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Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths

Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths

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Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths

349 pages
6 hours
Apr 10, 2019


Rick McCoy of the Major Crime Squad is trying to repair his marriage when he is sent to the South of Western Australia. A young girl's body has been found in a cave, with flowers on her chest. A search finds five more bodies.

Beautiful criminal psychologist, Patricia Holmes, has recovered from her stab wounds inflicted by the serial killer PPP, and is brought in. Pat believes they are hunting a man who is addicted to beauty. When another school girl goes missing, they have only days before she too will die.

As their desire for each other grows and the pressure on their marriages increase, they close in on the man responsible for the beautiful deaths. Meanwhile, in the high-security wing of the mental health hospital, PPP plans his revenge on Rick.
Apr 10, 2019

About the author

I was born in the UK, what seems like an epoch ago, and moved to Australia at age 16. I was a long haired rock guitarist and poet/songwriter, before real life got in the way, and I gave it all up for love. I've always felt I had tales to tell and won short story competitions and published poetry in my wilder, younger days. More recently I've written and published five novels. While they have all been Police procedural thrillers, mainly focusing on Serial killers, they all have a love theme running through them. I believe love, and family are everything. Anything else you gain in life is a bonus. I live in Perth, in Western Australia and am fiercely patriotic, and parochial. My wife is amazing in that she not only puts up with living with a writer, but encourages it. I've been blessed with five children, and I adore them all.

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Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths - Stephen B King


Rick was fascinated, but Tyler appeared less so. He displayed a bored air. If Pat noticed, she ignored it.

Our man likes beautiful things; in fact, it’s more than like. He is drawn to beauty like a moth to the light. Flower arranging is one of the ways he does this. I think he makes the wreaths himself. I’d give you much better than even odds on that. I’d say he is a keen gardener, and his flowerbeds will be stunning, and when you visit his home, as I am sure you will sooner or later, there, you will find his arrangements displayed predominantly. I think he has also been a collector, it would be something like stunning African butterflies, exotic postage stamps, or porcelain china dolls, something like that. Things that to him look exquisite. I can’t stress this enough, beauty is his thing, but in an obsessive-compulsive way. So, he loves beauty, and in a way, his wife, and parents before her, stopped him from enjoying all the beautiful things he craves. His day-to-day, mundane life gets in the way, if you like, so he lives in a bit of a fantasy land dreaming of all the beautiful things he could possess, if only he were allowed.

Pat, are you saying he wanted to collect these girls because they were beautiful? Rick asked, incredulously.

Praise for Stephen B. King

I didn't want to stop turning the pages.

~Darlene Richardson


King’s work is captivating, suspenseful, and reveals a harrowing side of humanity. The race against time keeps your heart racing and fingers crossed, without losing hope that the good guys just might win out in the end. Very compelling.

~Alex Moore. Editor and Writer


The Beautiful Deaths


Stephen B. King

Deadly Glimpses, Book 2

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths

COPYRIGHT © 2019 by Stephen B. King

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information:

Cover Art by Kim Mendoza

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

PO Box 708

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708

Visit us at

Publishing History

First Mainstream Thriller Edition, 2019

Print ISBN 978-1-5092-2514-9

Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-2515-6

Deadly Glimpses, Book 2

Published in the United States of America


This story is dedicated to Annette Causer,

who first asked me the riddle

When is a serial killer not a serial killer?


As always, any success I’ve achieved as an author would not have been possible without the support of my wife and family; love you all, guys.

I love working with everyone at TWRP, and my editor, Melanie Billings, is fantastic. She always replies to my emails, and is delightfully positive while telling me what I’m doing wrong.

Lastly, and by no means least, Mica S. Kole was a HUGE help with the Glimpse series. She ruthlessly took a red pen to the first MS and showed me where I was going wrong and caused me to look much closer at storytelling. Thanks, Mica.


The two men rode their Harley Davidson Fat Boy motorcycles into the parking area of the Modesto Hotel, Bar and Grill in Leederville, Western Australia, and parked them, side by side, near the entrance to the front bar. There were over forty similar bikes sitting on their stands, leaning forlornly, mostly black with gleaming chrome, shining in the late afternoon sun.

They wore leather jackets displaying the colors of an American biker gang, with plain black faded and worn T-shirts underneath. Dirty, frayed denims, and steel-capped boots completed the picture of two tough-looking men.

Neither wore crash helmets, as if to raise the fuck you finger to the establishment. The taller of the two had straggly salt-and-pepper hair which matched his six-day-growth beard. He wore a thick gold chain around his neck and a large swastika dangled from it. The other wore his black hair short, and was clean-shaven, but with his fit build looked tough, nonetheless. The sports sunglasses he wore reflected the surroundings in shades of fluorescent colors, and made it impossible to see his eyes.

They dismounted, after kicking the stands under the bikes, and nodded to the two burly men minding the door. Rick McCoy felt the pistol digging into his hip, under his jacket, but resisted the urge to adjust it, and bring attention to the fact he was armed. Instead he took a packet of cigarettes out of his jacket pocket, shook one loose, and lit it in a cloud of acrid, blue smoke.

He had given up the habit some months before, but this was for staging, he told himself, when he purchased the pack earlier. Not nerves or fear, just for show, and he almost believed it.

Tyler Dundas slowly walked across from his bike and waited. They had agreed he would mostly stay silent, unless spoken to directly, as a good lieutenant should. Together, they ambled toward the front door, and without hesitation passed between the two doormen and entered the smoke-filled bar. A Guns ’N Roses song screamed out from the jukebox, and the closest twenty or so bikers stopped talking and looked at the new arrivals, the air thick with testosterone.

Rick and Tyler appeared nonchalant as they crossed to the bar, where Rick ordered two beers. Slowly, the crowd drifted back to the conversations they were having, still wary of the interlopers, Rick’s hackles raised further on the back of his neck. He leaned his back against the wooden bar top and surveyed the crowd, looking for the man they had come to see.

The barman, who looked in his sixties, banged two schooners of beer down, spilling some, and looked expectantly at the newcomers for the money. Rick took a large bundle of fifty-dollar notes from the inside pocket of his jacket, deliberately hiding the gun in the waistband of his jeans from the man behind the bar and handed one over.

You can keep the change if you point out which one is Curley Montego, Rick said, in a neutral tone. He took a long drink of beer. When he put his glass down, it was half empty.

You cops? If so you’re fucking stupid coming in here by yourselves, he replied, hands spread wide on the bar in an aggressive stance.

Rick fingered the untidy, lanky brown hair from his face. It was a very good wig, applied earlier in the men’s room at the station. He bent his considerable six-foot-two frame to thrust his face as close as he could to the other man. Do we look like fucking cops?

He held the other’s gaze, daring him to dispute it. The seconds dragged by, each not willing to break the stare of the other, until finally the barman relented. He snatched up the note, and barely speaking above a whisper said, Third table, left hand side, he’s the bald one. Be careful; he’s mean, but the two guys with him are worse.

Rick grabbed his wrist before it could disappear, making sure his fingers dug deep, his dirty half-moon fingernails almost drawing blood. He forced the bartender to turn his arm over, and with his other hand shoved a small plastic bag into his palm, and closed his fingers over it.

Give that to Curley, and tell him I’ve got two kilos for him, if he’s interested.

Rick let go, and in the same motion, picked up the glass of beer. Well? What are you waiting for?

The song on the jukebox changed to AC/DC, with Bon Scott singing about a jailbreak as the barman hurried away.

Ready? Rick asked Tyler, quietly.

He nodded, and took his mobile phone from his inside pocket. As he put it down on the bar top, he pressed a button on the side which turned the concealed transmitter on.

What the fuck do you call this?

The background murmur of conversation inside the bar stopped. Rick turned to see a bald mountain of a man; at least three inches taller than himself, with a long ginger beard, and chains hanging from every conceivable pocket of his denim jacket. Behind him two men stood; each held what looked like an iron bar, and both appeared willing to use them. Curley held up the plastic bag, spinning it between his finger and thumb.

Well, I call it cocaine, and high grade quality that hasn’t been stepped on, at that. What do you call it? Rick answered.

You think I’m a fuckwit? You come in here, wearing wires and neon signs like you’re cops, and offer me this? He tossed the bag onto the bar.

Rick shrugged, scooped the bag up, and deposited it in the pocket of his jeans. Don’t worry about it. We were told you were the man we could talk to about moving two K’s a month, with more if you can handle it. It’s primo Colombian, but we’ll find someone else if you’re not the man we were told you were.

He turned his back on Curley and took another sip from his beer. Inside, his bowels turned to water, as he knew he was inviting a blow to the back of the head.

Sure smells like pork to me. You got some fucking nerve coming in here, with no back up, pig man.

Rick glanced at Tyler and both turned back to face the men. Without a word, they opened their jackets wide then lifted their T-shirts to show bare chests and their guns. We ain’t wearing wires, we ain’t cops, and if you’re not interested we’ll finish these beers and be on our way. We’re looking for professionals to partner with, to shift some gear, and must have been misinformed about you. We don’t need backup, cos the last people in the world you want to piss off are the Angels. We brought you a gift of two K’s, as a sign of good faith.

Their gazes bore into each other, Rick not wanting to break it because any sign of weakness would invite an attack. Inside he was a quivering mess of fear, and knew Tyler would be feeling the same. Both accepted they could die there, but they also believed it was the only way to arrest Curley for murder without the Tactical Response Group coming in with all guns blazing. Rick and Tyler’s investigation had shed evidence that Curley and friends were heavily armed, and they believed they would not go down without a fight. Their plan was to lure him away from the clubhouse. A small amount of cocaine borrowed from the evidence lockup, was the bait. If they failed, the next course was to wait for them to leave and set up a roadblock. But the concern was that the gang usually traveled in convoy, and a shootout on the streets was not a plan readily endorsed by the higher ups.

The newspapers had been full of rumors that American biker gangs were planning to move their drug trade into Australia, because they saw it as easy pickings. An article in a recent Sunday paper, read while his daughter Amy was at jazz ballet practice, gave Rick the idea for the sting. They had a witness statement, from an ex member of the gang who was being held in protective custody, which named Curley as culprit for the violent killing of a small-time pusher and his girlfriend two weeks prior. They owed money and couldn’t pay—a common story that on this occasion ended in a double homicide. There was plenty of forensic evidence from the bodies, which had been welded into forty-four-gallon drums and sunk in a lake. Firefighting helicopters had almost drained the lake fighting a bush fire, and the drums had been discovered. If they could arrest Curley and get a DNA sample, they knew they could lock him away for a very long time and leave the gang in disarray.

How do I know you’re legit? He stared, but folded his arms across his chest; a defensive, but not threatening, pose, and Rick breathed an internal sigh of relief. Maybe this is going to work after all.

Rick kept his feet where they were, but stretched out with his elbow to lean back on the bar top, cockily. This had the effect of hiding Tyler’s right hand, which would mean he could get to his gun, if needed, out of sight of the bikers. It also gave Rick a relaxed, confident air. I’d have thought two kilos of Colombia’s finest was a pretty good introduction.

You’re not American; you’re Australian.

"Yep, that’s right; we’re from Sydney, got here two nights ago. Good ride across the Nullarbor; everyone should make that trip once. The chapter has set up over there, our local gang, shall we say merged with them. It’s a sweet deal, so here we are. Other members are making approaches in the other states too. We’re here to stay. We have an unlimited, no-risk supply for anything you want, and we’re here to find a supply chain for distribution."

You don’t look like you’re carrying two kilos; I think you’re full of shit, he said, taking half a step closer.

Rick smiled, and shook his head. My mamma didn’t raise a slow learner. If we walked in here carrying that amount of shit, we might not have made it out. I brought you a sample, and an explanation of who we are. If you’re interested in further talks, the two K’s are in our motel, which you can have as good faith. We can go there right now. This is our gift to you, by way of introduction. We were told you were the man for the job, and there’s a stack of money to be made. Are you interested or not?

Rick could see the indecision going on in Curley’s mind. He could read him like a book. Yes, he was suspicious, as he should be, but he was also greedy. First grade coke in that quantity was worth two hundred thousand dollars. On the street, cut a hundred times, it became two million. He was being offered it as a gift. Rick slowly finished his beer and put the empty glass on the bar top.

Okay, we can talk a deal. You go and get the coke, so I know you’re genuine, and leave your mate here, as insurance. My mamma didn’t raise a slow learner either.


What do you mean, no? You’re on my turf, and I set the rules. He uncrossed his arms, ready to fight. This was the moment it could go very badly, or as per the plan he and Tyler had worked out. In unison, the two goons behind him slapped the bars they held in one hand into the palm of the other.

Rick nodded his head in the direction of his empty glass. I’ve finished my beer, and that’s what we came here for: one beer. I fancy a bourbon now, and in my motel room I have a very fine, single barrel, distiller’s choice, Jack Daniels. A hundred and forty dollars a bottle. You’re correct, Curley; this is your turf, and we encroached willingly, offering a gift as a token of our willingness to talk. I’m now inviting you and your two lieutenants, to come and share that bottle with Tyler and me. Rick beckoned his head toward the two men. They can bring their iron bars if they want. When you leave, you will be taking our two kilos of coke, and our promise of much more to come. What’s it going to be? Trust is a two-way street, Curley.

Which motel?

Gotcha, you fucker. Rick stood up straight, and smiled. Follow us there, it’s not far. We avoided the city. He smiled and shrugged. We wanted a low profile. This could be the beginning of a long and profitable friendship.


The five motorbikes arrived in convoy at the almost empty car park of the Palisade Motel. Each rider in turn kicked the stand under his bike and switched the ignition off.

The sun had just set, and the area was lit by a single floodlight, which cast shadows behind the three cars parked in front of rooms. Inside those cars were tactical response officers, lying on the back seats, weapons at the ready, Rick hoped.

Rick and Tyler didn’t wait for the others; they dismounted and headed toward number seven. Rick unlocked the door, and as they had rehearsed, Tyler led the way inside, while Rick held the door open for the others. In single file, they passed by Rick into the room darkened by closed drapes

What the fuck? Curley asked.

Oh, here, let me get the lights, Rick replied.

One hand searched around the wall for the switch, the other drew his .38 from under his jacket.

The light flooded the room, to show six men wearing black, with machine guns trained on the new arrivals. Rick pressed his gun to Curley’s neck. You’re under arrest for the murder of Jermain Waterman and Helen Smith. You do not have to say anything, but anything you do say, will be used against you in a Court of Law, asshole.

Book 1


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


Chapter 1


The Catacombs, Karingily National Park,

Near Yallingup, Western Australia

September 14th, 2002

He gently laid her body on the worn rocky floor against the side wall. He daren’t walk into the caves any farther, because he feared what he would see if he did. The caverns hid the ghosts of bodies that had been laid to rest before. The farther in he ventured, the more likely he might be to see one, and he didn’t want that; they would be far too ugly to contemplate.

He carried her easily enough; she hardly weighed anything anymore. She wasn’t much more than skin and bone. But she had once been stunning; oh how beautiful she was.

He squatted down, staring at her once-pretty face and remembered when he had first seen her. He thought she was the one. He had to possess her; it had been an irresistible force of attraction. The stark white beam from his headlight, secured by elastic straps, illuminated the surroundings, as he remembered it all. She had been spectacular, the best so far, the most vibrant, most youthful, and she had possessed the longest eyelashes he had ever seen. Why hadn’t she stayed that way? Why did they always change?

He shook his head sadly as the light swung from side to side. What had gone wrong? How could she have become so unattractive in so short a time? What could he have done better, and, was there any way to have captured her beauty before she changed?

He wanted to touch her face, but couldn’t bear the thought of how leathery and cold her skin would feel, and at the mere idea, he shuddered throughout his body.

He lifted the garland of flowers from around his neck and softly placed it on her stomach. It had once been so flat and firm, but was now sunken and hollow. He had used a wreath arrangement this time, so he didn’t damage the delicate flowers as he carried the body. By lowering his head, the light dipped so he could look at the white lilies, and red berry-laden holly that had been wrapped around them. The flowers were beautiful; she deserved that, he believed.

He took her hands and folded them over her chest, then tugged her school uniform skirt down over her thighs to protect her modesty.

Goodbye, beautiful, he whispered, and the echo of the cave brought it straight back to him several times. He stood, turned on his heel, and retraced his steps, back toward the opening.


The body was discovered just after twelve o’clock on a sunny afternoon in January, by Clive Hamilton and his son Randy. They had gone to find and explore the caves near the Blue Lake; it would be an adventure, father told son, who readily agreed.

The family had arrived at the Karingily National Park, for a lunchtime picnic. They had spent the last four days exploring the Yallingup coastline on their annual trip down south. Last year’s holiday was spent at Albany, and the year before Esperance. Yallingup was closer to home, and as the boys were getting older, there were more things to do at the nearby tourist destination in and around the town of Busselton.

They played mini golf, practiced archery, fished from the jetty, and swam in the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Clive cooked on the barbeque at night. Sometimes it was the fish they caught and other times steaks, venison, or the fresh-water lobster Marron obtained from the local farmers’ markets. He always cooked while sipping locally sourced red wine, while Maureen made salads and the boys played or read comics. Life was good for the Hamiltons; he was a bank manager, and Maureen worked from home as a graphic designer.

On that fateful day, which the family would never forget, and would be the beginning of nightmares for Randy that would last for years, father and both sons started the morning fishing on the beach in front of the caravan park. Maureen had a lie in, and read a romance story she had picked up at a second-hand bookshop in the town. Then, she cooked a hearty breakfast of sausages, fried eggs, bacon, and baked beans and kept it warm until they returned. While she waited, she prepared sandwiches for the upcoming outing to Blue Lake. They had read about it, by accident, in an obscure tourist guide that was at least twenty years old, found in the same bookshop, which also sold antiques and curios.

They discovered the shop on their day set aside for seeing the tourist caves, art galleries, and studios that abounded in the area. The two boys knew their parents well, and kept their obvious boredom hidden as best as they could. There would be plenty of things for them to do and see: adventures to experience, games to play, and places to swim to escape the heat. One day letting mum and dad do their thing wasn’t too big a price to pay.

Right at ten o’clock, as agreed, the men arrived back at the caravan. Nine-year-old Josh raced ahead with the bucket to show his mother the four small sand whiting they had captured, and two herring, while Clive and Randy put the fishing equipment away in the storage locker mounted on the rear of the van. They were chatting about the one that got away. Randy was positive it had been a tailor, and a big one at that, but Clive thought it could have been a small mulloway, though they would never know as it spat the hook before it got to the surf gently crashing on the sand.

Once hands were washed, they sat down at the fold-up table and chairs under the pull-out awning, so they could not only hear the waves as they broke on the pristine white beach, but see them and the surfers who rode them in to shore only two hundred meters away.

They were a loving family, enjoying their holidays, making plans for what was to come as they ate. Clive and Maureen were not just interested in having fun, they believed in their children growing up with an appreciation of wildlife, fauna, history, and all the other aspects the local area had to offer. Hence, the planned picnic to Karingily, as out of the way it was.

They read about Blue Lake, and of the hiking trail which led to some caves, which Clive and Randy were intending to walk to. Maureen had zero interest in hiking, and even less in caves full of bats, spiders, and rats, even if they did have wall paintings, though the tourist guide didn’t say they had. She intended to sit by the lake and watch Josh play while she read some more of her book about a lovelorn time traveler named Grace.

Being midweek, the car park at Karingily was empty, though even on weekends, only an hour’s drive from Busselton, and off the main road, it never got busy. Since the opening of the new blacktop to Donnybrook, Karingily and the surrounding farms had become off the beaten track. With stunning beaches to swim at, and the much more publicized stalagmite caves along Caves Road, who would want to drive for so long to bathe in a freshwater lake, no matter how beautiful the views?

They arrived and parked on the crushed gravel parking area beside the lake. The family poured out of the Toyota and stood, hands on hips, looking at the view, which was stunning. I wonder why they call it Blue Lake, Clive asked, with a serious note to his voice.

The two boys giggled, and Maureen gave him a raised eyebrow look, being well used to his dad’s sense of humor. The lake was the most stunning shade of sapphire blue and looked impossibly deep. Surrounded by white cliffs, majestic red gum and karri trees which were reflected in the mirror-like surface, it reminded Maureen of an oasis in the dessert.

Last one in is a rotten tomato, Clive said as he peeled off his T-shirt which featured a picture of Chewbacca on the front. Typical of him, he dropped it on the gravel, causing Maureen to shake her head.

The boys joined in the race, yanking at their upper clothes. They already had on their board shorts. Maureen, ever the sensible one, sighed. As always, it was up to her to get the things they would need out of the vehicle. If she didn’t get the towels out, who would? Then how would they get dry without making the things in the car wet?

Men; can’t live with them, can’t live without them, and can’t shoot them, she mused as she opened the tailgate.

The family cooled off in the still waters of the stunningly picturesque lake before setting up the picnic rug and eating the sandwiches Maureen had prepared earlier. The portable ice chest they brought contained cans of soft drinks and pieces of fresh fruit housed in plastic containers, which they welcomed as the temperature rose and the occasional fly made its presence felt.

Once they finished lunch, Clive set up the fold-up lounge chair for Maureen to lie on and grabbed the rucksack from the Toyota. It contained a towel, first aid kit, water bottles, a rope and two torches.

You can never be too careful, he had told Maureen on several occasions when he and Randy had taken off together on some adventure or other, and she had nodded at his wisdom.

Randy gave his mother a hug, then father and son headed off down the track, laughing and kidding each other about what they might discover in the caves. Clive had woven a fantasy about a coven of witches, complete with broomsticks that frequented the caves for secret meetings, which Randy half believed, though he understood his father’s sense of humor. The trouble was, sometimes his stories were true, so he never knew whether he should believe them or not. As a family, they had seen the first two Harry Potter movies and loved them, so witches and wizards were a favored topic of conversation in the Hamilton household.

It took twenty minutes walking among the gum trees before they stood at the limestone cliff face which contained over forty craggy openings. Some were small, while others were quite large. Clive had read in the tourist guide the locals called them The Catacombs, because centuries before it was said that Aborigines laid loved ones to rest in the myriad of interconnecting chambers. He read that the practice had only stopped after a bad rockslide killed several mourners, and ever since they had shunned the place, because of bad spirits.

They stood in front of a faded sign which warned tourists not to enter, and that rockslides could happen without warning. Anyone entering did so at their own risk. Clive shook his head and almost stopped the expedition right then, knowing Maureen would not want them entering anywhere dangerous.

Randy was persistent. Come on, Dad. Let’s just go in a little way. He whined.

Because Clive could rarely refuse his son anything, he relented, but insisted, Ten minutes in, and that’s it, Randy. Then we come back out, Deal?

Deal. Can I have my own torch, Dad?

Yes, you can, but no racing ahead. Here’s a piece of chalk, if you do get in front of me, mark with an arrow which way you are going so I will always be able to find you. You must respect the danger we face, Randy.

He nodded and held out his hand. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Dad, let’s get going.

It was approximately at the fifteen-minute mark Clive was ready to call a halt. The caves appeared to go on and on forever, and there was nothing to make them remarkable. They were devoid of ancient paintings, stalagmites, and wildlife. They were nothing more than a series of tunnels and caverns that seemed like they could stay a month and not see it all. Randy had gone ahead of his father, more able to squeeze through some of the narrower fissures, despite Clive telling him to slow down on numerous occasions. Suddenly from the darkness ahead, Randy screamed.

He ran around the next corner, his torch light bobbing, and stopped in shock. It looked as if Randy had almost stumbled and fallen over some sort of mannequin. At first, Clive couldn’t comprehend what he was seeing. He pointed his torch directly down, and then slowly passed the light from feet to head. It was only when he fully took in the mummified skin of the face, and lips drawn back to show the teeth in a

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