banner banner banner banner
Войти
Скачать книгу Sins of the Flesh
Текст
отзывы: 0 | рейтинг: 0

Sins of the Flesh

Язык: Английский
Тип: Текст
Год издания: 2018

Полная версия

Полная версия

Sins of the Flesh
Colleen McCullough

A Captain Carmine Delmonico mystery from the bestselling author of The Thorn BirdsAugust 1969. Two anonymous male corpses are discovered in the sleepy college town of Holloman, Connecticut. After connecting the emaciated bodies to four other victims, the police realise that Holloman has a psychopathic killer on the loose.Captain Carmine Delmonico’s team begins to circle a trio of eccentrics who share family ties, painful memories, and a dark past. Things become even murkier when one of them turns out to be a friend of Sergeant Delia Carstairs. Delia has also recently befriended the head of the local mental hospital, who has been trying to rehabilitate a very difficult patient.When another vicious murder rocks Holloman, Carmine realises that two killers are at large with completely different modus operandi. Suddenly the summer isn’t so sleepy anymore. ..

DEDICATION (#u1b8bf95e-18d2-571b-ad86-f1cd2cc8795c)

For KAREN QUINTAL

All the many loyal and loving years are deeply appreciated.

Here’s hoping there are just as many more to come.

Thanks, pal.

CONTENTS

COVER (#u7d00c5b6-50f3-5d54-943a-e74de5988c13)

TITLE PAGE (#ue869406d-6e72-55ba-93e5-6a3f5f28a846)

DEDICATION

MIDNIGHT, SUNDAY/MONDAY, AUGUST 3–4, 1969

MONDAY, AUGUST 4, 1969

TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 1969

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 1969

SUNDAY, AUGUST 10, 1969

MONDAY, AUGUST 11, 1969

TUESDAY, AUGUST 12, 1969

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 1969

THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 1969

FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 1969

SATURDAY/SUNDAY NIGHT, AUGUST 16–17, 1969

SUNDAY, AUGUST 17, 1969

MONDAY, AUGUST 18, 1969

TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 1969

SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 1969

MONDAY, AUGUST 25, 1969

TUESDAY, AUGUST 26, 1969

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27, 1969

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30, 1969

SUNDAY, AUGUST 31, 1969

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1969, LABOR DAY

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 1969

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1969

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1969

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1969

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1969

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BOOKS BY COLLEEN MCCULLOUGH

COPYRIGHT

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER

MIDNIGHT, SUNDAY/MONDAY, AUGUST 3–4, 1969 (#u1b8bf95e-18d2-571b-ad86-f1cd2cc8795c)

He had no idea it was midnight. In actual fact, he didn’t know whether the sun was shining or the stars were twinkling. Nor could he work out how long he’d been here, so timelessly did time pass. One moment he had been free, smiling with happiness, at the center of a world that had opened its arms wide to embrace him; the next moment he had fallen into a sleep so deep that he remembered not even the tiniest fragment of a dream.

When he woke he was here, to live a different life. Here, in a big, featureless room that contained a padded toilet and a plastic water bubbler that produced a slim fountain whenever he put his foot down on a button in the floor below it. So he could drink, and he had a tidy place in which to excrete. Here only had one color: a dirty beige, not from squalor but from the poor lighting of one dim bulb, center-ceiling behind a tough glass case wrapped in steel rods.

He was stark naked, though he wasn’t hot, and he wasn’t cold. Everything was oddly soft—the floor and the walls sighed and gently gave way wherever he touched them, akin to leather squabs on a car seat. What at first he thought were seams around the bottom of the walls turned out to be the exact opposite of seams: tucks, as if this cushioning surface were rammed down inside a crevice, together with the edges of the floor. No matter how he tried to dig with his fingertips, the fabric refused to move one single millimeter.

Soon his ravenous hunger became the be-all and the end-all of his entire existence, for though he could always drink, and as much as he wished, he had no particle of food. At times, coming in and going out of the sleeps, he vaguely remembered a taste of food, and understood that he was fed something that sat in his belly like a coal of such glorious warmth and comfort that even the most fleeting memory of it caused him to weep.

His panics belonged to differently befogged and shrouded periods, when he had screamed on and on and on, crashed against the walls, flailed his fists against those yielding surfaces, howled like an old dog, bleated and bayed and bellowed and bawled. No one ever answered. All he heard was himself. Emerging from the panic exhausted, he would drink thirstily and sleep the sleep of the dead, featureless, his last thought the hope of food.

He had nothing to do, nothing to look at—not even a mirror! Nothing to pass the time, he who had passed so much of it gazing at his own reflection, marveling at the perfection of his beauty. All he had to do to get what he wanted was to smile. But in here there was no one to smile at. Just one little chance to smile, that was all he needed! A smile would get him out—no one could ever, ever, ever resist his smile! A smile would get him food. It always came in his sleeps, the food, therefore he must go to sleep smiling.

He was weakening, it seemed the way a snail dragged itself around, with mind-numbing slowness and enormous effort, a visible labor just to hold the house of his life up off his head, for if it slipped, he was gone like a drop of slime on a white-hot stove. He didn’t want to part with his beauty yet! Or his smile!

“Why are you so cruel?” He smiled. “Who are you?”

This time his awakening brought changes: he was still hungry, and he was in pain.

No glowing coal of food lingered in his belly—it hadn’t fed him! But at least the pain said he was still alive, and it wasn’t agonizing—more an ache in the groin. One of the things he couldn’t fathom was its attention to his groin, stripped of all hair, since it had never, as far as he knew, subjected him to any kind of abuse. This wakening’s pain made him doubt, and he groped for his penis; it was there, unharmed. No, the soreness was behind it, in his ball-sack. Something was wrong! Each testicle should roll under his fingers as if it were free inside the sack, but no testicles rolled. His ball-sack was empty. Empty!

He shrieked, and a voice spoke from every square inch of the room, impossible to pinpoint.

“Poor eunuch,” it cooed, dovelike. “You did well, my poor eunuch. No bleeding. They came out as easily as the stone out of a fleshless avocado. Snip, snip! Snip, snip! No balls.”

He screamed, and went on screaming, long shrill wails of grief and despair that finally died away into gibberish; and from that he passed to a silence flirting with catatonia, moving not the tiniest muscle. The pain was dying away to nothing, more bearable than the pain of no food, and even that didn’t matter the way it had before the discovery of his neutering. Without his manhood, there was nothing to smile about. An utterly weary hopelessness moved into his soul and took up residence there.

Though he didn’t know it was midnight, the savage hack of Time’s scythe that shoved Sunday the 3rd into the past and Monday the 4th into the present, he suddenly knew there would be no more food. Curling up to hug himself, arms around his knees, he gazed across the vast expanse of the floor into a dirty beige eternity.

The chair came down out of the ceiling behind him, descending silently to a halt with its foot platform still a meter short of the floor. Had he turned his head, he would have seen it and the person who occupied it, but he didn’t turn his head. Everything that was left of him was focused on his contemplation of eternity, though he was a long way off dying yet. A complete authority on the matter, his observer estimated that he had about forty days left before the very last flicker of life snuffed out. Forty days of ecstatic conversation and study—but how interesting! He still wore a kind of a smile ….

The chair lifted itself back into the ceiling while the dying man on the floor continued to plumb his perspective on eternity.

MONDAY, AUGUST 4, 1969 (#u1b8bf95e-18d2-571b-ad86-f1cd2cc8795c)

“I told you, Abe, I told you,” Delia said, “but you and Carmine were being typical men—wouldn’t listen to a woman, oh, no!”

Другие книги автора:

Популярные книги