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The Writing Life
A lost little boy winds up in the world of homeless teens, and in the arms of teen counselor Niki Alexander. Did he witness a gruesome murder?
Homicide Investigators Luis Perez and Nelson Spalonetti suspected a woman found murdered in an alley was a drug mule from Mexico. Could the child who appeared at the same time be her son? The traumatized boy wouldn't speak; the police needed to find and question Barky, the street teen who found him.
Several years ago Niki quit the police force to work with troubled teens like Barky, no young children, but she couldn't help getting involved in the case of this sad little boy. Working at Open Palms shelter gave her connections to street-wise people like Tara Barlow. The teens trusted Tara and they might provide helpful information she could share with the police.
Clues leading to the drug world brought Niki to some old friends for help. This also brought increased danger as she got closer to the truth. At the same time, Niki also got a lot closer to Nelson Spalonetti, Luis Perez's new partner. She had avoided close relationships since her husband died, yet there was no denying their mutual attraction.
It seemed strange to Niki and Nelson that so many people were interested in finding the lost child. They had to sort out the complicated case fast, before the boy disappeared forever.
Barky looked forward to celebrating his sixteenth birthday by getting high. He grinned at his reflection in the storefront window, admiring the Mohawk he had shaped with a discarded razor in the Shop-N-Stop restroom. With a furtive sweep of the street, he veered off onto a gravel drive behind a strip mall. Satisfied no one could see him, he two-fingered the blunt from his jeans pocket. Soo-weet!