The end of Stan…

An excerpt from the first chapter of "Joey's Place," a Las Vegas crime novel by J.W. NelsonHe put the package in the Toronado’s big trunk. Maybe when he got home later he would pretend he had forgotten. He smiled again and went around to unlock his door, not noticing that the knob was already up.

Sliding onto the soft leather seat, he savored the new-car smell a moment before closing his door. He slipped the key into the ignition and the big engine smoothly came to life. He re-inserted the 8-track tape his wife had given him at Christmas into the car’s tape player. The Tabernacle Choir’s Greatest Hits, Volume II. Elger’s “Land of Hope and Glory” began playing. It truly was glorious.

He sat there enjoying the moment, the car’s air-conditioning getting colder. The music made him look forward to the bishops’ meeting tomorrow tonight, despite the bickering over the proposed sites for the town’s first temple. He knew that the Lord would show them the way to an understanding.

He was about to put the Olds into reverse when he felt cool metal against the back of his neck. Just above the atlas, the first cervical vertebra of the spine. How strange that he would think of that, something he had learned by rote so many years ago in a biology class his sophomore year at BYU. 

“Keep your hands on’a wheel,” said a hoarse voice from the back seat. “Don’t look in’a mirror neither.” . . . 

[Advance review copies available upon request.]

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