Tag Archives: Crime

Blackspoon

Take a look at an extract from this new thriller…

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Daniel Eagleton

1.

Somewhere over Germany, his mind turned against him. The pure, undiluted terror had kicked in hours ago, but he’d been expecting that, even as it came on like a bout of gastric flu, giving him the shakes and making him rush to the toilet to void his bowels. As he left the cubicle he passed one of the Danes, also looking decidedly pasty. Hung-over, probably. Not uncommon after the stopover in Cyprus. Now this Dane would have to deal with the stench Charlie had left behind. Would he complain to his mates about it? Perhaps Charlie’s shit reeked of fear. He sat back down and while the other Movers laughed and joked and planned two weeks’ leave with their girlfriends and families, Charlie did his best to appear calm. If anyone did notice his sweating, the way he was gripping the armrest, he wouldn’t be able to blame it on the booze.

He hadn’t touched a drop, not even on the beach yesterday.

He had to get a hold of himself.

Think of something.

Bit of airsickness, mate, that’s all.

An airsick RAF man?

They’d still be laughing when they landed in England.

No, no. Fine, really. Bit nervous, that’s all. Got five kilos of uncut heroin taped to my chest.

Probably best not to mention that.

The five kilos of smack concealed beneath his uniform.

Better to think about the money instead. The five grand already in his account, the other five waiting for him once he made it through customs. And he’d get through customs. They’d been over it a hundred times, him and Baker the Military Policeman. They’d even Skyped Geddis, the other copper, the one who’d be waiting for Charlie when he touched down and who’d personally make sure he wasn’t picked out of the assembly and searched.

Every detail covered.

Geddis had said as much himself.

‘For this to go well,’ he’d shrugged, his face filling the computer screen, voice

blaring through the headphones, ‘it’s in everyone’s interests, right? You get caught, that’s bad for all of us. But that’s not gonna happen. I mean, think about it. You’re gonna get your own, personal, police escort, son.’

But it was Baker who really sold it, during one of their many bonding sessions at the gym. Unable to drink during their tour, all anyone did when they weren’t working was hit the gym. Baker was older than Charlie, and Charlie respected his casual approach to life in a war zone. Charlie also liked that Baker happily reinforced the reputation enjoyed by RAF Movers, who didn’t just plan and execute the transportation of personnel and equipment by air, but were also known for their partying, their love of the ladies, and even, on occasion, their willingness to smuggle a little contraband.

‘We control every aspect of that flight,’ Baker had said. ‘We walk you on, walk you off. Meanwhile, they’re looking at your luggage, not you.’

He was right, of course. Charlie had been in and out of Brize countless times over the last seven years and he’d never once been searched. After a stint in Gibraltar, his mate Westy had to be gently reprimanded for failing to declare his knife and several rounds of live ammunition. And what about Andy ‘Two-pints’ Thompson? Everyone knew Two-pints had an M16 stashed in his room back on base.

Got it off a Marine, he said.

Never said how he got it past security, though.

The point being, Charlie had no weaponry about his person, and that, primarily, was what they’d be looking for. That’s what he’d been telling himself. Only now that voice inside his head, the one that had been so sure this was going to work, had changed tempo. It was, in fact, no longer a voice. It was a huge, expansive noise, like the crashing of a jet airliner. This jet airliner. They were about to plummet to the ground, their bodies immolated and strewn across the first piece of dust-free pasture any of them had seen in months.

‘Cup of coffee?’ said the flight attendant, looming over Charlie with a fresh pot.

‘Something I ate,’ Charlie said, ungluing his lips.

The flight attendant, a thin, fresh-faced man, adopted a playful, concerned expression. ‘You alright? You’ve gone a bit pale, there.’

Charlie coughed, sat up straight, the tape beneath his uniform squeaking.

‘I’m fine. Some water would be great, though.’

‘No problem,’ the flight attendant said. He winked at Charlie. ‘And don’t worry. You made it. You’ll be home in an hour.’

As they touched down the other servicemen and women cheered and applauded, a sound

like static being blasted through a wall of broken speakers. Charlie was now sweating profusely, miming laughter, his head back, teeth bared. How wrong can you get? To think you can do something, only to discover you’re not up for the challenge.

Don’t just sit there, said the voice in his head, calling to him from somewhere far away, somewhere amid the whirlwind.

Get on your feet and make it happen.

He stood, pulled his pack from the overhead compartment. A series of simple, inculpable gestures. They taxied across the airfield, then waited for the cabin doors to open, his colleagues talking excitedly, busy with their own thoughts and feelings about what lay ahead. Charlie ignored the urge to vomit, told himself again how Geddis would be waiting. Geddis who was tall and ginger and therefore impossible to miss, and who had as much to lose as Charlie should anything go wrong.

He disembarked to congratulations from the captain and crew and descended onto the tarmac. It was dark, but he could still see the cloud cover that everyone had missed so much while under the glaring, Afghan sky. They were back at Brize, their home town. But it wasn’t home any more. Charlie realised that now. He was an interloper, an enemy, and still a long way from any Safe Zone.

Double doors parted and he walked into the terminal, bright under the lights and unkept as always. They formed an orderly queue, passports at the ready. Outside came the familiar roar of a C-17 taking off, and at the desk, friendly but efficient, were the customs officials. Charlie became aware of his mates, a few metres behind him. He should acknowledge them. They knew him as a talker, a joker. Why the silence, they’d wonder. And why was he was having trouble standing like a normal person?

How did he normally stand?

What if he fell down?

He reached the desk, the official looking over his documents and waving him through. On the other side of a large partition security personnel awaited, ready to stop-search some of the men as they made their way to Baggage Claim. Charlie fell in behind four or five identical uniforms, feeling momentarily camouflaged but knowing this was an illusion. He snuck a glance over the shoulder of the guy in front. Up ahead, an MP had pulled someone aside and was asking him to unpack his rucksack and sports bag. The MP was not Geddis. Where was Geddis? Charlie could see Baggage Claim through another set of automatic doors, so close he might be able to make it unnoticed. He’d simply put his head down and saunter over there.

A second later Charlie saw him: tall, ginger, walking the length of the queue.

He stopped at Charlie’s shoulder.

‘If I can ask you to come with me, sir. Won’t take a moment.’

Charlie looked at the floor.

Some mistake, surely.

Then Geddis ushered the man directly in front of Charlie to one side, saying, ‘Just a formality. The rest of you on your way, now.’

For a moment, as the flow of traffic started up again, Charlie just stood there, his feet rooted to the floor, until finally, on pins and needles, he shuffled through the doors into the adjacent hall.

He’d made it, and as he waited for his luggage to arrive he began to mingle, parading up and down the conveyor belt, clapping his co-workers on the shoulder, reminding them there was some serious drinking to be done. He felt light-headed, unsubstantial, but in a good way. Finally, their bags began to trundle past and as they did so another MP appeared, this one with a small, excited dog at his feet.

Charlie’s airways constricted, white pixels swarming at the edge of his vision.

The MP led the dog along the conveyor, the tiny canine sniffing each bag or pack as it passed, moving swiftly towards Charlie, who thought seriously about sprinting for the exit. Instead he put several men between himself and the mutt, which was looking for bombs or weapons but which probably wouldn’t discriminate should he catch the whiff of an illegal substance.

Charlie walked to the other end of the conveyor.

The stink of it.

Narcotics and dread, spreading like sonar.

His luggage curled into view and he lurched forward, overextending, making a spectacle of himself as he reached for the handles. Then he turned, an awkward, stumbling pirouette, away from the dog which yapped, leapt, and was yanked back on course by its handler.

Don’t run, Charlie told himself, his bags hanging off him as he hustled into Arrivals.

There was nobody waiting for him, but still the wives, kids and girlfriends searched his face to see if it was that of their loved one. A moment later, he was outside, into the freezing night air, where he disappeared among the hangars and buildings, taking the short cut back to his quarters.

His room seemed frozen in time, a different time, yet he’d only been away three months. It felt more like years. Back then, he’d packed up his stuff, ready to move into Claire’s flat so

he could spend more time with her before he shipped out. They were going to marry, get an RAF house, an Andrex puppy, until, one night, Charlie had sat in the local pub with his mates, having the same, work-related discussion they always had. But for once he hadn’t found it reassuring. It was tired, old as the stone fireplace he found himself staring into. He went to the bar, where the landlord poured his usual without saying a word. That’s when he knew for sure that nothing was going to change.

Ever.

Not unless he did something about it.

So he broke up with Claire.

It took a while, but in the end she was surprisingly stoical about it, as though she either didn’t believe him or understood completely where he was coming from. He couldn’t be sure. You had to hand it to her, though: she knew how to keep him guessing. He wanted to call her now; not to get back together, just to hear a friendly voice. He also wanted to rip the packets of heroin from his chest, to be free of them, even by a few feet.

So why the paralysis?

Geddis was due at any moment, and tomorrow Charlie would receive the rest of his money. Things couldn’t have gone more smoothly.

He surveyed his room. Four years he’d been in here. When he’d first moved in it had been a step up. No more sharing with another lad, an en-suite bathroom (complete with black mould and an intermittently hot shower). Was that why he’d asked Claire to marry him? To get a house? He wondered what she’d say if she found out he’d carried drugs. (And not just any kind: the really bad kind.) No doubt she wouldn’t approve. Not an easy thing to admit to, anyway: doing something morally questionable for money. Of course, he knew guys who killed for money, and who talked openly about how much they enjoyed it.

Yet carrying smack would be seen as worse.

He’d be a disgrace.

But what did they know?

What did anyone know?

He took home seventeen thousand a year. It wasn’t enough, not any more. He knew he should have retrained, worked his way up the ranks, but somehow he’d lacked the necessary ambition. Easier to work, drink beer in the local with his mates.

Only now, suddenly, seven years had passed.

He sat down on the bed. Geddis would be here any minute. Perhaps Charlie should just ask him straight out: the drugs, how much were they worth?

More than ten grand?

Because, alone for the first time in months, it seemed so obvious.

He was being ripped off.

Without thinking, he began to throw random items of clothing into a bag. In the drawer next to the bed, his mobile and charger. He crossed the room and stepped into the hallway beyond. No one around, only the throb of dance music as the lads prepared for an almighty piss-up in their local. He moved quickly down the corridor, passing the communal bathroom, the sound of showers running. Outside, the cold was less of a shock this time, as though he’d acclimatised already. He heard voices, a couple of airmen approaching. He turned, walking the length of the building towards the car park where his second-hand Golf was waiting. Overhead, the steady drone of air traffic. He reached the Golf, had to remind himself he wasn’t going AWOL in any official sense. He had two weeks’ leave, starting tonight. He keyed the ignition, steered his way out of the car park, following the road to the front gates. Another security checkpoint, the MP there already leaning from his booth. Charlie flashed his ID and was through, pulling out onto the Carterton Road.

Don’t floor it.

That was the trick now.

Nice and steady.

He was on the A40 when his mobile rang.

‘Charlie?’ said Geddis. ‘I’m here. You gonna let me in, or what?’

‘Yeah. About that. What I mean is, I need to talk to you about that.’

‘What are you, driving? Tell me you haven’t gone walkabout.’

‘Well, actually,’ Charlie said, having to clear his throat, ‘what I’m thinking is, we meet up tomorrow. And we’ll talk then. Because the way I see it, there’s a few things we need to, you know, discuss. Anyway, it’s late. I’ll call you in the morning, alright?’

‘Charlie, I want you to listen to me very carefully. I want you to think about what you’re doing. About the implications of your actions, alright? Because you don’t wanna do this, understand? Believe me. You do not wanna do this.’

‘Alright,’ Charlie said. ‘I’ll talk to you first thing, then, alright? All the best.’

He disconnected the call.

Outside his window the landscape was dark and foreign.

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Halloween Special – The Devil’s Lieutenant

Another series today, check out Suzi Albracht’s The Devil’s Lieutenant, first in the Devil’s Due Collection.

The Devil’s Lieutenant is a macabre dance of Good and Evil where nothing is as it seems. Will you dare to experience the “dance”? There are many dance partners to choose from – Dimitry Ivanovitch with his filthy promises; Jake Holyfield with his innocent belief in the power of good; Max Wilson, a conflicted soul who simply wants to care for his mother; or perhaps Mikael Ruskoff, a man driven by the fumes of pain. Or you could partner up with Carl Royce but if you do, don’t let him touch your thumbs. Need to know more?

Jake Holyfield, a young, married homicide detective, finds himself investigating a series of barbaric murders where the bodies are dissolved leaving blood, sinew and globs of fat at the scene. A mysterious informant provides insider clues on the murders that challenge Jake’s belief system. The informant claims the killer is the Devil’s agent sent to collect unpaid debts.

Soon Jake and the informant, Mikael Ruskoff, join forces to stop the killer. But Mikael is a man with deadly secrets that he holds close. Secrets like—he is on the run from the very same killer.

Meanwhile, Jake’s best friend, Max Wilson, gets caught up in the web of a mysterious man. At first his benefactor seems sent from heaven when he takes care of Max’s money woes but before long the man’s darker, more nefarious side is revealed.

As Jake’s investigation heats up, Max spirals into a dark world that he can’t escape. Their paths crisscross in an unexpected way when a grainy video is discovered that shows Max as a witness or participant to one of the murders.

Jake is warned to back-off, to end his investigation. When he refuses, the Devil’s agent threatens Jake’s pregnant wife and small child.

Soon, the lives of everyone Jake loves depend on what he does next.

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Blind Redemtion

BlindRedemption-banner

A woman is missing, paths are misleading. Can Psychic Detective Jackie Vaughn see through the veil of lies to find her?

Synopsis

Kidnapped and sold into the Chinese slave trade the survival of Annette Freder, the wife of University Chancellor, Charles Freder, depends on struggling psychic detective, Jackie Vaughn.

Crippled by grief over the unexpected death of her wife, Jackie deals with her anguish through pills and booze. While these coping mechanisms numb her pain, the growing addiction hampers her abilities, and places her health and livelihood in jeopardy.  The missing person’s case of Annette Freder shifts Jackie’s focus, challenging her psychic abilities.

Blind Redemption Cover

While on the job in China, Jackie finds herself with limited access to medication, resulting in bouts of withdrawal and depression. But that is just one of the many hurdles hindering Jackie in her quest to find Annette and return her to safety. Will corrupt police, maxed out credit cards, an ousted Greek intelligence officer assassin, and a revelation from an unexpected source prove too much for her?

Entangled deceit and unravelling lies Blind Redemption captures the essence of the human spirit and the power of redemption.

Video Trailer

Buy Links

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/blind-redemption-by-denise-dearth-and-amy-gillen/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014U2PX9G
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014U2PX9G
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B014U2PX9G
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B014U2PX9G
ARe:  https://www.omnilit.com/product-blindredemption-1887377-243.html

Excerpt

An hour later, Jackie sat in her office and watched the thin blond woman pace the floor in front of her desk.

“My husband is cheating.”

“Mrs. Kelly, I’ve had your husband under surveillance for six weeks. He doesn’t have a girlfriend. This is good news.”

The woman turned on her, frowning. “Well, your investigation is wrong. What kind of accreditation is CDI?”

“I completed the Certified Detective Institute requirements fourteen years ago. I’m certified in Indiana and all other states to work with individuals and law enforcement on investigative procedures.”“

A certificate on the wall doesn’t mean anything.”

Jackie stifled a sigh. “Mrs. Kelly, we discussed all the possible outcomes when I took your case. I’m sorry you’re not pleased with the results, but I assure you—”

“You’ll get your damn flat fee, whether you deserve it or not. I should have known better.”

Mrs. Kelly spun on her heel and left the office, slamming the door behind her.

“Boss, you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Jackie assured her assistant. She choked down a persistent emptiness that kept her up at night and overwhelmed thoughts throughout the day. For relief she pulled out a prescription bottle from the desk, and when the lid relented, she popped a Xanax without benefit of water. “When will the life insurance rep reschedule?” she asked.

“I hadn’t gotten the chance to tell you. The rep left a message on the machine this morning. He said background checks are on hold because of company cutbacks. Sorry, boss.”

“Sorry doesn’t pay the bills,” Jackie said, rubbing her eyes. “Now I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get bitchy.”

“You’ve still got the teaching job, right?”

“Yeah. Thanks to the dream analysis class, I won’t go hungry, and we can keep this place going, so long as you can hang in there.”

“I’m good for a while, thanks to my police pension. Can you do some psychic readings to help with the cash flow?”

“I’ve never done readings, and I never will.”

Giveaway

Prize: $10 WIP Gift Card

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About the authors

DENISE DEARTH is a novelist and songwriter.  Blind Redemption is the first novel in the compelling Jackie Vaughn detective series. She is a member of Broadcast Music Incorporated, a music performing right organization, and the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981. When’s she’s not writing she may be seen riding a two-toned, sky blue and white Victory Vegas Steel horse into the Midwestern sunset.

Denise Dearth can be found at:

Website: www.fictioncorner.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackieVaughnPI

AMY GILLEN is a co-creator of the Jackie Vaughn detective series.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Indiana University.  She is a poet, photographer, and entrepreneur with a passion for kayaking and travel.

Amy Gillen can be found at:

Website: www.fictioncorner.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackieVaughnPI


Halloween Special – Death Most Wicked

Here’s the final book I have for you from Suzi Albracht (and if you haven’t checked out the rest of the series then make sure you do), introducing Death Most Wicked…

The thing Evil craves most is innocence. When small children disappear, you can be assured that Evil has crawled out of its dirty corner. And when those children turn up dead, Evil has clawed its mark on humanity.

What if you were a homicide detective and little girls were suddenly being kidnapped and murdered by a devious pedophile? And what if that pedophile left no evidence behind except for the broken bodies? What would you sacrifice to save just one innocent child? Would any sacrifice be too great? What if it cost you someone you loved? What if, by saving that child, you unleash a horrific monster into your own life?

Mikael Ruskoff was living his dream. He was a highly successful, homicide detective working a career he loved. He had a mother who adored him, a son he took skateboarding, and a wife he loved more than words could express. He played a mean drum set every Thursday night with his best friend on guitar. His life was comfortable and pleasurable. Then he caught a case that would change his life forever.

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Blind Redemption

BlindRedemption-banner

A woman is missing, paths are misleading. Can Psychic Detective Jackie Vaughn see through the veil of lies to find her?

Synopsis

Kidnapped and sold into the Chinese slave trade the survival of Annette Freder, the wife of University Chancellor, Charles Freder, depends on struggling psychic detective, Jackie Vaughn.

Crippled by grief over the unexpected death of her wife, Jackie deals with her anguish through pills and booze. While these coping mechanisms numb her pain, the growing addiction hampers her abilities, and places her health and livelihood in jeopardy.  The missing person’s case of Annette Freder shifts Jackie’s focus, challenging her psychic abilities.

Blind Redemption Cover

While on the job in China, Jackie finds herself with limited access to medication, resulting in bouts of withdrawal and depression. But that is just one of the many hurdles hindering Jackie in her quest to find Annette and return her to safety. Will corrupt police, maxed out credit cards, an ousted Greek intelligence officer assassin, and a revelation from an unexpected source prove too much for her?

Entangled deceit and unravelling lies Blind Redemption captures the essence of the human spirit and the power of redemption

Pre-order Links

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/blind-redemption-by-denise-dearth-and-amy-gillen/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014U2PX9G
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014U2PX9G
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B014U2PX9G
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B014U2PX9G
ARe:  https://www.omnilit.com/product-blindredemption-1887377-243.html

Giveaway

Prize: $10 WIP Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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About the authors

DENISE DEARTH is a novelist and songwriter.  Blind Redemption is the first novel in the compelling Jackie Vaughn detective series. She is a member of Broadcast Music Incorporated, a music performing right organization, and the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981. When’s she’s not writing she may be seen riding a two-toned, sky blue and white Victory Vegas Steel horse into the Midwestern sunset.

Denise Dearth can be found at:

Website: www.fictioncorner.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackieVaughnPI

AMY GILLEN is a co-creator of the Jackie Vaughn detective series.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Indiana University.  She is a poet, photographer, and entrepreneur with a passion for kayaking and travel.

Amy Gillen can be found at:

Website: www.fictioncorner.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackieVaughnPI


Fang and Claw

New release time. Take a look at Fang and Claw by fellow awethor Markie Madden.

Over a hundred years in the future, it’s a world where supernatural beings live and work among humans. Of course, the governments of the world have forced them to take the Undead Oath in order to gain citizenship; they must not prey on humans for food. They’re given tasks in jobs suited for their species, but just as among other minorities, they must struggle to prove themselves.

Lieutenant Lacey Anderson of the Dallas Police Department heads up a new elite squad dedicated to solving crimes involving Immortal species like herself. Lacey, a Vampire left for dead hundreds of years ago when her family was slaughtered by Werewolves, still has nightmares about the grievous ordeal.

Detective Colton Scarber is her unwilling partner and second-in-command of the unit. He’s a Werewolf, a descendant of those who killed Lacey’s family. She doesn’t know this, but she still doesn’t trust him from the start. When the fragile beginning of the team is threatened by the truth, can they learn to trust one another as partners must, or will the Undead Unit be doomed to failure?

A mysterious suspect and strange, unknown physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades, and leaves Lacey with no other choice but to rely on her enemy when her very life is in danger!

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Subversion

Introducing J.P. Choquette and her book Subversion – check out her guest post and extract.


JPChoquette--resized for web

Thanks for offering to share a bit of information with your readers about Subversion, Lynzie. I appreciate it greatly! Tatum “Tayt” Waters, the main character in this mystery novel is spunky, sarcastic and always seems to find her way into trouble. Though she’s only 29, she has her own cleaning business and is transitioning into another full-time business, providing security at events or for individuals. On the side though, Tayt often helps people who have been failed by the justice system through “Sunflower Specials.”

This scene is taken from an early part in the book, when Tayt is contacted by an abused wife, Mary Ann, seeking retribution against her husband, Walter Hawk.

Mary Ann Hawk is tiny and bird-like and does have the dark hair and wrinkles I expected but not the angry eyebrows. Instead, her eyebrows are nearly invisible, almost plucked to extinction. I order coffees for both of us, and we sit at a table with a view of the street.

“I got me a problem with my husband, Walter. I told you that on the phone,” she says. “He’s a maniac. A crazy man. And when he gets to drinkin’ …” she leaves the sentence unfinished, staring intently at the large windows as though her estranged husband is watching from the street. And what do I know? He could very well be.Subversion cover DIGITAL edition--resized for web

“So, Mrs. Hawk. Mary Ann. Is it OK to call you that?”

She nods, twisting the thin curtain between clenched fingertips.

“Your husband, Mr. Walter Hawk, has a history of abusing you.”

“Yeah. If you can call nearly killin’ me abuse, then yeah. I almost died that last time,” she laughs, a deep, dry sound. “He messed me up so good that it took me weeks to recover. Thought I might not for a while there, but here I am.”

Her fingers strangle the paper napkin. I nod, make a note on my paper.

“How’s all this work, anyway?” she asks, looking at me. “My friend said that you take on these special jobs, Sunflower Specials, she called ‘em. Said you can track people down, make ‘em pay for what they done.”

I nod, hoping my wig stays in place.

“Are you familiar with Iranian law?” I ask.

Mary Ann nods, then shrugs. “Not really. I guess not.”

“In Iran it’s called Capital Punishment. The law states that the victim of a crime, or the victim’s family, if the victim is deceased, is responsible for exacting punishment on the criminal. Not on their own, but as part of a legal process.”

Mary Ann’s eyes brighten.

I continue, “Say for instance that a man is killed in a street fight. After a legal trial where the perpetrator is convicted, the victim’s family will be the ones at the hanging, responsible for pushing the chair out from under the murderer.”

“Pffft,” Mary Ann says, squinting her eyes at me. “So you’re sayin’ you’ll bring, what, bring Walter to me? No offense, but that ain’t gonna do me an ounce of good. You think if I could kick his ass, I’d have let him kick mine so many times?” Mary Ann pauses for her first sip of coffee. Her skinny arm shakes slightly.

“That’s where I come in,” I say, lowering my voice further. “Think of me as your sort of rented family. I’ll see that Walter is punished. My job in these cases,” I’m whispering now and Mary Ann leans closer to me, so close that I can see every pore in her nose, “is to make sure that the punishment fits the crime.”

“And then you just go along your merry little way?” she says. Her breath smells like coffee

and spearmint.

“I do have two rules in regards to Sunflower Specials,” I say, tapping the table with a nail to enunciate each. “The first is that the perpetrator actually is a perpetrator. I’m not going to go around scooping up innocent people for psychopaths,” I take a sip of my drink. “No offense.”

“None taken. I can get you court papers, photos of me from the hospital if that’s what you want.”

“That is exactly what I’m looking for,” I say, leaning back in my chair and returning my voice to a normal volume. “Once you give me those and your retainer, we can move on with your case.”

“You said you had two rules. So, what’s the second?”

“I get paid in cash, half up front and half when I deliver. No checks, no credit cards, no IOUs.”

“How much is a job like this gonna set me back?” Mary Ann asks, taking another sip of her coffee. I tell her, and she chews her lip a while, then nods.

“I can get it to you by the end of this week.”

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Dead Money Run

There are currently 10 books in the Lou Malloy Crime Series by J. Frank James. Dead Money Run is the first book in the series. Take a look at this extract!

Genres: Action/Adventure, Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Frank-James/e/B00EJLQRI0

CHAPTER 1

The warden was a small man, but dressed neatly. Everything about him was neat-from his hair to his shoes. He was almost too neat.

“So what are your plans, Lou?”

When I walked into the room, the warden turned over a little hour-glass full of sand. We both watched it for a few seconds and then looked at each other. This was the first time I ever met the man. What did he care about me now? Since he never cared before, I figured the man was just looking for information. Perhaps he wanted to give me a warning. I didn’t say anything.

“Do you ever think about time, Lou?”

“After fifteen years, what do you think?” I said.

He smiled and said, “Most valuable thing we have and no one seems to mourn its passing until it’s too late.”

I had nothing to say to that. Conversations with a prison warden came with a lot of maybes. While in prison I trained myself to watch a man’s hands. If he rubbed his hands in a washing motion, he was lying. If he messed with his fingernails, he wasn’t interested in the conversation. The warden was rubbing his hands as if he had touched something distasteful.

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought, Warden Edwards.”

“Call me John, Lou. We’re friends now,” Edwards said while rubbing his hands in a determined kind of way.

So now we were friends. I wanted to tell him he was a liar, but my better judgment stopped me. Probably a good way to delay my release-things get lost, papers go unsigned. Things happen.

“Okay, John,” I said.

“You know, we never found the fifteen million,” he said.

“I didn’t know you were looking for it.”

I watched his eyes flicker briefly. I seemed to hit a sweet spot.

“No, Lou. You misunderstand,” he said as he caught himself. “There is a reward for the recovery of the money. Did you know that?”

Edwards said it more as a statement than a question. I said nothing and waited. Edwards shifted in his chair and started to rub his hands again.

“It would be in your best interest to tell them what you know.”

“Who’s the ‘them’ John?” I asked.

“They’re the people looking for the money.”

I thought about that for a few moments. The statement covered a lot of ground.

“Since I didn’t take the money in the first place, I don’t have anything to tell them. They need to ask the people that took it,” I said.

Edwards was smiling now and he stopped rubbing his hands.

“There are some people that think you do.”

“I can’t help what people think.”

“Ten percent,” he said.

“Ten percent of what,” I said.

“The money, Lou. Ten percent of fifteen million is a lot of money.”

“I hadn’t heard about that,” I said.

“Yeah, it seems the Indian casino had insurance. The insurance company that paid off on the claim put up a ten percent reward for the return of the money. A million five is a lot of money.”

“I hope they find it,” I said.

Edwards blinked his eyes signaling he was moving on to something else.

“Sorry to hear about your sister,” he said. “I understand they are doing all they can to find her killer.”

Edwards was a real card and running out of things to say. On any other day, in any other place, he would be dead or wishing he was.

“Thanks, John. Your words are real comforting,” I said and returned my gaze to the little hourglass and the sand as it accumulated on the bottom.

I had nothing else to say except make him happy. Make them all happy. Just one big happy group sitting around smiling at each other; happy, happy, now let’s just get the money and spread it all around and we can go on being happy. In the meantime my sister lies in a hole feeding worms. I had money on the worms being real happy. No word on how my sister felt.

Edwards looked disappointed when I didn’t add to our conversation.

“Lou, it might be a good idea for you to help them find the money. It could be a big windfall.”

Now we were getting somewhere. Just like all the rest of the treasure hunters, the miserable bastard was just in it for the money.

“Windfall for who, John? Me or you?”

As if tasting a lemon, Edwards twisted his face and, at the same time, waived his hands at an imaginary fly.

“I’m not sure what you mean, Lou. I’m just trying to give you a head start. If it was my decision, you would still be with us. Fifteen million dollars is a lot of money to lose.”

“It still is,” I said.

I sat and watched Edwards shift in his chair some more. We had nothing left to talk about. I could feel him working out in his mind how he was going to present his failure to get a lead out of me on the money.

“So, what are you going to do now?” Edwards said.

Finally, I had enough.

“Leave. Isn’t that what we all do?”

His smile vanished. He knew he was wasting his time on someone who had maxed out. He also knew he couldn’t hold me. There would be no parole violation with the threat to re-incarcerate me. No work release effort to rehabilitate me. Just a new suit made in the prison cut and sew area and a hundred bucks was the sum total of it. That probably hadn’t changed since the 30s. I wondered if Al Capone wore the suit they gave him when he got out.

We were both looking at the little hourglass of sand now. The sand had drained from the top of the glass to the bottom. Suddenly, as if being shot out of a cannon, we both stood up. Edwards stuck out his hand. I turned and left the room. I turned and left the room. I didn’t shake his hand. I didn’t want to touch him.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Frank-James/e/B00EJLQRI0


Full Irish

New Release Time! Check out Full Irish by Pete Morin and Susanne O’Leary.

A Dublin reporter is on a mission to find the murderer of an honest politician and close friend. A Boston lawyer is hired to dig up dirt on a conniving Irish competitor. 

When the two collide at a famous County Kerry castle and discover their mutual interests, the ensuing game plan is more Pink Panther than Hercule Poirot. 

Full Irish marks the return of Paul Forté and his wife, Shannon, and the introduction of Finola McGee. In a sometimes madcap, sometimes dark adventure, Shannon lands a blow against lecherous politicians, McGee shows off her pole dancing prowess, an Anglo-Irish butler turns double-agent, and the zygomatic bone takes disproportionate abuse. But can the trio unravel the web of conspiracy stretching from the back corridors of Leinster House to the polished inner sanctum of the Massachusetts Senate? 

Against the backdrop of the windswept west coast of Ireland and the watering holes of Dublin and Boston, Full Irish exposes a rivalry that goes to the very heart of politics.

 

You can download the book now from Amazon and find out more about Pete Morin here.


Cover Poll – The Unlucky Man

Never judge a book by it’s cover. But what about when that’s all you’ve got to go on? Today we are getting interactive.

Check out this cover from H T G Hedges’ debut The Unlucky Man and tell us – based on this cover alone would you buy the book? Vote below for a chance to win a copy of the book:

 

The Unlucky Man

 

Leave a comment – even a simple hello – and one of you will be chosen to WIN an e-copy of the book on Saturday!