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Chapter 1


The sickly-sweet smell gave away the house’s secret. Something really bad had happened. The partially open front door would have been the hint to a Normal stumbling on the scene. But no, it had to be me. And it had to be the smell of death.

Shit. I swear this crap never happened to me while I was alive.

Shoving my camera case behind my back, I toed the door open a little further. I so didn’t need any more broken equipment from some supernatural jumping out at me.

The Malibu beach house was quiet except the drone of voices at the back. A subsonic electrical buzz said the sound came from a device, not people.

For once, nothing creepy leapt out of the shadows at me. Maybe my luck was changing. If a dead woman can have luck, that is.

No lights were on, but it’s not like I needed them. I followed my nose to the kitchen. A man sat at the table, not moving, not even breathing. I flipped the wall switch anyway. Sometimes I needed confirmation from something more real than my zombie sense of smell.

Under bright fluorescents, Josh Williams, Hollywood’s latest ‘It’ boy, sat in a designer chair and slumped over the matching designer table. Or his body did anyway. The tourniquet wrapped around his bicep and the needle sticking out of his outstretched arm told the story.

Damn. Williams definitely wouldn’t be accepting the Best Actor award if he won it this weekend. All that work to rebuild his career for nothing.

I crossed to the body, but two fingers confirmed what my olfactory nerves already told me. Closing the half-opened eyes didn’t work because rigor had already set in. I shuddered at the blank eyes staring at me. Double damn.

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