In 2039 Los Angeles, half ruined by devastating quakes, is in the hands of three policing forces -- the National Feds, the State Militia and the city's own Local force, all of them squabbling over jurisdiction. Religious intolerance grows under the watchful eye of the CCP, and survival is a precarious game of chance and cunning.And in this maelstrom of disaster, two Local detectives, working on their first case together, try to find a drug dealer with a secret he's willing to sell -- if he lives long enough.Unfortunately, Elias Singer is about to learn that his new partner has a dangerous secret all his own...
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Double Dragon Publishing
April 06, 2006
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Excerpt from Singer and St. Jude by Lazette Gifford
Singer put his hand to the wall and steadied himself while floor shifted unpleasantly beneath him and the walls popped twice. Dust filled the air.
Another damned quake!
"Hell," his new partner mumbled. "I hate it when they strike and there's no quick way out."
"Yeah," Singer agreed miserably, considering the ten floors of stairs between them and the ground level. Why the hell did people still live up in these buildings Suicidal
He finally drew his hand back from the wall, brushing paint chips from his fingers. St. Jude didn't appear to notice how much the quake had shaken Elias Singer, allowing him a moment to recover. St. Jude had walked to a narrow window -- the glass long since gone -- and stared out at the bright day.
"We lost one," Nicolas St. Jude finally said. "A big one."
It took Singer a moment to realize that he meant they'd lost another building. He forgot his own feeling of fear as he pulled the comp link from his inside vest pocket and thumbed it on. He did not go closer to the window, though. He could see a pattern of cracks in the floor where St. Jude stood, and wondered if he should point them out.
"Can you tell the location " Singer asked, typing in the report with one hand, ready to key back to their office.
"Looks like something out by Old Imperial and maybe a bit past Avalon." St. Jude looked back at him, his head haloed by the bright daylight and his face in shadow. "There were a lot of squatters in that area. Damn."
They'd been partnered for three days, and this was the first time Elias had seen any real emotion from the man. It was good emotion, too. After all, Elias Singer had asked for a new partner when his last one showed an inordinate amount of joy every time he got to knock someone down. That wasn't why Singer had joined the force. Having someone who actually cared about others pleased him.
Now if they could just get along better. But St. Jude seemed to have a wall between him and any personal contact. It was hard to really trust a man like that.
A shame. Singer needed a partner he could trust. He typed in the location of the building collapse and looked back around at the rickety and abandoned room where they been searching only moments before. Finding clues to the disappearance of Vogler didn't seem so important now. Hundreds could have died in that building fall. What the hell did they care about one drug runner who had probably gotten himself into trouble
He kicked at a pile of trash and pushed the debris around with his foot, loath to put his bare fingers down there. Cockroaches scattered from their prizes: a piece of bread, and a half-eaten apple. Damn waste, that apple -- especially this time of year. It also meant Vogler wasn't quite as poor as this dump of a place seemed to indicate.
"He doesn't live here," St. Jude suddenly said. Singer found himself nodding, glad to see they thought along the same lines. "This stuff isn't more than the trash he leaves behind when he visits. I think he must just use the place as a low key meeting room."
"That makes sense. No sign of trouble here, either. Whatever happened to Vogler, I don't think it happened here."
"No, not here," St. Jude agreed. He looked back out the window. Singer could hear the sound of sirens already. "We might as well leave."