For a hundred years Killer’s Knob was the final resting place of victims of brutal murders. No one was sure why that place, but it began when, coming home to find his wife in bed with the hired man. Jacob Adams slaughtered the two of them along with his entire family. Now a serial killer has made the knob his private burial ground.
Sheriff Buck Olson makes a silent promise to the latest victim that he will find her killer. Can he keep it? As he slowly unravels the killer’s identity,Buck finds himself in a game of cat-and-mouse, with the killer as the cat. In the end, only one of them will survive.
To be released May 1,2019
He wound his way through the scrub trees, blackberry briars and weeds. He paid no mind to the thistles and thorns pulling at him. He had his trophy.She would complete his collection of victims interred at Killer’s Knob, the last to lie in this barren stretch of Kentucky. He carried her body over his shoulder. This one was a small woman, yet she grew heavier with every step.
He stopped to douse the lantern before climbing the hill. Dumping her on the ground, he rolled his shoulders to loosen the kinks. He waited until his eyes became accustomed to the dark. The full moon flitted in and out behind the clouds. He glanced at his watch: 2AM. Lightning flashed in the west. The storm was probably about an hour away. An owl called from a nearby oak. He knew some Native Americans believed owls carried the spirits of the dead. Was she watching him,watching her murderer prepare to bury her? He shivered at the thought.Yet it was not an entirely unwelcome sensation. With an eye on the thickening storm clouds, he hauled up the corpse and continued up the hill. Reaching the top, he shook her off. Her head bounced off one of the headstones. It didn’t matter, she was past feeling.
He surveyed the flat land below. No lights. At this time of morning, he must be the only one up and about. Of course, there was only one house within a mile. His were the only kills buried in this forgotten ground in the last hundred years. He buried his first one here eight years ago. This one would be the last. Tomorrow he would seek another graveyard, a piece of ground where the weeds grew thick and the dead lay undisturbed.
He made his first kill the night after Buck Olson was elected sheriff of Beaufort County Kentucky. He was 19 at the time, just starting out. Even as a teenager, he was fascinated with serial killers. He studied the great ones–Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy among others, careful to focus on the mistakes they made and how they were captured. He made the decision to kill his mother blaming her for his father leaving. His sister just got in the way.
Looking down at Buck’s home in the valley, he could see moonlight dimly glinting off the windshield of Buck’s patrol car. He had to be careful, though, knowing that since his wife died last fall Buck didn’t sheep well or much.As with most nights, the sheriff kept to home unless there was in an accident on Route 5 or one of the deputies called in sick. Beaufort County, Kentucky, was a quiet place to live, with just a few druggies and a moonshiner or two. Five years ago a guy from Indianapolis robbed the bank. He didn’t get far. Buck chased him down and had him locked up before the FBI arrived. The guy was still cooling his heels in the federal prison at Terre Haute, Indiana.
Crime rarely visited Beaufort County. When it did, Buck was on it like a chicken on a June bug.
But Buck didn’t know Killer’s Knob had become someone’s private burial ground. Most serial killers are caught for doing something stupid–burying their victims in shallow graves, leaving behind clues, taunting the police. Buck had read about Gary Ridgway, the Green River killer. How that man eluded capture for so many years he couldn’t understand.
Finding the spot, he sank in the shovel, then paused. Yes, this was the place for her. She would complete the circle. For the next 30 minutes he dug. The earth, softened by the recent rains, turned over easily. He had just hit what he thought was the bone of a child when a light winked on at the back of Buck’s house. He froze, though the sheriff couldn’t have seen him even if clouds weren’t covering the full moon. He stood stock still, his eyes fixed on the light. Another light came on in the bathroom. Three minutes later it blinked off. A minute later the one in the bedroom when out.
With the house dark, he resumed his work. The bone turned out to be a root with the bark skinned off. He worked for five more minutes, finally uncovering the child’s hand. The grave was not deep enough yet, but rain was coming and would catch him before he got back to the truck. He was forgetting something. What was it? He couldn’t think. He went ahead and rolled her into the grave. He had a vague feeling he should say something over her, but what? He wasn’t a religious man. His grandmother used to drag him to church every Sunday until he turned 13 and refused to go. She’d been dead for 10 years,but to this day he could still see the disappointment in her eyes.
Now he stood over the woman’s final resting place. Pinky.Her dad called her Pinky. At least he hoped it would be her last grave. Rumors floated around about this hill being haunted. He wasn’t worried; he didn’t believe in spooks. He was scarier than any ghost. Even if they found her, which was farfetched, her daddy was too poor to claim her body and take it back to Indiana. Besides, no one had come up on Killer’s Knob in years.He felt safe.