I have decided that I want to share with you another chapter from my second novel. In this chapter, the reader is introduced to two of the novels main characters: Randall Brookes – a cold, merciless detective who has spent the majority of his life attempting to solve crimes. And also, Andrew Quinn – he is on the opposite end of the spectrum, he is a young, recently promoted traffic cop and it’s his first day on the job. This chapter not only introduces these pivotal characters to the reader, but also to each other.
This chapter will probably be changed later in my rewrite as I’m thinking of introducing Quinn a little earlier. Maybe I’ll introduce him to the reader in an earlier chapter and keep this chapter to introduce Brookes and to mark the beginning of their partnership. Who knows? Only time will tell.
A brief warning: this passage of writing contains a decent amount of profanity. If you are easily offended by the use of colourful language, I would advise against reading on.
9AM. A cold overcast Monday morning. Detective Randall Brookes was sitting in his office watching the droplets of rain strike the window pane. He sighed, exhaling a breath which was so depressing that he may as well have spoken the words ‘what’s the point’. He picked up the case file which he had been assigned and began reading it for about the tenth time that morning. “It’s going to be a long day.” He spoke aloud. The case was another boring homicide, no creativity or intellect, just a back alley shoot out. Brookes was tired of reading the same thing day in day out. “These dumb kids have no sense of pride in their killings these days.” He was used to talking to himself. In fact, he probably did so more than he talked to anyone else in the department. He wasn’t one for conversation, or any sort of human interaction for that matter. Especially since the death of his wife a few years back.
Brookes was a cold bastard. He was blunt and to the point. He was a little older than everyone else in the department, his greying head of thin hair was enough to confirm that. His eyes were just empty and his skin tough and wrinkled. He was everything one would expect him to be given the things he’s seen. He’s spent thirty-five years of his life as a homicide detective, lived day after day looking at dead bodies and mangled corpses. He’s shot and killed people and been shot himself on numerous occasions. He’s dedicated his life to violence and witnessed scenes most people can only briefly imagine. How do you expect him not to be a cold bastard?
The telephone on his desk began to ring. He hesitated for a moment and then reluctantly answered it. “Yes?” He never bothered with hello anymore. That was far too polite.
The female receptionist on the other end of the line spoke “Hello sir, there’s an Andrew Quinn here to see you.”
“Send him up.” He slammed the phone back into its holster.
A few moments later there was a knock on his door. “Come in.” Brookes bellowed. The door opened and Detective Hackman entered, followed by a young, baby-faced man in a dark blue suit, his neat black hair was combed over to the side and his tie was fastened far too tightly around his neck. “How goes it old man?” Hackman asked.
“Fuck you Hackman.” Brookes said without even looking up from his paperwork. His gruff, masculine voice sounded as intimidating as ever.
“Geez, it’s nice to see you too.” Hackman said as he looked back at the young detective behind him, smiling and raising his eyebrows. Hackman and Brookes had worked together for nine years, the majority of that time consisted of conversations similar to this. Hackman was a decade younger and liked to agitate Brookes, he loved making the old man pissed. And he was good at it.
“Brookes this is Detective Andrew Quinn, Quinn, meet Randall Brookes.”
Quinn stepped towards his desk and extended his arm “Nice to meet you sir.” He smiled.
“Likewise.” Brookes said, again without looking away from his files or lifting his arm to meet the hand shake.
“Don’t mind him,” Hackman assured Quinn, “He’s just a cranky old bastard. But, he’s still one of the best goddamned detectives that the US has ever seen.”
Brookes couldn’t help but crack a smile. He was a sucker for compliments. They were his kryptonite.
“That got the old guy smiling, come on, open your heart to me Brookey.”
His smile vanished. “Although I appreciate the offer Hackman, let me put it plainly. If you aren’t out of my office in the next five seconds I will draw my gun and blow your fucking knee caps out. Okay?” One of the scariest things about Randall Brookes was his ability to make threats like that sound extremely convincing. The scariest thing however, is that he probably wasn’t joking.
“Okay, okay I’m going. You used to be a lot more fun.” Hackman turned and began towards the door. He spoke as he left “If you find anything on that case give me a call.” He shut the door behind him.
Newly qualified Detective Andrew Quinn was left standing vulnerably in the middle of the room. Brookes scared him and rightfully so. He backed away slowly towards the door.
“Where are you going?” Brookes asked. Again, without even disturbing his gaze. “How do you expect to get your briefing when you’re walking away?”
“Sorry sir.” Brookes looked up at the young detective for the first time since he’d entered the room.
“For Christ sakes don’t call me sir. I’m not your sir; I’m not your boss. We’re partners. Call me Brookes or Randall, whichever you prefer. Just not sir, I fucking hate sir.” Brookes held out his hand and Quinn met it over the desk.
“I’m sorry for being a dick. Hackman really grinds on me sometimes. We used to be partners me and him. We still share cases now and again but I certainly couldn’t work with him anymore. I don’t have the patience nowadays. Anyway, I’ve heard rumours about you, I’ve heard that you’re good. Very good in fact.”
“No apology necessary sir… I mean, Randall.” Quinn paused smiling, “I don’t like to blow my own trumpet or anything but I do have a perfect record so far.”
“Well kid, you keep it that way and I think you and me will get on just fine.” Brookes opened his drawer after finishing his sentence and pulled out a Cuban cigar. He put it in his mouth and lit it. Smoke rose into the air. He had been nice to Quinn, nice as far as his standards go anyway. He had a slight soft spot for the youngster. Quinn reminded Brookes of himself when he was a younger, up-and-coming detective.
“Now Quinn, go along the corridor to Hackman. He’ll fill you in on the case. I have to go and meet the coroner at the scene, meet me there once you have the details.”
“Okay, see you there.” Quinn replied.
With that Quinn got up and left the room.
He strolled along the corridor towards Hackman’s office and knocked on the door before entering.
“Take a seat Quinn.” Hackman smiled. He was a cheerful man, especially compared to Brookes.
“So, what do we have?” Quinn asked.
“Homicide over in the Bronx in an alleyway just off of Belmont Avenue, down by the side of the Prince Bakery. A shooting. Reports of three consecutive shots, one in the victim’s forehead, the other two undiscovered as of yet. Head down to your car and I’ll text you the full address. Don’t be so nervous either kid, just do what I know you can do and you’ll be fine.” Hackman smiled and handed Quinn a Smith & Wesson M&P 9 handgun which he pulled out from under his desk. “Here, take this.”
Quinn took the gun from Hackman and slipped it into his holster by his side “Thank you. I’ll head over there now.” He stood up and pushed the chair under the desk, “You know,” He said as he departed, “Brookes really scares the shit out of me.”
Hackman simply laughed. “That’s Randall Brookes for you.”
Hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you did in the comments section.
Thanks, and as always: Happy writing!