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Novel Character Is Former Broward Sheriff's Detective Accustomed to Night Monsters

Jack Carpenter is the protagonist of Night Monster, a novel released Monday by Florida writer James Swain. An excerpt posted on Swain's website begins with Carpenter's fielding a call about a college student, Naomi Dunn, being assaulted at a condo.

I tested the door's handle. It was locked, and I lifted my leg and kicked three inches above the knob. The door splintered, but did not come down. As I lifted my leg to kick it again, the door opened into my face. I heard my nose break, and flew backwards to the ground.

I lay on my back with raindrops splashing on my face. My gun had left my hand and was lying somewhere nearby. Fighting the urge to pass out, I lifted my head, and saw a giant emerge from the apartment carrying an unconscious Dunn over his shoulder. From my vantage point it was hard to tell exactly how big he was. What registered was how small Dunn looked in comparison. She was a big woman, yet looked tiny slung over his shoulder.

"Police," I muttered. "You're under arrest."

The giant gazed down at me, his face round and bloodied. He had wide eyes and pursed lips, and reminded me of the crazies that I often encountered on the mean streets of Fort Lauderdale. When he spoke, the words only confirmed my suspicion.

"Pigs don't come to the party," he said.

The book's been getting good reviews, like this one in the St. Petersburg Times.

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Thomas Francis

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