The reclusive life of former homicide detective Brenda Corrino has suddenly leaped from post-traumatic stress disorder recovery to something much more interesting.Murder! Brenda unearths the deep dark secret that the students have been hiding from her and everyone else outside their circle.
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The reclusive life of former homicide detective Brenda Corrino has suddenly leaped from post-traumatic stress disorder recovery to something much more interesting.Murder! Her ex-partner was investigating the bizarre murder of a college student when he inadvertently let his guard down and now he remains comatose in a hospital. Brenda recruits her ex-boyfriend, Medical Examiner Dr. Darren Crowe, to help her find out who tried to kill him. Darren realizes this is his opportunity to get back into her good graces as she tries to come to terms with being raped and nearly murdered while working undercover two years earlier. While broadening her investigation, more former students from the same school are ending up dead. When consoling a young widow left behind by the killer, Brenda unearths the deep dark secret that the students have been hiding from her and everyone else outside their circle.
“Hi. I’m Brenda Corrino. I understand you have a patient here by the name of Frank Gianni. His wife asked me to meet her here.”
“Yes Miss Corrino. I’m Norma the floor nurse. I was told to expect you. He’s in room seven-twenty.” She pointed down a corridor and said, “Down that way and then bear to the right. His wife is with him.” Noticing Brenda’s hesitation Nurse Norma added, “Would you like me to show you?”
“No thanks. I’ll find it Thanks for your help Norma.”
Brenda strode off with a look of confidence and turned right when she saw a sign that pointed to seven-ten thru seven-forty. That’s when her pace slowed and her heart began to race. She stood outside Frank’s door, recalling the message his wife Marie left on her cell phone the day before. Brenda its Marie. I know it’s been a long time since we last spoke. It’s Frank … he needs your help. He’s at Yale New Haven Hospital and he’s in a coma. The only word he’s spoken in the past two months was your name. He was injected with a drug, a kind of knockout drug that was uncut and therefore very lethal. Please meet me at the hospital tomorrow afternoon at two. He’s on the seventh floor.
Brenda quietly pulled the door open and saw Marie standing by the bed, gazing out the window. She was wearing skinny jeans and a black V-neck top with rhinestone sparkles. Sensing the intrusion, Marie spun around, her shoulder length brown hair with red highlights surprised Brenda. Marie didn’t normally go for too much makeup or risky hair styles. Brenda asked, “Looking for me?”
“Brenda! Thanks so much for coming.” Marie’s eyes began to tear as she moved towards her and they embraced. “I wasn’t sure if you would come after all you’ve been through. You always were one tough lady.”
“Thank you. I appreciate that. What’s going on Marie? What happen to Frank? Who did this to him?”
“Nobody knows for sure. He was working on a murder case. A young man by the name of Gary Stvan was found with drugs in his body that induced a heart attack and killed him. Frank didn’t tell me more than that. He and I are … separated at the moment.” Marie’s eyes swelled with tears. She turned away from Brenda’s stare as tears streamed down her face.
“I’m sorry to hear that Marie,” Brenda said slightly louder than a whisper. “How are the kids taking it?”
“Not good. It’s only been six months and now this. I’m trying to be fair about it. I still care an awful lot for Frank. I just don’t love him anymore.”
“Frank loved you a lot. He talked about you all the time. I bet he still loves you.”
“Let’s not talk about it. I asked you to come here because Frank has said your name several times since he’s been in this coma. In fact, Corrino is the only word he’s spoken. The doctor suggested I ask you to talk to Frank. Hearing your voice could bring him out of the coma.”
“I haven’t spoken to Frank in about a year. He stopped trying to help me and I can’t say that I blame him. I’m a mess. I’m all screwed up both inside and out. They expect me to nail Alexander at the trial for the DVD Murders and I don’t know if I can do it. I’m not sure of myself anymore. I’m not sure of anything anymore. I’m …” Now it was Brenda’s turn to cry. Marie embraced her for a moment but Brenda quickly pulled away and bolted out of the room, running right into Doctor Cham.
“Detective Corrino I presume?” asked Doctor Cham as he shook off the collision and straightened his blue-green tie and white jacket. His face turned bright red once he got a good look at Brenda. She is a very attractive blue-eyed redhead that men never got tired of looking at. At 5 foot 8 inches, one hundred and thirty pounds, and with all the curves in the right places, her intelligence was usually the last thing to be noticed or remembered. Most people didn’t look beyond her beauty and overlooked her intellect.
Most of all, it would be difficult for most people to imagine her as a homicide detective. After earning a four-year degree in criminal justice from Fairfield University, she attended a conservatory, did some modeling, and even landed a few television commercials and bit parts. But the wild life of the industry didn’t suit her and by the suggestion of a friend, she attended law school. She soon realized that she wanted to enforce the laws, not defend them. She was ambitious and tenacious to become Fairfield’s first female police captain. One thing got in the way of her career, the apprehension of serial rapist and murderer, Mark Alexander.
“Actually, I am no longer employed by law enforcement.”
“Has Mrs. Gianni filled you in?” he inquired while spotting Marie standing just a few feet behind her.
“She has, but I would like to hear it again from you.”
“Very well then. As you know, Special Investigator Gianni has been in a coma for nearly two months and recently he spoke your name. In the past few weeks he has said Corrino several times. Two days ago he said it again and luckily his wife was here and recognized your name. The doctors on my team and I hoped you could spend some time talking to him and perhaps hold his hand at the same time. Touch is very persuasive. It’s a combination that has worked with patients throughout the world.”
“I’m afraid I can’t be here every day. I have obligations and deadlines to meet for my employer.”
Doctor Cham smiled as he took Brenda’s hand. “Just show up when you can and talk to him, touch him. Nothing else has worked thus far. It’s a long shot but it isn’t unprecedented.”
“I’d like to help Frank out. He and I have some serious history together. The job meant everything to him,” she said, then regretted saying it in front of Marie. She’s been there too. “I’ll check my schedule and see what I can do. I’m sure I can spare a little time each week.”
“Any time you can spare will be worth the effort. Thank you Ms. Corrino. Thank you very much.”
Marie yelled out a thank you as Brenda scooted down the hall and out of sight.