About the Book:
The Jinx By Ernest Lancaster
Series: Memphis M.O. Book 1
Fiery Seas Publishing July 24, 2018
Suspense / Action
Disaster strikes and innocents die as police sniper Rick Munro is plagued by a first-call jinx. As his career takes off, he must overcome his rookie mistakes, and keep his team members safe.
When Munro returns to TACT as a newly promoted lieutenant, the jinx torments him still. He must contend with team members’ rival agendas around every turn. Munro finds himself in a battle he can’t escape as corruption and death unfold around him.
Who can he trust? Will Munro break the streak or will it destroy everything he believes in?
About the Author:
Ernest Lancaster retired from the Memphis Police Department as a captain after serving as a cop for thirty-three years.
In the early seventies Lancaster spent two years walking a night beat in downtown Memphis, when The Peabody and Beale Street lay boarded up and crumbling and the center city became a dystopian ghost town after dark. He patrolled in ward cars, trooped for three days through a sea of pilgrims to Elvis’s funeral, edited the Memphis Police Association’s newspaper and acted as the association’s vice-president. For twenty-six years he held positions on the TACT Squad.
Lancaster now resides with his wife and Yorkie in the Smoky Mountains, where they love to hike and camp.
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Excerpt, Chapter Eleven (reprinted with permission of the author & publisher)
Vickie delivered a plate and silverware, wrapped in a napkin, to the booth. She set a cheeseburger with a generous serving of thick, golden fries, and a pickle spear in front of him.
Munro edged his cup over. “Sure.” He turned to Loretta. “Want a burger? The kitchen is about to close.”
“You trying to make me fat?”
“We have a salad left,” Vickie said.
“No, thanks. Coffee’s plenty.”
Munro reached for his wallet. “How much do I owe?”
Vickie jutted out her palm. “It’s on the house. We’re glad to see you pass through at night.”
“How much are they usually?” he asked.
Munro counted out bills from his wallet. “Here, take three. I’ll pay half price with a dollar tip.”
“Suit yourself.” She took the money.
Loretta’s gaze followed Vickie as she made her way back to the counter. “You know she just put your money in her pocket. Now she’s writing in her ledger, ‘one free burger to the police.’”
“Good for her,” he said. “I bet she works hard for her money.”
“Had to pay, huh? You have a guilty conscience?”
Munro opened the bun and sprinkled the meat with pepper. “Who doesn’t?”
“Good question.” She watched him with wary eyes as he dotted his fries with spots of ketchup. “So, you’re only half corrupt?”
He looked up. “Half price doesn’t hurt a business. I’m not a Boy Scout, but it helps keep me from straying over the double-yellow line head-on into stuffing my pockets or my belly at the public’s expense.”
“Are most cops corrupt?”
He shook his head. “No. Only a few are rotten to their core. And their stench tends to float to the surface. But on the streets in the real world, good and bad wear more faces than a diamond.” He took a hungry bite out of his half-price burger. “And beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.”
She touched her finger to her cheek and traced the scar down her face to where it crevassed her lip. “How can you be a cop if you can’t tell the difference between right and wrong?”
“Easy,” he said. “The almighty law is written down in black and white for any moron to read. And I do know the difference. It’s just that I’ve been around the block enough to know if you ride tall on a white horse through the mud all the time, the only thing you do is turn the horse black.”
“What about justice?”
“Justice? Whose? Movie heroes chase justice.” He stared out onto Madison Avenue. “Real cops, spilling their souls in the streets, are too busy trying to survive to worry about justice. That and clawing to hold onto a bit of their sanity—on a good day.”
She cocked a brow. “Aren’t you supposed to help people?”
“Don’t you see?” he asked. “I help people every day, every chance I get. That’s what I get paid for. And there’s never a shortage of people down and out on their luck needing it. But too many want help screwing someone in the ground to satisfy a grudge or escaping the consequences of their own foolishness.”
He took a slug of coffee like whiskey, and recoiled at its heat. “But if you keep your head down and your antennae up, every once in a while you can climb out of the muck and save some poor schmo who’s buried in disaster. Or make a difference in a kid’s life. Maybe even hammer a predator who deserves it. Those are the things that make it all worthwhile. But most of it is just madness you ride out.”
“Man.” She stared as if he were some offbeat poet ranting in the street. “Your eggs are scrambled.”