Just One Bite by Jack Heath *BLOG TOUR WITH EXCERPT* OUT JUNE 4th!

Just One Bite

If Dexter and Hannibal Lector had a love child it would be Timothy Blake.

We first met Blake in Hangman. He was working with the FBI and really liked Thistle, his handler. Attracted to her but afraid he may end up eating her, Blake left the job and ended up working for a crime boss disposing of bodies. The perfect job for him, right?

This one begins with Blake waiting impatiently in the middle of nowhere for a body drop off. Only things go wrong quickly and Blake ends up being called in again by Thistle and the FBI to track down a missing man. Blake is more than ready to help. Especially as the man is currently awaiting dethawing in his freezer.

But then another man goes missing. And on and on and on.

It seems there is a serial killer on the loose! As he and Thistle work together to find the killer, his actual boss is getting a bit uncomfortable with him working with the FBI and Blake may be the next body found. And as Thistle begins to thaw a bit toward him, she also has the best shot at discovering what he does and who he is.

This is some gruesome reading! And I will be reading the next one just as fast!

NetGalley/ Harlequin Hanover June 04,2019

CHAPTER ONE

 

What has a neck but no head?

 

If Charlie Warner wants you dead, first she steals your shoes.

Not in person. She has people all over Houston.

One of them is James Tyrrell, a pudgy guy with Coke-bottle glasses and scar tissue on his arm where the number 88 used to be. A coded white-supremacist tattoo—H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. The 88 means Heil Hitler. “I’m no Nazi,” I heard him say once. “But if you want to survive Huntsville prison, you gotta pick a team.”

Tyrrell will open your front door with a police-issue lock-release gun and go to your bedroom wearing latex gloves and a hairnet. He’ll steal your most expensive pair of shoes. Usually black, always shiny—the kind you might wear to a funeral. He’ll take some socks, too, but won’t touch anything else on his way out.

Two more guys will drive a white van with stolen plates to wherever it is you work. Their names are Jordan Francis and Theo Sariklis. They both have thick necks, square jaws, and crew cuts. It took me a while to tell them apart. Sariklis is the one with the drooping eyelid and the Ramones shirt. He’s been working for Warner longer than me. Francis is new—just moved here from San Jose, California. He’s the one who cracks jokes. Even in winter, he wears a wife-beater to show off his biceps. He might go to the gym after killing you.

Francis will park the van next to the driver’s side of your car. Sariklis will open the sliding door on the side of the van and wait.

You’ll walk out of the office and approach your car. When you go to open the door, Francis will grab you and drag you into the van. It takes seconds. He’s had plenty of practice—in San Jose he worked for one of the Sureño gangs. You won’t even have time to scream before Francis shuts the van door.

You’ll know who they work for. Warner doesn’t target bystanders. They’re here because you stole from her, or lied to her, or informed on her. Or maybe you didn’t pay your tab at one of her businesses. An underground casino, a bordello, a drug den.

They’ll ask you questions. The first few are a test; they already know the answers. If you lie, Francis will hold you down, while Sariklis forces a water bottle into your mouth and pinches your nose shut so it feels like drowning. They do it like that because they’re still in the parking lot. There aren’t many quiet ways to torture someone.

Just when it feels like you’re gonna die, Sariklis will take the bottle out. You’ll throw up. Then Sariklis will ask you some more questions. The real ones. Whatever Warner needs to know. Who have you told? What are their names? Where do they live? Show us the messages.

The final question is always about the PIN for your bank account. You’ll answer that one gladly. You’ll think it means they only want money. You’ll think they’re going to let you go.

After you give them your PIN, Sariklis will stick the bottle back in your mouth. This time he won’t let up. He’ll drown you, right there in the parking lot. Three minutes until your heart gives up, four until brain death.

Francis will stay in the van with your body while Sariklis takes your car, your phone and your wallet to an ATM. He’ll withdraw as much as he can, then drive to a secluded stretch of beach in Galveston.

There he’ll meet Tyrrell, who has your shoes. Sariklis will place your shoes side by side on the sand, your wallet and keys tucked inside like frightened mice. Tyrrell will do a factory reset on your phone, switch it off and hurl it into the sea. They’ll abandon your car on the side of the road, within sight of the gray ocean, and take Tyrrell’s car back to Warner’s office to give her the cash.

I’ve only been to Warner’s office once, and I had a bag on my head for the whole journey. But I was memorizing the turns, and counting the seconds. Afterward, I got them to drop me off someplace else, and I memorized that journey, too. Later I looked at a map and narrowed it down to four city blocks near Market Square Park.

They usually take you on a Friday. If you live alone, you may not be reported missing until Monday. The police will find your car and shoes around Wednesday. Some of them will say you drowned accidentally while swimming. Others will suggest that it was suicide. The shoes are too classy for a normal swim, they’ll say, and there’s no towel. Plus, your bathing suit is still at your home.

Because of the ATM withdrawal, still, others will say that you faked your death. You did have some powerful enemies, after all. Your missing phone lends credence to this theory. But anyone who suspects Warner will be smart enough not to say so.

All this is assuming you’re one of the lucky ones, and Warner doesn’t want the credit for your death. Sometimes she kills someone to send a message. No stolen shoes, no water bottle. The body turns up in dozens of pieces, each removed from a living person.

Once upon a time, Warner’s men would have just thrown your body into the ocean. The water in your lungs would make sense on the autopsy report. But the bruising around your lips and wrists, plus the damage to your gums, might raise some eyebrows. Now they have a better way.

While Sariklis and Tyrrell bring the cash to Warner’s office, Francis will take the van onto State Highway 12, alone. Your body will be in the back under a sheet, slowly going cold. Francis will drive through the dark, watching the buildings disappear and the trees get taller and taller.

Then he’ll see a beat-up Toyota Corolla parked on the shoulder, miles from anywhere. He’ll pull over. Despite what he’s seen and done, he’ll shudder before he gets out of the car.

Then he’ll slide open the van door, and give your body to me.

 

 

 

We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn is back in another masterful tale. 

A bit of a different take on the well-known tale of a family of four living in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959 and their brutal murders.  Two men were convicted and executed for the crime. Perry Smith and Dick Hickok.  If it sounds familiar, it should. The investigation and outcome became a best seller for Truman Capote as In Cold Blood.

There has always been controversy over Capote’s story of the events. In this telling the author asks us to think about another family murdered in much the same way, and what if there really was the third killer out there? These men have told so many lies, it’s hard to believe what is and isn’t true. The killers are long dead when this arrives at Brigid and Carlo’s door.

A brutal killer has been released from prison. It’s been 30 years and DNA evidence is now on the scene and cold cases are being looked at again and saved DNA is being put in the system. The only thing on this killer’s mind is finding out if it is true that one of the dead killers ratted him out in his final confession to a priest. A priest who Carlo knew well and who unbeknownst to Carlo has given him a letter written by one of the killers before his execution.

Carlo and Brigid may not know they have the confession but our killer is sure of it and sets out to take out anyone in his way to avoid going back to prison. There is no statute of limitations on murder.

Brigid and Carlo are really well-written characters. Brigid, a kick ass and take no names former FBI agent and Carlo, a former priest, who chose love. They are so interesting and they make a great team.

A good series!

NetGalley/: June 4th 2019 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In West Mills by De’Shawn Charles Winslow

In West Mills

Azalea Marie Centre aka Knot, a nickname from her father. We follow her story from 1941 to 1987. She has moved to the town of West Mills, North Carolina to teach school. Or to be out from under her family, either way, she’s here and she’s a complete mystery to the town folk of this African-American town.

At a time when single women weren’t swilling down moonshine on the regular nor enthralled with 19th Century literature and for goodness sakes, they weren’t having one night stands with men.  She is determined to do everything her way. And I thought that was a pretty selfish outlook. Her dear friend Otis Lee Loving and his wife have become her family.

So when she gets into a bit of trouble, Otis is there to bail her out. Again and again. I did not care for her blase’ attitude or her lack of consideration of how her behavior hurt so many people. People who should have been taking care of their own families instead of cleaning up her messes.

And once those secret messes come tumbling out of the closet, the damage may be too hard to repair. As her own family shuns her and her adopted family is tired of bailing her out of trouble, Knot may just have to own up to her bad behavior and face the consequences.

A story of family, secrets and how the power of love can soothe even the ugliest of hurts.

I can’t believe this is a debut novel. The author’s style is smooth and honest and he didn’t try to make it pretty. It was life. Then and Now.

I would highly recommend it!

NetGalley/June 4th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing

 

 

 

 

MONTAUK by NICOLA HARRISON

 

Montauk

Montauk, Long Island in the year 1938 is where anyone who is anyone will be summering. Away from the heat of the city. Fresh ocean breezes and a small fishing village and even a lighthouse.

Beatrice Bordeaux is a young woman from the countryside of Pennsylvania.
Swept off of her feet by the charming Harry, they have been married five years and yet still have no children.

The elite of society corral their nannies and children and head to the Manor for the summer. Beatrice thinks she may like being by the ocean all summer until her charming husband tells her he isn’t staying. He will be coming on the weekends, which gradually just stops after she catches him cheating.

While it looks as though the Junior League has just moved locations, with meetings and fund-raisers and a whole lot of backstabbing, cheating, drinking and behaving badly. Bea befriends Elizabeth, who lives in town and does laundry for the Manor. And through Elizabeth, she meets a man unlike any she has ever met and before long things are getting pretty serious.

Beatrice is noticing the behavior of the city dwellers with their noses in the air and is not happy with it. As her love for her lighthouse keeper grows so does her guilt. But I did not expect that ending!

I did get upset with Beatrice a few times. But then I thought, it is 1938, and divorce wasn’t looked on as well as just putting on a brave face and having affairs of one’s own. In the beginning, her timidness irritated me. Until she found a way to address the situation in Montauk and what was really going on there. At the end, she was a strong and independent woman.

Well Done!

Netgalley/June 4th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

THE LAST THING SHE REMEMBERS by J.S.MONROE

The Last Thing She Remembers

I can’t remember my name.

On Day One, we meet a young woman. From our point of view, we see someone who has suffered some type of trauma and only knows that her things are gone and she is in the village of Wiltshire, knocking on the door of her own house. She knows it is her house but she can’t fully explain how she knows this and nothing else.

The couple who owns the house is suspicious. The police are suspicious. The entire village is suspicious. And more than one person thinks they know her.

As we learn more about her and the couple who take her in at first, things begin to take an odd turn. The wife up and leaves. The husband is acting very odd. Who do they think she is?

This was a thriller, a mystery, with an ending that was both shocking and satisfying!

Well Done!

NetGalley/  May 28th 2019 by Park Row (first published 2018)

 

 

 

 

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper

How Not to Die Alone

Andrew is a forty years old, single, living in a small one-room bed-sit, working for the council attending to those who have died with no apparent family or means to provide for a funeral. It’s a grim and depressing job.

Due to a misunderstanding when he first got the job, his boss and co-workers think he has a wife and two children and he has never bothered to set them straight.

Okay right here is where I started getting bored with wimpy Andrew and what may or may not have happened in his past. So much angst over a tiny lie that no one cares about. Maybe if he’d move his train collection to a warehouse he could have a life.

As it is I was bored to death by this book. There was no depth or logic to it.

NetGalley/ May 28th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons