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The Murder of Manny Grimes

The Murder of Manny Grimes

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Main Tropes

  • Police Procedural
  • Conspiracy
  • Cold Case
  • Mentor's Demise
  • The Vanishing Corpse
  • The Troubled Detective


A missing body. A disgruntled lieutenant. Can he unravel the mystery before someone else gets killed?

The dark winter night brings a chilling mystery to Lieutenant Jim DeLong's doorstep: three young boys insist they saw their assistant principal brutally murdered. Instantly intrigued, the lieutenant sets out to investigate.

Despite the lack of evidence, DeLong's gut instinct tells him it's not the way it seems. But as he delves deeper into the case, he soon finds himself in a world of secrets and lies - where the truth could be more deadly than he ever imagined. As he goes deeper into the murder of Manny Grimes, he must confront his own demons or risk being consumed by them.

For fans of intense police procedurals and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, The Murder of Manny Grimes will keep you guessing until the very end.

Intro to Ch. 1

“We’re gonna get in trouble.” Ten-year-old Bobby Walker fell to his knees into the thick snow and ice with a groan. The wind bit at his face, triggering a violent shudder between his words. The ski jacket and gloves he wore barely protected the skin underneath.

He shook his head, finding himself wearier than when he’d first climbed into bed.

Bobby struggled to keep up with the pace set by his brother Tommy and their cousin George. It wasn’t easy when it was so cold, and all Bobby wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep. The thought had him yawning as the wind enveloped him, sending a shiver up his spine. He wondered if his lips had already turned blue.

They passed a couple of cars that had, at some point, skidded along the slick ice. The wind continued to blow against the traffic lights, causing them to swing wildly.

Bobby looked at the sky, overcast but now clear of the freezing rain of earlier in the afternoon.

That was a plus. The few times Bobby dealt with the snow, he had hated it. It was too cold.

However, he’d decided when Tommy and George began climbing out the window earlier that he’d rather suffer the snow than be ridiculed for staying behind.

It seemed as if they had trekked through the frozen white landscape forever. For the thousandth time, Bobby wished he had stayed in bed—where he should be—where they all should be.

He tripped and fell, his knee grazing a rock hidden in the snow. He uttered a whimper.

Tommy looked behind him to roll his eyes at his brother. It was hard to tell in the dark, but Bobby was sure his brother scoffed and rolled his eyes toward George, as if to say, “Look at that chicken. Can you believe we’re related?”

“You didn’t have to come,” Tommy yelled over the wind. His voice held the same cold-inspired shudder as his younger brother, but unlike Bobby’s, his eyes showed signs of excitement.

Tommy looked at his cousin.

George, his face red and frigid, tugged his coat tighter around his bulky frame as if it would further protect him from the wind. He remained silent, looking ahead toward the shadows of the schoolyard.

With shaky legs and a hesitant sigh, Bobby scrambled to his feet.

As if it were a signal to continue, Tommy trudged on through the snow, one foot sinking after the other.

They didn’t stop again until they reached the edge of the school parking lot.

It was like a mirage against the thickness of the fog. The dim moon was the only source of light on the building, creating ghost-like sparkles.

Again, Bobby shivered, but not from the cold this time. The school gave the appearance of a building from one of the old black-and-white horror films his dad used to love.

“Where do you want to start?” George wondered, breaking into Bobby’s thoughts. Breath escaped his lips, evaporating into the wind. He popped open his can of spray paint.

“I think the gym.” There was an unmistakable sneer in Tommy’s voice.

Bobby shook his head with anxiety as he removed the spray paint from his jacket.

The two older boys engaged in a conversation, which Bobby ignored as he lagged behind.

Amidst the fog, he spotted movement on the playground by the swing sets. He squinted, trying to use the little light he had available to make out the distorted shadows.

“Hey, Bobby, you comin’?”

“Look!” Bobby said. His hand quivered as he pointed. “What do you think that guy’s doing?”

The other boys followed his gaze.

“Can you see who it is?” Tommy’s voice had become hoarse.

Bobby shook his head again. Something wasn’t right. His dad had always told him to trust the small voice in his head.

Get out of here now. The voice was soft but clear.

“Let’s get out of here.” The hair on the nape of his neck stood at attention, and he felt like his nose was going to crack off from the cold.

Now, seeing whoever it was by the swings—an adult with his luck—fear took permanent residence within him. “Please? Tommy? George?”

He saw Tommy take a step toward the figure.

“T-Tommy,” Bobby stammered. “I want to go home.”

Tommy ignored his brother as he slogged through the snow.

With hurried movements, the figure stopped whatever he was doing and stumbled in the opposite direction.

“He’s jetting! I think he was doing something. Come on!”

Tommy was quick to push on through the snow before either Bobby or George could respond. When they caught up with him, they realized he was staring at the ground, mouth open.

“Who is that?” George asked. He pressed his body close to Tommy’s, shielding himself from the freezing wind.

A body lay on its side, one arm over his chest and the other outstretched above his head, eyes staring into the void. His glasses hung, broken, off his left ear, his face was blue. Blood had settled, seeping into the white ground. Thick flurries descended onto the body.

The wind pulsating against their faces made it difficult to see, much less breathe.

Tommy kneeled to get a better view. “I can’t tell, but ...” He stood upright, grabbing George’s wrist. “Hey! That’s Mr. Grimes!”

George leaned in and swallowed hard before righting his body. “Ugh, let’s get out of here!” He clambered away, stumbling backward into the snow.

“Is he dead?” Bobby asked from a few feet away. He had never seen a dead body before, and after this, he never wanted to see another. He resisted the urge to cover his mouth, despite feeling as if he was going to throw up.

“It looks like it.”

Tommy kicked the body with his foot and the boys jumped back as if expecting the man to grab hold of them.

Grimes’ body fell to his back, head turned, facing in their direction. His eyes remained open, pupils rolled back in his head. His clothes were torn, and blood pooled on the ice on the body.

“What do we do?” George wondered, panicky.

“I wanna go home,” Bobby muttered. He wasn’t sure if he even said the words out loud. His voice sounded far away. Somewhere in the distance, a dog barked, echoing against the whistle of the wind.

“I think we should find help.” Tommy looked at the others.

Bobby could see the fear in his eyes. Glancing at George, he saw his cousin’s mouth hanging open, his breath rising and falling with quick movements.

“We can’t just leave him here.” Tommy looked back at the body.

“How are we going to find help, doofus?” George demanded in a soft voice. “We’re alone!”

Bobby was sure he heard the tears in his cousin’s words.

“We’ll walk to the police station,” Tommy said. “It’s not far, and they’re always there—night shift or whatever. They have to be.”

Bobby tried to stuff his spray paint in his jacket pocket. When he failed, he allowed it to slip from his gloves and sink into the snow.

“I don’t want to get in trouble,” George whined.

“We can’t leave him here,” Tommy repeated. “You know that.”

Bobby shook his head.

Tommy looked at his brother and cousin. When they didn’t say anything, he started walking.

Bobby looked at George, who was still lying in the snow, tears sliding from the corners of his eyes. George was slow to rise, but then hurried after Tommy. Once again, Bobby faced being alone, left behind by his brother.

He chose to follow.

Follow to the police department.

Follow to trouble no one could ever expect.

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