Tag Archive: Thriller


 

SUMMARY:

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

The Scent of Murder

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

KYLIE LOGAN is the national bestselling author of The League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries. The Scent of Murder is the first in a new series.

Buy Links:

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Social Links:

https://twitter.com/KylieLoganBks

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CHAPTER 1

It had rained that afternoon and the sidewalks were still wet. When the last of the evening light hit them, the slate squares reflected Jazz Ramsey’s neighborhood—streetlights, and the neon signs that flashed from the windows of the trendy pubs, and a watery rendering of St. John Cantius church, an urban Monet masterpiece, its tan brick walls and bell tower blurred. Even though it was officially spring, the wind off Lake Erie was wicked. Jazz bundled her shoulder-length brown hair into a loose ponytail and pulled up the hood of her sweatshirt, then hunched further into her North Face jacket. She stopped at a corner, waiting for the light to change, and was pleased

when Luther sat down at her side even without a command. “Good dog,” she was sure to tell him at the same time she

breathed in the combined smell of damp earth and the dis- carded bag from Taco Bell crumpled near the curb.

To Luther’s credit, he ignored whatever bits and bites of

Mexican cuisine might still be in the bag. But then, he’d been trained to follow different scents. When the light changed, he trotted along when Jazz crossed the street, his pace as brisk as hers, and the way he pricked his ears and cocked his head, she knew he sensed the exhilaration that vibrated from her hand through his leash. Luther knew it was almost time to get down to business.

Here, College Avenue started its downhill trek into the Cleveland Flats, the city’s once-booming industrial heart. These days, Clevelanders were more likely to work in health care or IT than in foundries and factories, but one hundred years ago, this was the route thousands of workers took each day from their homes in bluecollar Tremont—it was simply called the South Side then—to the fiery furnaces that pro- duced America’s steel.

“Were not going far,” Jazz assured Luther at the same time she noticed the couple who stumbled out of the Treehouse just up ahead made sure to give the massive German shepherd a wide berth. “Just over here,” she told him once they’d passed the open door to the bar and the blaring music that seeped onto the street wasnt quite so loud. “Over to the new condos.” They stopped outside a sturdy brick building nearly ninety years old with solid walls and a slate roof. By the end of sum- mer, Jazz imagined there would be gleaming glass in the win- dow frames where there was plywood now, and window boxes, too, no doubt, and cars parked outside that reflected the status-conscious success of the young professionals she’d

heard were already lined up to buy.

But not tonight.

Tonight the building was empty and dark and she had it all to herself.

It was the perfect place to put Luther through his paces.

Still hanging on to the dog’s leash with one hand, Jazz fished the key from her pocket with the other and silently thanked Ken Zelinsky, the site supervisor, who’d agreed to give her an hour’s time inside the building.

It wasn’t easy to find urban training sites for a human remains detection dog.

She swung open the door and slanted Luther a look. So what do you think?”

Luther sat, his tail thumping out a rhythm of excitement on the front stoop, and before she unhooked his leash, Jazz did a quick run-through of what she’d learned from his owner. Luther was a little over two years old, good-natured. He could be as playful as any pup, but he had a serious side, too. Like now, when he had to work.

“He’s a smart dog,” Greg Johnson had insisted when he begged Jazz to help with the final stages of Luther’s training. “He just needs some reinforcement from a really good handler. That’s you, Jazz.”

It was.

Or at least it used to be.

These days, Jazz was feeling a little rusty. She was out of practice, not in the mood. It was one of the reasons that, after hemming and hawing and finding excuse after excuse, she’d finally agreed to Greg’s request. She needed to shake herself out of her funk, and to her way of thinking, there was no better way to do that than with a dog.

She stepped into the long, narrow entryway of the build- ing with its rows of broken mailboxes along one wall, and shut the front door behind her. The eerie quiet of years of ne- glect closed around her along with the smell of dampness and decay, rotted wiring and musty tiles carried by an errant breeze. Feeling her way, she unsnapped the leash from Luther’s collar and gave him the command she’d devised for all the dogs she worked with because it was less ghoulish than saying “Find the dead guy!

“Find Henry! she told him, and she stepped back and out of Luther’s way.

Like all HRD dogs, Luther was that rare combination independent enough to go off on his own and loyal enough to owner and handler to need praise. But he didn’t know Jazz well, and smart dog that he was, he wanted to be certain. He glanced over his shoulder at her.

You know what to do, Luther. You dont need Greg here to tell you.” She swept a hand along her side. “Find Henry!”

In fact, what Jazz hoped the dog would do was clear both the first and second floors in record time and head up to the third floor where that afternoon she’d hidden a human tooth (a donation from her mother, Claire, who, at the age of fifty- two, had decided she wanted the kind of sparkling smile she’d seen on so many models and had begun to see an orthodon- tist). Human teeth contained enough scent to attract a prop- erly trained dog’s attention. If Luther was on his game—and she hoped he was because she hated the thought of telling Greg his dog wasn’t ready for the grueling volunteer work done by dogs and handlers—he would locate the tooth, signal by bark-

ing three times, and chomp on the treat she would use as a reward while she secured the scene and made a simulated call to the cops, just as she would do if they made a real find.

“You gonna get a move on or what? she asked Luther, her voice falling flat against the pitted plaster. “Find Henry!”

In a flash of black and sable, the dog took off down the darkened hallway.

After nearly ten years training and handling cadaver dogs, Jazz knew the ropes. She couldn’t give Luther a hint about where to go or what he was looking for so she kept back, let- ting him work, refusing to influence him by her demeanor or her movements. She heard his claws scramble on the tile floor somewhere in the dark up ahead, flicked on her high-powered flashlight, and followed.

Some dogs, like pointers, are air sniffers. Some, like blood- hounds, keep their noses to the ground. No matter their breed, cadaver dogs, by virtue of their work, have to be pro- ficient at both. They are trained as trailing dogs to pick up the scent that has fallen from decomposing bodies onto the ground, and as air-scenting dogs as well, so they can detect any smell of decomposition that’s carried on the breeze. By the time she located him in a back room of what had once been a four-room working-class apartment, Luther was hard at work.

His eyes focused and every inch of his muscular body at the ready, he drew in a breath then hurried back and forth, side to side, through what had once been a kitchen, in an at- tempt to catch the strongest scent.

Not here. On the third floor.

Jazz knew better than to say it. Part of an HRD dog’s gift

was to eliminate one area so dog and handler could move on to the next. Luther was doing his job, and he was doing it well. She had to remember to compliment Greg on his training methods.

Nose to the fl or, his ears pricked, Luther cleared the kitchen and headed into the back bedrooms. Jazz kicked a piece of fallen tile out of the way, but she kept her place. She would wait quietly until the dog emerged from the back rooms and when he headed out into the hallway, she would follow.

At least that was her plan. Until Luther barked.

Once. Twice. Three times.

HideAndSeekGraphic

Title: Hide and Seek

Author: Mary Burton

Release Date: April 23, 2019

Publisher: Montlake Romance

SUMMARY:

Special Agent Macy Crow is a survivor. After a vicious hit-and-run nearly kills her, she gets right back to work, and now she’s gunning for a spot on the FBI’s elite profiling team. As an audition, she offers to investigate the recently discovered bones of Tobi Turner, a high school girl who disappeared fifteen years ago.

While investigating with local sheriff Mike Nevada, a former colleague and onetime lover, Macy discovers a link between Tobi’s case and several others that occurred around the same time as her disappearance. As Macy interviews victims and examines old cases, she uncovers a sinister picture of a stalker who graduated to sexual assault—and then murder.

Macy and Nevada race to put this monster behind bars before he can come out of hiding. But the murderer’s had years to hone his skills, and soon Macy herself becomes a target. She’s no stranger to pain and terror, but will Macy’s first profiling case be her last?

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

MaryBurton

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the highly praised author of twenty-six romance and suspense novels and five novellas. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three miniature dachshunds.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.maryburton.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maryburtonfanpage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryBurtonBooks

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15020.Mary_Burton

 

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PROFILING FBI PROFILER MACY CROW:

Special Agent Macy Crow is 33-years-old and is an accomplished FBI Agent.  She’s worked a series of high profile cases across the United States and isn’t afraid to take chances. When her father was murdered, she headed to Texas to investigate the crime. Following clues left behind by her father, she was closing in on the killer when she became the victim of a hit and run accident.

Most would have died from the injuries Macy sustained or would have been permanently disabled. However, Macy channeled her extreme ability to focus into her recovery. Though her fit muscles have softened during her recovery, she is regaining strength each day and is now laser-focused on returning to the  FBI as a field agent. Before her accident, she had shoulder length blond hair but the brain surgeons who saved her life cut off all her hair. She now proudly sports a pixie cut.

When Macy returned to Texas, she learned a startling fact about herself. She has an identical twin—medical examiner Dr. Faith McIntyre. Though adopted by different families, the sisters already have a strong connection.  

HideAndSeek

Macy’s adoptive parents split when she was two and she moved from Texas to Alexandria, Virginia located outside of Washington, D.C. Over the years she remained close with her father and spent many summers with him helping repair old cars on his auto salvage lot. In Alexandria, she and her mother lived in a large apartment complex. When she was young, a neighborhood girl was murdered. That tragedy had a very profound affect on Macy, who discovered she wasn’t afraid of the police and FBI agents swarming the apartment complex. Instead, she was fascinated by their work and not only watched law enforcement in action but also walked the actual crime scene herself in search of clues.

Macy has never been married and has no children. For a long time, she considered herself married to her job and it wasn’t until she met FBI Special Agent Mike Nevada that she reconsidered her single status. However, her accident cut short their romance. Nevada is now the sheriff in a small Virginia town in the Shenandoah Valley. He understands Macy’s need to reclaim the FBI job she has always loved so much. In the last year, he has never forgotten her and is committed to helping regain her old life. When the two are paired on a cold case murder investigation in Nevada’s district, they become an unstoppable team.

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EXCERPT:

Vivid blue sky, white clouds, and golden fall leaves blanketed the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains and created a picture-perfect day in the valley. In Macy’s book, the beauty was wasted. If she had God’s ear, today would have been cold, overcast, and damp. Save the pretty days until she caught this killer.

As she drove south down I-81, Macy mentally replayed her ten minutes of regional research. In the last couple of decades, the Shenandoah Valley’s population had ballooned thanks to a growing university, its proximity to Washington, DC, and a thriving tourism trade peddling vineyards, Civil War battlefields, and railroad museums. Filling in the economic gaps were warehouse distribution centers, chain hotels, and strip malls.

The voice of Macy’s GPS cut through AC/DC’s Back in Black blasting from her playlist and instructed her to take the upcoming exit toward Deep Run. As she rolled onto Route 250, a sign for her go-to fast-food eatery gave her an excuse to stretch her legs before driving the remaining ten miles to the crime scene.

Parking, she gingerly rose up out of the car. Her leg hurt. Stretches weren’t optional any more. She grabbed her ankle and pulled until the bunched muscles in her thigh released. After a quick walk around the lot, she made a beeline for the restaurant bathroom.

She glanced into the mirror as she washed her hands. Even after five months, she still didn’t recognize the woman with the short hair and thin face.

Nevada was in for a rude awakening.

She wiped her face with a paper towel. “Macy Crow, you’re above ground and headed in the right direction. That’s what counts.”

At the counter, she ordered a supersize bucket of fries and a large soda. It wasn’t that she loved the food—okay, maybe she did love the fries—but the chain restaurant’s predictability and sameness was comforting after so many life changes.

A few fries later, she was in her car and backing out of her space when her phone rang. Nevada’s number appeared. She cleared her throat and sat a little taller.

“Agent Macy Crow,” she said.

“Ramsey tells me you’re on your way. Where are you?”

He was direct, rarely charming, and she always knew where she stood with him. “Fifteen minutes from the barn.”

“I’m here now.”

The transition back into a working relationship appeared effortless. Whatever they had was over and done. No hard feelings.

“See you soon,” she said.

En route on the interstate, she ate her fries and drained her soda. There were no guarantees on when the next meal would be.

The last few miles took her down smaller roads until she spotted the driveway marked by stacked stones. Gravel crunched under her tires as she passed a freshly cleared field. Over the rise of a hill, she saw the old barn encircled by yellow crime scene tape.

When she had been researching the area, slogans such as “Best Quality of Life” and “Raise Your Family in Deep Run” popped up on her computer screen. As she had read about the area, she had kept glancing toward her open case file filled with images of Tobi Turner’s scattered bones. Recent pictures had captured the barn surrounded by dozens of state and local law enforcement vehicles crammed side by side in the grassy field.

Now as Macy parked, she noted that all the vehicles were gone expect for a lone black SUV. She grabbed her Glock from the glove box, holstered it, and stepped out of her car. Her worn hiking boots sloshed in the damp muddy soil. She tugged on an FBI windbreaker and draped her FBI credentials around her neck. As a stiff breeze blew a lingering chill and autumn scents, she checked her pockets for latex gloves, sunglasses, a small pocketknife, and pendant light.

Edginess and excitement fused as she strode toward the stretch of yellow tape and searched for Nevada. She ducked under the tape and stepped inside the barn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If anyone’s not read Katie Reus’s Redemption Harbor Series, you are missing out on a series filled with passion and danger. From the romance seekers to the thrill seekers, this series is captivating and fulfilling!

CovertGames-RedemptionHarbor#6-KatieReus

Book six of the series brings co-founder Leighton and Lucy Carreras in a mission very personal, playing “Covert Games”, as they try to bring down Lucy’s evil uncle, who has some very shading dealings and hurting the innocent as well. Lucy’s loyalties are put to the test, and Leighton’s heart is in the crossfire of this battle.

“Resurrection” was an astounding start to the series, and as much as I enjoyed the other books in the series, “Covert Games” is my second favorite of the series. The chemistry between Leighton and Lucy is electrifying and the rest of the team being involved in lot more of the pages added spice and intensity to the story.

Katie Reus as always captivates with her plot and narration. I love her attention to sketching characters true to reality and making them perfectly imperfect.

Received an ARC from KR Press, LLC via NetGalley for an honest review.

Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh are co-writing a new series is always a reading pleasure. Widow’s Island Series is compilation of short novellas featuring childhood friends FBI Agent Cate Wilde and local Deputy Tessa Black as they unravel the mysteries of their remote island home.

CloseToTheBone-Widow'sIslandSeries#1-KendraElliot-Oct2018

“Close To The Bone” is the first in the series penned by Kendra Elliot as Cate Wilde returns home to recuperate from an injury. But instead of resting, skeletal remains found on the island drew her into a crime that brings the past and present to an end. And the new resident Doctor Henry Powers weighs in with his skills to help the case and his charm to woo Cate Wilde.

A short and with a very tight narrative, “Close To The Bone” delivers another enthralling read. Kendra Elliot has always been so good with her thrillers, characterizations and subtle romantic nuances, be it a longer story or a short novella.

Received an ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley for an honest review.

A new series from Kat Martin is always a pleasure to read. From The Raines to The Brodies to The Boss Inc, all have been a thrilling pleasure to read and now the Texas Trilogy is out next week, and is definitely worth giving it a read.

BeyonDanger-TexasTrilogy#2-KatMartin-Jan2018

Book two of the series, “Beyond Danger” throws the Texas mogul Beau Reese smack into the middle of his Senator father’s death and a young girl tied to him as family. Even as he’s reeling under the secrets of his father, his father’s supposedly secretary Cassidy Jones reveals her true identity as a private investigator hired by his father to look into the threats on his life.

As the mystery deepens and secrets slowly see the light of day, so does the attraction between Beau and Cassidy. With danger and death and shadowing them, love and trust seems to bring new hope for a future if they can kill the danger before it kills them.

With an interesting and captivating plot, “Beyond Danger” keeps the suspense going until the last page. Kat Martin’s characters, Beau and Cassidy make a good team with their stubbornness, courage and intelligence, giving the story a good dose of passion and intrigue to make this a worthy read.

Received an ARC from Kensington Books/Zebra via NetGalley for an honest review.

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