The Hunt Part i:Echoes From The Dark

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Categories: Gay Fiction/Mystery/Crime
Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing USA LLC/Club Lighthouse Publishing USA | Date published: 08/15/2011


Chris Valle's body is found in Congress Park of the Capitol Hill area in Denver, butchered and partially mangled. The Major Crimes Unit Supervisor, puts Detective Lorrayne Lobato immediately on the case as he feels she is best suited. When Jack Webber's body is discovered the killer becomes known as "The Butcher." The Butcher's targets are first thought to be Hispanic-white, gay couples in the beginning. That was until Jack Webber a single white man shows up butchered like the others. Lobato is taken by a certain Officer Ernest Parker who she encounters periodically. There is a connection between them. Officer Burns, a bigoted Bible thumper, annoys her whenever she is in his presence. He takes pride in informing her of bodies being found. HIV positive Tony De Santos and negative Guy Sutherland, a gay couple living on Capitol Hill suspect they are on The Butcher's list of victims. Strange circumstances happening around their home and lives bring them to that conclusion. Incident after incident confirm their suspicions. Dr. Walter Thurman and Father Ivan Christopher are on a quest with Reparative and Conversion Therapy to prove that homosexuality is merely a choice and can be changed or altered. They are focused on one patient in particular. Tony working in a bathhouse is somewhat concerned as anyone or anything could step through the doors and lurk in the dark hallways. Guy is equally concerned since Tony works at night and he is left alone at home. A mysterious black stranger presents himself and appears in and out of their days acting most peculiar. Tony and Guy are suspicious of him. The stranger seems to be focused on them. His mere presence torments Guy whenever and wherever he sees him. Lobato's gay brother Albert Maez is found butchered and she is sent to investigate the body. Unbeknown to the police force that she has a gay brother. Copeland threatens to take her off the case due to her association with the victim. After consulting with Mark Powell, Major Crimes Unit Commander, it is decided she is to remain on the case. Dr. Richard Lee, the Medical Examiner can only state the obvious. He too, is at a loss. Mario Gomez, a good friend of Guy's, and Tony's ex Jon Hansen's current partner, soon comes into the scene when Jon vanishes without a trace. Guy and Mario comb the streets in search of him yielding nothing. Guy's optimistic character is shattered when he finds his cat BJ butchered and left on the doorstep of their home. He is then convinced he and Tony are indeed on The Butcher's list. They call Lobato with their suspicion after BJ is found. Lobato is growing convinced of their theory. When Mario is brutally murdered Tony and Guy's fears are sealed. Each victim seems to be closer to home. There is a pattern. Tony in desperation gets access to a gun for his and Guy's protection, but is nearly blown away by Guy when he walks into their apartment unexpectedly. Guy's emotional decline is unstoppable. Rachel Romero, a local transsexual entertainer is also found killed. There are signs of a struggle in her home. Lobato increasingly grows frustrated with each victim and forensics is at a total loss. She battles the pain of her brother's death along with her duties. Tony's position at the bathhouse is abruptly disrupted when two men are killed at another bathhouse in the city. Men in the bathhouse where he works check out one after the other when it is announced on TV. Guy begs him to quit his job. Tony suggests that they go to his home town with his understanding family where they'd be safe. Bob Mathers, Tony's boss could care less. He dismisses their concerns and fears as paranoia. He insists that Tony work his shift or lose his job altogether. Although Guy pleads with Tony, Tony convinces him to stay another night then they'd leave town. Lobato gets an anonymous call instructing her of where Jon Hansen and others could be found. A triple-ply bag is found containing body parts. A finger with a ring on it is one of the parts found in the bag. At the scene she realizes she has been set up and that Tony and Guy are in danger. At the bathhouse Tony and Guy are separated when the power is shut down, but the music left going strong. Through the ocean of blackness they search for each other. Tony freaks when he hears a man's scream and panics when he thinks it is Guy. He is relieved to find it wasn't. In the darkness Guy senses someone or something in his presence. Within reach of each other Guy is stabbed. Tony finds him on the floor where he takes his last breath. Angered and blind with pain Tony confronts the black stranger who had been in one of the rooms. He fires his gun at the stranger just as Lobato and Burns break through the door. Tony is devastated. At the morgue Tony encounters Guy's mother who is both bigoted and homophobic also outraged with him. She blames him for Guy's death. Tony presents Lobato with documents giving him all rights to Guy's affairs overriding Mrs. Sutherland's. She is furious and vows to fight Tony until the bitter end. At the hospital Tony is further devastated to learn the black man he'd winged with a bullet not only lived but was the wrong person. The Butcher remained at large. Tony vows revenge.