Tag Archives: thriller

INCOGNITO – BLITZ

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Thriller
Date Published: 15, May 2017
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
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The Pope is missing. Three specialists – a British, a French and an American – are dispatched by a covert division of Anonymous to find him.

 

Excerpt
Chapter Three
Ayden blinked languidly in the pitch-blackness. His breathing began to feel tight. The feeling of compression slowly paralyzed his entire system. The inside of his mind felt dark and utterly soundless. He could hear his own heartbeat. He tried to sit up, and hit his head, slowly realizing he was in a coffin. Soil slipped through the slits, assailing his eyes, nose, mouth, and body. He snorted, blowing out the dirt from his nose, and blinked repetitively to shake off the remainder. He felt his duffel bag between his legs. Air was precious right now. He could only hope help would arrive in time.
Like every other member of the League of Invisible Knights, Ayden had been trained to withstand all kinds of torture. The founders scouted him through the files of military, police, and intelligence organizations. Potential candidates were selected based on certain criteria. Above all, they must have heart. Anyone who failed the training program would have to repeat it. Traitors were dealt with severely.
Ayden agreed to participate in the League’s program because he felt betrayed by the country he loves. His resume impressed the secret echelons of Anonymous. The former Special Air Services (SAS) commando had single-handedly rescued a group of Pashtun women and children in southern Afghanistan from a human trafficking gang. The display of chivalry didn’t impress his superiors, especially since the culprits included Afghan officers. Lieutenant Ayden Tanner should have accepted the “culture” of the environment. Being a member of the League has some perks: a rent-free, three-bedroom apartment in Hampstead Village. Except for junk mail, his letterbox was always empty. The neighborhood stores and cafes knew him as John the Artist since he was always seen at the art shop buying supplies. He hung his artworks all over his apartment walls. But no one had ever seen it. He never brought guests home. He was also John the Reader at a nearby bookstore. He read fast, all kinds of genres, fiction and nonfiction.
He couldn’t recall how he ended up on the secret island. All he could remember was being kicked out of a bar one night in London after staring a drunken brawl. He found himself the next morning having coffee in the kitchen of a small cottage on the outskirts with a man who simply introduced himself as Mr. Somebody. He spent the next few days in the cottage. Then one day he woke up on a beach with a man in a Guy Fawkes mask staring down at him. No doubt, Mr. Somebody had drugged him. He learned the reason later. The island’s location must remain a secret. From the landscape, vegetation, and animals on it, he gathered he was still somewhere in the UK.
He spent the first three months in a wooden shack, isolated, disconnected from human contact. Rabbits, unusual looking butterflies and foxes kept him company. He was given basic amenities and supplies to survive alone. He soon discovered the value of isolation. It helped cleanse his thoughts and removed impurities inside the soul.
At the end of the isolation period, Ayden was taken to meet other candidates and the training began. Under the tutelage of no-nonsense instructors he learned martial arts, espionage strategies, holistic security strategy, language proficiency and shibboleth, espionage parlance and the art of disguise. Those were morning lessons. Afternoon lessons were more intensive. Lights out by ten.
Upon graduation, Ayden was given a special honor—death. An obituary in the newspaper reported his demise—a car accident during a road trip to Devon, it seems. His body was buried in an Anglican cemetery. Even though he grew up to become a non-believer, the charade was necessary. It was easily fabricated since both his parents were dead. No siblings or other relatives made it easier. The only son of an Anglican pastor and a housewife mother, their memory continued to linger in his mind. He credited them for teaching him values even though he didn’t agree with his father’s beliefs.
About the Author
Khaled is a former journalist with local and international exposure. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines. The author is a member of the UK Crime Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers. He lives in Singapore.
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SACRIFICIAL LAM – BLITZ

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Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Date Published:  March 2017
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When English professor Lam Corso receives a death threat at work, he laughs it off. A liberal activist teaching at a small Southern conservative college, he’s used to stirring up controversy on campus. It’s just part of the give and take of life. Even when violently attacked, Lam is convinced it has to be a mistake. He can’t imagine anyone who would want to kill him for his beliefs.
When his home is broken into and his wife’s business vandalized, Lam is forced to face facts. The police can’t find a single lead. Lam’s wife—a passionate anti-gun crusader—is outraged when Lam brings a gun into the house for protection. Left to their own devices, Lam and Susan must examine their marriage, faith, and values in the face of a carefully targeted attack from an assailant spurred into action by a different set of beliefs.
What will it cost to survive?
Excerpt 
In the silence immediately after Susan screamed, Simon’s high wail came from upstairs. Billy’s voice broke through, “Mom? What happened, Mom?” His voiced moved to the top of the stairs. “Mama, I’m scared. Where are you?” Simon was sobbing.
Susan grabbed the flashlight and scrambled to her feet. The darkness of the room pressed in on her, weighted with threat, the silence in the downstairs smothering her voice. She shined the flashlight toward the stairway, heading that way, and yelled, “Boys, can you see the light from the flashlight?”
She flicked the light around the room, and seeing nobody, she yelled again, with less panic this time, “Nothing to be afraid of, Billy. I’m sorry I scared you. You and Simon come on downstairs right now.” She shined the light on the stairway steps, fear crawling up her spine from the darkness behind her.
 
About the Author
Gary Guinn was a liberal professor at a conservative college. The idea for this book came from actual events early in his teaching career. He lives in the southern Ozark Mountains with his wife, Mary Ann, and his dogs, Seamus and Peanut. He loves to read, write, walk, sail, and brew beer (and of course drink it). His fiction has been published in literary magazines and anthologies. Sacrificial Lam is his second novel.
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THE QUIET TYPE – PROMO BLITZ

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Thriller
Date Published:  April 18, 2017
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Tim and Susannah have ordinary lives on the surface, he’s a mortician for whom death is a serious business, and she’s a chef who really knows her way around a knife, but if the neighbors in their small Midwestern town knew of her dark hobby, they’d run for the hills.
Raised by an apathetic mother and a cruel father, Susannah was bullied and pushed to her breaking point long before she met mild-mannered Tim, and has learned to channel her murderous impulses into a strange form of art, which keeps her clueless husband safe…for now.
As strange events occur, and Susannah’s eccentric behavior becomes more dynamic, Tim starts to wonder about his wife. Will he be too perceptive for his own good?
This twisted, psychological, serial killer thriller will sear your psyche and rattle your soul, so buckle up, you’re in for a terrifying ride.
CONTENT WARNING: If you are a reader of Summer Prescott’s Cozy Mysteries, please be advised that this book depicts the actions and mindset of a serial killer, contains some adult language and adult circumstances.
 
Excerpt
 
Chapter One: Susannah
Susannah Guntzelman was invisible. Not in the traditional sense of the word, of course, but in the far more painful translation where all of humanity simply failed to notice her existence. She’d been overlooked and unnoticed her entire life, whether at home, by parents who worked too hard to care, or in public, where strangers merely saw a plain, overweight girl, if they saw her at all. Today was no different, as she shuffled to class in last year’s jeans and sensible shoes, her mass of dry, frizzy hair carelessly piled atop her head in an unruly bun.
Being invisible had its advantages of course. It allowed her to get through nearly every day of her dreary existence without having to interact with other human beings. Teachers never called on her, no one said hello when they passed her in the hall, and she sat alone during every unending lunch hour, methodically eating the interesting assortment of foods that she’d stuffed into her bright blue insulated lunch pack. The bag was an intrusive spark of color in her otherwise beige existence. She hated it, but her mother, Greta, the long-legged, perfect-haired china doll who loved her job more than her daughter, had said that the store didn’t have any black or grey ones, so she would ‘just have to deal with it.’
Susannah trailed behind a gaggle of giggling girls, entering the calculus classroom with perhaps less trepidation than the twittering twats in front of her. She was good at math, it came easily to her, and the teacher seemed to know that she might just spiral into a panic attack if she were forced to participate in a way other than quickly scribbling out correct answers and turning them in. Math was orderly. She liked things to be orderly. She was glad, for the teacher’s sake, that he somehow understood her need for invisibility.
Early parent/teacher conferences had pegged little Susie as an angry child who didn’t get along with others, which led to wretched things. The punishments at home for bad reports were worse than the punishments at school, so she’d learned to keep her seething resentment to herself. She’d kept it to herself for so long, in fact, that she’d grown numb emotionally. Even when battered and taunted mercilessly by thoughtless and cruel classmates, she compressed her mouth into a thin line and kept her head down, waiting until she got home to pick the spitwads from her colorless and tangled hair, and to dab a cold cloth on the welts made by well-aimed rubber bands.
At home, she taught herself to withhold tears from the monster who tried his best to encourage them. When she was stripped naked and whipped with kitchen utensils, belts, shoes, or any other handy device, when she was locked into the chicken coop for days at a time, not even allowed to sleep in her bed or relieve herself in private, and even when she was denied food after the beast who spawned her poked at her soft, white flesh, declaring her to be a fat pig, she’d bite the inside of her cheeks, dig her nails into her palms, or even hold her breath if necessary…but she Would. Not. Cry.
Her goal was simple, wait for the herd of cattle to get out of her way, and get to her seat without bringing any attention to herself. She’d had a rough morning at home, and her nerves were sprinkling dark sparks into her psyche. Susannah was more than ready to immerse herself in the orderly realm of math, glorious math. So focused was she on getting to her seat, that she never saw the furtive foot, encased in an expensive running shoe, darting out like the tongue of a serpent, tripping her.
Arms full of books, the gawky teen hit the ground hard, her head knocking against the metal leg of a desk. There were a few gasps, and more than a few giggles, and when Susannah turned over, stunned, still clutching her books, the concerned frown of Mr. Davis loomed over her.
“Susannah…are you okay? What happened here?” he asked, the cuff of his polyester pants brushing against her arm.
She sat up slowly, dazed, a trickle of defiantly crimson blood running down her forehead, and over the soft round of her cheek. Her heavy glasses were askew, and she pushed them up absently, horrified that every eye in the class was upon her. She flushed bright red from the base of her neck to the roots of her hair, as she heard the guffaws and soft pig sounds of her classmates. Humiliation was an overwhelming emotion that couldn’t be stopped, even with years of conditioning. It slammed into her with brute force, threatening to steal the very breath from her lungs. Her head throbbed with it, her mouth turned to cotton, and beads of sweat sprung out on her forehead as she worked to control the tremors which rippled through her. It took her a couple of tries, while the teacher blathered on with his concern and his questions, asking if she needed to go to the nurse, but she rolled herself onto her knees, and leaning on the desk that had struck her, she rose shakily to her feet.
Debbie Moran. Smug, snooty, Debbie Moran was smirking at her, enjoying the result of her sly move. Until this moment, Susannah hadn’t loathed her more than any of the other simpering American princesses who glided through the halls as though their nimble feet didn’t even touch the chipped linoleum, but now…it was different. Now, dainty little Debbie Moran made something dark rise up inside Susannah the Sow, as her classmates called her, something darker than the judgmental little bitch was prepared to deal with. So dark that it made her heart pound. So dark that it made her mouth water. Soon, Debbie Moran, soon.
Susannah lumbered from the classroom, with Mr. Davis saying something about it being good that she was going to the nurse, but once out of his sight, she bypassed the office and walked out of the school unchallenged, breathing hard, but not from exertion. She huffed and puffed as she walked, striding fast and far as she made her plans, the need for order and justice in her world burning like a hot coal within her.
Teeth clenched, hair blowing in the chill autumn breeze, Susannah swiped absently at the tickle on her cheek, fascinated when she saw blood smeared on her fingers. She turned her hand this way and that, focused on the blood – the rude red color of it. The blood made her think, the blood made her feel, the blood made her hunger. She brought her fingers to her mouth, sucking the crimson liquid in, the metallic blast of it invigorating her. She licked and sucked her fingers until every last trace was gone, and surveyed her pale hand with a slight smile playing about her lips. Soon, Debbie Moran, soon.
**
Susannah Guntzelman was not a joiner. Participation in school activities was just not something that she did…ever, but when the Student Athletics Association put up a flyer saying that they needed servers for the State Finals Pancake Breakfast, she jumped at the chance. The breakfast was scheduled for mid-November, just before Thanksgiving, so she had just over a month to put her plan into action. She would assimilate…briefly, because it was necessary.
Food was Susannah’s solace, and often times her only pleasure. It didn’t merely provide her with sustenance, it provided her with an outlet for her sometimes odd creativity. She was usually able to grab a hasty breakfast before her father woke up, although, if she wasn’t quite fast enough, he would see her at the table eating, pick up her cereal bowl and dump its contents into the sink. Dinner at the Guntzelman house was a tense affair, where the beast measured every spoonful that was placed on her plate and watched her like a hawk so that she didn’t take seconds. But lunch…lunch was Susannah’s salvation. She would prepare her noon feast at night, after her father went to bed, and stash it in a cooler in her closet. Experimenting with all sorts of delicious combinations from the refrigerator and pantry, she gorged herself on her creations as she sat in her lonely corner of the lunchroom.
The high school offered cooking classes, and she took every single one, so it seemed quite natural when she volunteered to help out with the athletic club’s breakfast, despite her extreme aversion to social situations. She prepared for the event by doing things that she had to do to fit in. Her plan would require some degree of trust from her fellow volunteers, which she knew she’d never obtain by skulking around, sharing her thoughts with no one.
For the first time in Susannah’s life, she paid attention to her hair, finding that, when she conditioned it with avocado, it fell into smooth, bouncy ringlets. The determined young lady also went on a strict diet, much to her father’s grim satisfaction, and started working out in the beast’s basement gym after school, taking great care to wipe down his equipment afterwards, to spare the wrath that would inevitably come if he knew that she had touched something that belonged to him.
Pounds melted away, revealing a figure that prompted more than one double-take from the boys who passed her in the hall. Susannah’s overall appearance had changed dramatically in a matter of weeks, and she’d gone to a local thrift store in order to finish off her assimilation process by purchasing snug-fitting stylish jeans, low-cut tops like the other girls wore, and shoes that were the polar opposites of her sensible oxfords. Between classes, she pilfered makeup, a curling iron and hair products from gym lockers, and spent hours in front of her mirror at home, teaching herself how to use them. Her mother would have been pleased to see the changes, if she hadn’t been too busy to notice.
**
The morning of the athletic club breakfast dawned, cheery and bright, matching Susannah’s disposition. She had waited and planned for weeks, and finally, the day had arrived. She dressed with extra care on that lovely morning, wearing a flattering outfit that would help her fit in with her peers until the deed was done. Once her revenge had been exacted without mercy, she could go back to being comfortable and fading into the woodwork socially.
Susannah checked in with Coach Nickerson in the cafeteria kitchen, noting with disdain the long looks that she was getting from people, boys in particular, who had never noticed that she lived and breathed prior to this morning. She put on a happy face however, and affected a cheerful demeanor much like the one that her mother adopted for parties and other social events. She smiled, she volunteered, she was quiet, but she was present, and she made certain that she had one of the serving positions.
Debbie Moran bounced into the cafeteria, shiny ponytail swishing, with a cluster of lesser cheerleaders surrounding her. Susannah had known that her royal bitchness would be there with bells on, to accept what was rightfully hers. All of the high school elite had come out to be seen and appreciated by a fawning staff, and their inferior classmates. The annual breakfast practically existed to remind the lesser beings that they were fortunate to be allowed to attend the same institution of learning as these tanned, immaculate demi-gods.
Plating the fluffy hotcakes with care, while desperately hoping that Debbie Moran actually ate such things, Susannah loaded up a tray with several plates and delivered them to the table, setting each one down in front of the squad of debutants with a brilliant smile. Her mother would have been proud.
“Umm…helloooo,” Debbie blinked at her in utter disbelief while dangling a pitcher of warm maple syrup from two perfectly manicured fingers.
A dark scenario suddenly flashed through Susannah’s mind, culminating in gelatinous goo bubbling from the cheerleader’s eye socket after she stabbed a fork into that pretty blue orb, but she quickly quashed the thought and smiled.
“I’m sorry, is something wrong?” she asked sweetly, still savoring the brief image.
“Uh yeah,” Debbie replied, clearly offended. “This may be enough syrup for everyone else, but I’m going to need my own pitcher. Don’t be so stingy…how do you expect me to eat pancakes without enough syrup? I mean really, what would be the point?” she asked nasally, raising her eyebrows.
“Oh wow, of course,” Susannah nodded. “I feel the same way,” she smiled brightly. That part, at least, wasn’t a lie. “Sorry about that, I’ll be right back.”
When she turned to head back to the kitchen, pleased that Debbie had played right into her hands, she heard the vile creature speak in a stage whisper that was clearly meant to be overheard.
“I swear, she’s probably back there drinking the stuff,” she snickered. “Soooey, Susannah, oink, oink, oink.” The fact that Susannah had lost enough weight that her body now rivaled that of some of the cheerleaders surrounding their queen bee had apparently escaped Debbie Moran’s notice.
Feeling the heat rise in her face, Susannah concentrated on taking some deep breaths and maintaining her mother’s social façade. Her plan was almost complete. If she lost her cool now, she wouldn’t have the satisfaction of seeing things through, so she collected her thoughts, pasted a lovely smile on her face and reached under the counter when no one was looking. She’d been force-fed syrup of ipecac often enough by her father, that she knew it’s sweet taste was incredibly similar to thick maple syrup, and she had arrived early enough at the breakfast to have had time to prepare a special “syrup” just for dirty Debbie Moran, mixing in just a touch of maple syrup to mask the ipecac.
 She stood in the kitchen, holding the pitcher for a moment, savoring what was about to happen, and wishing that she could film it, so that she could watch it over and over again, giggling all the while. Filming was out of the question however, for all sorts of reasons, so she’d just have to be content with having created a delightful amount of chaos and humiliation, and replaying it in her mind. She took a deep breath, and grinning broadly, she presented Debbie with her own personal pitcher of syrup, which the cheerleader poured liberally over her stack of pancakes. What happened after that would become a story that would be whispered about in the halls of the alma mater for years to come.

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 About the Author
Summer Prescott is well-known in the Cozy Mystery realm, having written and published several Best-Sellers in the genre. An avid reader of Thrillers, Horror and Suspense, the author has decided to follow her passion with the debut of her Thriller, The Quiet Type, which launched in the top 50 of the Serial Killer category on Amazon. The novel has received high praise in its reviews, and Summer is considering a possible trilogy or series to continue the story.
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THE KNOWING – PROMO BLITZ

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Dark Fantasy, Thriller, Horror
Date Published:  March 2017
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United by destiny, they must stand together to face an ancient evil…..
Ceri Edwards and two school friends lift the lid on an ancient book of recipes belonging to Betty Williams, a volunteer at the local hospital in Pontypridd, South Wales. Two Kansas City cops step off a flight at London Heathrow and one of them falls to the ground with a painful conviction that there’s something evil in the air.
United in their destinies, Ceri and the police officers are drawn into a world where prophecies are pitted against invisible forces planning to raze London to the ground and bring down the Royal Family.
It all rests with Dai Williams, recently knighted MI5 agent and reluctant hero, to bring some order to the improbable events and to ensure that afternoon tea at The Ritz continues for another hundred years.
A great cross between Kim Newman and Ben Aaranovitch and a thrill for any fan of contemporary urban horror.
Excerpt
 
A decent, pot-bellied, cast iron cauldron usually sold for a hundred pounds. One that was antique and appropriately fire-tarnished doubled the sum. Use by an accredited witch—specifically a member of the Dynion Mwyn tradition—could nudge that figure into the stratosphere. That was because a well-used cauldron was believed to absorb spells into the metalwork, supposedly making incantations more effective. Debunking that idea was as fruitless as rubbishing homeopathy—particularly now that Welsh folklore remedies had royal approval and were being marketed under the Cymry Originals brand, with a crest of giant leeks crossed like swords under a flying harp.
None of that was of the slightest interest to the three girls peering into the bubbling contents of the vessel. Ceri, Dilys and Bronwen liked to imagine their Celtic magick delivered with Grimm determination and lashings of David Giuntoli whom they had already accorded the title of ‘Honorary Welshman’. He would know a good potion if he saw one and would have no time for fictional fripperies like wands. They were for stupid kids who knocked themselves out walking into the wall between platforms at railway stations. Owls were cool, though, although they were far too self-important to be used as posties.
All three would-be witches were outfitted courtesy of Georgio @ Asda. ‘Gold Witch’ was an absolute steal at three pounds—if zero carat bling rocks your cwch. They had also considered the ‘Mental Patient’ blood-spattered straitjacket costume, but Bronwen’s mum was a social worker and thought the mentally ill deserved more respect than a few pence-worth of garish polyester. A gorily-streaked, plastic meat cleaver was an optional extra and she thought it was very realistic.
It was all for show, of course. They had no need of such embellishments, but it kept their mothers happy—and, hopefully, ignorant of what they were up to. The fact that Halloween—or, more accurately, All Hallows’ Eve—was just around the corner, provided the perfect smokescreen for their activities. There was always the chance Ceri’s mum might enter the room while they were in the middle of adding an eye or two of newt, so they had the music system turned up loud and playing Super Furry Animals. Actually, newt eyes were so yesterday. They’d read that modern witchery had honed the ingredients down to essences of magic which could be bought over the internet if you knew where to look. Currently, they had no internet thanks to the stupid British government, so they’d had to improvise— after tossing salt over their left shoulders, crossing their fingers and reciting a hundred Hail Marys.
 
Other Books by David Graham:
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers
Published: July 2015
Horror, Supernatural, Thriller, Crime
What causes an adolescent – straight A student Brandon P Marshall – to walk downstairs naked, armed with a pair of Glocks, and go all Charles Manson on his family? This is only one in the horrifying trail of incidents that brings together Detective Sergeant Dale Franklin of the Kansas City Police Department and his poster-boy rookie, Steve Abrams. Meanwhile, across the pond, Dai Williams, in Battersea London, safe inside his improvised Faraday cage, is coming to terms with his special talents – talents that will take ‘getting-into-the-mind-of-the-killer’ to a whole new level. Al-Qaeda? Drugs Cartels? Internet freaks? David Graham’s The Screaming leaves no possibility untouched as Dai enters a bizarre and horrifying world where kids scream.
About the Author

David Graham lives in an ostensibly carbon zero house in rural Kent with his partner and cat amidst fields of maize and poly-tunnels of strawberries. Previously, he lived and worked in London as a consultant in the National Health Sservice. His previous non-fiction titles include: Medical Computing and Applications, Creative Sound and Computer-Assisted Medical Learning: Clinical Anatomy. David turned his attention to writing fiction in 2012. Since then, he has written one self-published novel (Looks Could Kill) and two traditionally published novels (Captive and Wet & Wild) under the name David Ellis. Looks Could Kill was in the Amazon Kindle Top 10 of spy thrillers and was downloaded more than 3,000 times. Captive was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. He has also written two romance novellas under the name Richard Longfellow. His horror thriller The Screaming was published by Frostbite Publishing in the US in 2014, and by Austin Macauley in the UK in 2015. His new book The Knowing is the sequel to The Screaming and is due to be published early 2017 by Urbane Publications.
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GAIA AND THE GOLIATHS – BLITZ

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Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Date Published:  February 5, 2017
Publisher: Carrick Publishing
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An environmental activist is murdered on a street in Manhattan after a protest. NYPD homicide Detectives Chen and Castilblanco get the case. While pursuing the clues to find those responsible, they discover the activist’s boyfriend is in danger because he has key information that will expose an international conspiracy involving Europe, Russia, and the U.S. As the tangled web unravels, an old nemesis of the detectives makes his appearance.
Other Books in the Detectives Chen & Castilblanco Mystery Series
Published: October 2015
NYPD detectives Chen and Castilblanco continue their adventures in this sixth novel in the series. Castilblanco’s relative Teresa and Nasir are an item, but Nasir kills Teresa’s taunting and jealous ex-boyfriend in a fight. When they look to Nasir’s friends for help, those friends kidnap the two fugitives who become involved in a terrorist plot.
While the two detectives try to find Teresa and prove her innocence, a case in a different precinct involving a different Castilblanco relative surfaces. The cop’s uncle, other detectives, and the Coast Guard help sort things out, including the connection to an old mafia family.
Published: 2010
The murders of a Wall Street broker and a Navy SEAL in Manhattan only miles and minutes apart seem unrelated, but two homicide detectives discover a connection. As the strange cases merge and they chase down the killers, even with federal stonewalling, they uncover a terrorist plan to destroy two American icons and generate a financial crisis bigger than the Wall Street implosion of 2008. Hiding in the background are webs of international intrigue taken from today’s post-9/11 world.
Published: March 2012
Steve Moore gives a new meaning to “narco-terrorism” in this new thriller that has your favorite NYPD homicide detectives Rolando Castilblanco and Dao-Ming Chen thwarting another terrorist plot, as they did in The Midas Bomb. Castilblanco uses his old Navy SEAL skills to good effect and Chen takes on a new sexy and independent role against the combined forces of al Qaeda, a Mexican cartel, and neo-Nazi militia members.
teeter-totter between lust and murder cover
Published: May 2013
With Teeter-Totter between Lust and Murder, Steve Moore continues the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series.” The sleuths of The Midas Bomb and Angels Need Not Apply will embroil you in action and suspense yet again.
As a mystery novel, it is a dark probing into the nexus the crime underworld sometimes enjoys with the rich and powerful. Chen is arrested for the murder of a senator in circumstances that seem to leave no doubt of her guilt, but Castilblanco helps prove her innocence.
With this new crime novel, Steve continues the saga of your two favorite detectives as they and their companions fight the corrupting influence of the illegal weapons trade.
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Published: March 2014
Aristocrats and Assassins continues the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series.”
NYPD detectives Chen and Castilblanco leave their comfort zones once again. Chen goes to China where she helps the DEA track down a money laundering scheme. Castilblanco is in Europe on vacation with his wife. They meet up to thwart a terrorist who’s kidnapping members of the European royal family. What relation does he have to the money laundering scheme? Why does he have a vendetta for Castilblanco? What’s his real agenda? Join Chen and Castilblanco on a tour of Europe you won’t find in Frommer’s.
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Published: November 2014
Chen and Castilblanco are back in the Big Apple.  They begin to investigate the murder of a SOHO art dealer, delve into the shadowy world of art thieves, and discover that stolen artworks can be used as collateral to finance some dark entrepreneurship.  The Collector is book five in the Detectives Chen and Castilblanco series.
Excerpt

 

Excerpt from Steven M. Moore’s Gaia and the Goliaths, #7 in the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series”, Carrick Publishing, 2017:
Chapter One
Dr. Guillermo Sanchez ran with EMTs as they guided the gurney through the halls on the way to one of Bellevue’s ORs.  His job was to stabilize the shooting victim for the surgeon, but stabilize wasn’t the right word in this case.  The young woman flat-lined twice before the surgeon arrived.
“Wash up, Guillermo,” said Dr. Wilson. “I’m going to need your steady hands.”
Guillermo Pedro Sanchez was ending his first year as ER intern.  He had already informed Wilson where the gunshot wounds were.  The most serious ones were around her left breast.  Had they done damage to the heart?  The flat-lining indicated that they had.
He was in the seventh hour of his first shift.  Unruly black hair and a need for a shave combined with a blood-stained smock made him look like an old-fashioned Italian butcher from an old ethnic neighborhood of New York City, but he had grown up in a rich family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  A brother and sister had attended Harvard all the way through to MBAs and now worked in the corporate world.  He was the youngest and had attended Tufts; he’d always wanted to work in an ER.  Now he was an intern in one of the busiest.
They were soon embroiled in the operation.  The abdominal cavity was filled with blood—a massive leak somewhere threatened this woman’s life.
“Let’s do a transfusion,” said Wilson, “and patch tears if we can.”
“Is it her heart?” said Sanchez.
“I can’t see a damn thing.  Suction!”
They worked feverishly.  Desperate minutes became intense hours.
***
Gaia Papadakis’s last memories were about a dark street near NYU.  She had been a bit tipsy.  After the protest march, they went to a bar to celebrate.  No one was arrested during the protest, but all the same they made the news on all local TV channels.
People were now interested in global warming despite naysayers in big corporations and the nation’s capital.  Many were also asking questions about oil spills, fracking, and pollution from power plants.  Her group Clean World tried to guide and coordinate the dialog.
Many conservatives supported companies Clean World was protesting against, while progressives were more on the side of protesters when not beholden to corporate donors.  Many energy companies were owned by one huge energy conglomerate, Wilson-Myers Energy Corporation.  Emotions ran high during the protest, but she gave the cops more credit than some co-marchers—the former kept the march peaceful and seemed impartial about whom they hauled away when tempers flared and violence ensued.
She had recognized some opposition leaders and activists trying to appeal to spectators; they played on people’s fears, focusing on loss of livelihood if the conglomerate’s companies went under.  She knew their argument was specious—she had written white papers that proved the conglomerate could, in a period of ten years or so, improve their environmental record without losing revenue.  Other white papers showed what would happen to the Earth if conglomerates like Wilson-Myers didn’t change their polluting ways.
Most in the crowd, though, ignored the opposition and were friendly to protesters.  She knew Wilson-Myers hated that and the progress environmentalists were making.  The conglomerate was spending money right and left to stop them and writing most of it off to advertising.  That same money, probably even less, could be used to change its bad environmental record.  It was a question of priorities.  Companies spent tons of money trying to “educate the population”—translation: attack science and deny global warming.  And they had sycophants in Washington to push that agenda.
At the bar, they had toasted their better-than-average success with the protest.  She left around 2 a.m.  Her small apartment wasn’t far away, so she walked.  She was city and street smart, but her shooter was more efficient than your average gang member or mugger.  An SUV sped by and a shooter sprayed her body with an automatic weapon, leaving her sprawled on the sidewalk and her mind fading into darkness as she still wondered why.
***
“We’re in trouble,” said Wilson, glancing at monitors.  “We need to give her an artificial heart, but there’s no time!”
            “No repair’s possible?” said Sanchez.
            “Let’s try to pull her through,” said Wilson.  “We’re heading for a train wreck here!  Full replacement, ladies and gentlemen!”
            More hours of painstaking, mind numbing surgery.  Another cardiac surgeon joined Wilson, and another intern arrived to help Sanchez clamp, suck out fluids, sew stitches, and keep an eye on instruments, although OR nurses also helped in that too.  The team grew; it was a team effort.  Wilson was the quarterback marching his offense down the field with time running out.
After nine hours of surgery, they had the victim on an artificial heart.  That would only be the start of her odyssey.  She would now go on a list of patients who needed a heart transplant.  That was another race against time.
            “Good work,” Wilson told Sanchez as they were cleaning up.  “You have a fast and sure suture technique.  Maybe you should change to surgery.  By the way, I’m sorry I ignored your questions in there.  I’m afraid I become less professorial when I’m saving someone’s life.”
            “No need to apologize,” said Sanchez.  “They were stupid questions.  Her heart was beyond repair.  What chance does she have now?”
            Wilson glanced at him, raising a bushy eyebrow.  “Don’t become emotionally involved, Guillermo.  You need to maintain a professional detachment.  There’s only a ten percent chance she’ll make it.  She’s likely to throw a clot, for example, considering circumstances.  And we might not find a donor in time.”
            “It seems so unfair.  What is she, mid-twenties?”
            “If she’s more than thirty, I’d be surprised.  She pissed someone off enough she might as well have been a grunt in the Middle East invading a terrorist camp without a gun or body armor.  Yeah, it’s unfair.  You can be a recluse most of your life but still have a truck mow you down crossing a street in Manhattan.  What about a surgery internship, if I can change the subject?”
            “I can help more in the ER.”  Sanchez smiled.  “I’ll have lots of practice in Manhattan.”
            “Are you just afraid of overspecialization?  You’d be an ER surgeon soon enough.  You can help sicker people as a cardiac surgeon on ER call.”
            “I’ll think about it.  But you can’t determine my skills just from one session.  I didn’t do very much.”
            “Often enough you provided a skilled third pair of hands when I needed them.”  Wilson looked around and lowered his voice.  “That other intern was all thumbs.  Between you and me, he’s not going to last long in this intense environment.”  He raised his hands and flexed his fingers, watching water drip off.  “I’ll take these any day over a robot’s.”
            Sanchez thought that was a bit egotistical but said nothing.
***
“You’re too young to be a doctor,” Gaia Papadakis said, her voice a raspy whisper.  Sanchez had just removed the tube from her throat.
“You’re awake.  You’ve been through a lot.”  He took her pulse again the old-fashioned way.  “A bit weak.”  His thick eyebrows arched.  “How do you feel?”
“I feel like I was run over by a subway train.”
“Something comparable on the street and right here in the ER.  You’re lucky to be alive.  You were in good shape, though, and that helped.”
“I work out when I can.  Gym and jogging.  Do you work out?”
“When I can.  Don’t talk too much.”  He showed her the call button.  “If you have a problem, use that.  Someone will come running.  Don’t be timid with the morphine pump either.  Control your pain.”  He waved toward the door.  “I have some other patients to see.  It was a busy night in the ER apparently.”
“What happened?”
“Other than your being shot, I don’t know.  About that: when you’re up to it, NYPD will want to interview you.  Don’t worry about it, though.  They have to go through me first.”
Nice smile, she thought.  God, he’s young and handsome.  Where’s he been all my life?  He had beautiful curly locks like her Zorba.  She wanted Alessandro by her side holding her hand now that the doctor had reminded her of him.
“Did you participate in my surgery?”  He nodded.  “Say, can you hand me my purse?  I’d like to check my smart phone.”  He handed her the purse, watched her rummage around, but turned to the PA system’s speaker over the door when his name was called.
“I have to go.”  She nodded, flashing a tired smile.
She watched him leave, deciding it might be worth being shot in order to meet him.  Sorry, Alessandro, you’re thousands of miles away.
            Hours later in midafternoon, she woke from a deep sleep feeling panic.  She knew something was wrong.  She took her last gasp as she fought her descent into sweet oblivion.
About the Author

Steve Moore is an ex-scientist who has lived abroad and seen a lot of the world. His fiction reflects his interest in the human condition and how good people everywhere react and fight evil. He is now a full-time author who lives with his wife in New Jersey, but he has resided in Colombia and Massachusetts and other states in the U.S. He’s a native Californian. He loves to hear from readers and authors.
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