Monday, November 21, 2011

The Peripheral Son excerpt by Dorien Grey

In The Peripheral Son by Dorien Grey, Dick Hardesty investigates the disappearance of a freelance writer doing simultaneous exposes on both the boxing profession and construction unions. He finds himself handed a Gordian Knot, with no sword to cut it. A plethora of motives and suspects, and a dearth of solid evidence sorely test both Dick's skills and his patience.

The Peripheral Son
Zumaya Boundless (October 31, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1936144107
ISBN-13: 978-1936144105


Jonathan and Joshua got home around five-fifteen, and I'd already set the table and gotten things set out ready for dinner. After our customary group hug greeting, I went into the kitchen to take ice cubes and a Coke out of the refrigerator for our evening "cocktail." Joshua had raced into his room to start playing, and Jonathan followed me into the kitchen. Seeing the pork chops, box of instant potatoes, the bag of flour and the large iron skillet I'd set out, he looked at me quizzically.

"We're celebrating?" he asked. He knew pork chops, mashed potatoes, and gravy were my idea of the perfect meal, and due to his insistence that Joshua have an all inclusive, well-rounded diet, we didn't have it nearly enough to suit me.

"It's Chubby's birthday," I said, giving a head nod to Joshua's fish tank. Chubby was Joshua's favorite-of-the-moment goldfish which, thanks to the boy's favoritism when it came to being fed, was well on its way to becoming the size of a koi.

He gave me one of his condescending, raised eyebrow looks.

"Riiight. So how come you got home early?"

I handed him his Coke and started fixing my Manhattan. "Tell you about it when we sit down."

Those who think a private investigator's life is all drama and adventure think wrong. As a result, the bulk of my cases were not sufficiently interesting to talk much about, but I had mentioned Victor Koseva's disappearance to Jonathan when I first took the case. I started to fill him in during breaks in the evening news, and got as far as telling him about my meeting Gee Basino, but there were too many distractions, chief among them Joshua's loud protestations that he was starving.

Immediately after the news, we turned off the TV and got up to make dinner.

Another reason we didn't have pork chops, mashed potatoes, and gravy more often was because my penchant for wanting my pork chops crispy, which is to say nearly burnt, inevitably set off the smoke alarm. We used two skillets for the frying—one for my burnt offerings and one for Jonathan's and Joshua's chops. But I always made the gravy; salt and pepper and flour and water, poured into the pans and mixed with the drippings from the pork chops. Gourmet heaven!

* * *

We didn't have a chance to talk until after Joshua was safely tucked into bed. He still insisted we read to him every night even though his own reading skills were truly impressive for a five-year-old, and whichever of us was reading to him had to scoot up to sit beside him so he could watch as we moved our fingers along under the words we were reading.

"So," Jonathan said as we returned to the living room to sit on the couch, "tell me about this boxer. You think he and…Victor…had something going on? I don't imagine that would go over very well in the boxing world."

"I really have no idea what's going on or not going on between them…yet. But you're right; it could be the kiss of death for a boxer out to capture a title."

"But he's hot, you said. So he's probably gay."

I grinned. "Talk about leaping tall buildings in a single bound! There are hot straight guys, too."

"Yeah, but I'll bet this one's gay. And he and Victor are having an affair, and that big guy he's nailed to did something to Victor in order to break it up. Maybe he killed him!"

I reached out to lay my hand on his thigh. "Good logic, Dr. Watson. Whether it's accurate or not remains to be seen. And maybe you've been reading too many murder mysteries."

"Well, you'll figure it out."

"Thanks. I hope you're right."

To purchase, click here

1 comment:

Victor J Banis said...

Ah, Dorien, that's as tasty as a pork chop with gravy. You do know how to suck them in, sugar - oh, I mean readers...