“Voices” – Excerpt from NOBODY’S BABY (Witch Hollow)

What do you get when you bring together one of the best independent forensic labs in the country, the most well-respected Profiler and pathologist in the field, and a Federal agent with a unique skill set – all tasked with solving crimes that defy conventional investigative methods?

Welcome to Witch Hollow!

A doctor from a veterinarian clinic in rural Virginia has discovered the body of a six-month-old baby in the alleyway behind her practice, and the circumstances surrounding the body dump are baffling to local law enforcement. SSA Jonathan Agent and Dr.  Faith MacKenzie’s team are called in to uncover the truth. What they discover will shake Faith to her core, and bring her up against a secret she can’t hope to keep.

 

“Voices” – Excerpt from NOBODY’S BABY:

Faith froze, staring at the tiny, unmoving bundle laying on the cold stainless steel table as memories of her nightmare flooded back.

Why didn’t you save me?

“Mac?” The touch of a hand on her arm jerked her back, and she shuddered even as she pulled away from Jonathan’s touch.  “Mac, are you okay?”

She managed a nod, unable to look at him. If she did, she knew he would see. She was too vulnerable, too confused. God, how had she screwed up so badly?

Aware he was still watching her, she cleared her throat and drew herself up, pasting on her most professional, detached face. “I’m fine.”

To prove it, as much to herself as to him, she stepped forward and lifted aside the sheet covering the small, inert form.  Steeling herself, she looked the tiny body over, her brain neatly cataloging details, even as her chest squeezed in pain.

“Female child, approximately six to eight months old. Initial signs seem consistent with exposure. Cynanosis of the extremities, lips and eyelids indicates decedent was likely exposed to extreme cold for at least twelve hours, prior to death, though the autopsy may reveal another cause. There’s petechiae of the face, neck, and upper chest. Consistent with prolonged coughing or… or crying.” Mommy, why didn’t you save me?

Faith blinked, clearing her eyes, even as her breath caught in pain and clutching terror. Shaking it off, she drew an even breath, aware of Jonathan’s gaze on her, and continued, “There don’t appear to be any other outward signs of trauma to the body.”  She turned to Jonathan with a frown. “Why were we called in on this one? This looks like a matter for the local cops.”

He jerked his head toward the clinic’s back door. “Out there.”

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