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By Jill Elizabeth Nelson

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Sample text

A plastic object lay on the fabric. He nudged it with the end of his pen, and it rattled. A baby’s toy. It looked like the rattle had once been blue and white. The bits of clothing that survived might possibly have been red. “The remains were wound tightly in the yard goods,” Nicole volunteered. ” Rich nodded her direction. “You did fine. ” Nicole squatted beside him. ” She pointed to another object in the bundle, partially covered by cloth. Rich nudged the item into view—a small metal cross. That and the careful shroudlike wrapping sent a message: whoever buried the child either felt remorse or actually cared for the infant.

Rich hooked a thumb in his front jeans pocket and watched the young man move toward him, swaying as if he were a sailor at sea. m. If Mason had been behind the wheel, Rich could have arrested him. I. would stick. Or maybe not, if Judge Becker heard the case. The Elling fortunes might be in the tank, but their influence still loomed large. Whip-slender and inches shorter than Rich’s six feet one, Melody’s son halted in front of Rich and snapped a sloppy salute. “If it ain’t the chief. Come to harash me again?

I know you’ve gotta do your duty and ask all sorts of questions, Rich, but you could just as well save your breath. ” Rich opened his notebook. Did she mean can’t because she had no idea how the infant ended up buried beneath the rose garden, or can’t because she won’t spill what she knows? His gaze bored into hers, and color gradually seeped from her face. Her stare hid fear, or he’d eat his badge. He groaned inwardly. If Jan Keller had been involved in what could well be the Elling infant’s kidnapping and murder, he’d have to arrest a pillar of the community, and she’d spend her waning years in the penitentiary.

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