by Elizabeth S. Sullivan
When a mutilated body of an African American girl is found in a park sandbox, the media shows no interest. Instead, their attention is riveted on the disappearance of Olivia Safra, a college student and only child of the powerful and dangerous Richard Safra. Suspended ADA, Beck Oldman, demoted to a rookie PI is assigned her first cases to find a missing teenager and Olivia Safra.
Leads connect the murders to the Safra case. The investigation into her client’s private life reveals a dark side in the relationship between a father and daughter and exacts his wrath against Beck. More girls are found murdered, putting Beck in a race to stop a serial killer and stop her own client from destroying her.
PURIFIED is a thrilling story that explores many dark subjects, including what it does to those who have to live in the world of killers in order to stop them.
The fact it was drizzling did not dim the useful moonlight. The body had been meticulously scrubbed with antibacterial soap; hair shampooed; new white underwear guarded against the old jeans. The plastic gloves and the rain slowed down the digging. The skies opened just a bit more, but enough to wash away progress. Voices from a distance slightly accelerated the final touches. The exact placement of the artifacts was crucial. Finally, success. It was a shallow grave, but it was never meant to be anything more than a beginning.
The Chicago Park teemed with summer life. Amber light washed over the lazy sun worshippers, glazing them in a healthy hue they did not earn. Dogs chased invisible balls and actual Frisbees in the wet grass, almost tripping women pushing baby strollers worth the price of a small car. The low thrum of conversations, an intermittent rebuke handed down to an out-of-line participant was suddenly obliterated by a shrill, inhuman wail. A collective sucking in of breath heralded the series of joy crushing waves everyone knew were coming.
Wave One: a young boy collapsed near a group of teenage girls. Normally squealers, the girls silently tried to ease the boy out of his fetal position. Reluctantly, onlookers approached, knowing their light reverie was scrolling into some kind of weird nightmare.
Wave Two: a chorus of other worldly screaming came out of children as they abandonede the swings.
Wave Three: a man screeching, “Get the kids away from the goddamned sandbox, get them OUT OF THERE. Call the cops, there’s a bloody hand sticking out of the sand.” Human sobs were accompanied by police sirens, almost if they were keeping tempo to the chaos. People fled from the blood and the sand.
Wave Four: a murdered adolescent girl’s mutilated hand reached out of the sand, tripping the boy whose summer dreams would become nightmares, as would the entire city’s.
Elizabeth S. Sullivan was born in Chicago and grew up in the LA area. Impassioned by social justice issues, inspired by her parents, she pursued teaching and earned a law degree. She has written five screenplays, one short. Her screenplays have placed or won such as: Nicholl, Austin, Page, and American Zoetrope. These recognitions garnered her a manager, Alexia Melocchi, Little Studio Films. Her first novel, PURIFIED, portrays a strong female protagonist in the genre of a noir thriller. Sullivan explores issues of race, gender, privacy in the cyber age. She has written several blogs on of women in fiction featured on Venture Galleries. She is busy working on the sequel to PURIFIED and a new screenplay.