Warner series, Book 6
Suspense / Thriller
Date Published: 11-11-2021
Publisher: GnD Publishing LLC
Detective Al Warner’s investigation of a street hooker’s death leads to a
case of human sex-trafficking. Nicki, an undercover cop, is snatched while
carrying a concealed tracking device, but it’s stripped from her before she
can activate it. Warner is stymied as she struggles to send the locating
Meanwhile, an young woman, Maggie, is offered a lucrative deal as a birth
surrogate for a secretive, wealthy couple. While living nine months in
luxurious seclusion, she learns her fetus is a tool of extortion, and fears
for her life. Al Warner is struggling to solve two cases at once. It all
comes together in a violent conclusion, with Warner once again thrust into
~ 5 ~
Jack Harris pushed out of his chair and scurried to head off Warner as he strode toward his office.
“Got a minute, Boss?” He panted softly as he touched the Warner’s arm.
“Yeah, Jack. What’s up?” He studied the short detective. “You still gettin’ physical therapy? You look winded.”
“Some, but this job doesn’t provide much free time. I’ve got—”
“Cut the crap, Jack. We need ya here, but in good workin’ order. I want ya to see the therapist four times a week. Make a schedule and stick to it.” He laid a hand on Harris’ shoulder. “Got it?”
“Yes, Boss.” His cheeks pink-tinged as he studied his shoes.
“Okay.” Warner nodded toward his office. “Ya waylaid me for a reason. What’s up?”
Harris tapped on his pad. “I got a call from Damian Torres.”
“The Miami-Dade Sheriff’s detective?”
“Yeah. A Seminole brave found a woman’s body in Big Cypress, near the Collier County border.” He glanced at his tablet’s screen. “The sheriff’s M.E. IDed her as one Ada Funck.”
“And they called us why?” Warner, followed by Harris, entered his office and perched on the corner of his desk.
“Apparently, she’s got a record as a Miami hooker… a street walker from the Miami Springs area.” Harris pocketed his tablet. “He figured since she was one of ours, we’d be interested, especially since it was so unusual.”
“Unusual?” Warner rose and circled his desk “Why?”
“Well, she had the expected track marks on her arm. Most of those babes are users, but they were old and well-healed, and her tox screen was clean as a whistle.”
“Huh.” Warner looked up from the report he’d begun to scan. “Any info she was in any kind of rehab?”
“Nope.” Harris settled on a chair. “And she looked healthy. Or at least she was before she croaked.”
“What d’ya mean, ‘healthy,’ Jack?”
“Well fed, decent haircut, nicely trimmed nails. Nothing you’d expect from one of those babes.”
“So,” Warner scratched his chin, “someone was takin’ good care of her. Cleaned her up, fed her, maybe made a concubine outta her. Then what? Dumped her like trash?”
“Maybe. And one more thing, Boss.”
“The sheriff’s ME says she’d given birth right before she died. It was a Caesarian delivery.”
“Weirder by the minute. Not uncommon for a hooker ta get knocked up, but I’d guess it would be rare for taking it early.” Warner slouched back in his chair. “They sendin’ the vic up to our ME? I’d like the Hawk and his CSU unit to go over her, too. See if they missed something.”
“Figured that’s what you’d want.” Harris stood. “She’s on the way to his lab right now.”
“Good.” Warner selected another file to review. “Give it to Dean Beck, and you run all the follow-ups. Keep me posted.”
“On it, Boss.” Harris headed for the doorway.
“Hope this ain’t the beginnin’ of some new, nasty creep on the prowl,” he muttered under his breath.
It’d been six months since the unsatisfying conclusion of the Shadow affair. A non-conclusion at this point, and still a bone the FBI was chomping on. It was out of his jurisdiction now.
Seems like we can’t go a full year without some major loony poppin’ up. His gut had the uncomfortable feeling more bad stuff was coming, sooner rather than later.
He sighed, and began scanning a batch of action reports.
Warner’s thoughts drifted to Eva. Something was on her mind. Well, she’d spill it when she was ready. His lips arched into a small grin. What a lucky bastard he was for a woman like that to actually love him.
About the Author
George A. Bernstein, now living in south Florida, is the retired President of a modest, publicly held appliance manufacturer. He spent years attending writing seminars and conferences, learning to polish his work and developing a strong “voice.” George is acclaimed by his peers as a superb wordsmith and a crafter of surprise endings no one expects. He works with professional editors to ensure his novels meet his own rigorous standards, and all of his books are currently published by small indie press, GnD Publishing LLC, in
which he has an interest.
Taken is the sixth of his Detective Al Warner Suspense series, with the first five; Death’s Angel; Born to Die; The Prom Dress Killer; White Death; and Sniper, all garnering rave reviews. His Detective Al Warner has attracted many fans, with readers likening Warner to James Patterson’s Alex Cross. Four of his novels are also now available in Audible.
Bernstein’s first novel, Trapped, was a winner in a small Indie publisher’s “Next Great American Novel” contest, and received high praise, gaining many mostly 5-star reviews, reaching “Top 100” status. His second novel, A 3rd Time to Die (A paranormal Romantic Suspense) has also garnered mostly 5-Star & 4-Star reviews, with one reader likening him to the best, less “spooky” works of Dean Koontz & Stephen King.
Bernstein is also a “World-class” fly-fisherman, setting a baker’s dozen IGFA World Records, mostly on fly-rods. He’s written the popular Toothy Critters Love Flies, the complete book on fly-fishing for pike & musky.