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Some Other Child: Excerpt 2

SomeOtherChild_w7615_300_MediumSome Other Child by Sharon Buchbinder
Published by The Wild Rose Press
ISBN Print: 978-1-62830-411-4
ISBN Digital: 978-1-62830-412-1

 

Weblinks:
Book Trailer for Some Other Child https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdHHFzaN2Ao&feature=youtu.be
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sharon.buchbinder.romanceauthor
Website/Blog http://sharonbuchbinder.com/blog/

Blurb:
Between the responsibility for the care of her injured mother and straightening out her muddled finances, public health researcher Sarah Wright hasn’t a minute to herself, much less time to repair a fractured romance. After a much loved aunt goes missing, Sarah is convinced it’s a kidnapping but the police refuse to investigate. Former fiancé Dan flies to Sarah’s side to help—and it looks like things might come back together for the two of them—until Sarah is arrested for her aunt’s murder. As evidence stacks up against her, Sarah must find the real culprits as well as unravel decades old family secrets along the way.

Excerpt 2: Sarah goes to live with her mother and cares for her during her rehabilitation. When her mother is sufficiently recovered, she obtains a job at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as a pediatric researcher…

Chapter 1
Baltimore, Maryland, One year later

Sarah pulled into the cul-de-sac in front of her mother’s house and screeched to a halt.

“What in the world?”

Three Baltimore County police cars and an ambulance parked at crazy angles in her driveway. She rolled down her sleet-streaked window, and a grim-faced police officer greeted her. “Ma’am, this area is closed off for an investigation.”

“That house with all the emergency vehicles—it’s mine. I live here. What happened?” She spotted a familiar man standing a few feet away, chatting with another cop. “Officer Mike,” she called, “do you remember me?”

He waved at her and picked his way across the ice-coated street. Her mind raced with possibilities. That morning, as usual, her mom was asleep when she got up. Sarah had left the coffee pot on a timer and a bowl of her mother’s favorite cereal on the kitchen table. When she called to check in on her mother around ten in the morning, she seemed fine. Sarah told her she was stopping at the grocery store after work and to call if she needed anything. She’d never called. Sarah gripped the steering wheel until her knuckles turned white. Had something happened to Aunt Ida? Had a neighbor stopped by and been injured in a fall on the ice? Or had her mother—

“Dear God,” she prayed, “Please don’t let it be Mom.”

Just as Officer Mike reached the side of her car, she heard a dog bay. She’d know that howl anywhere.

She clutched the edge of the open window. “What’s going on?”

His expression grave, he pointed toward the house. “Detective Engelman wants to speak with you.”

As she got out of the car, Mike grabbed her arm to help guide her across the patches of ice up to the house. As they rounded a corner, two EMTs rushed toward them with a laden gurney.

“What happened? Mom, can you hear me?” Sarah pulled away from Mike, lunged for the gurney, and fell.

Mike pulled her up to her feet. “Ms. Wright, let them do their job.”

She wrenched out of his grasp and body blocked the paramedics. “Tell me what happened to my mother.”

“She fell. She’s alive—but barely. We have to get her to the ER,” the EMT said and pushed past her.

Sarah caught sight of her mother’s silver hair spread across a tiny white pillow. A green plastic oxygen mask covered her face. Wrapped in dark blankets, the motionless form drove a knife of guilt into Sarah’s heart. If only she’d gotten home earlier. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened.

“I’m riding with you on the ambulance.”

Mike was at her side again. “You have to speak with Detective Engelman first.”

Again, a howl rose into the frigid air. In the glare of emergency lights, she saw Winston, her mother’s eighty-pound Weimaraner, in the back yard, tied to a tree. “At least let me get the dog into the house. I can’t leave him out here in this bitter cold.”

An EMT shouted, “Sinai’s ER is on bypass. We’re going to Baltimore Medical Center.”

“I’ll get the dog,” Mike said. “You go in the house.”

Fearful of what she’d find—knowing it could be most anything—Sarah climbed the back steps and opened the kitchen door. A stocky man with salt and pepper hair sat at the Formica topped table and glanced up as she entered.

“I’m Detective Engelman. Who are you?” His voice conveyed an attitude that said, “And don’t even think about lying to me.”

“Sarah Wright,” she said. “I live here. What happened?”

He nodded. “Here’s what we know. Officer Corrigan responded to a noise complaint. He found your mother in the back yard, unconscious, with the dog next to her. We have no idea how long she was out there. If it hadn’t been for the dog keeping her warm, she’d probably be dead. The EMTs say she has a head injury and hypothermia.”

Taking a deep breath, Sarah struggled to make a recognizable pattern out the chaos of information.

The detective continued to stare at her. “Can you tell me your whereabouts today?”

“I was at work. When I spoke with my mother at ten this morning, she was fine, and I told her I’d be stopping at the store on my way home.”

“You have proof of that?”

Why was he acting as if she was a suspect? For the past year her life revolved around work, taking care of her mother, housework and sleep. She felt guilty if she had to work late or take the time to run to the store on the way home from the hospital. Was he trying to make her feel worse?

“Are you serious?” Her voice was sharper than she intended, but his questions were keeping her away from her mother.

“Can you supply witnesses for your whereabouts?”

She tried to tell herself not to take it personally, that he was just doing his job, but anger began to bubble up in her chest. She’d done nothing wrong and his tone was one she’d expect a cop would use with a hardened felon, not a worried daughter

‘She spoke through gritted teeth. “Yes, I have witnesses from work.”

“Do you have a time-stamped receipt from the store?”“In my car. With the groceries. How about asking me these questions on the way to the hospital? I need to be with my mother.”

“Ms. Wright, does your mother have any illnesses that would cause her to wander, say like dementia or something like that?”

Sarah stared at the man and swallowed hard. Had he no compassion?

“She does not have have Alzheimer’s if that’s what you’re implying.”

She took a deep breath. The definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Since the cop wasn’t responding to emotional pleas, she decided to change tactics, go with a nothing-but-the facts tone.

“What time did it start to sleet today?”

“When my shift began. Around three.”

By that hour, Sarah thought, Mom and one of the “boys”—Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker, Mr. Bell, or Old Granddad—and would have been having themselves a jolly old time. “She was probably drunk.” Sarah blew out a long breath. “She’s an alcoholic. Has been for years.”

~~~~

Author Bio:Sharon 2014 Headshot FB Size

After working in health care delivery for years, Sharon Buchbinder became an association executive, a health care researcher, and an academic in higher education. She had it all–a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son and a wonderful job. But that itch to write (some call it an obsession) kept beckoning her to “come on back” to writing fiction. Thanks to the kindness of family, friends, and great beta readers she is now an award-winning author published in contemporary, erotic, paranormal and romantic suspense. When not attempting to make students, colleagues, and babies laugh, she can be found herding cats, waiting on a large gray dog, fishing, dining with good friends, or writing.


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