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Vanished

Detective Ava Locke Series

(Prelude)

by Clara Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2021 Clara Lewis – All rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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 the copyright owner. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of the trademarks is not authorized, associated with or sponsored by the trademark owners.

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Description

Valenworth is a city well known for its industrial scene. Aside from that, it’s a quiet place… except for when the day ends. Once night falls, the city teems with crime.

Ava is an experienced homicide detective determined to clean the city up. However, she has her work cut out for her. The life of a detective isn’t easy.

She’s determined though.

One day, Ava finds a case that piques her interest. Before she can delve into it, she’s put on another, more urgent case. Two missing girls with no suspect and no evidence.

Should be easy, especially for Ava.

As Ava investigates, she realizes that the situation may be worse than she thought. Time is running out, and Ava is put under pressure.

Ava is on a mission. Save the girls and get the evidence. What she doesn’t know is that she, too, may be a target.

Contents

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

       

Chapter 1

Ava had come into work early today. Last night’s events had been stressful, but they had eventually gone smoothly. The assailant was eventually caught and put behind bars, where he belonged. Once again, there was one less criminal on the city’s streets.

However, she worried about Carl, her partner. He wasn’t that young anymore. He was currently pushing into his late fifties, and his knees could no longer take the strain of a high-speed chase. Another factor that worried Ava was that there was no doubting that Valenworth was a dangerous city.

Being a detective had its risks for sure, but in Carl’s case, the stakes were higher. He had a wife and a sweet twelve-year-old daughter who was due to start high school soon.

There was almost nobody else in the building. Ava walked into the station, prompting the officer on duty to jolt awake and pretend to look busy. She smiled at him and sat at her own desk. Within a few minutes, he was asleep once again.

With nothing else to do, Ava walked around the silent office, looking at the open files on her colleagues’ desks. As she passed their cluttered desks, she frowned at the effort, or rather, the lack of effort some made.

As much as she disliked the way, the uncaring way, they approached their cases, to a degree she saw where they were coming from. It gets dangerous in the city. Investigate too much, and it might end with you staring down the barrel of a gun.

Eventually, Ava shrugged and continued with her inspection. On one particularly chaotic desk, she caught the flash of a brown file. Curious as to why it was interesting enough to have drawn her attention, she walked over, grabbed it, and opened the file.

Ava’s eyes widened. It was a recent event. She had known the details of the case way before it made its way to this detective’s desk. Judging from how crisp the file was, Ava already knew that the detective hadn’t taken a single look at its contents.

“I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if I took the file,” she told herself.

Ava carried the file back to her own desk and got comfortable. She propped her feet up on her desk and took a sip of coffee. She opened the file and immediately sat up. What she read seemed straight out of a fictional story.

“This is ridiculous,” Ava said to herself.

How often does one find five dead people scattered around the city? The answer to that was that it’s highly possible. Valenworth was dangerous. It was a normal occurrence for a new murder case to be added to the growing pile of ongoing investigations.

However, those cases were straightforward. The case that Ava held in her hands was more complex. Five people were found dead and judging by the time of deaths stamped on their individual files, they died at the same time. That wasn’t the only weird thing. They had died in the same way.

Ava immediately thought of the possibility of a new serial killer. What confused her was how the killer managed to murder everyone concurrently. To get from one side of the city to another would take approximately two hours. There was no way they could’ve made it to their next victim in time.

It simply doesn’t make sense. Ava buried that theory and thought of a new one. Maybe it was

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