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Nickel City Storm Warning

Gideon Rimes Book Three

Gary Earl Ross


Gideon Rimes Series


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Excerpt One

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Excerpt Two

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Excerpt Three

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Excerpt Four

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Excerpt Five

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Excerpt Six

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Excerpt Seven

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42


About the Author

Gideon Rimes Series

Gideon Rimes Series

Nickel City Blues

Nickel City Crossfire

Nickel City Storm Warning

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Copyright © Gary Earl Ross 2020

The right of Gary Earl Ross to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted per the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1976. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in a retrieval system, in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

Cover design by Steven Novak

Published by SEG Publishing


For the brothers who share my DNA:

Steve (fiercely independent businessman) and Rob (corrections officer and a generous soul).

As well as my brothers from other mothers:

Duane Crockett (electrician), Dennis Hollins (medical doctor), Scott Williams (mathematician).

We all beat the odds for men who look like us.

Also, in Memory of Bobby Edwards,

more brother than cousin, investment advisor, inspiration for Bobby Chance,

and Shelia Crockett, more sister than friend’s wife, tireless educator, peerless mystery fan.

I wish you both had lived to read this one.


A brief stint with the Buffalo State campus police aside, after my retirement from the Army CID I worked for myself and only when I wanted—taking depositions for lawyers, serving summonses, investigating fraud for insurance companies, running deep background checks for employers and aspiring spouses, looking for people who sometimes didn’t want to be found, and providing security for stalking victims, trial witnesses, or visiting VIPs. Phoenix Trinidad, a full partner in a small but demanding law firm, was usually busier than I was. Our time together was mostly on weekends, though the demands of our professions sometimes leached into Saturday or Sunday.

We were well into the second year of our relationship. Late April was colder and drier than usual but warm enough for the New York Power Authority to remove the ice boom, the steel pontoons that kept Lake Erie ice from entering the Niagara River and disrupting electricity generation. For the first time in more than a month, we had an unencumbered weekend and did our best to fill it. On Friday, after the chicken teriyaki stir fry I made in her kitchenette, we went to the Colored Musician’s Club on Broadway for an evening of jazz. We spent Saturday touring wineries in Monroe County, stocking up on reds and whites and grape seed lotion, Phoenix’s moisturizer of choice. After Sunday brunch at Canalside, the inner harbor development around the ruins of the terminus of the Erie Canal, we strolled from the Naval and Military Park to the Erie Basin Marina and back. Returning to Phoenix’s loft, we parked on Chippewa and walked up Main Street to Shea’s Performing Arts Center to see the matinee of War of the Worlds, a touring production of the hit Broadway musical mashup of the H.G. Wells 1897 novel and the Orson Welles 1938 radio adaptation.

Now, having dined at the Buffalo Chophouse on Franklin, we were headed back to Phoenix’s place, where we would either play Scrabble or make love one more time before settling in for the next episode of an HBO series we liked. A slight chill was in the air.

We were half a block from Chippewa, my blue leather jacket zipped to the neck and Phoenix’s left arm hooked through my right. A rusting red Chevy SUV slid to the curb ahead of us. Three men got out, all in jeans and dark jackets and two in baseball caps. They started toward us. Hatless and linebacker big, the man a step ahead of the others was the only one who looked familiar—early twenties, bulbous nose, short black hair with a sharp widow’s peak, a red and black neck tattoo curling above his collar. I was sure I’d seen him somewhere before but could not recall where. I might have dismissed them as guys on their way to a bar if Tattoo hadn’t locked eyes with me and kept his fists clenched tight.

I stopped, easing Phoenix behind me. My work had been routine of late, things like depositions and summonses, and required no sidearm. Also, I had been carrying less when I was with Phoenix, perhaps to prove I didn’t need a gun to feel complete. Even though I’d had a small biometric lockbox installed in my car, my guns were in my safe at home, more secure than I was. So much for my denial of an inferiority complex.

“Gideon Rimes, right?” Tattoo said, establishing himself as the leader.

“Do I know you?” I said.

“No, but I know you.” He grinned and his sidekicks chuckled, one of them nodding like a bobblehead. Tattoo ground a massive right fist into his large left palm. “Jasper Hellman says hi. He wants you to feel the pain first.”

Before he could move any closer, I pushed Phoenix back another step and whipped out the small telescoping baton I kept in my right jacket pocket. A flick of my wrist brought it to its full length. As he drew back his fist, I swung for his face as if it were a tennis ball and felt the contact vibration through the thin

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