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Zachary Goldman Private Investigator Cases 11-13 ebook

Zachary Goldman Private Investigator Cases 11-13 ebook

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Brought to you by award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author P.D. Workman

Save $9.99 by getting 3 ebooks bundled!

Zachary Goldman, Private Investigator, is flawed with a capital F.

Shattered by the tragedies of his own life, he will somehow still manage to pick himself up and dig just a little bit deeper than anyone else to find the vital clues.

Maybe being broken makes it easier for others who have faced tragedy to trust him. Walk with Zachary as he solves three cases that will stretch his abilities to the limit.

A case is only unsolvable as long as it remains unsolved.

This ebook bundle includes:

He Drowned in Memory

When his younger brother Tyrrell goes missing, PI Zachary Goldman is anxious to find him before something bad happens to him. Or is it already too late?

Their Walls Were Empty

Nothing is as it appears. As Zachary digs deeper into the theft, it becomes apparent that there is far more at stake here than just some sports memorabilia. Just what has Walter put him in the middle of?

They Came for Him

There’s been some trouble. That was the understatement of the year. A call from private investigator Zachary Goldman’s older sister puts him on to a murder case, but this time he is trying to help the murderer rather than tracking him down.

️ Zachary Goldman has become one of my favorite fictional characters. He is so flawed and troubled and loyal and hardworking and, and...I want to be Zach when I grow up!

️ The writing is skillful, with a wonderfully complex plot and well-developed characters. Highly recommended!

Looking for a gritty PI series without foul language and gore? Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author P.D. Workman brings you stories that delve into some of the darkest parts of society but leave you feeling good in the end

Immerse yourself in the intricate puzzles and clever plot twists, piecing together the clues with Zachary.

Even with his own life in shambles, Zachary Goldman is still the one you want on the case.

Add Zachary to your bookshelf today.

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He Drowned in Memory

Chapter 1

Zachary watched out the windshield as Kenzie drove back to her house. It seemed like a long time since he had been outside. It was very bright with all the white snow on the ground, the branches of the trees also covered with piles of newly fallen snow. It always looked so nice and clean right after a snowfall. Before all the dirt from the roads was kicked up and tracks and trails were stomped down by pedestrians.

Kenzie’s car was warm, since she had driven it from home to the hospital to pick him up. It wasn’t very energy efficient to heat the little red convertible during the Vermont winters. It lost a lot of heat through the canvas top. But Kenzie’s “baby” was her pride and joy, and she insisted on driving it to the hospital even though she could have taken Zachary’s white compact instead. She would drive her car through all but the worst of weather.

“Glad to be out?” Kenzie asked. She turned her head to look at him for an instant, her curly dark hair bouncing.

Zachary nodded. “Nice to get out in the fresh air… the hospital gets so stale, recycling the same air over and over again.”

“I’ll bet.”

Zachary had lost track of how long it had been. Five weeks? Six? The days tended to all run together in the psych ward. It was hard to even keep track of what day of the week it was. But he was feeling good now. There was a lot of work to be done, but he tried not to feel anxious about it. He would be fine once he got back into the swing of things. He knew that from experience. Every year, he struggled to get through December, but he could see the light at the end of the tunnel once he was past Christmas. He could restart his life. He’d stayed in the hospital a little longer than he usually did because they had changed his med cocktail around to try to address his heightened obsessive behavior. It was always best to stay under supervision to ensure the med change didn’t cause additional problems.

“Do you want to go out for dinner tonight?” Kenzie suggested. “A celebratory supper?”

Zachary’s shoulders tensed. He had been anticipating a nice quiet night at home. Supper in the kitchen with Kenzie. Cuddling on the couch and watching an old movie. Maybe going through his mass of accumulated emails to see if he could put a dent in them so that it wouldn’t take so long to tackle them the next day.

Kenzie glanced at him. “No? We don’t have to if you’re not up to it.”

“I could. I just… was hoping to be at home tonight.”

“That’s fine.” Kenzie smiled. “It was just a suggestion. I thought you might want to be out and about. Restless after being cooped up for so long.”

“No. Maybe tomorrow or on the weekend. Tonight, I just want to be… home.”

It was funny how quickly Kenzie’s house had become home. He should probably think about giving up his apartment, since it no longer represented home for him. He really didn’t need a separate place. He didn’t have a lot of possessions, having become accustomed to living on very little in foster care as a teen. He would see if Kenzie could make some space for his files and the rest of his photography equipment, but none of the larger items like furniture meant anything to him.

There was no point in paying rent on a place where he didn’t live anymore.

But it would be a big step. The last time he had moved in with someone and given up keeping separate residences had been when he’d moved in with Bridget.

Zachary turned his focus as quickly as he could to his business. He couldn’t spend any time thinking about Bridget. Bridget was in the past. She had her own family and life, and he wasn’t part of that anymore.

He would call Heather, his older sister, when he got home. She had been keeping on top of business calls while he had been away. It was the first time that he’d had a business partner to do that while he had been in the hospital. While Heather didn’t do any fieldwork, she enjoyed doing skip tracing and some of the other computer work. She had taken over the accounting system for Zachary, entering expenses, reconciling the credit card and bank account, and chasing down delinquent accounts. Her husband was a bookkeeper and Zachary supposed she had absorbed enough from his work to know what she was doing and had someone to turn to if she had any questions about errors that needed to be straightened out.

“We’ll stay in tonight,” Kenzie confirmed. “I have a lasagna in the freezer. We can throw together a salad to go with it.”

“That sounds great. After more than a month of hospital food…”

Kenzie chuckled. “You could probably use a little something to spice up your diet.”

Zachary heartily agreed. It took an effort to gain back the weight he lost during his cyclical depressions, not easy with the bland meals they served in the hospital. He needed some real food. Lasagna sounded heavenly.

Walking into the house felt so right. Zachary took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to relax all his muscles. He had been a little bit afraid, in the back of his mind, that he wouldn’t feel like he belonged there anymore. That he might have lost something during his absence. But everything in the house was just as it should be. Down to his computer on his mobile desk in the living room and his phone charging on the side table. He walked down the hall to put his duffel bag down in the bedroom, but didn’t bother unpacking yet. That could wait. The only things in it were clothes. And he would probably want to put them all directly into the washer to get the smell and feel of the hospital out of them.

“This is wonderful.” Back in the living room, he hugged Kenzie impulsively, pulling her close against him and reveling in how good she felt in his arms. He was home, and he was with her, and it would be almost a year before Christmas came around again. By that time, maybe with the new med protocol and individual and couple’s therapy, next Christmas wouldn’t be as bad. He would stay out of the hospital and just have a quiet Christmas at home with Kenzie.

“How is your mom?” he asked, remembering that she had been planning to visit Lisa Cole Kirsch over the Christmas holiday. She’d never really told him how that had gone.

Kenzie looked surprised. She considered the question for a moment, then gave a slight shake of her head. “She’s fine.”

Zachary studied Kenzie’s face. Something felt off. But he wasn’t going to ruin his first day home by pursuing something she didn’t feel like talking to him about. Her parents had always been a sensitive topic.

As were Zachary’s.

Chapter 2

Zachary looked around the kitchen, frowning. Kenzie had taken the garlic bread out of the oven, and he had been planning to slice it for her, but when he reached for the place where the butcher block of knives used to sit on the counter, it was no longer there.

“Uh, Kenz…?”

Leaning over the lasagna in the oven to see if it was done, Kenzie turned her head to look back at him.

“Oh… drawer to your left.”

Zachary opened the nearest drawer, then realized it was the wrong side, closed it, and opened the next one over. The knives were there. He chose the one he needed for the crusty loaf and closed the drawer.

“You moved them.” He stated the obvious. Was he upset that she had changed something while he was gone? He wasn’t sure. It was such a small thing, but it made him feel suddenly awkward, and he found himself looking around the kitchen for anything else that might have changed.

“Yeah.” Kenzie lifted the lasagna pan from the oven and put it onto the stove top. She turned off the oven. “I thought it was best to have them out of sight. So if you’re feeling bad…”

Zachary remembered how he had put all the knives in the fridge when he had been having thoughts of suicide. It had been too difficult having them out on the counter where he could see them all the time, even from the couch where he sat with his computer. And then later, when things had gotten worse, he had swept them all out of the fridge onto the floor as he wrestled the mental demons who whispered to him that if he just ended his life, he wouldn’t have to keep suffering. His cheeks flamed as he thought about it.

But Kenzie didn’t bring any of that up. She didn’t see the need to lecture him on how he should control himself better or not overreact to his emotional state. He’d heard plenty of those lectures before, though not from her. He wasn’t sure whether it was because of her medical training or just her personality that she seemed to understand better than most people. Zachary was silent as he unwrapped the garlic toast and cut it into thick slices. He licked garlic butter off his finger. He could have made his entire meal out of a crusty, warm loaf of garlic bread. Which, of course, Kenzie had known when she had bought it. Like everyone else, she was determined to fatten him up as quickly as she could.

They moved around each other, getting the meal ready. Zachary wanted everything to be perfect, so he stayed focused on what he was doing, concentrating hard on setting the table and putting out the bread and the jug of water, not doing a slap-dash job of it and forgetting something vital like the forks or plates. In a few minutes, they were sitting down together. They dug into the meal, making appreciative noises and enjoying their first chance in weeks to just sit down to a meal together.

“I should set up a time for us to go visit Mr. Peterson,” Zachary suggested.

Kenzie nodded. She took a sip of her water. “He and Pat would love to see you. So much nicer to visit at their house than at the hospital.”

There were always distractions at the hospital. Too many things that Zachary had to keep an eye on while he was talking to visitors. While he knew he needed to be there, he worried about whether the other patients would disturb his visitors. Someone might have a violent episode while they were there, a psychotic break, and threaten them. It wasn’t the best place for an intimate family visit.

Mr. Peterson and Patrick Parker were the closest things to parents that Zachary had. Mr. Peterson—Lorne—had been one of Zachary’s foster fathers for a few weeks when he first went into foster care at age ten. While Zachary had not been able to stay in the Peterson home for long, he and Mr. Peterson had kept in touch over the years. It was a couple of decades since he and his wife had divorced, and Pat, a somewhat younger man, had become his partner. They had been close to Zachary through all the intervening years, becoming his chosen family.

“I should call Tyrrell. Maybe he’d like to join us too.”

Kenzie pursed her lips. “If you want to.”

It seemed like an odd response. She had never been reluctant to have Tyrrell, Zachary’s younger brother, join them before. She had been the one who had encouraged him to reunite with Tyrrell, and it had been amazing to have one of his biological siblings in his life again. And Tyrrell had introduced him to Heather, and then later to Jocelyn, their two older sisters.

“I don’t think it would be too much,” Zachary said. Meeting with a larger group could be overwhelming. Especially if one of the members of the group was Jocelyn. Sharp, bitter Joss. But just Tyrrell joining them wouldn’t be too hard. Tyrrell was undemanding and easy to get along with. Zachary didn’t feel like he had to always be on guard with Tyrrell.

Kenzie nodded. “If you can get him.”

“Why wouldn’t I be able to get him?”

Kenzie shrugged. She took a couple more bites of lasagna. “He hasn’t been around the last little while. Hasn’t answered any calls.”

Zachary stopped, his fork in front of his mouth. “What? What do you mean?”

“Just that. He hasn’t been answering phone calls. But maybe he’ll answer you.”

“Do you mean… today? He hasn’t been answering calls today?”

“No. I mean… since Christmas.”

Zachary frowned. “But you’ve talked to him since then, haven’t you?”

“No. We’ve been concerned, but… I’ve been busy with work, and you, and… other things. I figure that he’ll make contact again when he is ready. Until then… best to just leave him to sort things out.”

Zachary felt like something had exploded in his brain. Tyrrell had stopped communicating? What had happened to him? He’d seemed fine the last time Zachary had seen him. Tyrrell was always cheerful, easygoing, reassuring to Zachary when he got upset or anxious about something. He was the strong one, what Zachary might have been like if it hadn’t been for the fire and everything he’d dealt with jumping from family to family in foster care.

“What do you mean, ‘We’ve been concerned?’ You and who?”

“Heather.” Kenzie poked at the lasagna that remained on her plate, staring down at it instead of looking into Zachary’s face. “Tyrrell was supposed to go to the hospital with Heather and Joss on Christmas Day. But Tyrrell didn’t show up. She tried to get him then, but couldn’t get him to call her back.”

“He’s not talking to Heather either?” Zachary shook his head. “Aren’t you worried about this? Don’t you think it is serious?”

“I told you that we are worried about him. But there’s nothing we can do if he doesn’t want to talk to us. He’s a grown man. He’s allowed to decide who he talks to or doesn’t.”

“Has anyone gone to see him? Made sure that he’s okay? Somebody has seen him, right?”

“He has gone incommunicado before. His ex-wife said that he’d gone off the rails a few times… he would disappear for days on a drinking binge. Not talk to anyone. Then come back and act as if nothing had happened and he couldn’t understand why everyone was upset about it.”

“Has she talked to him? What about the kids? Has he talked to Mason or Alisha?”

“No. He was supposed to have them on Christmas Day. But he didn’t show up.”

“Don’t you think something is wrong?” he asked urgently.

“Maybe… it is getting to the point where I wonder if we want to have the police do a welfare check. But something like that really isn’t up to me to do. It should be someone closer to him. His work, friends, neighbors… family.”

“We are family.” Zachary pulled his phone out of his pocket and tapped the contact record for Tyrrell. He listened to it ring, hoping that Kenzie would be wrong and Tyrrell would pick it up and everything would be fine. Maybe there had been some misunderstanding. He’d had a fight with his ex and hadn’t wanted to pick up the kids, then had been too embarrassed to go with Heather and Joss and explain why he didn’t have them. And he hadn’t wanted to talk to Kenzie because she was an outsider. There could be perfectly logical reasons they hadn’t been able to get ahold of Tyrrell, but he would answer Zachary’s call.

The call rang through to voicemail.

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P.D. (Pamela) Workman is a USA Today Bestselling author, winner of several awards from Library Services for Youth in Custody and the InD’tale Magazine’s Crowned Heart award, and has published over 100 mystery/suspense/thriller and young adult books.

Workman loves writing about the underdog. She has been praised for her realistic details, deep characterization, and sensitive handling of the serious social issues that appear in her stories, from light cozy mysteries to darker, grittier young adult and mystery/suspense books.

P. D. Workman does not shy from probing the deep psychological scars of childhood trauma, mental illness, and addiction. Also characteristic of this author, these extremely sensitive issues are explored with extensive empathy, described with incredible clarity, and portrayed with profound insight.
—Kim, Goodreads reviewer