Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | December 13, 2012

Cover and Sample from “Devil’s Blade”

Been away from the blog for several days, doing semi-final edits on Devil’s Blade.

The book’s protagonist, Detective Malacca Longwood is a NYPD detective who catches a vicious serial killer who is imprisoned, but escapes and disappears.

Three years later, the killer resurfaces in the detective’s hometown, taunting him with notes left at the scenes of his murders. Malacca doesn’t want to go back to the town that he left—physically and emotionally—but he cannot deny a responsibility to stop the madman.

He has help, though.   His grandmother, a voodoo queen from New Orleans gives him hints and assistance, even though she’s been dead for more than twenty years.

The following scene is in the mind of Halyard Mercury Moonleigh, the deranged killer.


The green Honda Civic stayed just under the speed limit on Interstate 65 north, only a few miles west of the Huntsville Airport.  If one of the owls that hunted above the night fields could have been floating along at sixty-eight miles an hour and looked in through the car’s passenger window, Halyard Moonleigh’s face would have appeared serene. The bird would have been wrong and should have looked closer at the bunching jaw muscles and repeated lip licking.  Observing more closely, it could have seen the occasional dribble of spittle that formed at the corner of the driver’s mouth, to be fastidiously tongued away. The owl would have been watching another predator; one who was soon to hunt again.

Yard’s mind accelerated like dark rapids of a river hurtling down a giant chasm, pouring thorough emptiness in a hollow roar, pounding down into darkness.

It was getting closer again. Faster.  Like the screaming-down humps of a roller coaster spaced at shorter and shorter intervals. Less time to prepare…to make sure everything is exact. Precise. Correct. Everything going increasingly wrong.  Worse and worse—got to complete a new task.

Like the jackstraws Mummy bought for me. So pretty and neat in a sleek round box with shiny metal caps. When I took the top off, there were those slender colored rods all in rows but not arranged exactly enough. I started playing with them—taking each little straw and arranging it to stand next to the others of its own color—finding just the right space.  Then she laughed at me.  She took the little tube from my hands and shook everything out—all confused on the floor. She said that the game was to pick them up from the pile.  It was wrong.  I didn’t like the jumble.  I didn’t want to play the game that way. She called me “silly boy” for my tears.

The soft October night swallowed the headlights just ahead. The darkness shrouded Moonleigh and closed in behind like great black hands reflecting only the faintest red glow.  What had to be done bounced and clattered in the killer’s mind like the remembered jackstraws dropped on a tile floor.

The next project had been selected:  a young doctor from India and his wife, who was also his nurse.  They had come here several years ago and had opened up a clinic in the little town of Parrboro.  They had, at first, been viewed suspiciously by the residents of the rural community, but since they ran the only medical facility in a twenty-mile radius, the couple became at first reluctantly accepted, then valued.

They had two children.  It would be a perfect task.  The fact that the woman target was a nurse would make the project even more gratifying.  Yard had decided to take turns with them—very slowly—so they could watch each other as the performance commenced. They were young, healthy people and would hopefully provide a delightful evening before they died.  This time, Yard thought, the ears come first. The clients could, of course hear quite well without the external ears—they just made for symmetry on the plate.  Two plates for this couple, yes, thought the killer as saliva began to build and dribble.  Desire to begin was a heat in The Nanny’s brain and gut.

Both medical people.  They will know all the correct phases. Horror of anticipation; pain—both personal and observed; realization of that moment, such a small fragment in time when they first know what humans hold dear—in spite of all logic—is gone.  What both would see, first in the eyes of the other then in himself or herself: the end of all hope.

That was the instant, for Moonleigh, which was like the orgasm for other humans, a completion, a satiation. However, similar to a sexual release—it eventually demanded more.

But not tonight.  Everything’s got to be aligned, all neat.  Never had Indians for clients before.  Their darker skin would be interesting to see in strips against the plates—hope the plates are nice and white—great contrast. Satisfying.

Parrboro.  Barely in Creek County, but that redneck sheriff will have to come.  He’ll bring that bastard detective and I’ll have a special message for them.  Welcome home Malacca Longwood!

Yard turned off the Interstate at the exit that led to Parrboro and drove through the town and past the entrance to Doctor Patel’s home, checking the time and distance once more, writing them in a small black notebook.

Tomorrow night.  Everything will be aligned.  These clients will serve me.  They will give me peace, at least for a time.  Their children, so lovely, two little girls, must be protected. Call the sheriff’s department to make sure.  Tomorrow night!

Saliva built up again in Moonleigh’s mouth, forcing repeated swallowing, but the killer smiled in erotic anticipation as the Honda headed back east.


Here’s the cover, designed by the lovely and gifted Terre Britton.






  1. Hey Thomas, good stuff so far! when can I get this book on kindle?

  2. Joy, the book will be available on Amazon by the end of December 2012, maybe earlier. I’ll announce on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!

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