Catch Me If You Dare

About Catch Me If You Dare by L. D. Alan

The elusive Scarf Killer has struck three times. Post-it notes ’3 of 10′, ’4 of 10′ and ‘5 of 10’ have been found on the bodies of murdered and mutilated Muslim women.

Phoenix PD task force cannot find a motive, or the first two victims. The killer leaves little evidence for forensics. The investigation is further hampered by the distrust of the Muslim community. With five more murders threatened, the PPD requests help from the FBI.

The FBI sends Rainey Walker, their anthropology consultant and nationally recognized police sketch artist. Rainey travels to her hometown believing she is taking a vacation to reconsider a pending resignation. Three months earlier she was stalked by the Friday Stalker serial killer and was shot before returning fire and killing him.

Arriving in Phoenix, she learns she is on assignment and the PPD expects her to be their communication link with local Muslims, many of whom are childhood friends.

An enigmatic US Army Captain contacts Rainey demanding she share information obtained from Muslim community leaders, while refusing to share information he knows about the first two Scarf Killer victims.

The investigation explodes into an international multi-jurisdictional turf battle. Pressure mounts with the investigation stymied in a climate of distrust and political maneuverings.

After receiving the killer’s blood smeared message, “Catch me if you dare”, Rainey knows time is running out for the next victim.

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Rainey eased the seat back as the airplane’s wheels lifted off the runway. In five hours she would be home. Home? The house would be empty. The last tenant moved out about a month ago and Zarinah had the place cleaned and ready for her. Rainey wasn’t sure she had made the best decision, but her boss, DC Britt, had been insistent. She needed to recuperate from the gunshot wound and trauma. He insisted, as did the department shrink. Both had convinced Rainey that a new environment and time were all that was needed to heal her physical and emotional wounds. Home? The word sounded hollow to Rainey. Grams and Grandpa would not be there to greet her. Grams passed on a year after Rainey got her degree and just a year later Grandpa died. Grandpa was just so lonely and lost without Grams. But that was a decade ago. As she thought of the grandparents who raised her, Rainey’s eyelids closed and she drifted into an uneasy sleep.

Hours later Rainey woke with a start. Looking at her wristwatch she could not believe she had slept through most of  the entire flight. Rainey made a mental note to thank her boss for the first-class upgrade that made her flight so peaceful and without the usual interruptions and noise of coach.

“Enjoy your flight, Agent Walker?” the airline hostess asked, and then smiled as Rainey’s response was interrupted by a huge yawn.

“Thanks for letting me sleep,” she replied with a grateful smile.  Rainey waited until the seat-belt light went out before she unbuckled her seatbelt, gathered her purse and briefcase, and awaited her turn to deplane.

Rainey stepped into the airport terminal. It felt so strange that no one was there to greet her. Rainey mentally shook herself. What did she expect? She had been gone for over a decade. Rainey was just one year the other side of her mid-thirties and was reminded of Sara’s teasing her about being an old maid. Her best friend was single with, as she phrased it, “many prospects.” She told anyone who would listen that she was going to marry a hunk from the police force who was at least a captain (she didn’t intend to starve on an officer’s pay) and she planned on having a set of twins of the fraternal variety, Jamie and Janie, and a nice home in the suburbs.

Rainey and Sara met eleven years before when they both signed up for a six-week archeological excavation in Mexico. Rainey was working on her PhD in anthropology and Sara was “just bumming around trying to find” herself. They hit it off right away. Their very different personalities complemented rather than detracted from the solid friendship they forged over the years.

During that fateful trip to Mexico, Sara confided in Rainey that she had applied for the NYPD. Rainey was not surprised by that or anything else that Sara sprung on her. Four years later, Sara was offered a job with the FBI, where she earned an outstanding record as an agent and finished up a Master of Criminology.

Rainey’s life was planned from the first year of university. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a minor in art. Rainey thought of herself as an amateur portrait artist, though those who had seen her work held a much higher opinion of her talent. Rainey continued her education by completing graduate school, and was offered a professorship at NYU. Compared to Sara’s life of guns, bad guys, and constant travel, Rainey’s life was sedate and she enjoyed her books, art, and students.

Rainey’s quiet existence changed when Sara convinced her boss that Rainey could help them with a witness who was too terrified to describe her assailant. The assailant was a serial killer sought in Georgia for the deaths of seven little girls ages six through eleven. The witness-victim escaped through a fluke. She was nine-years-old and had survived the brutal attack, but she would not, or could not, speak about her tormentor.

Sara convinced both her boss and Rainey that Rainey’s gentle manner, soft voice, and anthropological and artistic skills were the best hope they had for getting the young girl to open up and describe the killer. Capturing the serial killer with her artist’s sketch convinced Rainey to accept a position in the criminology division of the FBI. That was two years ago, and Rainey had no regrets about leaving her safe and prestigious position for the demanding and often heart-breaking work with the FBI.


Don’t miss the 2nd book in the Rainey Walker Book Series, Gotcha ! Available Now.


After a year in hiding, the Scarf Killer surfaces again in sunny California. Rainey is pulled into a sting operation by retired Captain Jonah Daniels’ Echo team of ex-cops turned private investigators. Their efforts to trap the elusive killer are being hampered by a copycat killer terrorizing the city of Los Angeles.

The Last Victim

The author is currently writing the 3rd book in the Rainey Walker Series, The Last Victim. Publishing is expected in early 2012.


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