Skip Case (David Dean Mysteries) (Prologue, page 1 of 3)


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Tuesday, May 4th 1:00 A.M.

The man took a deep breath of the hot and salty night air and firmly closed the door marked Room 22. After turning the knob once to confirm it was locked, he paused, somewhat unsteadily, and glanced across the motel parking lot. He looked at his wrist, but then remembered the watch was on the dresser in the motel room. In his right hand he clutched the motel key. A large bath towel was draped across his shoulder. He wore bathing trunks, a Phillies baseball cap and a t-shirt with the imprint "Eastern PA Century Bicycle Tour" and a date four years earlier. The man was about 40. His hair was a tad past barbering time and he wore polished black shoes and black socks, inconsistent with the rest of his attire.

The motel was an independent, adequate at best, barely holdĀ­ing its own against the national chains. It served an occasional thrifty traveler but mostly catered to salesmen, many on a repeat basis. They were given reasonable service and whispered offers to, "Stay three nights, the next one's free, and we'll give you a receipt for four."

The motel consisted of 40 units on two floors, ten to either side of a main entrance that led to the office and restaurant. A red neon sign blinked "Ocean Shore Motel," painting the parking lot and the bathing-suited man in a pulsating crimson glow. A scatterĀ­ing of cars dotted the parking lot but due to the late hour the avenue beyond was nearly devoid of traffic.

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