Saturday, 1 July 2017

Chapter 1 of new mystery

Chapter 1

Did that shadow move? Was someone skulking in darkness three blocks ahead?
Detective Tony Zak hunched over the steering wheel and stared hard into the black heart of the alley where lights from the cross streets couldn’t penetrate. The muggy night air, the sweaty windshield, his own sleep-deprived brain all conspired to distort his vision.
Beside him, Eddie Loewen studied his cell phone and muttered, “Already 10:52.” He tapped his fingers on his knee.
“Got a late date?” A gust of wind, laden with the stink of urine, dead vermin, and festering food slapped Zak in the face.
“Yeah. A nurse at Shasta Memorial.” Loewen flashed a grin. “She’s off at midnight. Spur was supposed to be here at 10:30. Think he’s coming?”
Typical of Loewen, impatient to cross off another name on his endless list of what he called hot prospects. “I don’t know his habits.  You saw the file. Anything about his punctuality?”
“There wasn’t much. Just his ugly mug shot, time and locale of this meet, that he had some info on a murder. Should we give him five and leave? Then we can close the windows, turn on the air, and get out of this shit hole.”
Okay. Now the shadow was moving. “Look there. End of the alley. Someone walking.”
”About time. Drive up.”
“No, it might spook him. He’ll come to us. He’s expecting––”
Ahead, a black car turned into the alley, swerved and straightened, red tail lights flickering, headlights on high beam. Shadow man shielded his eyes with his arm. He leaped, whirled and ran.  The car picked up speed and chased him. Captured in the glare, the man scrambled from side to side, turned back to look, eyes wide, mouth open.
“What the hell–” Zak turned the key and shifted into drive. No lights, no noise. The black car’s brake lights flickered again, and the driver sped up.
“That’s twice he hit the guy,” Loewen said.
Zak slammed to a stop behind the black car. The driver’s door was open. The headlights showed a figure using a tire iron as a club, lifting it high in the air, smashing down hard. It made dull thudding noises.
Zak and Loewen jumped out, drew guns, and advanced, one on each side of the black car.
A young woman stopped in mid-action, dropped the tire iron, and bolted up the lane.
The object of her attack lay bleeding on the road, with what looked like his brain exposed.
“Holy shit! It’s Spur!”
Zak headed after the girl. “Call it in!”

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Quick Review – Against the Storm

Against The storm by Kat Martin

The fourth book in a series, yet reading it as a stand-alone book is easy. I didn't find any requirement to read the previous books.

Beautiful redhead Maggie O'Connell is a prominent and popular Houston professional photographer with an annoying problem: a stalker whose penchant for leaving her messages has increased to an alarming level.

She hires handsome ex-Army Ranger security expert-private investigator Trace Rawlins to find the stalker and stop him before he can carry out his latest chilling promise – that soon he and Maggie will be together.

Maggie's life becomes infinitely more interesting when her younger sister, who she hasn't seen in years, shows up on her doorstep with a baby. On learning that her sister has escaped an abusive relationship and needs help, Maggie takes them in and discovers she has a strong protective streak.

Trace, whose weakness for redheads has always been his undoing, is wary about taking the job for Maggie, especially when he finds out she didn't tell him the truth about why Houston Police did not take her complaints seriously.

But he takes the case out of feelings of duty, all the while fighting both his distrust of Maggie and a strong attraction  to her. Maggie has an equally strong attraction to Trace, but is certain he is seeing someone else. She can't see a future for them.

As they go about searching for the stalker, planning to lure him into the open, they fight their attraction. Until they cannot any longer.

The stalker is caught, yet Maggie's life is still in danger. Her townhouse catches fire; all her camera equipment and computers are ruined. After some digging, they determine this new threat comes from something in one of her photographs, and they work together to catch the culprit.

Conclusion: well-written, fast-paced twisty suspense, lots of will-they-or-won't-they stay together anxiety, scads of steamy sex. The appearance of the sister with the baby makes a nice subplot, though her instant hookup with a kind, selfless young billionaire isn't easy to believe. Also, the reasons that Maggie and Trace initially distrust each other are flimsy. But there is much to enjoy here.