Donn Cortez CSI: Miami: Cut and Run

ISBN 13: 9780743499538

CSI: Miami: Cut and Run

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9780743499538: CSI: Miami: Cut and Run
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By air, sea, and land the members of the Miami-Dade Crime Lab are called out. In a field outside the Everglades a balloon has just set down; the lone man inside the basket is dead -- an apparent suicide. A yacht riddled with bullets limps into the Port of Miami; only a gravely wounded hijacker survives, confessing that there are drugs somewhere on board, but he can't find them. A local journalist, looking to break out of the rat race with a novel based on the people he covers on his beat, is found dead.

In the yacht's galley is a record-setting sunfish that seems to be the key piece of evidence to just what was being smuggled on the ship, yet the lab is stumped when they discover no more than the normal parasites infesting the fish. A raunchy video of a citrus heiress having sex in a public place gives her the motive to kill the journalist-turned-novelist, but she has an alibi. All small pieces of the puzzles that Horatio Caine and the member of his team have to unravel to find out why all these people were killed. Before it is over the members of the Miami-Dade Crime Lab are caught up in an intrigue that reaches to the heart of Castro's Cuba.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Donn Cortez is the pseudonym for Don DeBrandt, who has authored several novels. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1

The white van blew past the gray Lexus at nearly ninety miles an hour, dodging crazily from one lane to another. The driver of the Lexus, Stephano Kliomedes, swore and hit the brakes as the vehicle cut in front of him, but the van never even slowed down; it crossed another lane and then swerved back the other way, darting through gaps in the traffic like a running back with five hundred pounds of defensive linemen breathing down his neck.

"That's it! That's it!" Stephano roared.

His wife, Grace, sighed in the way that only a twenty-year marriage can produce. "Stephie, calm down," she said. "You don't -- "

"I don't? I don't? What about him? He don't, that's what I say! Not this time!" He stomped on the accelerator and took off after the van, muttering curses in Greek under his breath.

"Leaping, always leaping," Grace said. "Leaping before looking, that's you. What if this maniac is on drugs? What if he has a gun? Or a pregnant wife in the back, going into labor?"

"Then the child will grow up an orphan! I have a gun, too!"

"What a terrible thing to say. Now you'll go to prison for murder? And what am I supposed to do -- grow old without you? Or do we both die in a hail of gunfire?"

"You're already old. We're both old. And we deserve more respect than this!"

"You want respect, you should have become a fireman. You're a shoe salesman."

"A shoe salesman with a gun!"

Grace's reply died on her lips. There was something in the sky ahead of them -- something large. "Stephano," she gasped. "You think maybe that has something to do with Mr. I'm-in-a-Hurry?"

Directly ahead of them, a hot-air balloon dropped toward the highway. It wasn't exactly plummeting, Grace would tell the police later; no, it was more like sinking. Sinking in a Titanic sort of way, she said, except without the iceberg. Slow and heavy and kind of inevitable.

The basket touched down with hardly a sound, and the balloon proceeded to collapse like a gigantic airborne thespian giving her last and greatest performance. The airbag kept moving as it settled, dragging the basket along the highway at an angle until it wedged between an SUV and a convertible that had stopped to gawk.

The white van slammed to a halt a few feet away. A young man with an unruly thatch of hair and a three-day growth of beard jumped out of the driver's side and sprinted over to the basket, leaving his door hanging open. By the time he got there, the driver of the convertible and the SUV were already out of their vehicles and staring into the basket. Its sole occupant stared back sightlessly with his one remaining eye.

Lieutenant Horatio Caine surveyed the scene, hands on hips. The balloon had been dragged off to one side of the highway, but the basket hadn't been disturbed. Police barriers had been set up to isolate the scene, with a single narrow lane down one side to let traffic by. A steady stream of slow-driving rubberneckers crept past, sometimes snapping pictures with cell phone cameras.

"Alexx, what can you tell me?" asked Horatio. The ME was inside the basket itself, examining the body.

"Looks like a single GSW," Doctor Alexx Woods said, straightening up. "Entry point is the right eye. No exit wound -- bullet's still inside." She shook her head. "Nobody shoots themselves in the eye, Horatio. Suicides put the barrel in their mouth, under their chin, sometimes to the temple -- almost never to the eye."

"Just because they want to die, Alexx," said Horatio, "doesn't mean they want to see it coming. Time of death?"

"No more than an hour or two. Body temperature hasn't dropped at all, and there's no rigor -- not even in his eyelids. Well, eyelid. And there's stippling around the entry wound, indicating he was shot at close range."

"I don't suppose you noticed a gun while you were down there?"

"No. But if he shot himself in midair, it probably went over the edge. Give me a hand, will you, Horatio?"

Horatio helped her climb out of the basket. "I retrieved his wallet while I was in there," said Alexx. She handed it to Horatio and he flipped it open.

"Timothy Breakwash," said Horatio. "Fifty-one, resident of Florida City. Has his pilot's license, which means he can fly passengers as well as solo."

"Well, if he had anyone else with him," said Alexx, "they got out before he did."

Horatio glanced up as a silver Humvee parked at the edge of the barricade. Calleigh Duquesne, dressed in black slacks and a white silk blouse, got out of the driver's seat. She gave them a cheerful wave as she grabbed her CSI kit from the back.

"Ms. Duquesne," said Horatio. "Glad you could join us."

"You know how badly this has traffic backed up?" Calleigh said as she strolled up with a smile on her face. "Even with the flashers on, it took forever. Like playing hopscotch for fifteen miles using one leg."

"I know," said Alexx. "And all the looky-loos slowing down to stare doesn't help." She glared at a Jeep full of college-age kids crawling past, all of them straining for a glimpse of possible carnage.

"Death is the great mystery, Alexx," said Horatio. "You can't really blame people for their curiosity."

"No," said Calleigh, "but we can charge admission."

Horatio dipped his head and peered at her over the rims of his sunglasses.

"Taxes," said Calleigh. "The public pays them, we collect our salaries, do our job, and come up with answers. The public may be clueless...but we aren't."

"No, we're not," Horatio agreed. "As a matter of fact, I have a whole basket full of them, just for you."

"Why, thank you, Horatio. You're so thoughtful..."

Natalia Boa Vista ducked under the yellow crime scene tape and flashed her ID to the uniformed officer guarding the front door of the house. He nodded and waved her inside.

Natalia hadn't been a CSI for long, but her training kicked in the second she stepped over the threshold. She looked around, not just to the left and right but down to the floor and up to the ceiling. The bungalow was nothing special, just a single-level building in a middle-class Miami neighborhood, but she could already tell that it was occupied by a single male, probably in his forties, no wife or kids; she saw a single pair of sneakers and a light jacket on a hook, but no women's or kids' shoes. If the eyes are the windows of the soul, Horatio had told her, the foyer of a house is the inside cover of a book. Take the time to read it and it'll prepare you for what's inside.

It didn't prepare her for the blood, though.

The vic was sprawled in the middle of his living room, face-up. Blood soaked his torso and was pooled under the body. Spatter from castoff had decorated one wall and a lampshade with an abstract spiderweb of crimson.

Frank Tripp stood beside the body, jotting down details in a small notebook. He glanced up as she walked in and said, "Oh, hey, Natalia. Got a messy one for you."

"So I see." She realized she hadn't put on a pair of gloves yet, and looked around for a place to set her kit down. Rookie mistake, she thought.

If Tripp noticed, he didn't show it. "Vic's name is Hiram Davey. Multiple stab wounds, looks like."

"He looks familiar." She pulled on the gloves, then knelt by the body. The DB didn't have the face of a movie star or the build of an athlete, but she was sure she recognized him just the same.

"If you read the Tribune, you'd know him. He writes a weekly column -- Hi Davey. Humorous local stuff -- I was a fan, actually. He made me bust my gut on more than one Sunday morning."

"Well, it looks like somebody busted his," said Natalia. "Medical examiner been here, yet?"

"Been and gone. Had to attend a balloon crash, of all things."

"Yeah, I heard about that." Natalia pulled her camera out of her kit and began taking pictures.

"Kinda thing Davey would have loved. You ever read that column he did on the exploding manatee?"

"Uh -- no, I think I missed that one." Natalia surveyed the room. A chair was kicked over and the coffee table upended -- Davey had put up a fight.

"It's a classic. Still got it taped to my fridge."

"Any sign of forced entry?"

"No, door was unlocked. His editor was the one that walked in and found the body. Says he was here to give Davey hell for missing his deadline -- so to speak."

She glanced around. "Where is he?"

"Took off before we got here, called it in from hiscell. Seems he was in a hurry to write it up and get it in the paper."

"Doesn't he know it's illegal to leave a crime scene like that?"

Tripp grunted. "Some journalists seem to think the law doesn't apply to them. I'm gonna swing by his office and re-educate the man."

Natalia grinned. "Wouldn't want to be in his shoes, then."

She knelt and checked the contents of the body's pockets. "Might be a robbery -- his wallet's gone." She pointed to a pale band around the DB's wrist. "And so's his watch. Could be they're both somewhere in the house, though; if he works at home he wouldn't necessarily have them on his person."

Tripp shook his bullet-shaped head. "Nah. Davey did all his writing on a laptop in coffee shops and bars -- it was a running joke in the column. Claimed he got cabin fever sitting at home."

"Well, if he worked on a laptop it should be here, right?" She looked around. "Did he have a study?"

"Yeah -- converted sunroom in the back." Tripp jerked a thumb over his shoulder.

Natalia left the living room and went down a short hall. Several framed writing awards hung along its length, and a tattered brown runner covered the floor. The air had that smell that Natalia always associated with bachelor apartments: a mixture of old pizza boxes, unreturned beer bottles, and dust.

The study was about as messy as she'd expected, crammed floor to ceiling with bookcases, stacked with cardboard boxes overflowing with papers, and festooned with the relics of a misspent youth: a neon beer sign ov...

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Book Description Downtown Press, Australia, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. By air, sea, and land the members of the Miami-Dade Crime Lab are called out. In a field outside the Everglades a balloon has just set down; the lone man inside the basket is dead -- an apparent suicide. A yacht riddled with bullets limps into the Port of Miami; only a gravely wounded hijacker survives, confessing that there are drugs somewhere on board, but he can t find them. A local journalist, looking to break out of the rat race with a novel based on the people he covers on his beat, is found dead. In the yacht s galley is a record-setting sunfish that seems to be the key piece of evidence to just what was being smuggled on the ship, yet the lab is stumped when they discover no more than the normal parasites infesting the fish. A raunchy video of a citrus heiress having sex in a public place gives her the motive to kill the journalist-turned-novelist, but she has an alibi. All small pieces of the puzzles that Horatio Caine and the member of his team have to unravel to find out why all these people were killed. Before it is over the members of the Miami-Dade Crime Lab are caught up in an intrigue that reaches to the heart of Castro s Cuba. Seller Inventory # BZV9780743499538

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