Gridlock: A Ryan Lock Novel

Gridlock: A Ryan Lock Novel by Sean Black Read Free Book Online

Book: Gridlock: A Ryan Lock Novel by Sean Black Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sean Black
Tags: thriller, Action, hollywood, serial killer, angel, stalker, bodyguard, Carrie, Ty, Raven Lane, LA, Ryan Lock
in trouble. Family can wait.’

    A blood-orange sun hung above pristine red-tiled rooftops as the van from the Medical Examiner’s Office withdrew, the headless body riding out of sight in the back. Along the street, daylight had robbed the Hallowe’en lanterns perched on front steps and the paper decorations of ghosts and goblins tacked inside windows of their menace.
    Along with the early-morning sunshine, the Santa Ana winds had begun to pick up again, the hot breezes bringing with them a fresh swarm of paparazzi – word had leaked out of the headless body’s identity. Latent heat, pushed into the ground by nightfall, seeped from the sidewalks, raising the temperature and fracturing tempers. More patrol cars arrived with uniformed officers to manage the blossoming crowd.
    Word was also coming in of a brush fire north of Malibu, the first of the season, and Lock was glad that they’d brought Angel with them rather than leaving her back at the beach house.
    At the sawhorse barriers erected at the end of the street, one of Raven’s neighbors was trying to negotiate his way through the crush. A more aggressive paparazzo started snapping pictures of him, and the guy got out of his car to remonstrate, letting loose with a torrent of profanity. ‘What the hell, man?’ he bellowed. ‘I got my kids in the back of the car and you’re taking pictures.’
    The patrol officer whom Lock had spoken to earlier stepped in to quell tempers with a threat to both men to either calm down or do the rest of their talking in jail. It was going to be a long day, thought Lock, who had grabbed five minutes with Carrie.
    ‘I think I have a name for the victim,’ Carrie said, lowering her voice. ‘Cindy Canyon. Her real name was Melanie Spiteri. She was an adult performer, like Raven.’
    ‘Was she being stalked as well?’ Lock asked.
    Carrie shrugged. ‘All I have is a name so far. You think it might be the same guy?’
    ‘You don’t think it’s a possibility?’
    ‘I thought stalkers tended to fixate on one person.’
    ‘They also tend to be less of a nuisance than someone prepared to cut someone’s head off, then stick the body in the trunk of a car.’
    ‘True,’ Carrie said. ‘I’m going to head back to Malibu and make sure the house is okay. Should I see about us extending our stay?’
    ‘You want to stay out here?’ Lock knew that Carrie had work commitments back in New York.
    ‘I spoke to the network. They’re happy for me to be here for a few more days.’ She turned, taking in the familiar media circus with a sweep of her eyes.
    ‘I’m going to have to hang out here,’ Lock said, apologetic.
    ‘Don’t worry. I already ordered a cab. I’ll take Angel with me.’
    Lock leaned in for a kiss. Carrie’s acceptance that when he was on a high-risk job it took precedence was one of the things he loved about her. ‘Thanks.’ He put an arm around her shoulders. ‘Are you really okay with me doing this?’
    Carrie reached up to stroke his cheek. ‘I trust you. And, like I said, every woman has a right to be safe in her own home.’
    He took her hand and gave it a squeeze. ‘I love you. You do know that, right?’
    Carrie smiled. ‘I know. Now go give some bad guy the good news.’
    She turned away from him and whistled for Angel, then started towards the cab that was pulling up at the police barrier. He watched her go with a twinge of anxiety, wishing he didn’t have a job to do right now. Then he turned back towards the house. There was a lot to do in a very short space of time.
    The techs from the LAPD’s Scientific Investigation Division were finishing up their initial work as Raven emerged from the house, her face concealed by a hooded top, baseball cap and sunglasses.
    ‘They seem to be done talking to me,’ she said to Lock, walking past him. ‘I need to pick up my brother. We can use your car, right?’
    Lock put out a hand. ‘Hold up. Your brother?’
    Raven stopped and turned. ‘He was

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