Monday, November 2, 2009

All Lost Things excerpt by Josh Aterovis

In All Lost Things,the third book of Josh Aterovis' award winning mystery series, Killian Kendall's life is changing faster than he can keep up. He's graduating from high school, breaking up with his boyfriend, and starting a new job with a private investigator. He's barely settled at his new desk when his ex-boyfriend calls with a desperate plea for help. He wants Killian to prove his new boyfriend is innocent in the shockingly violent murder of his abusive father. Killian reluctantly agrees to take the case, little knowing how complicated — and dangerous — things will become before it's over.

On the home front, Killian's surrogate parents decide to buy a historic mansion and turn it into a bed and breakfast. The house comes with a rich history...and maybe a ghost or two. Killian doesn't want to believe in such things, but he's quickly becoming convinced that something terrible happened to the home's original owners. The century-old mystery both terrifies and tantalizes Killian. In the end, he may be the only one who can uncover the truth.

All Lost Things
PD Publishing, Inc. (October 1, 2009)
ISBN: 978-1-933720-70-8


I ran upstairs and opened my door to find Asher sitting on the edge of my bed, looking quite uncomfortable. Kane was sitting with his back to him, playing a game on the computer. I got the impression that they hadn’t said much to each other.

When I went in, Kane glanced up, then turned off the game. “I’ll let you guys talk,” he said on his way out.

I looked over at Asher questioningly. It was weird seeing him in my bedroom again. “So, uh, why are you here?”

“I’m sorry. I just didn’t know what else to do. They arrested Caleb.”

I shook my head in confusion. “Huh?”

“The police arrested Caleb. His picture has been all over the news. Someone on the boardwalk recognized him and called the cops.”


“Killian, they think he killed his dad. It’s horrible!”

“Look, no offense, but what does this have to do with me? Why are you here?”

Asher looked hurt, and, for a second, I felt bad. Then I remembered that he was the one who’d decided to go to another college without informing me, and my moment of sympathy passed.

“I told you, I didn’t know where else to go. I need help.”

“What am I supposed to do?”

“You work for a private investigator. You have to prove that Caleb is innocent.”

“First off, I’m a secretary. It’s not like I’m running around with a magnifying glass looking for clues. Second, and more importantly, how do you know Caleb is innocent? He did run away, after all.”

“I know Caleb. He’d never hurt anyone, let alone kill them.”

“Not even his abusive father?”


“So why did he run away?”

“Because he hated the group home? Because he was afraid? I don’t know. I haven’t talked to him since everything went wrong. Just...please, Killian, you have to help. You’ve solved murders before.”

“You know, a few weeks ago, you were mad at me for even wanting to become a private investigator, now you’re asking me to take on a potentially dangerous job. Don’t you find that the slightest bit hypocritical?”

“Call me names, make fun of me; I don’t care. You’re probably right. All I know is I need your help.”

I sighed and rubbed my face. “Legally, I can’t take a case. I’m not licensed.”

“What about your boss?” Asher’s voice had a hopeful tone. He knew he was wearing me down.

“I can’t imagine he’d agree to anything like this. How would you pay him? This is his occupation; it’s what he does for a living.”

“Caleb should be getting insurance money from his dad’s death and the house burning down. He can pay him.”

“You haven’t even talked to Caleb about this yet. How do you know he wants to hire anybody?”

“You think he wants to go to jail for murder?”

I had to concede that point. “Fine. I’ll talk to Novak, but I’m not promising anything.”

“Thank you! Thank you so much!”

“Don’t thank me yet. Novak could very well say no. In fact, he almost certainly will. Just in case, though, tell me everything you know.”

“He was arrested last night on the boardwalk. It was all over the news this morning, along with new information from the police.”

“What kind of information?”

“Now they’re saying he chopped his father up with an ax and set the house on fire to cover it up.”

A surge of dizziness swept over me like a tidal wave, and I fell heavily onto my desk chair. “W-what did you say?” Flashes of my dream came back to me, and I felt bile rise in the back of my throat.

...a blood-covered ax dripping in my hands...

“The news said the body was dismembered before the fire was set. That’s all I know.”

...the split second of fear in his eyes before the ax struck for the first time...

“Killian, are you alright?”

...the feeling of pure hatred coursing through my veins...


I felt someone shaking my arm and that snapped me back to the present. Asher was leaning over me, a concerned expression on his face.

“Are you okay? For a minute there, you looked as if you were going to faint or something.”

“I...I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I’m fine.” I stood up. “I didn’t sleep well last night, that’s all.” I could tell Asher didn’t know whether or not to believe me, but thankfully he dropped it.

“So you’ll look into this? You’ll help me prove Caleb is innocent?”

I looked him in the eye. “Tell me one thing: why does this mean so much to you?”

His eyes shifted away. “He’s a friend.”

“Is that all he is?”

“Would it matter?”

I sighed. “I guess not. Not anymore.”

Asher risked a quick look in my direction. “I never cheated on you, I swear.”

“It doesn’t really matter one way or the other at this point.”

“Killian, I —”

“You know what? I’m really tired. I think I need a nap. I’ll talk to Novak on Monday and let you know what he says. Okay?”

Asher bit his lip and nodded. “Yeah. Okay. Thank you.”

I sat down on the bed and watched as Asher let himself out. What was I thinking? I’d agreed to get involved in the murder investigation of my ex’s new boyfriend. Well, technically, I’d only agreed to talk to my boss about it. I was pretty sure he’d say no, but still... I had to be crazy.

Then there were my dreams. Was it just a coincidence that I’d dreamed about an ax murder and Caleb was accused of killing his father with an ax? I didn’t really believe in coincidences, but the alternative — that I’d somehow foreseen the murder in my dreams — disturbed me even more.

I couldn’t forget my weird dream about Seth, either. He’d warned me something was about to happen that would affect me, and it would be connected to Asher. A chill ran down my spine as I recalled I’d had the dream of Seth the night Caleb’s father was killed.

What did it all mean? Did it mean anything? It was just a dream, right?

As hard as I tried to convince myself otherwise, I knew there were too many coincidences. My head was starting to pound, and I didn’t want to think about dreams anymore. I slipped into the bathroom and took several pain relievers, then went back to bed. It was only noon, but I figured I’d earned a nice long nap.
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