Authors: Donald Wells
Tags: #Thrillers, #mystery, #suspense, #women sleuths, #detective
Series continues to surprise me, and the thing that surprises me most about it, is that it
In June 2012, I wrote a short story titled
, which was about a serial killer who was saved from his baser instincts by the love of a woman, a woman who, it just so happens, was the person he had chosen to become his first victim.
I liked the story a lot, and I wrote it within a few hours while I took a break from the novel I had been writing at the time, a book titled REDEMPTION.
I soon found that the characters in
stayed on my mind, and before long, I began thinking of new stories to tell that featured them, and so I wrote
2, and then
3, then 4 and so on.
I was helplessly hooked on the
Series by the time I finished
3, and after writing
9, which is one of my favorites, I knew that I would be writing the
Series for the rest of my life, and it is my absolute favorite thing to write.
Now, as if the
Series wasn’t enough, I soon spawned a second series based on a character from
, a female bounty hunter named
is up to six books and counting, and oh yeah, did I mention
’s cousins, the
CALIBER DETECTIVE AGENCY
has four books (soon to be five) and also a second series that features one of the characters as a much younger man, also, there’s the
CALIBER Western Series
that is comprised of three short stories.
Who knew that one little short story could spawn so much?
And oh yeah, getting back to the subject of surprises, the main character of
doesn’t even have a name.
And now we have this book,
TAKEN! ALPHABET SERIES – 26 Original TAKEN! Tales
Every story in this book was written as a gift for the members of my Mailing List who had signed up to learn of new releases (
) and thousands of them read the Alphabet Tales while they were free on the
And this book is not the end of that practice, as
TAKEN! ALPHABET SERIES 2
is now in progress, and each of those tales will be initially free as well.
To all the fans of the
Series, I say, THANK YOU!
And what do I say to those of you who aren’t fans, but who have somehow stumbled upon this book? To you, I say, hop on board,
’s a great ride—and full of surprises.
(The events in
A take place between
he girl was nervous, but brave.
She didn’t have to do this, they could have found another way to trap the killer, but no, she insisted, and he suspected that she had a case of survivor’s guilt.
The plan was his wife’s idea, and it surprised him. While she didn’t disclose everything to the girl, she did reveal enough so that a smart girl like this one could come to some conclusions.
He liked the girl too. She had pluck. There aren’t many people who will willingly expose themselves to being attacked by a killer.
He didn’t think much of this killer. The man had no... elegance? No, elegance isn’t the right word, perhaps panache, or maybe just plain style, the man had no style. He was simply a butcher.
Three girls were found dead in their rented house. They had all been beaten and stabbed by a lunatic with no conscious. The girls were beautiful and since they were asleep in their beds at the time, were either nude or wearing very little, but the killer made no attempt to rape any of them.
No rape or lingering torture for this one, not this one, this one was all slash and dash.
The fourth girl sharing the house, this plucky little thing acting as bait, she had luck to thank for her survival.
After the killer broke into the house, he went room to room, and girl by girl he bound and gagged them. This one survived because of a habit. Apparently, when the killer opened her bedroom door and looked in, he saw a made bed and no one around. However, the girl was there, but she was seated on the floor, on the other side of the bed with earphones on as she bopped her head, with eyes closed to the beat of the music.
By the time she emerged from her room to brush her teeth in preparation for bed, the other girls had already been slaughtered and the killer was, as she put it, “Doing unspeakable things to their faces with his knife,”
She ran barefoot from the house with the killer giving chase. She screamed for help, but it was after two a.m. and by the time anyone woke and looked out the window, she and her pursuer had moved on.
She lost the killer when she hid behind the dumpster of a fast food restaurant and didn’t dare emerge from its shelter until the sun was bright in the sky. When she walked back to the home in a daze, she found it barred to her by police and news vans, then, moments later, her parents ran to her while shouting with joy. They had thought she was still in the house, murdered.
He and his wife heard about the butchery while working as consultants on another case, and when Jessica saw the girl on the news looking more angered than fearful by her ordeal, she insisted on meeting her.
The girl and his wife hit it off right away, although she seemed a bit standoffish towards him, but then, he has that effect on most people.
Amazingly, the police identified the culprit by a print left on one of the dead girls’ severed breasts and the girl recognized his face instantly from an array of mug shots. He had a long record as a second-story man, but apparently, he had graduated to mad killer.
Still, the print was only a partial and could belong to any of hundreds of men. Only the girl’s testimony would erase reasonable doubt. The killer had to know this, had to know that only the girl could put him away for certain, and also, he knew that a dead girl couldn’t testify.
Someone was on the patio and attempting to gain entry. He looked over at the girl where she pretended to be asleep and saw that she was aware of it as well, and he signaled her to lie still, to lay there, to bait the trap.
The killer entered more stealthily than he would have thought possible and made it to within three feet of the girl before he struck him on the back of the head and rendered him unconscious.
He looked down at the man.
And yes, it was Karl Hyatt.
He glanced over at the girl and saw that she had tears in her eyes.
“Thank you sir, and please thank Dr. White also.”
He studied her as he cinched handcuffs around Hyatt’s wrists.
“Why aren’t you calling the police?”
“If you wanted them here, they would be here, right?”
“What are you going to do with—nevermind.”
“Carly, Jessica tells me that she’s offered you work, as a... researcher?”
“Are you taking the job?”
“If you don’t mind sir,”
“No I don’t mind, I don’t mind at all,” he said, and afterward, he grabbed the killer and tossed him over his shoulder. “We’ll be in touch, Carly,”
“Yes sir, thank you sir.”
He sent her a nod and then walked off with his captured prey.
(The events in
B take place during
AM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!
Virginia Jones sat up in bed.
Gunshots! More gunshots,
Virginia had just fallen asleep again after the earlier commotion over at Dr. White’s house, which also involved gunshots, along with an ambulance, the FBI, and the police.
Her husband, Bob, worked nights, and it was times like this that she hated his work schedule.
Virginia slipped out of bed and looked out the window. Down on the street was a man holding a gun in front of the police car that had been parked in front of the White residence. As the man moved away from the car, the streetlight revealed the slumped and bloody bodies of the officers.
“Oh Lord,” Virginia whispered.
The slayer of the cops walked towards Dr. White’s front door and, after reaching it, he began kicking at it.
Just as the door gave way, Virginia spotted Dr. White’s daughter, Jessica, climbing out a second story window and onto the roof of the porch, following her was her little sister, Gabby.
The teenager practically flew down the trellis attached to the side of the house and then caught her sister as she jumped down.
As the two girls ran across the street, Mrs. Jones hurried downstairs to let them in.
Jessica was banging on the door even as Virginia opened it.
“Mrs. Jones you have to help us. There’s a killer inside my house and so is my boyfriend, you have to get the police here before—”
Two more shots, and these came from inside the house.
Virginia watched with sympathy as Jessica sank to her knees.
Little Gabby hugged her sister about the neck.
“Don’t cry, Jessie, please don’t cry.”
Virginia looked across the street as movement in the White’s doorway caught her eye.
“Jessica, look dear.”
Jessica raised her head and watched as the tall young man dragged the now wounded marauder from her house.
In an instant, Jessica’s demeanor changed from misery to elation and she rushed out the door.
“Mrs. Jones, please watch Gabby!”
Jessica flew into the tall boy’s arms and any fool could tell that they were in love.
“I thought Martin Stewart’s boy, Kevin, was Jessica’s boyfriend.”
Gabby looked up with a big grin on her face.
“Yes, I can see that.”
Mr. Henderson from down the block ran over to the young couple with his gun in hand, and took charge of watching the killer. As he did that, the young man walked to the back of Dr. White’s car and opened the rear. Moments later, he and Jessica were helping her father climb out of the trunk.
“Daddy!” Gabby cried, and rushed out the door and over to her father.
Virginia Jones smiled at the happy reunion, as her hall phone rang.
Gracious, who could be calling at this hour?
“Ginny, Ginny, it’s me, Mary. I’m so sorry to wake you up, but Hannah hasn’t come home yet, I’ve tried all of her friends and no one’s seen her. You haven’t talked to her, have you?”
“No, Mary, but it’s not like her to stay out all night, is it?”
“Of course not, and I—wait, here she is now. She just pulled up in some boy’s car. Oh is she going to get an earful. I’m so sorry to have wakened you, Ginny.”
“You didn’t wake me, and have I got a story to tell you, but it can wait, go see to Hanna.”
Virginia heard a noise on the line that sounded like a door opening.
“Ginny, she just walked in; I’ll call you later.”
“All right, goodnight, Mary.”
Before the call ended, Virginia heard her sister-in-law scolding her niece.