Author: John Burdett
Genre: Dark comedy; Short stories; Noir
Length: Short story
Word count: 3237
e-book page count: 13
Price: 0.99 USD
Cover art: Louca Matheo
Doing very bad things for very good reasons…
A noir short story from John Burdett, international best-selling author of The Bangkok Asset, the most recent novel in the critically-acclaimed Bangkok mystery series.
Sheriff Jack Gatt is the least eligible (read: least desirable) bachelor in Etowah County, Alabama, especially to Medical Examiner Bethany Lee Brown, who has done all she can to avoid his slobbering desire for her. That is, until he makes her a proposal…or two…she really can’t refuse. What is it that has Bethany shift in an instant from repulsion for the unshaven, lout Gatt to irresistible lust for him and…a darkly odd partnership that neither of them could resist if their very lives and careers depended on it?
John Burdett has published eight novels to date, The Last Six Million Seconds, A Personal History of Thirst and the Bangkok series: Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo, Bangkok Haunts, The Godfather of Kathmandu, Vulture Peak, and The Bangkok Asset. . Visit him on Facebook.
Medical Examiner Doctor Bethany Lee Brown — Dr. B to friends and felons alike — of Etowah County, Alabama, was not pregnant — so why marry that fat slob of a sergeant Jack Gatt from Etowah PD? She didn’t want to, but he was forcing her hand as only a cop can. Okay Mister, she thought, have it your way, but you better watch out.
So far she had resisted pressure to sleep with him on grounds of religious principle, which was kind of quaint for a forty year old woman in the context of the twenty-first century, but not so unusual in Alabama where the Lord still ruled. Even so, unkind tongues had often asked: Was she gay? Was she just weird? Her friends opted for lovably weird, and pointed out that there were a lot of men who would find it difficult to sleep with a medical examiner, especially if they couldn’t stop thinking about what she did with her hands all day. Also, if she’d been gay everyone would have known about it by now. This was gossip county. You couldn’t even cop a speeding ticket without the whole town knowing. And now the prim little ME with the old fashioned hair-do, short with a wave across her forehead from left to right held rigidly in place by a brittle lacquer, was about to marry the roughest police sergeant in the county? He was no Adonis; the best the opposite sex could find to say about him was that he’d kept his ginger hair — and vastly enlarged his stomach, was the second thing they said.
Nobody, except perhaps a curious psychiatrist or two who had heard the news, considered an alternative explanation.