Title: The End of the World as We Know it
Entry Nickname: The Nose Knows
Word Count: 69k
Genre: Adult contemporary fantasy. Ownvoice--Latino (two of the multiple POVs)
Eddie Nezevitch has a unique gift—just like everyone else. Though his power ranks low and poses no danger, it is why he’s the best homicide detective in New York. Eddie can smell the emotional content of a crime, and knowing why is half the battle.
But his newest assignment, the scene of a dark, gory ritual, proves too much for him to handle alone, forcing him to team up with an aging crank and a not-so-doe-eyed newbie. Together they discover that not only is this murder the work of a brutal serial killer who steals his victims’ powers, but the victims turn out to be worse than the killer. This murderer is going after a crime ring that leads all the way up to the mayor and back into the department itself. As the evidence of corruption piles up, the investigators realize they can’t trust anyone but each other.
Getting ahead of the killer means discovering the names of his intended victims, but that uncovers the leaders of the crime ring, and Eddie’s team finds itself in the mayor’s crosshairs. While it’s unclear if the mayor wants to recruit them or kill them, it’s quite clear the killer wants them for accomplices. Eddie’s team has to choose between saving the worst criminals in the city from a murderer, or trusting a brutal serial killer who will soon be too powerful to stop.
The streets were wet, and the air carried the reminder of rain Eddie Nezevitch felt in his lungs and nostrils. The barrier in front of him shimmered like a slice of the Caribbean turned on its side, and Eddie couldn’t resist running his hand over the surface; it felt like glass but rippled like water.
Petty scenes got tape, but the department had an officer whose power could make important locations hermetic. Even though Eddie’d seen these seals enough to make them mundane, they remained beautiful. He touched his badge to the barrier and a hole opened, allowing entry. The seal closed behind him, leaving the avenue on the other side of the crime scene wavering and distorted.
The door of the house lay open, a sinister invitation into the quiet darkness. Eddie found a light switch and shut the door behind him. A sigh of frustration escaped when he saw the décor. Though gaudy complicated patterns in the furniture and wallpaper might hide blemishes, they also hid evidence—a pint of blood spatter might be nearly invisible in a room like this.
But it couldn’t hide an entire corpse, and the report said people had come and gone in this room for three days without discovering the body. Something else was at work.
Eddie closed his eyes and mouth, drew in a slow deep breath, and used his unique gift—his sense of smell. Lavender. Remorse? Lavender laced with…a soft decay, like mushrooms in the forest. Despair? Neither remorse nor despair made sense for this crime.