah's irrepressible thirteen-year-old childhood "imaginary friend," Anna Nigma, a most atypical poltergeist. Amid fears for her sanity, Sarah must come to grips with the realization that her reality is now a mix of the natural and supernatural, where powerful, ancient mystic symbols can grant amazing powers over life and death, and paranormal influence extends even into her current murder investigation. Forced to hide her abilities from everyone, Sarah and Anna have no choice but to bring Raithe to justice on their own, before the sinister forces behind his murder spree claim yet another victim.


Chapter 3


I spent two very long weeks on my backside, while my body recovered from the bullet fragment that penetrated my upper chest. Meghan and the gang from work stopped by the hospital to visit when they could, but overall I spent most of the time unconscious, thanks to some wonderful little white pills my doctor put me on. Anna talked non-stop, even during those periods when I drifted off to sleep. I think she might have been making up for the last fifteen years of lost time.

In the end, the very dog food that I spent years griping about was the one thing that saved my life. Bosco's Doggy Chunks, packed with the crunchy goodness of bone meal and five flavors of meat, effectively shattered the oncoming bullet heading straight for my heart. Police discovered most of the metal shards embedded into the hard nuggets. Those that weren't still in the shredded remains of the bag were scattered about the floor around my body. Only a few pieces slipped through my bulletproof pillow. One of them grazed my side. Another missed me completely and struck a box of Smarties on the counter behind me. The third deflected and caught me in the chest. It missed my heart, but chipped a rib bone and left me with an eraser-sized puncture in my lung. 

The doctors and police both agreed that my survival was nothing short of a miracle. According to Chelsea, calls from reporters looking to do a story on my amazingly lucky break were inundating the office. The "exploding bullet" story earned me another fifteen minutes of fame. For that reason alone, I wasn't in any rush to leave the hospital.

I was pleased to discover that much of the commotion died down before the hospital finally threw me to the wolves. Fortunately, stories about cops who survive a bullet happened to be less newsworthy than murders, disasters, and overall political corruption. My tale ended up as a little blurb on the sidebar of page six or seven, exactly as I liked it.

If only the press knew my full story, I joked to myself. Familiar habits in my dealings with Anna quickly returned to me, almost like exercising a muscle that was dormant for some time. I completely forgot how difficult it was to manage our clandestine relationship in public.

If my doctors suspected that I was carrying on conversations with visions of schoolgirls in red, I highly doubt that I would have found myself returning home any time soon. More likely, I would probably be spending an extended recovery period in a very different kind of hospital: one with bars on the windows and padding on the walls.

"Ah!" Anna smiled and stretched, entering the apartment before I closed the door. "Home at last! I'll bet you're glad to see the last of that hospital food, am I right? That stuff just looked... ugh! Frankly, I don't know how you ate it."

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