Sin's Judgment: Death Hunter Series Book 5
Sin's Judgment: Death Hunter Series Book 5
Sin's Judgment: Death Hunter Series Book 5

Sin's Judgment: Death Hunter Series Book 5

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Has ghost hunter Shane Ryan finally met his match?

Years of brutal combat and a never-ending battle against supernatural evil have taken a heavy toll on Shane Ryan. Now, as he searches for the man responsible for the recent thefts of haunted objects in New England, he finds himself wondering if the world would be better off without him…

But before he can succumb to the dark thoughts tormenting him, the retired Marine receives a desperate call for help: a deadly spirit has infested a nearby seminary and has unleashed its bloody wrath on the local townsfolk.

Shane is determined to destroy this evil force before it can harm anyone else. But even he can’t take on such a powerful enemy alone. Luckily, before Shane could enter the foe’s decrepit lair, he is joined by a pair of old allies.

Will their combined forces be enough to defeat the sinister fiend? Or will they be forever scarred by the touch of sin…

211 pages

Chapter 1: Lowell, Massachusetts

Cayden had waited in the alley every night for a week, watching the security company that kept an eye on the property. With the barrier of iron removed, Cayden had also hoped to get confirmation of a ghost without having to enter the building. The last structure he had gone into, an old apartment building in Yonkers, New York, had not been as enjoyable as some of the others. Cayden had, in fact, stepped through a stair and ended up with a pair of four-inch nails through his sneakers.

Here’s hoping this place is in better shape, he thought, cutting through the last link. By looking at it, though, I doubt it will be.

Cayden put the cutters away, pushed open the cut he had made, and stepped into the confines of the property. He paused for a moment and pulled on a pair of thin mechanic’s gloves. They were laced with iron, and Cayden had used them on more than one occasion. Some of the ghosts he was sent to investigate weren’t fond of intruders.

I mean, who is? he thought, walking quickly across the pavement. His sneakers made a soft whispering sound that was abrasive to his ears. He knew others wouldn’t hear it at all, not with the sounds of the city and the ambient noises pulsing through the air.

But Cayden could hear it, and he hated it.

Can’t be all stealthy and ninja-like when I’m squeaking across the damned pavement. He scowled. Still, could be worse. I could still be selling phones at the T-Mobile store.

With the reminder of the banality of his life prior to his recruitment by Alex Kallistos, Cayden smiled and focused on the seminary. Information on the ghost within had been spotty at best. Kallistos’ research team hadn’t found much. Every clue ended at the Archdiocese. Whatever history might exist about the seminary had been gained through interviews with former students. The rumor among the scouts and research teams was that the Archdiocese had actually destroyed any information about the seminary’s past.

I’ve seen the early photographs, Cayden thought, making his way toward the back of the building. There wasn’t a fence around the place before. They definitely knew something was here. And how to keep it in check, no matter what they might have said. Of course, seems like they ignored that when the fencing was replaced.

Or else, nobody told them. He considered the secrecy of the Church, of how it had hidden so many sins over the decades, and he found it completely believable that someone in the Archdiocese wouldn’t share all of the necessary information.

Cayden shook his head. He had been foolish, but never so foolish as to believe that ghosts weren’t real, or that they couldn’t hurt someone.

Since joining up with Kallistos’ crew, he had seen a lot of people get hurt.

Cayden reached the back of the building and cautiously began to push at the windows and doors that he found, searching for a pane of glass that might be loose or missing, or a door that had swelled and then shrunk over the years. After several minutes, he realized there was no easy way into the building.

Nothing can be completely easy, huh? he sighed. Of course not.

He took a small steel rod out of his pocket, the kind people kept in their cars in case they had to break a window to escape.

Cayden grinned. He kept his for when he needed to get in.

Stepping up to a window, he broke the pane of glass near the lock and then used the steel to sweep the glass out of the old and brittle caulking. Once it was clear, he reached in, unlocked the window, and forced the window up. Lead weights rattled in the walls, the racket causing Cayden to wince.

Shaking his head, he made certain there were no lingering shards of glass on the windowsill, and then he pulled himself up and into the room.

The smell of mildew assailed his nose, and he tugged a gaiter up over his mouth and nose. After a moment, all he could smell was the fabric softener he used with his laundry.

It was far more pleasant than the rank odor of the place.

From a pocket, Cayden took out a surplus military flashlight, one with a red lens. He clicked it on, pleased with the illumination it provided and the fact that it didn’t destroy his night vision. On more than one occasion, it had proved beneficial to him.

He had a much smaller flashlight with a red lens that he kept in a lead-lined pouch in his pocket. The second light, its batteries protected from the draining ability of ghosts, had often served as a last-minute salvation.

Here’s for planning ahead, he thought with a wry grin. If his life had been a story, the red flashlight would have been an emergency plan even the most naïve of editors would have howled at.

And when I retire from this and write the next Great American Novel, Cayden thought, advancing on the door out of the room, what editor is going to believe any of this?

His daydreaming about a future career as a novelist ended when he reached the door, and a wave of cold washed over him. Cayden’s hand, which had been stretching out for the doorknob, froze where it was, and he held his breath.

The flashlight flickered in his hand and went out.

Fear, a rare emotion for him to experience, flooded Cayden, rooting him in place for a split-second. When he regained control over himself, he turned around and saw darkness creep over the window he had entered through.

What the hell is it? Cayden thought, his throat swallowing convulsively. Come on. What can do that?

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