Murder By Dissent

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Protests, riots and someone who hides under the flame that scorches the possibility of improving race relations in America during the Civil Rights era. Jacqueline Sadie Thompson is a detective in a coloured precinct in New York. Lieutenant Reynolds assigns her and Johnson murder cases which occurred during protests. They visit the scene. Someone tosses a Molotov cocktail where they stand. The building collapses. Thompson's British husband, William rescues her. Her partner suffers a coma. Johnson awakens. He recalls the disturbing notions his wife had concerning racial identity. Thompson faints at the station house and is put on leave. Her husband cares for her. Anderson, another detective, furthers their investigations. Johnson convinces one of his cousins to retrieve a book. The detective is aloof and does not disclose to anyone what he saw before the explosion. Jacqueline deduces a portion of it. Jacqueline is determined to solve the case. Her husband is determined to protect her. Who do they both need protection from?



Mild note: The protagonist and her husband share intimate moments-often. Although there is only mention of legs, arms, embraces and kisses, the remaining descriptions I use allegory and references to nature to describe their intimacy. This may be considered mild to moderately "Steamy" depending on the potential reader's inclination.

Moderate to severe discretion (abridged): This book is a work of fiction. However, the author intended to create characters and settings historically accurate to the era it takes place in, the racially tumultuous 1960s. Certain terms used as racial descriptions now considered archaic, outdated or even offensive are used to reflect the past usage by both black and white Americans of that era.

Additional note: A portion of the main plot revolves a pivotal scene in which a few people are injured due to an explosion which destroys a building. This notice is to advise those who may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder ("PTSD") concerning traumatic events based the recollection of certain sounds or the imagery which may encompass them both.


"Maybe you should remain in the car, William," Jacqueline said. She straightened the collar of her jacket. Her eyes sincerely pleaded with her husband. To no avail.

"You already know my response to your suggestion," he said. Just then, a Molotov cocktail was hurled just above their heads, hitting the brick wall façade of the nearest building. Sebastian ducked. William grabbed a shocked Jacqueline and dove behind the police car with her in tow. "This will be our shield until you do whatever you need to." Jacqueline nodded her head. She crawled closer to the scene where her victim was found, ensuring that her knees did not touch the ground. She and William heard the same homemade weapon roll. The glass bottle tumbled slowly, with the engraved letters of its former content now illegible. Over pebbles and the cold asphalt it rolled. Jacqueline looked to William. He reached his hand out to her. Her husband saw her fear. Still, she had her duty to her fellow detective. Sebastian turned behind. There was too much space between him and Jacqueline. The Molotov cocktail stopped in the middle of them both. She turned her head sympathetically towards her colleague. He appeared panicked. Jacqueline did not know what to do in these critical moments. William did, however. He always had the foresight of what was the next matter to be accomplished for the next task to be completed. His mind calculated quickly. His wife was his priority. Always. He nearly stood as she extended his arms to her. Jacqueline reached for her husband. He fell backwards then quickly turned her beneath him and covered her. The riot weapon exploded. Thompson could not hear anything. She watched her husband's lips move. He might as well have been lip-syncing. She covered one ear and pulled her hand from it to make sure it had not bled. A few bricks from the building closest to them loosen, collapsing into dust clouds as they made their ruinous contact with the ground below. Jacqueline tried to look. William shielded the side of her face with his strong hand. Dusty roils of smoke formed before them. Neither could see beyond each other. Neither William nor Jacqueline could see Sebastian.

"We have to go-now, Jacqueline!" William said.

"...but we cannot just abandon..." Jacqueline said. A few more bricks fell. The detective nearly lost one of her shoes as she scrambled to keep close to her husband. William was to accept no further debate concerning the matter. He scooped her up. "No, William-don't!"

"You are my wife. Yes, Jacqueline, I will." One of the passenger windows of the police car shattered from the blast. Jacqueline looked back. She still could not see her colleague. Maybe this was for the best. The detective saw the wall begin to crumble. William carefully, but quickly placed Jacqueline into the car. He sped off as Sebastian left the key in the ignition. She wondered if her fellow detective had truly fallen. They drove through the riots, able to avoid most attention. Once they were clear of the crowds, her husband sped off.

Patricia M. Muhammad © All rights reserved 2022-2024
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