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Sunday, January 17, 2016


Author Caitlin Rother
Editor’s note: Lauded internationally for her growing list non-fiction true crime books, Caitlin Rother last year crossed the line into fiction with the publication of NAKED ADDICTION.  Pillar to Post daily online magazine as part of its ongoing literary coverage has obtained rights to publish the following haunting excerpt from NAKED ADDICTION. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Reprinted by arrangement with WildBlue Press,

It was one of those hot September days when flies flock to the sweet scent of coconut-oiled skin and the rotting smell of death.
Santa Ana winds were spreading their evil dust and waves of heat were oozing from exhaust pipes, casting a blur over the gridlock of cars ahead of Detective Ken Goode. Santa Anas always made him feel a little off.

New York Times best-selling author Caitlin Rother has written or co-authored 10 books, including "Then No One Can Have Her," "I'll Take Care of You," "Lost Girls," "Poisoned Love," "Dead Reckoning," "Naked Addition, and "My Life, Deleted." More on Ms. Rother at the end of this blog.

Sweat dripped into his tired eyes as he sat in his Volkswagen van, waiting for the light to change on Mission Boulevard in San Diego’s Pacific Beach. He’d stayed up too late the night before, reading Albert Camus’ An Absurd Reasoning, Philosophical Suicide, and pausing intermittently to deconstruct the state of his life. He needed a mind-bending career change and he felt it coming. Any day, in fact, just around the corner. But patience wasn’t one of his strongest traits. He wanted out of undercover narcotics and into a permanent gig working homicides. Not just as a relief detective as he’d been for the past three years, but the real thing. The only questions were how and when. 

Goode always took stock at this time of year and he was rarely satisfied. After getting the green light, he drove a few blocks to a flower shop he’d passed a hundred times. He was constantly on the lookout for florists because he didn’t want to go to the same one twice. He chose to keep his annual ritual to himself, even more private than the rest of his rather solitary existence.

Goode parked near the door and glanced at himself in the rearview mirror, running his fingers through his sun-bleached brown hair and wiping his damp forehead with a beach towel. His green eyes had been red around the edges since the Santa Ana kicked up and he hadn’t been sleeping much either, although that wasn’t unusual lately.

The cool air inside the shop chilled his overheated skin, making the hairs on his arms stand up. In the refrigerated case nearest the door, a few dozen long-stemmed red roses poked their heads out of a white bucket of water. Sliding open the door, he bent his tall, lean frame to inspect them more closely.  He wanted the most perfect one he could find, just starting to bloom. He selected one from the middle and extracted it carefully from the bunch.

“Would you like a pretty bud vase for that?” the sales girl chirped. She was a teen-ager. Bright-eyed. Hopeful.

“No, thank you,” Goode told her.  He knew she meant well, but she had no idea. “That won’t be necessary.”

She looked a little disappointed. “Then how ‘bout you let me wrap it up with some baby’s breath?”

“Sure,” he said, smiling weakly and nodding. He didn’t want to have to tell her that wouldn’t be necessary either. “That would be nice.”

Excerpted from NAKED ADDICTION by Caitlin Rother. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Reprinted by arrangement with WildBlue Press,

Rother worked as an investigative reporter at daily newspapers for 19 years before deciding to write books full-time. She’s been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, Union-Tribune,  Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She has appeared on more than 100 TV and radio shows, including “Nancy Grace,” “On the Record,” "Women Who Kill" on E!, "Snapped," and numerous series on Investigation Discovery, XM radio, C-SPAN and various PBS affiliates.

Rother, who works as a writing/research coach and consultant, also teaches narrative non-fiction and digital journalism at UCSD Extension and San Diego Writers, Ink. For more information, please visit

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