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The Glades by John Netti Book

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The Glades by John Netti Read Book Online And Download

Overview: When Detective Maddy Reynolds escapes street violence by leaving her job to live in the Adirondacks, she builds a house on Berry Lake, across from The Glades. Avery Jordan, its founder, operates a sex-trafficking operation out of the sprawling retreat. He and his minions are on a collision course with the renowned detective when they try to discover her true purpose for moving to the remote location.


The Glades by John Netti Book Read Online And Download Epub Digital Ebooks Buy Store Website Provide You.
The Glades by John Netti Book





The Glades by John Netti Book Read Online Chapter One


Utica, New York, 


Thursday, November 10, 1983 


Maddy Reynolds 


“How long do we have to wait?” 


“As long as it takes, Johnny.” 


“What if they’re not in there?” 


“They’re in there, alright.” Maddy didn’t have patience with the kid. He wasn’t a bad kid, but he was green, and everything was a big adventure. She’d seen junior detectives like him before, excited to jump into the action, but when the guns started flashing, they pissed their pants. Johnny was eager to learn alright, which was good, but it made him restless, which was not. 


Maddy remembered what it was like when she first started, always wanting to dive into a difficult situation and use her analytic skills to solve a big case. Yet, when it finally happened, it came too soon; she wasn’t ready. Sure, she adapted. Sure, she figured it out, but at what cost? Almost her life and she lived in pain nearly every day because of it. It wasn’t just physical pain, either. No, Maddy wasn’t eager for action anymore; Maddy wanted out. 


“Calm down, Johnny. Let things unfold. Situations have a life of their own. If we’re patient, maybe nobody gets hurt.” That’s all she wanted, for nobody to get hurt, neither the good guys nor the bad guys. She’d seen enough of blood-smeared floors, heads dangling from rubbery necks, and eyes glazed over. Waiting for an exit ticket was the name of the game now. Until it came, she’d have to wait for crazy bastards to come out of houses with guns blazing and looking to go out with a headline. She wasn’t about to fuck it all up now just because some kid couldn’t control his testosterone. 


“How about a cup of coffee? It’s nice and hot.” It was a chilly, damp, and gray Upstate New York morning, the kind that made your bones ache. She reached for the thermos in the back seat. 


Wet pavements reflected the gray light of early morning, and the streets shimmered. The neighborhood was still asleep, and the coffee smelled good. Maddy loved hot coffee in the morning and even enjoyed the ritual of making it just the way she liked it before leaving for work; it made a gloomy day better. 


“No, thank you, Detective,” Johnny said, looking straight ahead, eyes fixed on a green door between the two storefront windows of a dilapidated building. 


“You can call me Maddy, you know.” Johnny flushed pink around the neck. 


Maddy giggled and thought maybe fifteen years ago, she might have found him attractive. But then again, maybe not. He was too much of a Boy Scout for her. 


He curled his lips as though he knew she was just playing with him. She poured the coffee into its screw-on plastic cap and the steam condensed on the windshield as she took a sip. Zep’s voice came over the radio. “What ya got, Maddy?” 


“Just sitting tight.” 


“Maybe they’re not in there.” 


“Oh, they’re in there.” 


“I’m sending backup, then. I just got a fax from Boston. Jake Donnelly is probably the guy in the building, and he’s a real badass. He works with his brother and sister, and sometimes a guy named Rico, so hang tight and wait for Al and Bud.” 


“Got it,” Maddy said. She turned to the kid. “Have you checked your weapon?” 


Johnny looked at her, eyes wide, as though caught cheating on a test. She knew he didn’t do it. “Why don’t you do it now?” 


He pulled out his revolver, checked it, and said, “Do you think we’ll need these?” He didn’t sound as excited as he did an hour earlier. 


“Always assume so,” Maddy said, with her eyes focused ahead. 


The green door cracked open. She poured the coffee back into the thermos. “Here we go. They’re checking the street, so don’t move. When I say so, roll down your window, open the door and crouch down. Place your weapon through the window opening. Whatever you do, don’t stand up.” 


Three people stepped out into the street. “See those coats they’re carrying?” 


“Yeah.” 


“They’re hiding guns.” 


She waited until the three started crossing the street, then shouted over to Johnny, “Okay, now.” She opened her door with the window rolled down, kneeled behind it, and pointed her weapon. “Police. Freeze!” Like synchronized swimmers, they dropped their coats simultaneously and started shooting. 


She ducked behind the door as windshield glass pattered the car’s seats and bullets banged against metal. She felt a kick in the ribs; I’m shot! A fiery pain ran up her side. The shooting stopped, she looked, and the Donnelly gang was bolting toward a parked car. Maddy popped up and shot four times through the open window. Two dropped to the pavement with the slapping sound that flesh makes when it hits something immoveable. Another fell, screaming in pain. The guy struggled to his feet and started limping to the car. 


Where the hell’s the kid? She dared not take her eyes off the guy in the street. Moving around the car door into firing position, she shouted, “Stop, motherfucker!” The man stopped. “On the ground.” He remained standing but had no gun. She realized he must have dropped it when he fell but probably had another in the car. “I swear, I’ll blow out your knee if you don’t hit the pavement.” The guy looked at his partners in the street. They weren’t moving; they looked dead. He turned, glared at Maddy, and dropped to the pavement. The backup unit pulled up. Two detectives jumped out and ran over to secure him. 


A searing pain ate at Maddy’s ribcage, and her knees buckled. Blood soaked through her shirt and puddled on the pavement. She pushed herself to her feet and gimped to the patrol car but didn’t see Johnny. She hobbled around the cruiser and stopped. The kid lay in the street with his eyes open, staring at the sky, blood oozing from a hole in his chest; he was dead. “Johnny, I told you not to stand up!” Why is this happening again? Her arms dropped, and Maddy sobbed as she leaned her head on the open car door. 


  


  


Twenty Minutes Later 


Al and Bud carried Maddy to the back seat of the cruiser. It felt like a chain saw opened up her rib cage when they let her down. She screamed, “It hurts like a son of a bitch.” The ceiling spun, and her stomach slid around like eggs in a greasy frying pan. She reached out to Al, and the warmth of his hand calmed her. In a weak, old woman’s voice, she said, “Can you contact my ex and tell him what happened? I don’t want my daughter to find out on the news.” 


“Sure, but right now, don’t talk; save your strength,” Al said. 


An unfamiliar voice outside the car said, “Where is she hit?” 


“On the right side, near her ribs,” Al said. 


“I’m Mike, a paramedic,” the guy said to Maddy. “I’m going to give you something for the pain. You’re losing a lot of blood, and we have to move fast. When we jostle you out of here, it’s going to hurt.” 


She closed her eyes. Firm hands gripped her body and lifted her out of the car. Hot molten steel ran into her back. She shrieked. Resting on the soft surface of the gurney, warmth moved through her. “The worst is over,” Mike said. “You should start feeling the medication soon.” 


She heard a familiar voice outside the ambulance. “Is she okay?” 


“Who are you?” Mike responded. 


“Captain Frank Zepatello, Oneida County Sheriffs. Is she fucking going to be okay?” 


“She’s lost blood, but I don’t think the bullet struck any vitals.” 


“Where are you taking her?” 


“St. Elizabeth’s.” 


Zep yelled so Maddy could hear, “We’ll meet you at the hospital, Maddy!” 


The siren blared. The ambulance swayed as it sped through the Utica streets. She lost track of time. Conscious but dreamy, she floated like in a hot-air balloon. Then, rolling through a hallway filled with people, a voice said, “We’re bringing her right up to surgery.” Her head spun out of control. “Hold that elevator.” She smelled the stale air of a confined space; the hot-air balloon lifted off the ground. 


A deep male voice spoke, and through her blurred vision, Maddy saw a sunburned face, gray eyebrows, and a blue mask. “I’m Dr. Burke, Maddy.” His voice was soothing and confident. “We’re preparing you for surgery. The next sound you’ll hear will be a nurse in the recovery room, telling you it’s over.” Although she only saw his brown eyes above the mask, Maddy could tell he was smiling at her. 


  


  


Tuesday, November 15, 1983 


When Maddy opened her eyes, she was in a dimly lit room. They had attached wires and tubes to her body. Instruments beeped, and she heard air entering and leaving her lungs. Where am I? She tried to lift herself, but they tied her down. This isn’t the recovery room. She panicked, her heart raced, the beeping became rapid, and she started looking around for help. She tried to cry out, but the tube stopped her. Her face grew warm, sweat dripped from her forehead into her eyes, and they burned; everything was fuzzy. 


The machine beeped faster. A nurse shouted, “It’s Reynolds; she’s coming out of it!” A figure in white stood before her, wiped the sweat from her forehead, and spoke comforting words. “You’re back, dear, and you’re going to be alright.” The nurse injected medication into the I V, and Maddy heard as she floated into a dream, “Paging Dr. Burke to the ICU.” 


  


  


Friday, November 18, 1983. 


“Are you awake, Mom?” 


Maddy’s eyes opened; her daughter was smiling. The room was bright, and the window blinds were open. Outside, snow fell. “Where am I?” 


“You’ve been in Intensive Care, but now you’re in a regular room,” Amber said. 


“How long was I out?” 


“Five days.” Jack, her ex-husband, sat in the back of the room. “You’ve been out for five days.” He stepped forward where Maddy could see him. In his typical sad-sack tone he used ever since the divorce, he added, “Welcome back.” 


“Hi, Jack,” she mumbled, trying to smile. Struggling to speak, she asked, “What happened? I didn’t think I got hit that badly.” 


“Dr. Burke said a bone fragment nicked an artery and caused internal bleeding,” Jack said. “The blood loss put you into a coma.” 


Maddy turned to Amber and asked her if she was doing okay. 


“I’m much better now,” she said. “I was so worried that you’d never come out of it.” 


“I feel like I’ve been on a long trip.” 


“You have, Mom. You really have.” 


The nurse came in and said Maddy needed to rest. Amber kissed her mother and said goodbye; Jack waited near the door and waved before leaving. Alone, Maddy lay looking at the ceiling, thinking, I can’t believe this is happening. 


  


  


Monday, November 21, 1983 


Maddy returned from physical therapy. Zep and Al were waiting in the room, reading newspapers. “Aren’t you two supposed to be catching bad guys?” she asked with a smile. 


Al dropped the paper onto his lap and quipped, “You caught them all; now we have nothing to do.” 


She sat in a chair and shifted her body to find a comfortable position; her thoughts went to a more serious matter. “The kid who got shot, Johnny, did he have children?” 


“Twin six-month-old girls,” Zep said. 


She shook her head, and a pang of sadness tugged at her insides. Her mind flashed back to Johnny before the shoot-out. Instead of being so annoyed, I wish I’d asked him about his kids. 


“The department will get involved and help the family, the way we always do,” Zep said. 


“How about the people I shot? What happened to them?” 


“You killed Rico Parma and Lizzy Donnelly. The wounded guy was Jake Donnelly, Lizzy’s brother. Teddy Donnelly, Jake’s younger brother, was detained on a DUI in Albany.” 


“What’s going to happen to Jake?” she asked. 


“He’s charged with three counts of murder in Westchester,” Zep said. 


“He’s one crazy bastard, Maddy,” Al added. “It’s good you got him off the street.” 


Maddy said Jake might want vengeance for killing his sister. Al and Zep glanced at one another. “What’s that all about?” she asked. 


“Jake swore he’d kill you when he gets out,” Al said. 


“That’s just great,” she blurted. “And when will that be?” 


“It won’t be for a long time,” Zep said. “And where he’s going, they don’t let people out for bullshit reasons.” 


“Enlighten me. Where is he going?” 


“Dannemora. It’s a prison for the criminally insane up near the Canadian border.” 


Maddy’s stomach was in knots, and her wound ached from physical therapy. She looked at Zep and shook her head. “I can’t take this. I mean, I’m thirty-five, and not only is this my second time wounded, but Donnelly is the second pathological killer who wants me dead.” 


“Maddy, no one has done more than you. No matter what you decide to do, I’ll support your decision.” 


“Me too,” Al added. 


“Look,” she said. “I’m tired, and I’m in pain. Please take nothing I’ve said as gospel.” She knew she might think differently in a few days. I can’t afford to not work, yet something in me is changing. 


Zep and Al left, and Maddy spent the morning watching snowflakes dancing around a lamppost outside her window, thinking of her future. I’m sick of doing battle with ruthless people. Why is this happening to me? 


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