Every story has a genesis. A spark that ignites the what if or what now? Often my books come from a combination of articles or books I’ve read about real events. Sometimes it comes from an experience I’ve had. Still other times it’s inspired by a journey someone I know has made.
Lethal Intent is a combination of those. When I started planning Caroline’s story, I wanted to explore the experience a friend had when her son was diagnosed with leukemia. Then I started thinking about the immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks. While no researcher has found a second strain of cells that work like hers, wouldn’t the pressure be intense to do just that? I also teach at a world class university that hosts cutting edge research in many areas including medical areas like cancer and Alzheimer’s.
My mind began twining those three threads together. But how could I make it something you will care about? Something I would care about as a reader? I love a good book…I read or listened to more than 150 in 2020. There are three things that keep me coming back to and thinking about a book. 1) The characters draw me in and won’t leave me alone. There is something compelling about them. Something that makes me want to spend time with them on the pages of a book. 2) The writing grabs ahold of me because of something unique. It’s so tied to the characters or the place or the conflict. 3) The story makes me so curious and grabs my attention.
So once I had the big idea, how to make us care? I love Caroline, but what would make it more than a job for her? And how could I put her and Brandon at odds so that the romance has stakes that are insurmountable? It was as I started playing with those questions that the character of Bethany developed. An 11 year old, she has a life and fire to her that sparks on the page and makes us care.
Bethany also gives Brandon big stakes in Caroline’s work that Caroline can see. As a hero, Brandon has challenges of his own, but one of the biggest to him is trying to protect Bethany from a foe he can’t see or physically fight. It pushes him far outside himself while also forcing him to deal with the pain in his past. Put together, these threads have created what I hope is a story you can’t put down.
I’d love to know. What makes a book un-put-downable for you?
If they expected silence, they hired the wrong woman.
Caroline Bragg’s life has never been better. She and Brandon Lancaster are taking their relationship to the next level, and she has a new dream job as legal counsel for Praecursoria—a research lab that is making waves with its cutting-edge genetic therapies. The company’s leukemia treatments even promise to save desperately sick kids—kids like eleven-year-old Bethany, a critically ill foster child at Brandon’s foster home.
When Caroline’s enthusiastic boss wants to enroll Bethany in experimental trials prematurely, Caroline objects, putting her at odds with her colleagues. They claim the only goal at Praecursoria is to save lives. But does someone have another agenda?
Brandon faces his own crisis. As laws governing foster homes shift, he’s on the brink of losing the group home he’s worked so hard to build. When Caroline learns he’s a Praecursoria investor, it becomes legally impossible to confide in him. Will the secrets she keeps become a wedge that separates them forever? And can she save Bethany from the very treatments designed to heal her?
This latest romantic legal thriller by bestseller Cara Putman shines a light on the shadowy world of scientific secrets and corporate vendettas—and the ethical dilemmas that plague the place where science and commerce meet.
Caroline shifted in the high-backed chair. The massive conference room table made her feel more petite than usual. Quentin Jackson, the man propelling Praecursoria through its rapid growth, vibrated with energy as he studied her.
“We are on the cusp of amazing developments and a transition from the lab to trials. We have a few CAR T-cell therapies in early stages now with more in our pipeline.”
She racked her mind for the importance of T cells, and he gave a hearty laugh.
“Don’t worry if the science overwhelms you. We’ll have you up to speed in no time. All you need to know right now is that T cells are one of the two cells that make up white blood cells. The treatments we’re working on could be the difference between life and death for young cancer patients. We need your legal expertise and quick mind to synthesize the science with the map to market.”
“I’ve overseen several court trials related to patents, which should help with that process.” It had been an unforeseen aspect of her days clerking for Judge Loren. She swallowed against the lump in her throat that still welled up when she thought about his untimely death from pneumonia. A month ago she couldn’t imagine interviewing for a job somewhere else, even if a part of her knew that she should stretch her wings.
“When can you start? Today?”
She felt rooted to the chair. Everything was moving so fast. Could she really transition her experience managing clerks for a judge into managing patents and contracts for a start-up? While Praecursoria had been around for a decade as a cancer research lab, about eighteen months ago Quentin sold off its lucrative genetic testing branch to focus exclusively on the development of cutting-edge CAR T-cell therapies. Starting over that way was a bold if risky move.
She lifted her chin and forced a smile that didn’t waver. “If that’s what you need. First we have a few details to work out.”
He laughed. “I like the way you tackle issues head-on. That will be key in this role. I know how to steer the ship, and my chief scientist can navigate the research, but you’ll keep us on the legal straight and narrow.” He tapped his pen against the legal pad in front of him. Then he picked up her résumé and named a salary that pressed her against the chair. “There will be performance bonuses tied to the successful conclusion of trials. We want to look into stock options as well. That will be one of your assignments in conjunction with HR.” He slapped his hands on the table and she jumped. “My enthusiasm gets away from me sometimes.” He shrugged but never wavered as he examined her. “Let’s start with a field trip. The best way for you to understand why we’re doing this work and research is to show you.”
Excerpt from Lethal Intent by Cara Putman. Copyright 2021 by Cara Putman. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.
Cara Putman is the author of more than twenty-five legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Cara graduated high school at sixteen, college at twenty, completed her law degree at twenty-seven, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.
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Enter To Win!:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Cara Putman. There will be three (3) winners of one (1) physical copy of Lethal Intent by Cara Putman (US ONLY). The giveaway begins on January 11, 2021 and runs through February 7, 2021. Void where prohibited.
Congratulations to Alissa Grosso on the release of her suspenseful Supernatural Thriller, Up the Creek! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!!!
Up the Creek (Culver Creek #1)
Expected Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
An unsolved murder. Disturbing dreams. A missing child.
Caitlin Walker hasn’t had a dream in nine years. But now nightmares torture her son Adam and awaken in Caitlin buried memories and a dark secret. Her husband Lance has a secret of his own, one that his son’s nightmares threaten to reveal.
In Culver Creek newly hired detective Sage Dorian works to unravel the small town’s notorious cold case, the grisly murder of a young girl.
How are Caitlin and Lance connected to the horrific crime? And how far will they go to make sure their secrets stay hidden? Find out in this riveting thriller.
Caitlin emerged from a black, dreamless sleep to screams. Adam’s tortured cries sounded almost otherworldly. They turned her blood to ice and made her heart race. She sat straight up, then bolted from bed, blinking sleep from her eyes as she raced toward the door, banging her shin on the dresser as she went. She yanked on the doorknob and almost toppled over when it didn’t yield as she expected. Goddammit. Lance had locked the door again.
She spared a glance toward the bed, but her husband wasn’t there. Instead he was standing, looking out the window. For a moment she thought she was mistaken. Were the screams coming from outside?
“Lance?” she asked.
He turned to her, but his eyes looked past her at some point on the wall.
“What’s going on?” he mumbled, barely awake.
“Adam’s having a nightmare,” she said.
“Again?” he asked. “Maybe we should just let him sleep it off.”
The screams had subsided now, but she could still hear her son’s whimpers from down the hall. Sleep it off? Could Lance really be that clueless? She unlocked the door and flung it open. It bounced almost silently off the rubber doorstopper, which didn’t really give her the dramatic exit she was hoping for.
She still couldn’t quite wrap her head around her husband just standing there looking out the window while Adam cried for them. Usually Lance was the one who woke up first. Maybe he had already gone to comfort Adam and came back to their bedroom by the time she awoke. He seemed so out of it, though. Well, that’s what a lack of sleep could do to a person.
Adam sat on his bed in a nest of tangled sheets. His face was damp with tears and sweat, his dark hair plastered to his forehead. The hippo nightlight cast large, ominous shadows when she stepped into his room. He looked up with a start, then relaxed when he saw it was her.
She sat down beside him and pulled his small body to her, wrapping her arms around him and rocking him gently back and forth. The tears subsided, but he still felt tense.
“Mommy, I’m scared of the bad boy,” he said. “The bad boy’s going to hurt me.”
“Nobody’s going to hurt you,” she assured him. “You’re safe. It was just a dream. Look, you’re safe in your bedroom.”
At this, Adam pulled away from her a little to study the dimly lit bedroom. Maybe they should get a different nightlight. She had never realized how spooky that hippo light made everything look.
“There were trees,” Adam said, “and a river. She was playing in the river.”
Caitlin stiffened. Adam noticed it and looked up at her. She smiled at him.
“It was just a dream,” she said, as much to reassure herself as him. “It wasn’t real.”
There were lots of rivers out there, and wasn’t Adam just watching a cartoon show with cute animals that had to get across a river? That was probably where that detail came from. Plus, she reminded herself, it hadn’t been a river. It had been a creek. She wasn’t sure Adam knew the difference between a river and a creek, though. But a little girl playing in a river? No, wait, was that what he had said? He said only “she.” For all Caitlin knew, this she could have been a girl river otter. Maybe he had been having a cute dream about river creatures.
And a “bad boy,” she reminded herself. She remembered his bloodcurdling screams. There was nothing cute about the dream he had. Still, she clung to the “bad boy” detail. Was he talking about a child? If so, then the river was just a coincidence. She wanted to ask him more about the bad boy, but this was the worst thing she could do. He was already starting to calm down, starting to forget the details of his nightmare. She couldn’t go dredging things back up again.
“Mommy, can I sleep in your room?” Adam asked.
* * *
Lance was fully awake and in bed when Caitlin returned with Adam in her arms.
“Hey there, champ,” Lance said. “Have a bad dream?”
“Daddy, he hurt her,” Adam said. “He hurt her head. She was bleeding.”
Her son’s tiny body stiffened again in Caitlin’s arms, and she gave Lance an exasperated look as she set Adam down in the middle of the bed.
“We’d already gotten past that,” she said in a whispered hiss.
“Obviously,” Lance said with a roll of his eyes, “which is why he’s sleeping in our bed. Again.”
She slid into the bed beside Adam and adjusted the covers, ignoring her husband. She petted Adam’s head and made soft, soothing noises.
“Remember, that wasn’t real, just make believe, like a movie.” She didn’t want him to get himself worked up again talking about the dream, but it wasn’t just that. She didn’t want to hear any more details from the nightmare because the bit about the bad boy hurting the girl’s head and the blood felt a touch too familiar.
She stroked his face, and his eyelids slowly drooped closed. He looked so calm and peaceful when he slept.
“I thought we said we weren’t going to do this anymore,” Lance said. Even whispering, his voice was too loud. She held her finger to her lips. He continued more quietly, “I’m just saying, I think it would be better for him if he sleeps in his own bed.”
“It’s already after three,” she said. “It’s only for a few hours.”
“That’s not the point,” Lance said. “He’s nearly five years old. We can’t keep babying him.”
It was like the school argument all over again, and Caitlin didn’t want to get into it. Not now. She was still tired and groggy and needed more sleep.
“I want to get him a new nightlight,” she said to change the subject. “The one he has makes these creepy shadows.”
“A new nightlight,” Lance repeated in a skeptical voice. “Sure, that will solve everything.”
“The important thing,” she said, “is that we have to remind him that his dreams are not real. That they’re make believe. We have to be united on this.”
Lance made a dismissive noise and lay back down on his pillow, turning his body away from her and Adam. He muttered something, but his voice was muffled by the pillow.
“Lance, this is important,” she said. “We have to make it clear that his dreams are not real. He has to know they aren’t true.”
He sighed. “What kind of moron do you think I am? Do you really think I’m going to start telling him his dreams about boogeymen are real?” He squirmed around and pulled the covers up in an attempt to get comfortable. She thought he was done, but he stopped shifting around long enough to add, “It’s not exactly like you’re the foremost expert in dreams.”
Alissa Grosso is the author of several books for adults and teens. Originally from New Jersey, she now resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. You can find out more about her and her books at AlissaGrosso.com.
Revenge is a dish best served cold. But for Mercy Pryce her revenge will scald one’s soul and leave behind a burnt-out husk if she has her way.
Mercy has returned to her hometown of Cartleigh, New York after twenty years. The lakeside community is the perfect location for Yakim Zeldovich, her Russian billionaire employer’s state of the art manufacturing facility. Acting as a consultant for Zeldovich, she’s on an undercover mission, not as an angel of mercy, but one of mischief, deceit and torture. Her ultimate goal is to ruin Cartleigh because of a horrible trauma she suffered in high school. The one responsible for her wrath is Colton Hahn, Cartleigh’s beloved mayor, and the object of her retaliation. The town’s golden boy, who she once adored as an impressionable teenager, brutally raped her and left her for dead at seventeen.
Consumed by years of grief and growing rage, she has targeted Colton, who may also be responsible for the death of her best friend, Marina, his fiancé. She will avenge Marina and finally take down the monster who tried to ruin her life.
Her success may come at a horrible price. But it will all be worth it if she can take away everything Colton holds dear, including him surrendering his heart and soul to her in the process.
About The Author
KT Grant is a self-proclaimed eccentric redhead who not only loves to read a wide variety of romances, but also loves writing it. Under her alter-ego, Katiebabs, she’s a former book blogger and entertainment columnist who still doesn’t shy away from voicing her opinion.
A proud native of New Jersey, KT is multi-published and writes Gay, Lesbian and Straight romance. KT has also been a top ten best-selling author at Amazon.
Following a global pandemic, which has either killed or weakened most of the male population, women now dominate all aspects of life.
Dr. Morgan Digby, married to a man rendered bedbound from his bout with manflu a decade prior, is working tirelessly on a vaccine, yet obstacles keep springing up in her path.
When she meets a handsome neighbor who has never been exposed to the deadly virus, things become…complicated. There’s something between them, but he can’t leave his home.
Morgan’s struggle to remain faithful to her ailing husband isn’t her only battle. Someone has been one step ahead of her, countering her every move. Will she find a vaccine before it’s too late to protect those she loves?
About the Author
Simone de Muñoz writes dystopian, or perhaps utopian, fiction, depending on your perspective, where women drive the story and sometimes even run the world. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in economics from MIT, which she uses in her day job as a data analyst at a nonprofit. Based in Silicon Valley, she lives with her patient husband, their two young sons, and a grumpy dog named Fish. Manflu is her debut novel.
IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE. A brutal murder . . . Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.
An abduction in plain sight . . . Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.
At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.
A detective on the edge . . . With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?
Lorraine Mace returns with the fifth installment in her dark, gritty and unflinching DI Sterling series. Perfect for fans of Jane Casey, Karin Slaughter and M. J. Arlidge.
Readers LOVE the D.I. Sterling thrillers:
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‘Keeps you guessing and hooked with plenty of twists too. As for that ending – well!!!‘ *****
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‘I am blown away by this story and LOVE everything about it. I cannot wait for the next installment.’ *****
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‘Oh my goodness! What an opening chapter.‘ *****
‘Absolutely fantastic. Wow. Looking forward to the next book. 5*.‘ *****
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‘Dark, disturbing yet utterly gripping!‘ *****
‘This series is now a firm favourite of mine and I’m looking forward to the next one’ *****
‘Every book I’ve read in the series has been fantastic‘ *****
Carrying on the tradition of service as exemplified by his Nisei grandfather, a veteran with the 100th/442nd RCT in WWII, Jim Sato, a dedicated cop, serves as the nerve ending of a Top Secret psychotronic brain wave enhancer, a giant AI super computer, deep the bowels of DIA Headquarters in an attempt to stop and eliminate Abdul Ahmad, the arch terrorist, who sets out to destroy America. Sato is teamed up with Gilda Dobrowski, a small city psychic, and together they track down the whereabouts of the terrorist and lay a trap for him in Tokyo in a dangerous scheme to eliminate him once and for all, using the U.S. Embassy, the nerve center of U.S. power in the Far East, as bait. The plan goes awry, Ahmad escapes and the stage is set for a final showdown taking place on American soil, in an elaborate setup involving erecting a psychic shield covering the entire country. Lured into the United States by a sophisticated stratagem devised by Sato, Ahmad is detected and the chase is on.
Introduced first to the Director of DIA, Arthur Donnelly, then summarily dismissed by him with a curt, “Welcome aboard,” Jim and Gilda entered an elevator as the stainless steel doors parted like a mechanical maw with Kosovich in the lead. He ran his finger down a row of buttons and punched “Sub-B 5.” They began the long, slow descent without stopping. “Sub-B 5″ was known as “The StarCenter,” Kosovich informed them. Why? Because it was the lowest level of the entire building housing the headquarters of DIA. In case of nuclear decimation, Kosovich said. Jim couldn’t begin to fathom what that meant. The Cold War was over.
When the elevator jerked to a stop, they stepped out into a shining, polished corridor that reminded Jim of a hospital without the smell of antiseptics. They passed several doors on either side of them with single-digit numbers designating them. At the end of the hallway stood two guards at an entrance, a steel door. They were not Marines. They were special guards wearing blood-red berets and clad in navy-blue uniforms with a gold braid crossing their chests. Over their hearts were sewn an insignia of a mythological creature–an eagle look-alike with ribbed black wings and writhing snakes gripped in its talons. They were armed with automatic rifles that reminded Jim of Heckler & Koch .308’s with 50-round clips. They glanced impassively at Allen Kosovich’s ID and clearance. Jim peeked. Underneath the photo was in bold letters: “UB-X-00-A27.” Kosovich punched in the numbered and lettered code that opened the steel door.
Inside a small antechamber, Kosovich had to submit himself to a further check. He spoke into a meshed microphone, giving his name, ID number and date of birth. “Voice recognition confirmed. Proceed to Step Two,” a voice said out of nowhere. Kosovich placed his face against what looked like penny-arcade peepers. “Retina scan confirmed. Proceed to Step Three.” Kosovich drew his fingertips across his tongue and placed his right hand in a clear, plastic tray with mathematical inscriptions where the palm and fingers fit. A dark purplish ultraviolet light produced a pulsating sound. A few seconds passed. “Fingerprints and DNA confirmed. Cleared to enter.”
The heavy vault-like doors opened inwards, and the three of them quickly stepped through. Jim spun around in surprise, because the thick doors closed as nimbly as the swinging doors of a chef’s lair.
They were standing at the entrance of a large room filled with computer programmers and analysts, dressed in white uniforms, bent over their keyboards. Blue tinged everything. Huge monitors were set into the walls alive with coruscating images of formless shapes and colors that kept shifting in an amorphous mass, each different and distinct and yet the same in their intermingling mixture of hues and tints that resembled a living, phantasmagorical organism. The bluish glow filling the room from the high ceiling was alive with the clicking of the keyboards. At the end of the room sat an enormous machine, its lower panel running a digitalized and variegated painted symphony of flashing numbers, letters and icons. Its upper portion with two rows of tapeless silver disks behind a long window kept the super computer in constant motion. It occupied a greater part of the wall. It produced a hum and a steady whirring and clicking sound as the multi-layered disks whirled in opposing directions, some turning clockwise, others counterclockwise.
Kosovich pointed it out. “The heart of Project StarMind. UB-X-00,” he said proudly. “Doesn’t use old-fashioned tapes that can fade and become demagnetized. Uses a series of countervailing disks in each sprocket to create an electromagnetic field that can be replicated and hooked up to the other apparatus. But I’ll let Wayne Trunnell, Supervisor of Project StarMind, explain it all to you.”
Wayne Trunnell was a tall, slender man in his early seventies. Standing at least 6’4″, he wore a white, loose-fitting smock that hung down to his ankles. His hair, thick and unruly, was white. His eyes were dark blue and twinkled intelligently like glistening opals that were accentuated by his still-black eyebrows. His nose reminded Jim of the beak of the mythological bird on the emblem. Smiling in a casual, friendly fashion, he stuck out his hand.
“You must be Detective Jim Sato, whom I’ve been waiting to meet,” he said in a surprisingly young voice. He shook Jim’s hand and turned immediately to Gilda. “And you are Gilda Dobrowski, the famous psychic from Franklin. I’ve been wanting to meet you ever since I heard about you.” He tilted his head slightly as he took Gilda’s hand.
Jim couldn’t quite place the mannerism. It was almost continental–and foreign. Trunnell regarded them both fondly as if they were visiting brethren and knew each other. From another planet? Jim thought. It was as if they were aliens from outer space just dropping in for a visit to a familiar inner sanctum. The huge room with its inset panels of screens holding the twisting images, the hum and whirr of UB-X-00–whatever it was besides a giant brain box–and the clicking of the array of computer keyboards, along with the faint, soft bluish glow reflected off the walls and polished floors, lent an eerie quality to the intense activity in the room. Particularly so, when Jim understood that it all had to do with the control, manipulation and projection of the human mind. And to think that he and Gilda were to be subjected to discovering the mysteries unlocked in their own minds.
Trunnell took them over to the giant machine called UB-X-00 which was all business with its constant humming whirr and flickering lights. He patted it affectionately–paternalistically. It must have been his own design, thought Jim. He had fathered it.
“This is UB-X-00,” the supervisor of Project StarMind said proudly. “I named it that, because it has to do with the total dimension of all the imponderables of the human personality: soul, spirit, mind and everything else we know about ourselves. Consider it the Library of Congress of what knowledge we have of ourselves as a species. Otherwise, we refer to it by its nickname, ‘Yuubee’. And this huge stable of computer wizards and the room it is housed in is called ‘The Nexus’.”
“What’s it supposed to do?” Jim asked in intimidated awe.
“Everything that has to do with developing the potential of the human mind, much of it going beyond the realm of science as we understand it.”
“Specifically,” Jim pursued.
“Specifically?” Wayne Trunnell pondered the question. “Much of it is in an experimental stage. We are exploring it as it explores itself. But specifically, to boil your question down to a single answer that applies to you and Gilda, it is a psychotronic enhancer of the alpha and theta brain waves that are converted to a kind of bioenergy for the efficient functioning of the brain of a psychic, a person who already has the capabilities of projecting their consciousness.”
“Can you explain how that is going to affect us?” Jim thought it was a legitimate, logical question to ask. He wasn’t prepared for the condescending look of amazement that registered in Trunnell’s sngular features, marked by the drawing of his mouth into a thin line and the raising of his dark eyebrows. “Are the effects going to be permanent?” he continued, concerned.
“Well, not really…not in so many words,” he said, his dark blue eyes fixed on Jim. “It is nearly impossible to define what goes on in the brain, even at any given isolated moment, and–”
“Maybe you can start by telling me how Yuubee works?” Jim said.
Trunnell’s expression turned into one of patient indulgence. “I can try,” he said and ran his hand with long, bony fingers over his hoary hair slowly, as though to collect his thoughts. “It is based on the principle of symbiotic synergism, not only between Yuubee and the other scanning equipment, like the MRI and CAT Scan and others, but also between itself and the reciprocal emanation of the brain waves of the Snoopers…er, psychics. We call them, or they like to refer to themselves as, Snoopers. Otherwise, they’re variously known as seekers, seers, probers, sometimes even worse, depending on who is talking about them.”
“That’s not saying very much, Mr. Trunnell. How is it going to affect me and Gilda?” Jim felt he had to get some kind of handle on what to expect before he could even take or understand the first step in the training.
“I can only summarize what has been programmed into Yuubee,” the tall man said, drawing his brows together in concentration. “It has been fed a series of random mathematical equations from all the fields of science coupled with the principles of philology, morphology and semantics present in the unpredictable sequences of human thought patterns, including the representation of the REMs of dreams and nightmares, and combined with the phenomenological dichotomies present in all forms of human perceptions.”
“And that’s saying a mouthful,” Kosovich commented. With his eyes wide and blank, he gazed at Jim’s face which must have registered total non-comprehension. “I don’t understand what it means, either.”
“Can’t you boil it down, Dr. Trunnell,” Jim pleaded. “It is Dr. Trunnell, isn’t it?”
“Yes, indeed, it is, and I can’t even begin to describe to you my many fields of specialization,” Dr. Trunnell said, rather pompously thought Jim. “But, nevertheless, let me add that woven into the fabric of the ‘understanding’ programmed into UB-X-00…sounds so awfully formal. Yuubee. Programmed into Yuubee is everything that is known about paranormal psychology from ESP, psychokinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, remote viewing, astral flight, near-death out-of-the-body detachment, the ‘White Light’ syndrome to psychotic and hallucinatory typologies, induced by drugs, electrical charges or electromagnetic emissions.”
Jim glanced at Gilda. She rolled her eyes toward the ceiling. Either she understood what Trunnell was talking about like an ace pitcher or it was over her head, too. Jim wanted to shake his head to rid himself of the confusion.
“What you’re saying, Dr. Trunnell,” Jim said, extrapolating from his previous experience in dealing with the superpsychic, Sergei Verenich, “is that UB-X-00, Yuubee, helps us to transmit and receive brain waves.”
“Essentially, yes,” Trunnell said. “Alpha and theta brain waves, specifically.”
“Then why is it that,” Jim began as the next logical step, “you are located at lowest level of the basement, deep under the headquarters of DIA? How can the brain waves get through all the interference?”
“Ah, that’s the beauty of Yuubee,” Trunnell intoned. “It can cut through anything and open a path for reception and transmission. As for being stuck in The StarCenter, it is for national security reasons.”
“Which are?” Now Jim wanted to know everything. Was UB-X-00 some sort of death-ray machine that focused laser beams through the psychics to knock down incoming missiles or knock off unwanted undesirables? Dictators, tyrants, key government figures? Terrorists? His imagination ran wild.
“I only need to mention one,” Trunnell said importantly. “In case the government and leadership are destroyed in a nuclear war, or by some other means, the psychics of Project StarMind are meant to restart our democracy and restore civilization as we have known it. Such a responsibility for a select few.” The tall, thin scientist ran his hand across his forehead as if to wipe away a heavy concern. “Now let me introduce you to the Snoopers, as they are affectionately known, rather than seekers or seers which have contentious overtones.”
Trunnell led them through the blue-white light that reminded Jim of the ethereal void in which he had done combat mind-to-mind with Sergei Verenich. Stepping past the row of equipment hooked up in tandem with Yuubee, the tall man pushed the button of a double-panel steel door. It hissed open pneumatically and made the same shushing sound as they entered a smaller room and sealed itself behind them.
They were standing in the reflected glow of the same bluish-white light. The walls were painted the same color as the large room–The Nexus–a washed sky-blue that seemed to continue beyond where it ended as though one could stick one’s hand through the solid barrier. On the upper part of the walls were mounted the monitor screens which held a variety of three-dimensional images, more definite in outline and shape than the coruscating and squirming masses of globs in The Nexus that appeared embryonic by comparison. Around a long table in the center of the room gathered lab technicians garbed in white smocks similar to the one Trunnell wore. The table was crowded with lab equipment: beakers, petri dishes, twisted glass tubing, Bunsen burners, measuring tubes, trays, microscopes, ultra-violet lamps, vials and bottles of liquid, just like a well-equipped high school lab, Jim thought, except he was in no high school. Against one wall with the same kind of screens sat six figures–three men and three women–wearing black helmets with extended goggles and a curved mouthpiece they were speaking into. Sitting in front of computers of different designer colors, they moved a mouse on a larger-than-average pad. The movement of their hands and their incessant, chant-like murmuring flowed together as if one guided the other reciprocally.
“Welcome to ‘The Twilight Zone’,” Dr. Trunnell said with a hint of triumph in his voice. “This is the control center, and the six psychics wearing the Gehirnphone helmets are controlling the images fabricated by pure thought energy. They are the creme de la creme saviors of Western Civilization, the ones who will regenerate the leadership in the event our government is destroyed.”
Jim looked over the six figures, their heads all but concealed by the black helmets, talking to themselves or into the tiny mike built into the headgear. They were all dressed casually, one man in a red and black flannel shirt, a lady in a dark, blue satiny blouse, another man in a bright yellow long-sleeved shirt. The three-dimensional forms danced and changed with the movement of the mouses and the intonation of their voices. Some of the images looked like the interior of a building, a bird’s-eye screen-skating landscape full of mountains and valleys, a blurred visage that kept fading in and out of focus.
“Why are they talking to themselves?” Gilda asked. “It sounds like so much psycho-babble all running together.”
“Maybe it’s some sort of chant,” Jim said, wanting to sound half-way knowledgeable, although he was totally mystified. He had read voluminously about matters dealing with psychic phenomena and the training of the mind ever since his ordeal with Sergei Verenich, delving into mythology, religion, psychology, spiritualism, occultism.
“Actually, it’s voice-activated commands to control graphic image-making,” Trunnell said.
“Why can’t they just image what they are thinking or exercise thought-control?” Gilda queried.
“That is precisely what they are doing by ordering their brains to function in a certain, specific way with their own unique voices,” Trunnell explained. “Their brains, in other words, respond more actively and positively when they hear their own voices. It’s like a personal signature endorsing a command to certain brain centers. The brain recognizes its owner as belonging to itself and performs accordingly. I designed the Gehirnphone virtual reality helmets myself.”
“So, in other words,” Gilda mused, “instead of feeding them the sensation of virtual reality, they are actually producing virtual reality in three-dimensional graphics by their own brain power.”
“Just like you see on the screens,” Kosovich broke in.
“And so what powers their brains?” Gilda pursued. “Is the required bioenergy induced?”
“Through UB-X-Double Ought,” Kosovich said proprietarily.
“Let me explain it with a bit more detail, Gilda,” Trunnell said, ignoring Kosovich. He took her arm and led her to stand behind one of the Snoopers. He pointed to different portions of the helmet. “The Gehirnphone houses a microcomputer. It carries its own titanium power pack and is synchronized with the relay of the pschotronically-transferred bioenergy from Yuubee.”
“You make it sound as if there is a clear conduit between the source and the recipient,” Jim observed. “But I’m sure it’s much complex than that.”
“It most certainly is,” averred Trunnell. “The source is the brain of the seer. Its power is enhanced by Yuubee by the informed transfer of bioenergy. But the transfer does not take place as with an open pipeline. The programmers and analysts in The Nexus provide the embryonic stimulus of the initial image-formation through Yuubee, while factoring in all the resistance that the Snoopers will conceivably run into before they can successfully sort out the input through enhanced mind-power. When they grapple with the variables and focus the charged bioenergy in their own educated way, they can and do produce the three-dimensional pictures you see on the screens.”
“I think I got that,” Jim declared, though his comprehension was edged with doubt and many more questions. “Out of a chaotic mess, they wrestle to create the pictures in their minds with the aid of the Gehirnphones before they project in pure form what we see on the screen.”
“Exactly,” said Trunnell delighted.
“How does bioenergy translate into three-dimensional colored images and graphics?” asked Jim, with some inkling as to the answer.
“Through a combination of telepathy and psychokinesis,” concluded Gilda.
“Splendid!” Trunnell cried. “But don’t neglect to add the super-charged ionization of electrical particles. I know you two will make excellent students.” He patted them paternally on their backs.
“I have to borrow your two star recruits for a moment.” Kosovich grabbed hold of Jim’s arm eagerly. “Now I have a surprise for you and I’m not thanking you for it. It’s what you left me and the other agents with in Washington, D.C.”
The thin-faced man pulled Jim over to a large double-door compartment which turned out to be a freezer. Kosovich flung open the doors. Chilled vapors of frozen air spill out in a cloud.
“There he is. Sergei Verenich. Or what’s left of him. And you didn’t leave much,” Kosovich accused, displaying his anger with a finger jabbed at the remains.
Gilda stifled a scream and stepped back. Jim stiffened and expected the pieces to somehow come together as Sergei’s consciousness had in the ether and attack him. The blasted torso emptied of soft organ tissue with the rib cage spread apart was as he remembered it. The legs had been cut off and lay separately on another shelf, bluish-grey and hairy. Several one-gallon plastic ziplocks contained the soft tissue that the agents had to pick off of them and scoop up off the floor at Hotel George and what was left of the lungs, heart, liver and the rest of the organs that had exploded out of Sergei’s body. The severed arms were tied, and the hands were naturally clasped together as if the previous owner had been converted to religion before his demise. What were obviously his genitals were contained in another ziplock bag. But the head with the thick, brown hair, the short nose, the square jaw. It was gone, not a part of the collection.
Jim swallowed hard and held down a wave of nausea that he knew would be the color of greenish-yellow if he threw up. It had happened at one murder scene where the body had flowers stuck into carved holes.
“The head…,” Jim said weakly. Somehow he had to see Sergei’s head to feel convinced that he was indeed dead. “It’s gone. What did you do with it?”
“Didn’t need it. Had to cut it up to get at the brain,” Kosovich said and leered at Jim’s discomfort. “Besides you’ll always have access to the head, another surprise for you, Sato.” He took Jim’s arm and pulled him over to the far wall which had a single screen mounted above a lone figure wearing a Gehirnphone.
About the Author
R. H. Kohno has been writing for a number of years now, putting a capstone on a long-held dream of becoming a writer, and has produced a number of works of fiction, the most recent of which include Eye of the Star, The StarMind Alert and Starburst Over China (soon to be published), a trilogy of psychic thrillers, and Westward Lies The Sun, written under his real name. He majored in English at the University of Washington and was the editor-in-chief of the campus literary magazine, Assay. He taught briefly at the university level before embarking on a career in writing. He is currently working on a novel and putting together a collection of short stories.
A dead body can ruin a vacation…It was a suicide, wasn’t it? Maybe the on-board production of Chicago isn’t the only place people are getting murdered! NYPD homicide detective Mike Stoneman and medical examiner Michelle McNeill just want a relaxing cruise. But, Michelle is convinced that there is foul play at work in the death of a Broadway talent agent’s wife.The ship’s head of security wants to keep it quiet. But, how many bodies can he cover up during one sailing? When it looks like Michelle might be the next victim, Mike needs to find the killer and keep Michelle alive for the end of this lethal voyage. Don’t miss the next installment in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series!
Kevin G. Chapman is, by profession, an attorney specializing in labor and employment law. He is the most recent past Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Network of the Association of Corporate Counsel, leading a group of 6800 in-house employment lawyers. Kevin is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education seminars and enjoys teaching management training courses.
Kevin’s passion (aside from playing tournament poker) is writing fiction. Kevin’s first Novel, Identity Crisis: A Rick LaBlonde, P.I. Mystery, was self-published through Xlibris in 2003, and is now available via Amazon.com as a Kindle e-book. His second novel, A Legacy of One, published in 2016 and was a finalist (short list) for the Chanticleer Book Reviews’ Somerset Award for Literary Fiction. A Legacy of One is a serious book, filled with political and social commentary and a plot involving personal identity, self-determination, and the struggle to make the right life decisions. Kevin’s next novel, Righteous Assassin (A Mike Stoneman Thriller), was a much more “fun” read — it’s a page-turner. It has some serious sub-themes, but it’s a serial killer chase and it’s intended to be enjoyable and easy to read. It was named one of the top 20 Mystery/Thrillers of 2019 by the Kindle Book Review! Kevin has just recently finished book #2 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series, Deadly Enterprise, which was published on December 2, 2019.
He recently completed the narration of books 1 and 2 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series for audiobook release in 2020.Kevin has also written several short stories, including Fool Me Twice, the winner of the New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 2010 Legal Fiction Writing Competition, which was the genesis of the character Mike Stoneman, the protagonist in Righteous Assassin. He has also written one complete screenplay (unproduced so far) and has another screenplay and two more novels currently in the works, one of which is a sci-fi space opera epic.
Kevin is a resident of West Windsor, New Jersey and is a a graduate of Columbia College (‘83), where he was a classmate of Barack Obama, and Boston University School of Law (magna cum laude ’86). Readers can contact Kevin via his website at http://www.KevinGChapman.com.
Interview with NYPD Homicide detective Mike Stoneman
1. What is your full name? Do you have a nickname? NYPD Homicide Detective Mike Stoneman. Young detectives, and officers studying for the detectives’ exam (Mike teaches some of the classes) call me culo de piedre – “Stone Ass.” I don’t mind.
2. What is your background? What makes you you? I was Born and raised in Queens, New York. Jamaica. I’m a New Yorker to the bone. I worked for the Long Island Rail Road as a young man, following in my father’s footsteps, I guess, although the truth is that I didn’t have much direction back then, and the job was available. I took down a thug who was trying to mug a passenger one night, and they decided to move me to security. That got me thinking about being a cop, and my life started to have some focus. After 8 years on the force, I made detective and got myself assigned to homicide, where I really found my niche. But, it’s always about New York City. I’m now ensconced on the Upper West Side – 68th and Broadway, about a thirty-block walk from my precinct house on 94th Street east of Amsterdam. Give me a good bagel and a good slice of pizza and I’m a happy man.
3. If you looked in a mirror, would you like what you saw? I look in the mirror all the time. I’m not ashamed. Sure, a few years ago I might have been up a few pounds, but being in my late 40s and eating stake-out food will do that to a cop. I live alone (well, back then), so healthy home-cooked dinners were not in the cards. But I work out, although perhaps not as regularly as I should. But, in the summer of 2018, I got up the courage to finally ask out Doctor Michelle McNeill, the county M.E. Since I’ve been dating her, I’ve been more regular about my exercise, and I’m eating better. The surgery I had after my run-in with Ronald Randall took a piece of my gut out, which wasn’t a bad thing, and my rehab got me to the gym a lot more. So, these days I’m looking better. Hey, a few extra pounds around the old spare tire isn’t a terrible thing for a guy turning 50 this year.
4. What are your likes/dislikes? I’m a life-long New York Mets fan and love going to live baseball games. I am also cursed to be a fan of the New York Jets, which played a big part in an interesting case in 2019. I very much enjoy playing tournament poker, mostly Texas Hold ’em. I had an interesting run at the poker table on a recent cruise, and I’m looking forward to a trip to Las Vegas in early 2020. I love a good slice of Pizza and also Mexican food (but only if there’s a top-flight frozen margarita involved).
5. Are you in love? If you asked me that question before the summer of 2018, the answer would have been, “Hell, no. I’ve been burned. I’m past the point in my life when that’s what I’m looking for.” But, I always had a soft spot for the county Medical Examiner, Michelle McNeill. We had a good working relationship, but that was all it was. Then, I suddenly realized that Michelle could be something more. It took a while, but we started dating and, well, the rest as they say is history. We started spending nights at each others’ apartment – mostly me staying at her place – and by the spring of 2019, we took a trip together and she registered us at the hotel as Mr. & Mrs. Stoneman. Not that either of us is even thinking about marriage. We don’t need that. We’re happy with each other and we work well together. But, yeah, I’m in love.
6. Who are your parents? Are they still alive? My parents are, unfortunately, both dead. I was an only child, so I have no immediate family left. My uncle Louie and I were close, but he’s gone, too. The NYPD is my family. My dad worked for the Long Island Rail Road. He was a public employee and worked hard, but he was blue collar all the way. He loved his life, and his wife, and I guess he loved me, although he didn’t talk about it. He was a straight shooter and did not tolerate dishonesty. I guess it made sense that his boy would grow up to be a cop.
7. Do you have a secret? Calling it a “secret” is probably not entirely accurate. It’s something I don’t talk about. Not even to Michelle. It’s an episode I’m not proud of. I let someone – a woman – take advantage of me. That’s a lie. I thought I was taking advantage of her, but she played me. I let her play me. It seemed like the right thing to do. Unfortunately, somebody else ended up paying a high price. You can read about it in the short story, Fool Me Twice. But please, don’t tell anyone.
8. Do you own a gun? Killed anyone? I’m a cop, so of course I have a gun. I’m not a fan of killing people, but I will, and I have, when it’s necessary. Necessary is sometimes a gray area, I guess. Take, for example, Lt. Ronald Randall, the psycho the New York newspapers dubbed “the Righteous Assassin.” He killed six people in six months in 2018. He thought they deserved to die. I can’t say that I really disagreed with him, but that didn’t give him the right to be a vigilante and take justice into his own hands. He admitted his murders, and would have continued them if somebody didn’t stop him. Did he deserve to die? Well, he’s dead, and nobody’s crying about it. I’ll let you be the judge. Jason Dickson is fine with it.
9. What do you consider your greatest achievement so far? What I love most is to teach the young detectives and the officers who are studying for the detective’s exam. I like sharing my experiences and passing along the secrets of the profession. I like to think that years from now detectives will be telling their rookies, “This is how Mike Stoneman taught me how to do it.” That’s a legacy.
10. You’re in a lift with your favourite TV movie star, how do you react? I’m not much for movie stars. I had a bad experience with a society woman once. I’m a sports fan. I once ran into Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. I thought I handled it pretty well, without making a fool of myself. Then, in 2019 on a cruise ship, I beat the pants off Lenny Dykstra at the poker table. Twice. That was fun. I like Nails as a player, but as a person he leaves something to be desired. I’m glad I got my licks in. In New York, there are big-shots and celebrities around all the time, so you kinda get used to it and you’re not so star-struck. I was at the annual Hero’s Ball last spring and ended up in a conversation with a big Hollywood director. He’s just a guy. No big deal.
11. Are you happy now your story has been told? Is there more to come? The story is a long way from being told. I’d like it better if that Susan Fenton episode wasn’t out there in that Short Story, but the rest of the stories are pretty fair to me. Hey, I’m no saint, but I do what’s right. Most of the time. We’ll see how it works out.
12. What do you think about the current news (in your area)? I’m not always a fan of the press. There’s one reporter for The New York Times named Dexter Peacock who really rubs me the wrong way most of the time. I’ll admit that I kinda used him when I needed to leak some information without the Commissioner knowing about it. But since then, the guy thinks that I’m his best buddy and that he can squeeze me for information whenever he needs a source inside the Department. He’s like a stray dog you fed one time and now he keeps coming back, begging for scraps. Him I can do without. There’s a female sports reporter named Christi Olson who I like. She’s tough and fair. I could hang out with her.
13. How honest are you about your thoughts and feelings? I’ll admit that I’m not always as open as I should be. Michelle has helped me with that. She’s always pretty up front. I had the chance to share a bit with my partner, Jason Dickson, when he was dealing with some nasty shit and I was in a position to give him some perspective on things. He didn’t seem to appreciate it at the time, but I think in the end he got it. I don’t like to get into the mushy stuff.
14. Who is the person you despise the most? Despise is a pretty strong word. You have to care about somebody a lot to despise him (or her). I try not to care that much. I’m disgusted with NY Jets Quarterback Jimmy Rydell. What a disappointment! He can’t keep himself out of trouble off the field and he can’t make anything happen on the field. He shot himself in the leg in a Manhattan nightclub. Who does that? I’ll give him a pass on the whole kneeling during the national anthem thing – I’m OK with the peaceful protest. But, I’d like to see him win a few games. Is that too much to ask? He’s getting paid 23 million over 4 years and he’s a waste of a roster spot. We’d be better off if he just shot himself in the leg again, but this time tore up a ligament or something so he’d be out for the season. We can only hope.
Blood Land, the award-winning, must-read first book in series!
Crime’s an ugly constant in the big cities. L.A. Chicago. New York. But when a savage murder brutalizes a small town and neighbor turns on neighbor, a tough-as-nails cop is essential to restoring order. Blood Land is a gritty, emotional saga set in the contemporary Wyoming badlands with both greed and vengeance at its core.
When billions of dollars in 21st century natural gas rights hang in the balance, and the town’s top law officer’s wife is slain by her own brother, a reluctant hero is forced to battle his own demons and ultimately choose between justice, revenge, and duty.
An award-winning, page-turner, in the tradition of Dennis Lehane, Tony Hillerman and James Lee Burke, Guthrie’s sparse, haunting storytelling compliments his talent for creating richly-drawn, unflinching law officers with human frailties, a code of honor, and a profound sense of justice.
Don’t miss out on the Award-Winning series!
Gold Medal & 2 Best in Categories in Wise Bear Book Awards!
Voted a must-read Page-Turner by Shelf magazine!
An author whose writing will grab you and not let go!
R.S. Guthrie was voted by The Author Show as one of “Fifty Great Writers You Should Be Reading”.
Other Books in the James Pruett Mystery Series:
A James Pruett Mystery, Book 2
Money Land, sequel to the award-winning Mystery/Thriller series, Blood Land, the book that introduced the popular Sheriff James Pruett.
In this exciting second book, big crime has literally come crashing down on the small town of Wind River, Wyoming. When a small plane bound for the Canadian border carrying money for the Sustantivo Cartel smashes into the remote, glacial Wind River Mountains, the event brings a heartless evil presence to one of the more unknown places on earth.
The tail of the plane is eventually discovered, empty. No drugs. No money. Shortly afterward, people involved in the events begin dying in unconvential, brutal ways. Clearly a new criminal element has come to town. Sheriff James Pruett is not the kind of lawman to back down when his town is in the crossfire, and he will do anything to save the neighbors and friends under his protection, the land of Wind River and the surrounding winderness itself, and most importantly, his family.
Again, in the sparse, gritty, poetic styling of James Lee Burke, Tony Hillerman, Dennis Lehane, and John D. MacDonald, R.S. Guthrie brings you his revered hero, a good man ready to battle the merciless cartel, as well as the local branch of a federal agency that has betrayed the patriotic honor of its own sworn duties.
Honor Land, the third book in the outstandingly-reviewed series!
In this third James Pruett Mystery, the hero is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: saving the life of an even larger hero. Honor Land is a gritty, emotional story of patriotism, multiple murders, a hero Delta Force veteran, Kyle Yoder, who doesn’t understand himself any longer, much less whether or not he is capable of the brutal crimes for which he is charged.
James Pruett and his team will have to uncover the answers if they are to keep Yoder from a guilty verdict and a mandatory execution by lethal injection.
In the tradition of Dennis Lehane, Tony Hillerman and James Lee Burke, Guthrie’s sparse, haunting storytelling compliments his talent for creating richly-drawn, unflinching law officers with human frailties, a code of honor, and a profound sense of justice.
R.S. Guthrie grew up in Iowa and Wyoming. He has been writing fiction, essays, short stories, and lyrics since college.
Guthrie’s “Blood Land” is the first in the Sheriff James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series and represents a project that is close to his heart: it is set in a fictional town in the same county where he spent much of his childhood and lives.
Guthrie lives in Wyoming with his wife, Amy, a One-year-old Redbone Coonhound, an Australian Shepherd, and a Chihuahua who thinks she’s bigger than both!
“Black Beast: A Clan of MacAulay Novel” marked Guthrie’s first major release and it heralded the first in a series of Detective Bobby Macaulay (Bobby Mac) books. The second in the series (Lost) hit the Kindle shelves December of 2011.
Readers can catch up with what’s new with R.S. Guthrie at his official site, rsguthrie.com , or discussions related to writing at his blog, Rob on Writing (robonwriting.com).
“The captivating southwestern Irish countryside adds a delightful element to this paranormal series launch. Gethsemane is an appealing protagonist who is doing the best she can against overwhelming odds.” – Library Journal (starred review)
With few other options, African-American classical musician Gethsemane Brown accepts a less-than-ideal position turning a group of rowdy schoolboys into an award-winning orchestra. Stranded without luggage or money in the Irish countryside, she figures any job is better than none.
The perk? Housesitting a lovely cliffside cottage.
The catch? The ghost of the cottage’s murdered owner haunts the place.
Falsely accused of killing his wife (and himself), he begs Gethsemane to clear his name so he can rest in peace.
Gethsemane’s reluctant investigation provokes a dormant killer and she soon finds herself in grave danger. As Gethsemane races to prevent a deadly encore, will she uncover the truth or star in her own farewell performance?
GET THE COMPLETE BEST-SELLING SERIES IN THIS BRILLIANT BOX SET. YOU GET *EIGHT* CLASSIC MYSTERIES FULL OF CLEVER TWISTS AND BREATH-TAKING SUSPENSE.
PRAISE FOR THE INSPECTOR CROW MYSTERIES
“Exciting and individual. Lewis is a master craftsman.” Literary Review
“Thorough, unpretentious and immensely solid . . . with an interesting and likeable hero.” Times Literary Supplement
“Lots of cunning complications, embracing conservation and financial fiddles.” The Guardian
“Tightly written, well-paced and relentlessly accurate.” Oxford Times
“Each Lewis seems to better the last.” The Times
“Builds up to a good climax and keeps you reading.” Observer
“If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading a Roy Lewis mystery, you are in for a huge treat. Do yourself a favour and pick one up . . . you will find no one better.” Barbara Bernstein
IN THIS EIGHT-BOOK BOX SET:
BOOK 1: A LOVER TOO MANY Peter Marlin’s wife is found strangled and he becomes the prime suspect. She’d only just returned from an unexplained absence of months. Peter had already taken a new lover, but there’s no real proof he killed his wife. Can Inspector John Crow solve the case before anyone else dies?
BOOK 2: ERROR OF JUDGMENT A young woman is found dead in college amid a student protest. It turns out she was the principal’s secretary and there was more to her than meets the eye. Who wanted her dead and why? And what does it have to do with the student revolt led by a charismatic firebrand from Iraq?
BOOK 3: THE WOODS MURDER Schoolgirl Jenny Carson is brutally murdered in Kenton Wood. Then Charles Lendon is found skewered through the heart. He was a ruthless lawyer and a shameless womaniser. Jenny’s father blames him for her murder.
BOOK 4: MURDER FOR MONEY Gossip-mongering journalist Charlie Rutland is found brutally slain. In his line of work, he wasn’t short of enemies. DI Crow must interrogate a long list of suspects, from a homeless Yorkshireman to an ex-Gestapo officer. Then British spy services get involved. Can Crow crack the case before it’s taken out of his hands?
BOOK 5: MURDER IN THE MINE A hunt for a missing dog leads to a gruesome discovery down a Welsh mineshaft. Not just the injured dog, but a valuable piece of jewellery and the decaying corpse of a woman. A surprising confession follows. But Inspector Crow is not convinced he has his man. Can he uncover the true killer, despite the many perplexing questions surrounding the case?
BOOK 6: A COTSWOLDS MURDER Caravan park manager Chuck Lindop is found with his head caved in. The locals insist he was a lovable rogue. So who wanted him dead and why? As the investigation wears on, Inspector Crow uncovers shady dealings at the caravan park. Could Chuck himself have been involved?
BOOK 7: A FOX HUNTING MURDER One crisp autumn morning, the hunt is in full swing. But instead of a fox, they find their notorious opponent: dead in a bush. Inspector Crow uncovers a side to the victim that no one has seen before. But can he trust his instincts in a case where nothing is what it seems?
BOOK 8: A DARTMOOR MURDER Fred Norman is found dead in a pond near the mine where he worked. DI Crow is called in to investigate and finds a community divided. Many local activists oppose the mine. Suspicion soon falls on their womanizing leader, but Crow is aware that are many false trails and too many lies. Then he learns a secret about the victim that changes everything.
Don’t miss out on this acclaimed series of unputdownable mysteries from a time before smart phones and DNA testing! YOU GET ALL EIGHT OF THE ABOVE BOOKS IN THIS EDITION.