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It was day one on the job for Detective Alexandra “Alex” Steele in D.C.’s Second District, and right off the bat she was assigned to work a cold case. A double homicide.
A Washington couple had been brutally murdered 9 years before in one of the capital city’s upscale neighborhoods. All previous efforts to make headway in the case had resulted in dead ends.
As Alex looked into what little had previously been uncovered by other detectives, she slowly gathered more information. With each new and additional bit of evidence it became more and more apparent to her there was far more to the double murder than had met the eye.
Ultimately, the investigation would take her far beyond the nearby neighborhood where the homicides took place, and in a direction no one would ever have expected.
The Attorney General of the United States has been assassinated.
A turf battle between the FBI and the DC Metropolitan Police ensues as to which agency would lead the investigation into the murder. Ultimately, the decision is made that the police would take the lead since the assassination took place on a Washington, DC, street.
The officer assigned to lead the investigation is a former FBI agent, who left the Bureau under questionable circumstances. While Larry Rivers attempts to find out who was behind the murder of the attorney general and members of his FBI protective detail, there is an effort to undermine the investigation from the highest ranks within the Bureau.
An unsolved 60-year old murder…A mysterious biblical parchment…
What is the connection between an unsolved murder in 1949, and a biblical parchment that had recently shown up in Washington, DC?
A biblical antiquities investigator in Jerusalem must authenticate the parchment, which she knows, if proven to be legitimate, could have serious implications.
While she continues her work on the ancient scroll, others are covertly watching her, and more deaths are taking place.
Years before, when the teenage daughter of a U.S. Senator inexplicably disappeared on a residential street in an upscale Washington, D.C., neighborhood police pulled out all the stops to find out what happened to her. Despite a major law enforcement effort that included not only the Metropolitan Police Department, but also the FBI, there was no success. There were no witnesses, no clues.
Thirteen years later a young detective, Ted Samuels, who inherited a number of unsolved cases of a just-retired investigator, delves into the matter after the girl's mother pays an emotional visit to the precinct; one she makes every year on the anniversary of her daughter's disappearance.
Besides the difficulties of finding evidence from a very more-than-a-decade-old-and-very-cold trail, Samuels is also stymied in his efforts to pursue the cold case investigation. His acting commanding officer hasn’t made it a secret that he wants to have “acting” removed from his title. He doesn’t want a case that was unsolved by his predecessors years ago to frustrate the detective, and have the reopened matter noted by the higher-ups at headquarters as his failure.
A few months ago Dan Bingham was a respected Washington, D.C., newspaper reporter. Now, he’s on the run. His life changed overnight when he was assigned to write an article on death row inmates. To his shock and surprise, one of those he’d interview - an unrepentant serial killer - would turn out to be his childhood friend, Frank Sharp.
After Sharp’s execution, the prosecution’s main witness in Sharp’s murder trial is killed. At first police considered the young woman’s murder to be an unfortunate coincidence, but then they find a piece of evidence that only the executed killer could possibly have known about. Following the witnesses’s death, other related murders take place, with each bearing the same M.O., each having something to do with Frank Sharp.
Detective Mike Castillo, who had originally arrested Sharp and testified at his trial, is assigned the lead in the investigation. Castillo’s investigation homes in on one person: Sharp’s former friend, Dan Bingham. The detective believes that Bingham is the only one who might know those that Sharp wanted killed.
Despite his protestations of innocence, Bingham, when questioned by the police, can not provide an alibi for the times the murders were committed. He has become the prime suspect. He decides to embark on his own investigation since the police are so convinced of his guilt that they aren’t looking at anyone else.
As Castillo tells Bingham’s attorney, "We don’t usually continue an investigation once we find the murderer."
Pete Melancon, following his dismissal from the New Orleans Police Department, reluctantly took the position of chief of police in Orton in East Texas, a town of about 10,000 people. As he told friends back in the Big Easy, this would be piece of cake; no real crime, just the day-in, day-out tedium of small town law enforcement.
He was dead wrong!
Molly Prescott has been on the run for more than six years since she disappeared from her home in Maryland. A trail of death has followed in her wake; the inexplicable demise of numerous men across the country.
FBI Agent Garrison Edwards is assigned to the case when another agent, a healthy man in his 30s – mysteriously died. He soon discovers the one nexus to the many unexplained deaths is a young woman. He is unsure what her connection to the deaths. Is she a serial killer, an accomplice?
Ultimately, Molly followed by Edwards ends up in small town in East Texas, where following her arrival the once-peaceful hamlet is torn by violence and a number of murders.
Crime Scenes is a compilation of three CS Miller Mysteries: Bestseller - The Coldest Case, The Ashes, and 10th Penn.
CS Miller is a former journalist, having worked in Texas and Washington, D.C. In Washington, he covered the U.S. Supreme Court and the Department of Justice for a national radio network.