Word count: 91,000
Genre: Adult Mystery with psychic elements
Inspector Alexandra Drake avoids interpersonal relationships as a matter of self-preservation. As a highly-sensitive empath, social isolation insulates her from the pain of other people’s emotions, and protects them from a volatile talent she’s chosen to ignore. She craves more than her self-imposed hermitic life, despite the threat to her mental well-being.
An unexpected transfer to San Francisco PD’s Homicide division allows her new opportunities for camaraderie, but working with an emotionally-scarred new partner strains her stability to the breaking point. Still, he offers something she longs for, yet refuses to seek out: true friendship.
Inspector Kieran Donovan, Australian ex-pat with enough demons of his own, grieves the recent loss of his best friend in the line of duty. He can do without the aggravation of a socially-handicapped new partner, even if she is trying to get along.
When evidence links their teen suicide case to the Japanese mob, they find themselves thrust into the yakuza’s crosshairs as the syndicate renews its foothold in the city. Alexandra must reacknowledge her fiery ability, dormant for a decade, to save her partner’s—and new friend’s—life, and pray the fire won’t consume them both in the end.
First 250 words:
Sweat trickled down Alexandra Drake's chest. Tropical air thick with the promise of rain tasted of the ocean blocks away. Hell, she hated waiting. Three years on Honolulu PD's Narcotics/Vice squad had exercised her modicum of patience, but that trait hadn't improved.
She rested a hip against an unmarked steel barrel behind the warehouse and prayed they'd finish this raid before boredom killed her. The vibrant tempest inside her skull assured her she wasn't the only one ready for things to get moving. Nothing like waiting until some judge could be bothered on a to sign a search warrant.
For three months the team had hunted the "genius" who was spiking the local coke with crank. They’d followed the trail of dead addicts, and when Panner's confidential informant finally gave up the location of Tosi's supplier, they landed at this storehouse on the edge of the harbor city of Wai'anae. Despite being a workshop for the ugly business of street drugs, there were no cameras, no guards here; the denizens didn't seem concerned about people sneaking up on them. Good for the cops. Bad for the crooks.
Her teammate, Officer Milo Nguyen, wiped his brow on his sleeve, and then checked his watch. "Any time would be good."
Alex glanced at the looming clouds above. Hawai'i's lush mountains were known for flash floods, and this location wasn't immune judging by the spidery channels cut into the foothills fifty feet away. "They wait any longer, we might end up swimming."