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Hello and welcome along to my stop on the blog tour for Catch 52, I am delighted to share a character overview with you.

Catch 52 Cover

 

What do you do when your love affair with Europe comes to an undignified end?

On 24th June 2016, Mike McCarthy wakes up to the news that Britain has voted to leave the EU. A committed European, he is shattered. Over the coming weeks and months, he takes a long, hard look at himself, determined to uncover the reasons why this travesty has occurred, scrutinising the faces of everyone he meets for those he believes may have voted in or out.

As he tries to cope with the looming horror of Brexit, Mike fondly recalls his visits to Europe as a young man, the relationships he formed and how these have moulded his pan-European outlook.

Digging too deeply into issues has always been his problem. Mike begins to question the views he holds so dear and discovers new things about those closest to him. As McCarthy staggers on from The Referendum to the unthinkable triggering of Article 50, he finds himself plunged himself into a different world of social comment and political media. As the strategy for Brexit emerges, he wonders where his future lies and questions his commitment to a cause that may yet plunge his and Britain’s hopes and dreams into the abyss.

You can buy a copy of Catch 52 via Amazon here


 

Michael McCarthy – 58 years. Art Teacher. English, from Liverpool. The novel revolves around McCarthy. His experiences, thoughts, lifestyle, relationships and history. He is a committed pro and pan-European; his views established early in life growing up in Britain’s ‘first Multi-Cultural city’ and later as a traveller on the mainland of Europe. His development from a naïve youth in Paris in 1979 to the cosmopolitan, resourceful man in Berlin in 1985 is striking. Although initially devastated by the result of the EU Referendum he picks himself up and moves on without giving up his ideals. He is thrown into a world of media political debate, almost by de-fault, which he is surprisingly good at. He is cosmopolitan and erudite, obviously much influenced by his travels around Europe. The book is an existential journey and explores some of his personal relationships with various men and women who have influenced him and continue to influence his views.

 

Inspiration

McCarthy is an ordinary man in an ordinary job. This was a primary requirement for me as I embarked upon the book. Like millions of other people his life is affected by decisions that in realty we have no control of; decisions and events that often throw everyday, ordinary people into situations that are generally alien to them. I am intrigued and amazed how often this happens: as I write the UK has suffered two terrible terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. ‘Ordinary people’ have been killed and injured, lost loved ones and been caught up in some way in terrible events that will have a bearing on their lives. They are thrown into something they have little or no control of. Many have taken to social media to express their views, some have been interviewed by television, radio and newspapers. We live in a world that just 25 years ago seemed futuristic and fantastical. Yet this is the world we live in today, a model for the ordinary man and woman. The mid-20th Century dreams and statements of people like James Joyce (Here comes everyone) and Andy Warhol (In the future everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame) have largely come true.

McCarthy is at an age that has seen both worlds. Born into post-WW2 austerity Britain yet old enough to remember and be influenced to a degree by the social revolutions of the 1960s and early 70s he is a product of his generation. It’s his generation that came of age during the middle period of the Cold War, witnessed and adapted to social strife, riots, terrorism, political upheaval, post-industrialism, post-modernism and the digital revolution. He has a foot in both camps, the old and the new and like many others of his age exhibits great adaptability. He is the ‘Ordinary Man’ of his generation.

Likes

He doesn’t have any fixed political views, is not a member of a political party yet is very politically aware and  astute. He can see the other person’s point of view without becoming partisan. He has an open, inclusive relationship with his two teenage children (Sam & Georgie) always seeking their views and opinions. I like his commitment to his job as a teacher and his students which nothing seems to deflect from, even his media and political activities. He is extremely adaptable and when thrown into the media limelight takes to it like a fish to water, surprising even himself. He retains a strong, if slightly sarcastic sense of humour especially when the going gets tough. Throughout the novel he has many different relationships with different women and is very comfortable in their company, whatever their role, not chauvinistic, perhaps even gentlemanly at times. He is non-judgemental and in no-way bigoted towards those who differ from him politically and socially, in fact as the book progresses he quickly comes to terms with the fact that the UK will leave the EU, without compromising his ideals.

Dislikes

He tends to cling onto the past, looking back at things through rose-coloured spectacles. He can be too nostalgic at times, again probably a generational trait (he won’t throw away his old leather jacket!)  He has a secretive, maybe deceitful side to him – he has carried on a correspondence with his former French lover Suzanne for 30 years, unknown to his wife Jane. He has never told her details about Berlin and especially Maria-did he get together with Jane on the rebound from Maria? Possibly. He appears to be more open with his 18-year-old daughter than his wife at times. He can look at things and people to deeply, too analytically, too intellectually – his Headteacher, his local MP, Tristram, Jack Nelson, even Guy Simpson. This may well be an anti-establishment, generational feature of his personality-he came of age in the wake of the Counter Culture, of 1970s and 80s rock music, street protests and strikes. When he tells us of the 1985 Liverpool School Children’s Strike he speaks with emotion and nostalgia, completely at one with the kids and their cause, which takes me back to nostalgia-a key theme of the novel and of course, Brexit.

 

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Description:

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material … and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet. Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Wolves in the Dark reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.

My Thoughts & Review:

Impressively, this is the 21st book in the Varg Veum series, and indeed 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the series – the sign of an amazing character and author I would say!  And whilst not all of Gunnar Staalesen’s books are not available in English, it is possible to become utterly immersed in this series as you read.  The previous books “We Shall Inherit the Wind” and “Where Roses Never Die” have been published by Orenda Books and are available to buy now.

Varg Veum is a fantastic character that most readers will take to, despite his flaws and obvious dependence on alcohol, readers will connect with him and will find they are quietly cheering him on when things get tough.
The blossoming relationship with his new girlfriend is put under immense pressure when he is arrested for being part of a paedophile ring and for the possession of child pornography.  His reputation is hanging by a very frayed thread and he needs to work out quickly who is setting him up and why.  If I say anything else about the plot I fear that I will give something away (zips mouth shut).

With a plot revolving around a sensitive topic, this could make for difficult reading.  But I do believe that Staalesen has handled it well without becoming overly graphic and certainly includes only what is necessary to enhance the plot.  This is a hard hitting novel that truly encapsulates the very essence of Scandi Noir and I can see why this series and character have been so successful.  There’s an elegance in the writing, the plot is so intricate and clever that it challenges the reader, it’s not the sort of book to half look at whilst cooking the supper that’s for sure (yes I did burn the supper whilst reading this book and no I don’t recommend taking your eyes off the oven, otherwise the toad in the hole will be VERY caramelised).
The skill in bringing Veum to life was astounding, the more I read of this book the more I felt that he was real and found myself enjoying his sense of humour.

A fantastic instalment in the series and I cannot wait for more!!

It’s only right to make mention of Don Bartlett’s translation, again an impeccable job with a seamless translation.

You can buy a copy of “Wolves in the Dark” via:
Amazon
Wordery
The Book Depository

 

My heartfelt thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for the opportunity to read an early copy of this and for inviting me to participate in the blog tour.

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DECEIVED

Published: 24 June 2017

 

Description:

How well do you know your loved ones?

A girl struggling to cope with the murders of her mother and five-year-old brother.
A journalist chasing the ghost of a potential serial killer.
A thirteen-year-old girl who slaughtered her parents.
And a revenge-driven psychopath who is about to destroy everyone’s life.

After 9 years, a young writer is still coping with the brutal murders of her mother and five-year-old brother, as she moves into a house of horrors, to start a new life with her lover. Will friends and family be able to redeem Ally out of the impending doom in time? Will her infallible love become the key to the destruction of her already fragile world? Will madness prevail over love; true love over revenge?

Deceived is a gripping psychological thriller that mazes through the deepest, darkest emotions of human mind through the story of a vulnerable girl who treads in the mist of deception bred from a long unforgiven betrayal.

My Thoughts & Review:

“Deceived” was a book that I read a review of and was intrigued, not something I would usually pick up but this book screamed out “read me” and I was only too happy to oblige.

This is a very fast paced thriller that grabs readers from the very beginning, the explanation of the differences between a psychopath and a sociopath makes for very interesting reading and really sets the tone for this book – a book that will get under the skin of the reader.

Without retelling the plot, I will say that the book centres around Allison Stone (Ally), whose mother and younger brother were brutally murdered.  She suffers debilitating nightmares and is slowly working towards recovery from the painful memories of this loss with the help of her friend Sam, his dog Max, and her boyfriend Danny.  The plot then cleverly weaves together narrative from both the past and current time to keep the reader hooked.  The use of journal entries is fantastic, a great insight into the mind of a psychopath.   Running through the plot is also the story of Elizabeth Lawson, a 13 year old girl who murdered her parents in cold blood before running away in 1978.

This was a quick read for me, finding that I wanted to keep reading to find out if my suspicions were correct about the killer.  And I have to admit that I did like the way the ending was written, the author giving the reader something to ponder long after the book has been carefully placed on the bookshelf.  It’s a very impressive debut, and if I’m honest, it didn’t read as a debut.  It was well written, well thought out and very interesting.

My thanks to Emily at Citrus Publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

 

Valerie Keogh TOTMS

 

Description:

When Kelly Johnson’s husband disappears, her perfect world in the Foxrock suburb of Dublin falls apart. Then she stumbles on a dead body in the graveyard behind her house.
A coincidence? Garda Sergeant Mike West thinks so until he finds a link between the dead body and Kelly’s missing husband.
And then to add to the problem, Kelly disappears.
The investigation takes West first to Cornwall and then to Cork, on the trail of a tangled case involving identity theft, blackmail and illegal drugs. And as if the complications of the case weren’t enough there is the constant, irritating – and definitely unsuitable – attraction, to the beautiful Kelly, who will keep disappearing!.

My Thoughts & Review:

There’s something about Scottish and Irish crime fiction that I adore, perhaps it calls to my roots being a humble 1/2 and 1/2 lass, or perhaps its the wonderfully rich personalities that inevitably shine through in these books…

“That One May Smile” begins with Kelly Johnson beginning another day, barely surviving after her husband vanished three months ago without any explanation.  Her life has fallen apart, she fails to see that her beautiful home as turned into a midden, that personal hygiene is no longer of importance to and all she wants is her husband Simon home.  Realising she is without her lifeline coffee, she quickly dashes out to the shops and on the way  back home she discovers a dead body in the graveyard behind her home.  Suitably shaken, she phones the Guards to report it who come out to investigate.

Garda Sergeant Mike West is curious about the case, and as a detail driven character he is determined to find out every minor detail that he can to tie things up.  He discovers a link between the dead body and the missing Simon Johnson and quickly realises there is far more to this case that initially thought.  The case would be a whole lot less troublesome if Kelly Johnson stayed put, making discoveries of her own she heads off to search out answers to her own questions.

From the very outset this was a very intriguing read, and I had many questions.  What happened to Simon Johnson, who was the body in the graveyard, what did that clue on the body mean, what was the connection between it all??  Valerie Keogh spins a fantastic tale that twists and turns, keeping her readers guessing at what might happen next.  The characters that have been created are interesting and challenging.  I found that initially I struggled to connect with Kelly Johnson,  but on reflection the situation that she was in was not an easy one and who knows how they would react in those circumstances.  The development that she undertakes throughout the book is well thought out, when revelations are unearthed Kelly is shocked but processes them logically and finds an inner strength to keep going.  Despite Kelly being the main character, I felt that I got to know Mike West better.  The details given about the detective showed a wonderful insight into this character, his torturous past is detailed later on in the story and gives a great understanding of why he is a stickler for detail and directions.  I really want to mention Detective Peter Andrews, one of West’s colleagues.  Whether this character was intended to be funny I do not know, but the quick wit of this character alone makes this book worth reading!

A very well written book with a gripping plot and well paced.  I cannot wait to read the next book in the series “Close Ranks”.

You can buy a copy of “That One May Smile” via Amazon here

 

My thanks to Noelle and Kate at Thick as Thieves Book Publicity and Promo for the opportunity to read and review this book, and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

 

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The One That May Smile Blog Tour (1)

Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for “We Have Lost the Coffee” by Paul Mathews, I am so thrilled to be able to share a fun post about a life in the day of the main character, Howie Pond.

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London, 2045. Three months into the Coffee Wars and Britain’s caffeine supplies are at critical levels. Brits are drinking even more tea than usual, keeping a stiff upper lip and praying for an end to it all.

A secret Government coffee stockpile could save the day … but then mysteriously disappears overnight.

One man is asked to unravel the missing-coffee mystery. His name is Pond. Howie Pond. And he’s in desperate need of a triple espresso. Meanwhile, his journalist wife, Britt, is hunting royal fugitive Emma Windsor on the streets of the capital.

Can Howie save the British Republic from caffeine-starved chaos? Will the runaway royal be found? And just what will desperate coffee drinkers do for their next caffeine fix? Find out, in Paul Mathews’ latest comedy-thriller set in the Britain of the future…

‘We Have Lost The Coffee’ is packed with dry British humour, political satire, dozens of comedy characters and enough coffee jokes to keep you awake all night. It’s full of crazy action and adventure in London, and beyond, and is guaranteed to set your pulse racing faster than a quadruple espresso.

So, join Howie, Britt and friends – as well as some enemies – as you travel forward in time to 2040s London.

You can buy a copy via Amazon now!


A Day in The Life of Howie Pond

Where do they go?

Monday to Friday, Howie Pond heads for Buckingham Palace – the new centre of government in London, 2044 – where he works as the president’s spokesperson. After ploughing through a mountain of e-comms, he’ll often take a lunchtime trip to the Two Chairmen pub in St James’ Park (a real pub where his creator often sneaked off at lunchtimes, when working nearby as a real-life civil servant). This often involves alcohol and meat pies. At the end of the day, Howie heads home on the Metro to his pod in Battersea where there is always a hungry cat waiting for him.

At the weekend, he might go to Craven Cottage football stadium and cheer on Fulham. Or head to a top restaurant with his wife, Britt, so he can treat his stomach to some non-junk food. Occasionally, he will pop to a casino and win at roulette – and yes, he always wins!

What do they do?

As well as his main job – which involves cleaning up the media mess left by the president and being as unhelpful as possible to journalists – Howie is also a part-time secret agent. In each of the ‘We Have Lost’ books, he is asked to investigate a mysterious disappearance – in the most recent story, it’s the nation’s emergency caffeine stockpiles. This involves asking lots of questions and, in a lot of cases, not getting very many answers.

Who are they with?

When he’s not at home with his wife (fellow main character Britt), Howie has to run around after a celebrity-turned-politician president, as well as fifty other vice presidents, which involves spending a lot more time with them than he really wants. In addition, he has to manage the Buckingham Palace press office and report regularly to his secret service boss, Martha Blake. He also meets a host of weird and wonderful characters during his secret agent adventures. So it’s fair to say, he gets around a bit.

What do they think? Feel?

Howie is so super-mega busy all the time, he often tries to wish himself into another dimension. So far, this hasn’t worked. But he’s not giving up just yet.

A lot of the time, Howie thinks about food and coffee. And, while he is happy to be following in the footsteps of his hero James Bond, this rather gets in the way of his mealtimes. His normal morning pick-me-up is a triple espresso and possibly a doughnut if there are any lying around his office. His favourite pub lunch is steak-and-ale pie with mash and mushy peas and he’ll usually wash that down with a pint (or half-litre, now that imperial measurements are banned) of Guinness. Dinner could be anything – as long as it’s not a salad.

Why are they doing whatever it is they are doing?

That’s a question Howie often asks himself. He doesn’t always have an answer.

 

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Published: 1 June 2017

 

Description:

An irresistible mystery set in 1890s Edinburgh, Kaite Welsh’s THE WAGES OF SIN features a female medical student-turned-detective, and will thrill fans of Sarah Waters and Antonia Hodgson.

Sarah Gilchrist has fled from London to Edinburgh in disgrace and is determined to become a doctor, despite the misgivings of her family and society. As part of the University of Edinburgh’s first intake of female medical students, in 1892, Sarah comes up against resistance from lecturers, her male contemporaries, and – perhaps worst of all – her fellow women, who will do anything to avoid being associated with a fallen woman…

When one of Sarah’s patients turns up in the university dissecting room as a battered corpse, Sarah finds herself drawn into Edinburgh’s dangerous underworld of bribery, brothels and body snatchers – and a confrontation with her own past.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

“The Wages of Sin” is a wonderfully atmospheric fictional thriller, it is steeped in fantastically rich detail that portrays life in the late 1800s as both interesting as well as fraught with danger.

Society deemed that women in this era should know their place, that being in the home raising families, tending to the needs of their husbands or generally being gentile and “ladylike”, and most definitely not wielding scalpels and training to become surgeons at Edinburgh University.  Society clearly never encountered Sarah Gilchrist and her 12 like minded classmates it would seem.
Having disgraced her family in  London, Sarah is sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Edinburgh, and it is agreed that she can attend her studies at the university so long as she is ferried back and forth by a driver and kept from any temptations or situations that might besmirch the good family name any further.

The adversity and oppression faced by women in this era is demonstrated well by the author, attitudes of those around Sarah blatantly showing horror at her chosen career path, her fellow students keen to ridicule each other and the rivalry between both male and female students rife.  Indeed, there seems to be more rivalry between the female students who seem more eager to bring each other down than to support and hold one another up.

Through her work at the local Infirmary, Sarah comes into contact with those less fortunate, the poor and destitute pouring in through the doors in search of medical help as well as the women from the surrounding brothels.  Unfortunately for Sarah, one of these women seeks assistance that cannot be given, abortions being illegal at the time.  From here Sarah embarks on a journey of self destruction, believing that something is amiss and nefarious practises surround her.  Her detective skills might be somewhat lacking but her heart is in the right place, she is determined to find out the truth behind the death of a patient, even if it means casting accusations wildly.

This is a very well thought out and well researched book, the topic of female emancipation making for interesting reading.  The descriptiveness of characters and settings in this mean that readers can conjure vivid images in their heads of the squalor of the slums, the opulence of Society and the bitter chill of a Scottish winter.
Sarah is a character that is well crafted, initially a broken and seemingly fragile creature, her studies give her hope and something to work towards, she develops well but still retains some vulnerabilities and naivety.

Kaite Welsh has crafted a clever tale of corruption, wickedness and discrimination that seeps into all tiers of Victorian society.

You can buy a copy of “The Wages of Sin” via:

Amazon
The Book Depository
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My thanks to Headline and Tinder Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Promised Lies by Marguerite Ashton, I am thrilled to be able to share an extract from this fantastic book as well as the chance for you to win an ebook copy.

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Detective Lily Blanchette has a lot on her plate. Her sister, Celine, was murdered, her parents are on the verge of divorce, and after a whirlwind romance, she married a man she barely knows.

When the bodies of two young women are found, it is clear that the killer is the same person who murdered her sister, Lily sets out to find out who that is.

As the investigation comes to life, Lily realises that all is not as it seems in her life, who can she actually trust and who is she?

 

 

For your chance to win a copy of Promised Lies

You can buy a copy of Promised Lies via Amazon in the UK here and via Amazon in the USA here


Extract:

Chapter 1

October 21, 9:21 p.m.

Tanya O’Neal’s bare feet padded the cold moist earth as she struggled to find a way out of the hole located in her captor’s shed. His real name she didn’t know; just his online profile: CtryGeek23. It had been two days since she’d decided to flee the demeaning abuse from her uncle to be with the man she thought was sweet, kind and wanted to be with her. I’m sorry, Mom.

Now she was going to be the next to die. Did she have a chance in hell of getting out? Why would he kill her friend and keep her alive? She just wanted out before he came back again. Pain vibrated through her body as she dug at the dirt wall, trying to climb out only to keep falling back in.

She stepped away from the wall and wiped her hands on the poodle skirt and oversize sweater CtryGeek23 had given her. Even with the heat from the wood stove, Tanya fought to stay warm. She looked down at the dark stain on the sleeve and wondered if another person had worn the sweater. Like another victim?

Still groggy from being drugged, Tanya rubbed her swollen eyes and lifted her head to try to look out of the dimly lit hole. Not able to see much, she stepped back, stumbling over the lifeless body of her friend. Sam.

Within seconds she was back on her feet, scanning the shed. Dim evening light shined through two windows above, catching the black seat attached to a red tractor in its path. A cluttered workbench sat on the other side of the tractor.

Heavy footsteps moved around outside, coming closer.

Tanya’s breath caught in her throat.

The door to the shed flew open and in walked the older man who’d made her dress up in clothes from the fifties and listen to stories while he worked around in the shed. “Remember my little story I told you about?”

“Yes,” Tanya said in a low whisper.

CtryGeek23 lowered a ladder into the hole and adjusted it to a longer length. “You can come out now,” he said positioning the ladder.

Tanya hesitated. His face resembled stone. It was like looking at a shaped mask, but hidden underneath was the same expression of anger he’d worn as he stabbed her friend over and over.

Her hands trembled as she reached for the ladder, placed her feet on the cold rungs and ascended. If he was going to get rid of her wouldn’t he come down into the hole and do to her what he did to Sam? Maybe he was going to let her go because she’d listened to his story, unlike her friend, who’d refused.

As she reached the top of the ladder, he turned around, retrieved some rags from the workbench and tossed them onto the drop cloth lying near the door. CtryGeek23 faced her and ran his fingers along her cheek. “So pretty. So innocent. You remind me of the woman in my story. The skirt looks good on you don’t you think? Go ahead, twirl around for me.”

Hot tears streaked Tanya’s face as she did what he wanted. When she was done, she stared up at CtryGeek23, trying to look past him at the shed door. She wanted to swoop around him and try to claim her freedom. But she’d seen his quick movements when he went after Sam when she tried to escape. And look what happened to her.

“I’m going to ask you a question.”

“A question?”

“Let’s pretend you’re my girlfriend.” He grabbed her hand and pulled Tanya toward him. “Would you promise to marry me knowing what you do now?”

Marry you? Was he talking about the story he told me? What am I supposed to say? Yes.

Farm machinery sounded in the distance.

“Yes,” Tanya said, trying to pull out of his grasp.

CtryGeek23’s grip tightened.

Tanya’s knees buckled.

Quick breaths escaped from his mouth, filling the space between them with a spicy aroma. “Your eyes tell me something different.”

Without warning, CtryGeek23 hoisted a knife speckled with blood and sliced open Tanya’s sweater.

Shocked, she threw up her hands as he raised the knife again, blocking the strike.

CtryGeek23 cursed, threw Tanya down on the drop cloth. She screamed as she scrambled towards the door.

Running footsteps passed her by as CtryGeek23 lunged for the door, flipped the hasp over and snapped the padlock shut.

 

11:39 p.m.

 

The pounding in Detective Collin Blanchette’s ears elevated as he closed the folder on the cold case file and looked at the photo of his daughter, Celine, attached to the unsolved case from six months ago.

It had been three weeks since he’d decided to take another crack at it, hoping he’d find another case that resembled his daughter’s murder. Some of the best guys he knew had worked the case, but the leads had dried up. It was as if the cold-hearted bastard had taken extra care to cover his tracks so that he wouldn’t be found.

Usually, a perp will leave something behind, no matter how small but not this one. Now it was time to find him.

Collin’s desk phone rang and he picked it up on the first ring. “Homicide.”

“Do you have anything on that drug dealer that was killed over on Riley Street?”

A late-night call from the assistant district attorney meant she was sniffing around trying to see if the police were doing their job. “I know you’re busy huddled at your desk waiting for the next defendant, but Riley Street isn’t my only case.”

“Do you have anything or not?”

“No one in the neighborhood is talking.”

“I don’t believe that. Everybody talks to you. Or maybe there’s a six-month-old case pulling at your heart strings that’s keeping you from doing your job.”

“Guess I’ve lost my touch, because the tweekers aren’t desperate enough to pass up their fix for a place to sleep,” Collin said.

“What about your informants? I know you have at least two and they aren’t registered to you.”

Silence lingered on the phone. Although Ibee was right about having informants on the side, he had his reasons and she knew it.

“Dammit, I’m due for a comp after what you did to bust up the Surace case a while back. That case was my shot to make me look good to the voters.”

“That Surace case was a long time ago and what you were doing was wrong.” Collin cupped his hand over the receiver and lowered his voice. “Don’t forget, I’ve got enough stuff on you to make that guy you were going to send to prison for a murder he didn’t commit look like a saint.” He slammed the phone down.

“Whoa, buddy,” Kevin said, knocking on Collin’s office door. “Who pissed you off this time?” He stepped in and closed the door.

Collin looked up and forced a smile for his old partner and sergeant. Kevin Owen sported a military-style haircut laced with silver streaks, broad shoulders, and a little paunch that protruded slightly over his belt. “The one person that can fill my tolerance filter in less than ten seconds just by opening her mouth.”

Sarge pulled up a chair and took a seat across from Collin. He leaned back and stared at his friend. “I think there are only two people who can handle our A.D.A. Your daughter and her partner.” A flicker of concern danced in his eyes.

Collin nodded and pondered the real reason why Kevin was here on his day off. It reminded him of the times they used to ride together. Tomorrow they were getting together for coffee so they could plan one more day to play golf before the weather started getting cold. Why couldn’t it wait until then? “What’s wrong, Kev?”

Heavy rain pelted the window overlooking the parking lot.

“One of the guys saw your wife having lunch with You Know Who.”

“Does this person have proof?” Collin asked.

“Several people have proof. The officer was celebrating his birthday at McGinley’s with his family where they took pics and shared them online. I just wanted to tell you before someone else did. And after everything you’ve been through with her…”

Collin stood, yanked his coat of his chair and stormed out of the office. “Damn you, Deena.”


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