Welcome to the official website for author J.R. Hampton, “an intelligent writer whose characters jump off the page with their unusual lives and even stranger missions…” (D.B. Finnegan). Described as a must-read author for anyone wanting twisted plots laced with poison and humor, she’s inspired in equal parts by her previously published work in psychology, and her fascination with all things forensic.
Jacqueline Hampton doesn’t believe in coincidence. When the former biochemist turned forensic genealogist discovered she’d worked with not one, but two killers during her career, she started writing to remind people that what can’t happen here, just might.
Selected to participate in the 2017 juried Squaw Valley Community of Writers fiction workshop, Jacqueline is also an award-winning ghostwriter. Her project, Back from the Brink Too: Supporting Your Loved Ones Overcoming Depression received the 2009 SANE Australia Book of the Year award.
She is currently at work on a new thriller, Goodbye, Rudy Looby.
Jessica Eden grabbed the only thing in her pocket—a blue one-milligram Xanax tablet, her third of the day. Or maybe the fourth. She’d lost count. All she knew as she watched her partner walk onto the hot set of the press conference was that she needed more.
A reporter spotted him and waved him over. The Mexican agent stepped in front of the cameras with a blazing smile. Jessica shrank against the seat of their unmarked SUV, pressing her spine deep into the leather. “Don’t be stupid, please don’t be stupid,” she said. But Oscar Descante couldn’t hear her. She’d stayed behind, parked outside the Mexico City cargo hangar, knowing her height (pushing six feet) and the prematurely white hair grazing her shoulders (she was only thirty-one) made her stand out at events like this. Her lips drew to a thin line. Descante knew better than to take a risk like this. He knew to leave the pressers to the PR people. La Grava cartel would be here taking careful note of anyone involved in the seizure of their plane—a plane loaded with laundered drug money inbound from the U.S. This plane marked the end of the first month of a successful revenue seizure blitz orchestrated by a joint Policía Federal Ministerial PFM-DEA task force. The PFM, despite the DEA telling them it was a bad idea, had insisted on a press conference to mark the occasion.
Mrs. Clifford’s Cat
(Completed Short Fiction)
Helen counts her steps. Thirty-one. She pauses in front of the auditorium doors: the math is wrong. Three plus one is four. A bad number. The only number worse than four is two. She hurries to the end of the sidewalk and starts over, her stride smaller this time. Thirty-five. Three and five are both acceptable, together they make eight. Eight is excellent even though it contains two fours. Helen can’t explain this; it’s just how the math works.
She approaches a folding table manned by two women.
“Here for the reunion?” one of them asks. She waves a hand over the plastic badges arrayed on the table.
“Yes. I’m Helen Spode-Harris.”
“Ah, here you are.” The woman smiles and hands a badge to Helen. Helen lingers, runs her index finger down the line of names starting with the Ps until she hits the first Q.
“Looking for someone?” The same person asks this.
Helen’s fingernail presses a half-moon dimple in the first Q badge. She clears her throat. “Kevin Clifford,” she says. “Class of ’81.”
The bottle explodes at our feet, spraying Denise and me with beer too warm for the Boston winter night. Fucking punks almost hit my girls is all Sandy says and he’s gone, chasing their collective asses up Exeter Street.
Denise shrieks when the crowd parts like it’s Moses asking and Sandy stumbles into the halo of the street lamp. Blood to match his anglo fro paints a pattern on his cheek, like a manhole cover. Or a boot sole.
They kicked my ass, Sandy says and twitters like a girl because he’s drunk as us. But I got some licks in. I know that’s right. Sandy is built like a coke machine with a head on it and ready to go old school Chicago street on any punk dare run up on us girls, his girls in a way he doesn’t like.
I wobble into the theater on my stilettos to get help, hot shot of scared pee dribbling down my fishnet thighs. Drive us to Tufts I beg the manager. He says okay because I’m a midnight show regular and he hopes someday I’ll fuck him after I work my way through the other boys. But there’s no end of boys in those days, and that tryst will never happen.
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