This is the serialization of my first mystery novel, Null_Pointer. It will be released on this blog every work day until it is complete. You may purchase the novel at Amazon, Kindle Store, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords or order it from any brick and mortar bookstore near you. Thank you for reading it and I hope you enjoy this free look at the book.
You can find all the chapters of this book by searching for the Null_Pointer Novel tag.
Joshua dropped the mail on his counter and sorted through it. Underneath the usual assortment of bills and junk mail, was a large manila envelope. It was from Detective Bill Plait of the Boise Police Department.
Joshua had asked Plait to send him the police report from his parent’s accident. Joshua stared at the envelope for a moment before opening it. He had to know for sure whether the brake lines had been tampered with on his parent’s car.
He opened the envelope and slid out the photocopied police report. Plait had marked out some department internal details but the report was largely untouched. He sat down in the chair at the kitchen table where the old radio still sat. He skimmed over the gruesome details from the coroner and found the parts where the car was pulled from the river and inspected by Police Department mechanics.
Except for the damage to the front end of the car from impact with the water, the car was found to be in perfect mechanical order. The brake lines were even looked at closely by the lead mechanic and two wheels were found to have loose brake calipers; the mechanical clamps that closed on the disc brakes and created friction. In the opinion of the senior mechanic, that was not enough to have caused the accident. The brakes were in working order and had not failed.
The accident really was an accident. Taggert had thought he had disabled the brakes but apparently his efforts to cause the accident had failed.
Joshua sat back and put his hands on his head, staring at the ceiling before closing his eyes. He was beginning to feel a headache coming on. What really happened on that day five years ago? Did he actually distract his father or had Taggert implanted that memory? Nothing was clear to him anymore. Try as he might, he could not remember the accident clearly enough to remove all of his guilt.
Suddenly his life was complicated again, just when he thought he had found peace.
Thanks to all my writer friends at Partner’s in Crime, whose support and mentoring have been and continue to be invaluable to me. Several co-workers of mine have read this book and contributed their comments and opinions. Many thanks to Joyce Popp, Jeremy Carey Dressler, Jeremy Reeder, Mike Hachigian and Jeff Love for reading the early drafts and telling me where I was screwing up both with the story and with the technical details. A special thank you to Bill Blohm and his wife Debbie, for their contributions and support. I am especially grateful to Angela Abderhalden for her careful copy edits and wise suggestions.
For another outstanding cover design and interior layout, I once again thank my brother Byron. You always make my words look great, even if they are not always great words. As always, I would like to thank my wonderful wife Laurie, for her support and understanding of my writing habit.