Gideon’s Bludgeon

First, there was Collision Course, introducing Detective Lieutenant Josh Williams, East Providence PD Special Investigations Unit Commander. Then came Silenced Justice, and the adventures of Lt. Williams soared to new heights.

Now, the next in the series, Gideon’s Bludgeon, brings the challenges facing Lt. Williams and the members of his investigations unit to a whole new level.

A killer is leaving body parts all over the state, and a young detective newly assigned to the SIU thinks the killer is sending a message.  The trail leads Williams and his fellow officers to a world of unimaginable terror and mystery.

The next exciting release from JEBWizard Publishing and author Joe Broadmeadow. Stay tuned for more details.  Meanwhile, check out the other books here,

Here is short excerpt from Gideon’s Bludgeon.


Puzzle Pieces

“Hey L T, come look at this.” Detective Frank Lachance said. “Tell me what you think.”

I looked over the top of the Providence Journal, twisting my feet apart on the desk to get a view of the young detective.

“Frank, does it look like I give a shit about your latest discovery? Let me remind you it is Sunday…Morning… And what do I do every Sunday morning before anything, and I mean anything else?”

“Read the paper,” Lachance answered.

“That’s my boy. You’re learning. Now whatever monumental revelation you’ve had can wait until then. Now go make sure there is more coffee. I need the extra push for my morning constitutional.” I put my feet back together and ducked behind the paper.

“Lieutenant, it’s about the body parts in the bay. I talked to a friend of mine from the State Police, and we think they’re connected.”

“Were connected,” I said, from behind the paper, “that’s why they’re body parts now instead of a whole body. But I’m glad you and Trooper Dudley DoRight figured out that elusive element.”

I heard him pick up his laptop and walk to my desk. Plopping the computer down, he tapped on my paper.

“Do you want to die?” I said. “Give me a minute, I know my gun is around here somewhere.”

“Come on, Lieutenant, give me five minutes, and I’ll not only get coffee, but I’ll also go out for your favorite pastries.”

I put the paper down. “Frosted Apple turnovers?”

“As you wish.”

The kid’s enthusiasm reminded me of myself a century ago when I was an ambitious first-year detective. It was not contagious. I was immune to any such passion after thirty years of rolling in shit with the dregs of the world. And putting up with wannabe hero political cops, who got all their ideas from TV but ran and hid when shit hit the fan, saps the life out of you.

Someday, this kid will be an old burn-out like me, but for now I suppose I should humor him. To a point.

The kid was smart, good at his job, and showed lots of potential. He paid attention and was willing to learn. I’d humor him for five minutes. Plus, for a frosted apple turnover, I’d remarry all my ex-wives.

“Okay, Columbo, whaddya have?”

The look in his eye said it all.


“Ah jeez, never mind, show me what’s worth risking my wrath over.”

The kid spun the laptop so I could see. A spreadsheet, with highlighted cells, filled the screen.

“This is an Excel spreadsheet. A spreadsheet–.”

“Stop there, kid. Yeah, I know what a spreadsheet is. I know my way around computers. I’m old, not dead. Tell me what this piece of work shows, save the technology lecture.”

The kid smiled. “Cool, okay. You know how over the years various body parts have turned up along the bay?”

“Hmm, body parts along the bay?” I reached out and smacked the backside of his head. “Stop talking to me like you’re the school resource officer in a kindergarten class. Everybody in the whole fucking state knows the body parts story. Jeez…”

“Sorry, anyway, Jerry Paulson from the State Police and I think there’s a pattern to them. A message the killer is trying to give us.”

I leaned back in my chair. “Know what I think. I think sending you two knuckleheads to that FBI Profiling Serial Killer seminar was a fucking mistake. I told the chief that, but he wouldn’t listen to me. He has his head so far up the Attorney General’s ass trying to get the head investigator position there and retire.  He jumps at any idea the AG throws out, and the Homicide task force was the latest. I knew you and that trooper would start salivating for your very own Rhode Island serial killer. You’d invent one if you had to.”

“Listen to me, Lieutenant. Look at the spreadsheet. I put the date of recovery in one column and the recovered body part in another. The first was four ago. They are found on the same day, the last Saturday of each season, every year. And if you sort by date of recovery oldest to newest, it looks like he’s sending us a human jigsaw puzzle.”

He slid the mouse around and sorted on the date. “The first discovery, (Date) was a right foot. (Date) left foot. (Date) right leg, on an onto this spring, the torso.”

The one part missing, the head, was all that was needed to complete the puzzle.

I looked at the screen. No doubt the kid was onto something.

“I also added in location. At first, it didn’t help. Then I did it by the side of the bay where the part was found. It alternates, East Bay, West Bay, south to north.”

 “No shit, Frank. No shit,” I played with the columns. I was right, this kid might be the one I’d been looking for. Someone to mentor before I pulled the pin.

“What do you think, Lieutenant?”

I hesitated a moment. If word got out that we are looking at this as a serial killer, the media frenzy would drive us crazy. Worse, if the AG finds out, he’ll turn it into a fucking circus. I had to approach this delicately. Temper the kid’s enthusiasm with rationality.

“This is smart work, kid. But we gotta keep control over it. Limit who knows. If any of the suck-ups around here find out, they’ll tell the world. Some of these assholes are so close to the chief they could wear his ass for a hat.”

I tapped my finger on the desk. “Tell you what. We work this off the books for now. No reports in the system. Back to paper notes only, and we’ll lock it in my office at night. I’ll call Captain Murray at State Police Headquarters. He owes me a big one, anyway. I’ll get him to keep this between us. I’ll have him send your Trooper Knucklehead counterpart down here like you’re chasing burglars or something.”

Lachance bounced around like a nine-year-old told he was going to Disney. “Great, I have a few ideas on some things we might do with new technology the FBI uses. I’ll see what I can come up with.”

 “Frank,” I said, in my most stern lieutenant boss-type voice. “Work it, but quietly. Understood?”

“Yes, sir. Ah, there is one more thing, Lieutenant.”

“What’s that?” I said, dropping the paper onto my lap one more time.

“This Saturday, it’s, ah, it’s the last day of Spring.”

“Great, happy summer, kid.”

“Lieutenant, if the pattern holds, we will find another body part this Saturday on the east side of the bay, north side. The head. I think we should try to run a stakeout. Maybe get lucky.”

“Hmm, and how should I find enough cops to run this stakeout and keep it quiet? Not to mention, getting El Hefe to pay for it?”

The kid actually smiled. “That’s why you’re the Lieutenant.”

“I got a better idea, kid. How about I get you assigned to the SIIU with Lieutenant Williams? He loves this shit as much as you do. Then it can be his headache.  I’ll take care of that; you go get my apple slices and make sure you get the ones with the thick frosting. Now move.”

I watched the kid fly out the door. I almost missed that joy for the job. Almost.

Whatever possessed me to let him talk me into this? One year left, one more year, and I’d run out the door. Thirty years over, and I get a pension to cover my bar bill. This last year was supposed to be uneventful, not some reality TV series.

But no worries. I had a solution. Reaching for my cell, I hit the speed dial for Lieutenant Josh Williams.

“Lieutenant Ford, what can I do for you on this fine morning?” Williams answered.

“Josh, I’m getting El Hefe to give you that extra body you’ve been whining about. Det. Lachance will be transferring into your unit first thing tomorrow. And he comes with a bonus.”

“And what might that be?”

“He has his own trooper. You get two for the price of one,” I chuckled. “No need to thank me.”

“Why do I have the distinct feeling I am getting screwed here?”

“To borrow a line I recently heard, that’s why you’re a Lieutenant.” Ending the call, I resumed reading the paper.  All was right with the world.


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