Tag Archive | crime

Books I Read in May ’17

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Playing with Fire

by Clare Meyers & Cris Meyers

51qE0iSS3OL._SY346_An interesting beginning to a new series.

Magic, shapeshifting and crime all blend together to make this enjoyable read by husband and wife team, Cris and Clare Meyers.

Talented thief, Renee and her partner, Stone, join a trio of shapeshifters, Rook, Carlos and Grace, to steal a magical gem, and take revenge against the man who set them up on a previous job.
But in their line of work, nothing is quite what it seems.

Although the book is much more about the planning and the action, I did enjoy getting acquainted with the characters and hope to get to know them better in the next book of the series.

 

Loner Renee Devereaux is a thief with a lot to hide, and trust is a risk she rarely takes. Stone Anders is a mercenary and hitman, but being a hired killer isn’t fitting like it used to. But while they are criminals, they are anything but common. Renee and Stone are Talents, and their supernatural powers give them an edge in a high stakes business where one wrong move could be their last.

It’s always just one job, and everyone scatters—sometimes in less than favorable circumstances. For Renee and Stone, that’s business as usual. But things change.

A chance at revenge draws Renee and Stone into a job they know they shouldn’t take. The job: Steal a dangerous magical artifact before it can be used. Along with the deadline, they’ll have to deal with a loudmouth hacker with problematic connections, a rookie who still believes in ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ and a professional liar with a cat’s curiosity.

Worse, something just doesn’t feel right.

But this is their job. They have a reputation to maintain, a paycheck to earn, and a score to settle…

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Fly by Night

by Clare Meyers & Cris Meyers

31925656The ‘gang’ from book 1, Playing with Fire, are back. They’ve moved on from the events in Seattle, but they haven’t forgotten, or forgiven.

This, the second book in the series is told from Rooks point of view and is a superb sequel.
Rook never knows when to keep his mouth shut and his thoughts to himself, which makes for some great moments. Half the time I wanted to gag him, the rest of the time I wanted to hug him!

The characters all evolve and grow in their own ways, during the story, and we learn more about them, their past and their relationships.

The plot is well thought out, and this book has more action and suspense than the previous one.

I enjoyed Playing with Fire… I loved Fly by Night!

 

The game has changed.

Rook is a wisecracking hacker, a shapeshifter who prefers the name ‘were-crow,’ and former underling to a Talented crime boss. But as supernatural powers go, he’s no heavy hitter.

After a job blew up in his face, Rook thought the worst thing he’d have to deal with was criminal unemployment. But when he starts losing his mind to mysterious voices, being broke takes a backseat. And once his apartment goes up in smoke, Rook knows he’s in trouble.

Out of his depth and trying to dig his way out of a hole not entirely of his own making, Rook must put his survival—and his sanity—in the hands of people who have their own mysterious reasons for helping him.

With trust in short supply and time ticking down, Rook will need to find a way to make this uneasy alliance work before even more of his life goes up in flames.

Book 2 of the Criminal Elements urban fantasy series

And don’t miss out on Playing with Fire (Book 1)

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Code Wolf

by C.D. Gorri

34747449 I really enjoyed this new book from C.D. Gorri.

As with her previous books, it’s set in ‘Grazi Kelly’s world’. This one, however, is definitely not YA!

I loved learning more about Randall, and his unexpected love interest, Tulla, along with Tulla’s special son, Danny.
The book is well-written, easy to read and hard to put down. The descriptive writing allows you to join the fleshed out characters on their adventures.

 

“He never thought of himself as a family man, but sometimes things changed… ”

Randall Graves spends most of his time writing lines of code in his air-conditioned office at Macconwood Manor. He’d rather be alone than risk involvement of any kind. Everything was going fine, until his Alpha sends him on a forced vacation.

It’s all good with Randall, as long as there’s WIFI at the small, beachfront, bed and breakfast in Bloody Point, South Carolina. He could work and get some sun at the same time, but he wasn’t counting on Tulla Nirvelli. The beautiful single mother owned and operated the small B &B with her seven-year old son.

Charmed by the small island and the young family, Randall finds himself enjoying his time at the Sea Mist Bed & Breakfast. When trouble starts brewing for Tulla and her son, Randall is ready to jump in, but that means revealing his secret. Will she accept the truth about him?

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The Name of Death

by Joshua Robertson

33636392 I enjoyed this short story from Joshua Robertson.

It was a well-written and entertaining read.
The characters were fairly well fleshed out for such a short tale.

A good introduction to the authors writing and to the world in his novels, which I look forward to reading.

 

Drada Koehn is a fearless, formidable fighter ensnared in a presaged war against the northern humans. When the Speaker foretells their victory upon discovery of the name of death, she sets out to unravel the mysterious prophecy. Now, bound by duty and honor, Drada faces untold horrors with her companions, searching for what may never be found. In a story of unexpected twists, she soon finds that her resolve to see the quest done will be the fortune or doom of her people.

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Dark Legends

32721381 I enjoyed quite a few of the books in this set and will be looking to read other books by some of the authors.

If you like stories with Dragons, Ghosts, Mermaids, Shifters, Vampires, Witches… and much more, you’re bound to find a story in here that you enjoy.

Some of the stories worked well as standalone reads, while others were obviously part of a series.

As a bunch of the books were steamy (one or two more steam than story) this is definitely an adult only box set.

All in all, this collection of books was good value and a great way to find ‘new-to-me’ authors.

 

This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

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Gloria and the Unicorn

by Wanda Luthman

34797852 A lovely children’s book with a wonderful message.

The book encourages its readers to be happy and to love themselves.

Gloria looks different from other children, but thanks to Sir Louie, a magical unicorn, she learns to accept that it’s ok to be different.The plot is well thought out, and this book has more action and suspense than the previous one.

 

Adopted by a loving owner of a children’s home, Gloria still has a lot to overcome. She has a droopy cheek on one side of her face. Then, she overhears a terrible secret about her past that she doesn’t want anyone to know. To protect her from bullies, she is kept out of school. But, Gloria wants to learn to read more than anything in the world. She feels she has no one to turn to until a magical unicorn named Sir Louie befriends her. Can he help her learn to love and accept herself? And when Sir Louie suddenly disappears, will Gloria think he has rejected her like everyone else or realize his life is in danger and he may need her help?

***

 

Remnants by Carolyn Arnold

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Title: Remnants
Series: Brandon Fisher FBI Series, Book 6
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Genre: Crime Mystery, Thriller

All that remains are whispers of the past…

Remnants-Paperback-with-Back-2-stacked-350When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the victims, building a profile of this serial killer is proving more challenging than usual. How is the killer picking these victims? Why are their limbs being severed and bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this killer to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: the killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…

**Can easily be read as a standalone!!**

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Excerpt from Chapter 18 of Remnants (Brandon Fisher FBI series):


TELEVISION WAS FOR THE WEAK-MINDED, and he found the futility of sitcoms to be tedious and mind-numbing. His thoughts would always drift—as they often did anyway—to the freedom of the spirit, to being rid of the flesh that bound him to Earth. There was one program that held his attention, though, when he decided he felt like watching something, and that was the news. Events most people considered to be tragic, to be evidence of a world full of chaos, he rather enjoyed hearing about. The car bombs, the terrorist attacks, the murders—these things only proved how fleeting an earthly existence was and how the way one spent one’s time mattered.


When he wasn’t making sacrifices, he was usually thinking about them—either past offerings or those yet to come. There was a hunger that raged through him that made such sacrifices necessary, and the constant natter in his brain told him he was living his life with purpose and according to divine plan.


He went to the fridge, took out a bunch of grapes, and broke off a cluster. He put them into a bowl and then filled a glass with cold, filtered water. Sitting down in front of the television with the bowl of grapes on his lap and the glass of water on the side table, he was ready for the eleven o’clock news.


“Hey, honey.” His mother padded toward the sofa, wearing a robe over her pajamas and slippers on her feet.


He smiled at her, yet felt nothing for the woman who had given birth to him. And she knew how he viewed her, how he didn’t have the same feelings other sons had for their mothers, but she accepted him for who he was. She didn’t try to fix him when the rest of the world saw him as a freak.


He’d had no friends in school and was teased excessively for being different, but that was a small price to pay for being chosen. It had taken him awhile to fully realize his purpose, but once he had, there was no stopping him. He lived on a higher plane of existence than his human peers, one they couldn’t comprehend. He saw the entire spectrum from life to death and beyond.

 

 Series Information:

What to expect from the Brandon Fisher FBI series:

Profilers. Serial killers. The hunt is on. Do serial killers and the FBI fascinate you? Do you like getting inside the minds of killers, love being creeped out, sleeping with your eyes open, and feeling like you’re involved in murder investigations? Then join FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit in their hunt for serial killers.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Criminal Minds, NCIS, Silence of the Lambs, Seven, Dexter, Luther, and True Crime.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning.

Find the series on Amazon!

 
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About the Author:

Carolyn-Arnold-Author-Photo-Hi-ResCAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.


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GuestPost by  CAROLYN ARNOLD:

 

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Five Steps to Profiling a Serial Killer

 
He’s five seven, in his thirties, walks with a limp, works in temporary placements, and is single. He targets women because he was abused by his single mother, who slept around with men while he was growing up.

If you’re a fan of serial-killer fiction, whether it be on TV or in books, you are probably left shaking your head sometimes when the FBI sees some crime scene photos and immediately has a profile of the killer. What are they, psychic?

As it turns out, profiling is actually a science, though not an exact one. In fact, many profiles prove to have been wrong once the unsub is caught. So why bother profiling at all? Well, even if some facts are off, profiling establishes a foundation from which investigators can begin their search for—and hopefully catch!—the killer.

So what do investigators consider when building a profile?

1. Investigators focus on the crime itself. What do the crime scene photos show? What are the autopsy findings? Are there any witnesses, and if so, what are they saying? What have police officers noted in their reports?

2. Investigators visit the crime scene. They use their six senses—sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, and intuition—and make a record of their reactions. They analyze where the body was found, whether the murder was committed in the same location that the body was found or the body was dumped. They question any and all aspects of the location and what it might tell them about the killer and/or the killer’s victim selection, aka victimology.

3. Investigators look for a signature or method of operation (MO). Don’t confuse these two terms, though, as they are not the same thing. Every crime has a MO, which is how the murder was carried out, but a signature is not present in all cases. A signature only exists when a killer chooses to leave behind a personal mark.

4. Investigators consider what kind of unsub might commit the crime at hand. For example, are they organized or disorganized? Are they a hunter or a sexual sadist? Is gender, age, or religion relevant? Is there is a geographical element to the crimes?

5. Investigators take a closer look at the victims. They factor in similarities and determine whether the victims are low-, medium-, or high-risk people. Can any of the victims be connected to one or more person or place? How were the victims approached? Is there evidence of resistance, or is it possible the victims knew their killer?

Sometimes the answers to all these questions can be harder to piece together than others. In my most recent novel, Remnants, Brandon Fisher and his FBI team struggle to build a profile on the killer they’re hunting, as the identities of the victims are unknown and aspects of the MO vary among the murders. But when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found—something they haven’t seen in any of the previous deaths—the case takes a dark turn that begins to provide them with some new leads. As the story unfolds, the FBI is drawn deeper and deeper into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though, even if they don’t have all the facts yet: The killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…

 

 

 

Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie by Mark Nolan

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Title: Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie
Series: Jake Wolfe Book 1
Author: Mark Nolan
Genre: Thriller, Crime Mystery

Dead Lawyers Dont Lie - EBook 1563 x 2500_375x600A mysterious killer who calls himself The Artist is assassinating wealthy lawyers in San Francisco. When war veteran Jake Wolfe accidentally takes his picture during a murder, The Artist adds Jake to his kill list and he becomes a target in a deadly game of cat and mouse that only one of them can survive. How far would you go to protect your loved ones from a killer? Jake wants to leave his top secret, violent past life behind him. But the reluctant, flawed hero can’t ignore his duty and his personal moral compass.

This gripping thriller is full of suspense, plot twists and surprises. It features a cast of interesting characters, including several strong-willed women, two wise-cracking San Francisco Police Homicide Inspectors, one highly intelligent dog, and a philosophical killer who shares Jake’s admiration for Van Gogh paintings but still plans to kill him anyway. As Jake gets closer to unraveling a merciless conspiracy, his life gets turned upside down and the danger level increases, adding to the growing suspense. This entertaining page-turner starts out as a murder mystery and then shifts gears into a high-speed action thriller that takes you on a roller-coaster ride to the riveting ending. A good read for those who enjoy mysteries, suspense, action and adventure, vigilante justice, unique characters, witty dialogue and a little romance too. Now on sale in over a dozen countries around the world. Be the first among your friends to read it.

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The Author:

markMark Nolan began his writing career as a successful entrepreneur who created news stories for businesses that were featured in The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Parade, Reader’s Digest and The Associated Press. Nolan was born in San Francisco, grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has also lived in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

He has raised two great kids and one very smart retriever dog. Right now he’s busy writing the next book about Jake and Cody (Book 2), but he also tries to make time every day to answer emails from readers. You can reach him at marknolan.com/contact

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Unexpected Love by Kacey Hamford

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untitled3Standing outside the local motorcycle club was not something Jasmine ever imagined herself doing, but it was her last option. Her son had been stolen, her life was in turmoil.

The Cornish Crusaders were her final hope to get her boy back.

Solar’s life was going his way, finally. He had his brothers, any girl he wanted, whenever he wanted. Not even prison time could put a dent in his path. He was happy.

So when she storms in begging for help why does it feel like so much is about to change?

Life doesn’t always go to plan. Paths cross, obstacles occur and the unexpected happens.

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The Author:

Kacey Hamford is a pen name for me (Kelly). I am in my thirties and started this journey in 2014, I love to read romance books about rockstars, so thought I would have a go at writing one myself. I really enjoyed it and got a boost of confidence once my books started selling.

I have gone on to write a young adult series, set in a college. The series is still on going.

I also have an MC series, it was something different for me to write and I enjoyed it so much, especially when I got readers telling me they would love to read books about the sub characters.

I work full time as a dog groomer, I love to read and my friends and family are very important to me. They are all so supportive of my writing career and encourage me to carry on.

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Other books in the series:

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Devon Destroyers MC

Cornish Crusaders MC

Trusting Love

Forbidden Love

 

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1000 Kilos by Ted Jonsson

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ebook_cover_froget101_rev4Yasmin Spiteri is a professional business woman to most. Smart and beautiful, men easily full for her charms. But she is also the queen of deception.

As a luxury liner approaches Valletta harbour, a small unmanned submarine slides out from the double hull and heads for Kalkara. It doesn’t make it as it veers off course and right into Yasmin’s path.

On board is 1000 Kilos of cocaine belonging to the Russian Mafia, with a street value of a 100 million Euros.

As the Mafia start to kill indiscriminately in a race to find the drugs, Yasmin manages to dodge the bullet, staying one step ahead by playing everybody.

But as the turf war escalates, things get very personal for Yasmin when her daughter Cydel goes missing. She soon realises that it’s not just the Mafia she should worry about, as her complex web of lies comes back to haunt her.

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The Author

11018786_613205918815095_1078511296075895467_nFormerly in sales and marketing for most of his career, Ted is now semi-retired and living in Malta in a small village on the east coast called Xghajra. (It took him three months to learn it is pronounced ‘Shira’)

His debut novel, 1000 Kilos, is a modern day thriller and of course it made perfect sense to base the story around his new home in Malta.

Ted is currently working on a YA fantasy fiction series, Chasing Reality. And has so many ideas and plans there’s just not enough days in the week.

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Monster Mash Book Blitz -Day 8

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The Blue Virgin by Marni Graff

 
51m7mshaadlDespite a planned move, the mysterious death of photographer Bryn Wallace keeps American writer Nora Tierney glued to Oxford in order to clear her close friend, artist Val Rogan, who has been wrongfully accused of Bryn’s murder. Or has she?

Nora quickly becomes embroiled in the murder investigation, much to the dismay of two men: Detective Inspector Declan Barnes, the senior on the case; and Simon Ramsey, the illustrator of Nora’s children’s book. Simon’s efforts to save Nora from herself become increasingly frantic as Nora is forced to push her way into Declan’s case, using her wits and her wiles to prove Val’s innocence.

The first in a series of Nora Tierney mysteries based in the UK, The Blue Virgin is a compelling story of love and intrigue. Nothing, Nora learns, is what it seems, and even the most innocent of choices can lead to murder and revenge. Set in the ancient city of golden spires, the setting lends itself to mystery, as any Inspector Morse fan will agree. The novel is written in classic English style, complete with a cast of characters and chapter epigraphs that add to its literary feel.

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day-8-authorMarni Graff had a successful career as a registered nurse who wrote on the side before writing full time. She has a degree in English Lit and studied Gothic Mystery at Oxford University in England. She also wrote articles for Mystery Review magazine, where she interviewed many of the authors whose work she admired.

Marni is the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney Mysteries, set in England. The Blue Virgin introduces Nora, an American writer living in Oxford. The Green Remains and The Scarlet Wench trace Nora’s move to the Lake District where murder follows her.  In process is The Golden Hour, set in Bath, England. Premiering in the next few months will be Graff’s new Manhattan series, Death Unscripted, featuring nurse Trudy Genova, a medical consultant for a New York movie studio. This new series is based on Marni’s favorite nursing job in real life.

Marni is also co-author of Writing in a Changing World, a primer on writing groups and critique techniques. She writes crime book reviews at Auntie M Writes and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press, an author’s cooperative. A member of Sisters in Crime, Marni runs the NC Writers Read program in Belhaven which allows writers experience reading their work out loud and getting immediate feedback.

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Q&A With the Author:

5. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Persevering to get that first book into print. I wrote for years on the side, then finally was able to write full time. Once I had been signed by an agent I thought I’d made it, but three years later he hadn’t been able to sell either of my first two books. Then I met a group of women and one started her own indie press and I decided to take the plunge and bring out the books with her. I’ve never looked back.

6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

My first trip to England happened in my early 20’s. I stepped off the plane with my (then) husband for a week of rugby games and despite never having traveled outside the US before, felt like I was coming home. Despite the streets and names and towns all being new to me, there was a sense of recognition that happened and has happened each time I travel back to anywhere in the UK. I’ve been fleetingly in Scotland and Wales and want to explore those more. I know England the best and have spent several trips doing research for the English mystery series by taking long train rides to new areas, all set up to explore potential settings for the books. Each area has its own feel and customs; each area feels ‘right’ to me, as if I’ve been there before. Whether I visit Cornwall, Devon, the beaches of Brighton, the lights of London, the glorious Lake District–it’s all in my memory banks with a sense of familiarity and rightness. Maybe I have lived there in another life?

 

Top Ten List:

  1. I always have a jigsaw puzzle in progress.
  2. I was a nurse for 30 years.
  3. I was on TV twice playing a nurse on the soap opera “One Life to Live” as part of my medical consulting.
  4. I took German in high school and have a wicked accent but have no idea any longer what I’m saying!
  5. I have a collection of vintage platters and creamers.
  6. I have seven grandchildren.
  7. My dog is an Italian Spinone, a rare breed of hunting hound, named Radar.
  8. A copy of my third Nora Tierney Mystery, The Scarlet Wench, is in the archives of Noel Coward’s estate.
  9. I took German in high school and have a wicked accent but have no idea any longer what I’m saying!
  10. I named Nora’s son, Sean, after my own son, who’ll turn 40 this spring!

 
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Monster Mash Book Blitz -Day 7

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A Devil In Hong Kong by David Harris Lang

 
day-7-coverOn a snowy day in the year 889, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty had an epiphany: he was not immortal. His jade carver created the most beautiful jade burial suit in history, finishing just three weeks before the Han Emperor died. When the priceless two-thousand-year-old jade burial suit suddenly goes missing in modern Hong Kong, a brutal competition to find it ensues between rival Chinese, Burmese, and Japanese factions. As they battle for the priceless artifact, a psychotic killer with a Maori tattoo on his face surfaces leaving a trail of dismembered corpses strung together like traditional Burmese puppets. Detectives Ian Hamilton and Angela Cheung follow a trail of hacked bodies and terror through contemporary Hong Kong in their search for the killer.

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day-7-authorDavid Harris Lang, a current resident of Hong Kong, has lived and worked in Asia much of his life. Besides being a prolific author of Asian-based thrillers, he is an international architect who brings an indelible sense of place’ to his writing as well as a deep understanding of Asian cultures, locales, and customs. His vivid fight scenes come from a life-long practice of the martial arts. A Devil in Hong Kong is David Lang’s third book.

 ~ Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~

 

 

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Q&A With the Author: 

Do you have any pets?

I have had dogs all my life. They are pure unconditional love. People should learn from dogs.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?

Exercise and eat (I am a bit of a foodie) mostly. Writing is my major spare time activity. I also love exploring Hong Kong where I currently live. It’s a fabulous city with a lot of strange corners.

 

Snippet:

The police boat pulled up to the dock at Snake Bay. Coroner Cindy Leung was waiting for them, slat-thin arms, her torso the circumference of a chopstick, thick glasses too large for her face. She kind of looks like a praying mantis from this angle, Ian thought, looking down on Cindy from the deck of the boat. Cindy waved to him.
“Hey, Cindy,” Ian said when he, Angela, and Nigel were on solid ground.
Cindy, instead of returning the salutation, immediately started up the path. “Follow me, Detectives. Hurry! I left him hanging for you, but I can’t wait to get him to my lab. This is the strangest one I have ever seen.”
“Ok, Cindy, we’re coming. Commissioner Gu said that the victim had been chopped up and wired back together,” Ian said as he tried to keep pace with Cindy.
“So strange! We would not cut him down until your team had a go at him, of course, so I got up on a ladder to inspect him. First thing that I noticed was that there was a separation of about a centimeter between his neck and body. I found a screw where the cervical spine had been sawed and another one in the neck vertebrae. A wire ran between the two screws, holding the parts together.”
“Aiyahh!” Angela explained as they came to the first gorilla. “This is bizarre!”
“Yeah, I can’t imagine why someone thought that these life-sized animals would be a good idea for a resort,” Cindy said, and then continued, “I also noticed that the rest of the body was hanging very strangely too, not like you would expect. I could not undress him until you are done with your inspection, so I felt around. He had been cut and wired back together in seventeen places. Each part also had another wire attached to it connected to the wood beam that he was hanging from. It was like he was a puppet! A human puppet!”
“How long had he been dead?” Nigel asked.
“Based on body decomposition I would say about four days. I will be able to give you a more accurate answer once I get him to the lab.”
They walked past the abandoned resort building and came upon the hanging corpse. Scientific Evidence Officers were examining the ground below the body. Ian walked up to the officer who seemed to be in charge.
“I am Ian Hamilton from CID. Do you have anything yet?”
“Calvin Chan, Senior SEO. Walk over here, I want to show you something.” Ian followed Calvin about twenty paces to a circular clearing surrounded by low bushes. The clearing, originally envisioned as a courtyard for the resort’s customers to sit, rest, and appreciate nature, had been paved with tan and grey pavers. A giraffe peered over the bushes from the surrounding jungle, its dead, glass eyes wide with curiosity as it gazed into the plaza at the human visitors. Nature had started to reclaim the space, weeds pushing up between the pavers. Benches, which had once been painted white but were now mostly rusted, had been placed around the perimeter. “This courtyard is where he was dissected,” Calvin said, pointing to the center of the circular plaza, stained with blood.
“I wish that giraffe could talk. He was probably the only witness,” Ian said.
“No, I don’t think so. This wasn’t the work of one guy. My guess is that there were three of them. Two different brands of cigarette butts, only a few days old, were on the ground by that bench. I picture one guy doing the carving while the other two watched.”
“It also would be hard for one guy to string him up, so that makes sense, Calvin,” Ian said.
“We’ll send our report to your department within three days,” Calvin said.
When they arrived back at the corpse Nigel was almost finished with his evidence collecting. When he was done he gave Cindy a nod and her team took the body down and placed it into a body bag on a gurney. “See you, Ian,” Cindy called out to him as her assistants pushed the gurney towards the dock.
Ian walked over to Angela, who was photographing the scene. “Make sure that the technicians take the piece of wood that he was hanging from too. There are some characters carved into it.”
Angela said, “Why would the guy be displayed in such a strange way, all chopped up and then wired together, out here in the middle of nowhere? Typically, a killing this gruesome would be to send a message to someone, Mess with me and this will happen to you. How often do people come out here, though, once or twice a year? No one is here to see it. Who was the audience?”
“I am afraid that the audience was the killer himself, Angela. We are dealing with one very sick individual, a guy who took pleasure in what he did, and we need to find him before he decides to entertain himself again,” Ian said.
Nigel said, “Did you see how meticulously the wires were wrapped around the screws? How clean the cuts were? He took his time. He took pride in his work.”
“Just like us,” Angela said.
“Like us?” Nigel asked.
“Our logo, We serve with pride and care.”

 
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