Cover Art Copyright 2011 O’Neil De Noux

Copyright 2011 O’Neil De Noux

Smashwords Edition

21 Steps

by O’Neil De Noux

Detective John Raven Beau watched two coroner’s assistants carry the black body bag down the steps from the victim’s front porch, down the brick walkway, through the black wrought iron gate to the white, coroner’s office van parked against the curb. They slid the bag into the back of the van and slammed the door.

Beau, standing six-two, a lean two hundred pounds, was thirty, a square-jawed man with dark brown hair and light brown eyes. The long sleeves of his white dress shirt were rolled up on his muscular forearms, light blue tie loosened, nine-millimeter Beretta Model 92-F snug in its black canvas holster on his right hip, star-and-crescent New Orleans Police badge clipped to his belt above the left front pocket of his navy blue suit pants.

“I was up on the pole all morning,” said the man standing next to Beau. His name was Jerol Philiber, forty-eight years old with short black hair, skin as dark as oak bark, dark brown eyes, standing six feet even, weighing two-twenty and wearing a blue denim work jacket and denim pants.

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