Open and Shut by J. R. Lindermuth



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Domestic disturbance calls to the residence of Booth and Stacey Keiser aren’t uncommon. Keiser, a State Police trooper, is known for his volatile temper, and his wife has often been the target for his rage. So officers of the Swatara Creek Police Department aren’t surprised when the couple are found dead on the lawn of their home.

Officer Fred Drumheiser is ready to write it off as a tragic murder-suicide. But Corporal Harry Minnich isn’t prone to snap judgments. Something about the situation rubs Harry wrong, and his suspicions lead to a forensics test with a surprising conclusion.

A short story.

Excerpt:

It was a nice neighborhood—well-kept older homes, trimmed lawns, American flags and colorful hanging plants decorating nearly every porch. That didn’t spare it from tragedy.

Neighbors stood on porches or lawns, nervously watching as the officers surveyed the scene. An ambulance sat at the curb, lights flashing and illuminating the area in a wash of sterile light. The medics had arrived in sync with the officers and retired back to the vehicle after doing their bit. Harry watched another car pull up behind the ambulance now. The driver shut off his lights, exited and came up the walk toward them. Arnie Templin, the coroner.

Harry nodded to him. “Stay with Arnie, Fred. I’m going to talk to some of the neighbors.” He crossed the lawn to the nearest house.

It was a dark night, the moon waning and its light further obscured by heavy cloud cover. The closest arc light was at the far corner, so the space between the two structures would have been cloaked in shadow when the shooting occurred.

“Are they both dead?” a woman on the porch asked in a crackling voice.

“Yes, ma’am. I’m afraid so. Did you see anything?”

  • Published by: Untreed Reads


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