The resulting scuffle looked like something out of a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

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…he went in the door of the bar, from which he promptly came staggering out backward, falling down the stairs and and landing with a thump on the pavement, fanny-first. “What the hell?” He looked up just in time to see a tangle of bodies roll down the steps and right over the top of him, to hit hard against the already bruised bumper of the construction orange Suburban. The tangle resolved itself into three people, two men and one woman. One of the men had a rifle and the second man and the woman dove on top of him and the resulting scuffle looked like something out of a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

He waded into the fray and grabbed someone by the scruff of the neck and someone else by the seat of the pants. “Hey!” a voice said indignantly, and he looked down to see that he had the woman by the seat of the pants.

“Sorry,” he said without apology, dropped her and the unarmed man, and grabbed for the rifle, which went off again just before his hand closed around the barrel. The bullet sang past his ears and clipped the branch the raven was sitting on. The bird rose up in the air with an affronted squawk and a tremendous flapping of wings to hover over the shooter and unload a large helping of bird shit down his cheek and the front of his shirt. He squawked again, a somehow menacing sound that promised more of the same should he be disturbed a second time, and went back to the spruce tree to land on a branch a little higher up the trunk.


Excerpt from the first Liam Campbell novel, Fire and Ice. The fifth in the series, Spoils of the Dead, publishes on February 6, 2021. Order your signed hardcover from the Poisoned Pen here.

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Dana View All →

Author and founder of Storyknife.org.

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