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The end of an era draws to a close as Detective Sergeant Hargold Thief greets his last Monday in the NDPD Homicide Unit. He may be ready to retire, but his partner of six years, Detective Second Class Griffon Dire, is far from happy to see the veteran go. Griffon is desperate for one last chance to close a case with his mentor.

Despite being a short-timer, Thief grabs the call for a homicide in Seaward. Dire's elation at getting a last ride with his partner is short-lived as sober reality dawns. At the scene the pair are confronted with the body of Thief's oldest friend in the Thousand Kingdoms, executed in his own apartment.

With the week slipping away, Thief is running out of time to solve his boyhood friend's murder. Dire finds himself increasingly determined to do whatever it takes to back his partner up. Even if it means stepping outside the law to do it...

This is a stand-alone novella. You do not need to read the Dire Calls stories in order.

Dire Calls shorts offer readers a quick fix of police procedural action situated in the fantastic world of author Mathew Reuther's Thousand Kingdoms. Perfect for lunchtime, commute, or similar quick reads, the stories focus on the men and women of New Dagonia's finest. New tales of bravery and duty are available every two weeks, ensuring that fans are never stuck waiting too long for new episodes.

Reader Advisory: Dire Crimes stories contain themes which are appropriate for young adult to mature readers. Parents are encouraged to read the story before deciding if their YA readers are mature enough for the subject matter.

(Story length: 30,200 words; SFWA Class: Novella)

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