Jan 162019
 

Dark Paradise by Gene Desrochers Banner

Dark Paradise

by Gene Desrochers

on Tour January 1-31, 2019

Synopsis:

Dark Paradise by Gene Desrochers

Boise Montague’s life in Los Angeles has fallen apart. After his wife dies, he returns to the tiny island where he grew up. Unfortunately, coming home doesn’t bring him the peace he’s looking for. Things have changed drastically since his last visit. The island has moved on and so have the people he once knew. When Boise tries to find the one friend he thinks he can count on to be there for him, he’s confronted with another death. A murder. A murder that the police did not think important enough to investigate thoroughly. Boise wants answers. He enlists a local reporter named Dana, who has theories of her own, to help him dig deeper. With not much left to lose, a bone to pick with the justice system, and a relentless partner, Boise sets out to do what the police would not: solve the murder of Roger Black. The island of St. Thomas is a gleaming tropical paradise. Welcome to the Caribbean, where murder is as common as sunshine.
 

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery (Caribbean Noir)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: June 25, 2018
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 1947392166 (ISBN13: 9781947392168)
Series: Boise #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

 

Gene Desrochers

Author Bio:

Gene Desrochers hails from a dot in the Caribbean Sea called St. Thomas. He grew up with minimal supervision and free-roaming animals in a guesthouse that also served as a hospital during wartime. He has spent his life steadily migrating west, and now finds himself in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife, cats, and kids. After a lifetime of writing and telling short stories, he ventured into the deep end, publishing his first novel, Dark Paradise in 2018. If you ask, he will regale you with his Caribbean accent and tennis prowess.
 

Guest Post by Gene Desrochers

How is Boise Montague (the main character from Dark Paradise) similar or different from you?

The most compelling similarity between Boise and I from a plot standpoint is we both had a childhood friend who became a drug dealer get murdered. The way Boise discovers that his friend, Roger, is dead, was somewhat similar to the way of found out a friend of mine was murdered. From there I asked the question, “What if I decided to figure out what really happened rather than accepting the party line that he was murdered in a drug deal gone wrong.” That became the nugget of Dark Paradise.

Physically, Boise and I have a mix of commonalities and differences. He’s one-quarter African and three-quarters European and his skin tone alludes to his heritage, although, he could be Puerto Rican or something else. His appearance is not standard or easily categorized. I too have some ambiguity in my history that makes me hard to characterize. I have olive skin and I’m definitely largely Italian, however, I also have Creole in me and perhaps some more deeply ingrained African blood since my mother’s family had been in the Caribbean for generations, interracial relations were not uncommon. We also have similar hair, although I keep my trimmed short so you cannot tell how bushy and curly it is most of the time. We differ in that Boise is overweight and I am not. He’s a little taller but not much.

The biggest thing that ties us together psychologically is a feeling of not belonging anywhere. Both of us grew up in bars and alcoholism was a major factor in our lives. I had two alcoholic step-fathers and Boise had an alcoholic, controlling father. None of our “fathers” ever got treatment or into a program.

My biological father was not a drinker. He was into a healthy lifestyle, which I have personally mirrored. Boise on the other hand has a drinking problem and eats terribly. Unfortunately for my life, but perhaps fortunately for my writing, I did not spend a lot of time with my father as my parents divorced when I was very young and my mother maintained custody. I do not struggle with eating or drinking disorders, however, I have lived with the consequences and witnessed the results of addiction up close and personal for most of my life.

Boise’s position in life and his lost nature reflect the way I’ve felt throughout my life. I did not fit with my family, particularly my mother and her parents. I felt like something was just not right, but I struggled to fit my round self into the square life of my childhood. Boise has similar feelings of displacement. Los Angeles is a place for those who don’t fit elsewhere. That’s why we both wound up there. I tried to return to a past home at one point, but did not fit and in a few months wound up back in Los Angeles for good. I did not have a powerful catalyst driving me away permanently. Boise on the other hand did. Evelyn’s (his wife) death and the subsequent issues with the local authorities over what had happened to her propelled Boise away with a vengeance. For him, L.A. held too many reminders of his loss. He needed to start over, but do it somewhere he felt comfortable. St. Thomas was that place.

I do believe that both Boise and I are men of convictions and a healthy cynicism about the watchers. Between that common fear and the driftwood nature of our early life with people we did not feel anchored to, Boise and I ultimately have a lot more similarities than differences where it counts. I’m exploring those intersections and trying to entertain while doing it.

 

Catch Up With Gene Desrochers On:
genedesrochers.com
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook!

 

Read an excerpt:

Behind me, the door I’d entered through opened. A very tan redhead showing signs of aging from many days spent in the sun entered carrying a laptop bag and shouldering a camera. A red Carnegie Mellon University baseball cap that looked like it had been run over by a garbage truck covered part of her tough, but beautiful face. She looked me over like I was a mongrel who’d wandered in begging for table scraps.

“You need something?” She dropped her stuff down on the cushioned chair next to the counter.

“Uh, yes, I wondered if I could get some clippings or microfilm or copies or whatever it is newspapers give for issues two to eight years old. Are they digitized yet?” I stammered.

“Seriously, what do you want?” She pulled her Ray-Bans off and the gray-blue of her eyes stunned me for a moment. Using her sunglasses, she tapped my shoulder. “Hello?”

The faint odor of cigarette smoke assaulted me when she got close.

“Clippings, you know, news from the past,” I said.

As she slipped the glasses into a case from her purse she said, “Yes, but you implied that something here was digitized.” She pursed her thin lips. “This newspaper went online three years ago, so, the last three years are available online in the archives section if you buy a subscription. You a subscriber?”

“I don’t have a subscription,” I said defensively.

“Figures. This is why my job is constantly in danger. Everyone expects news for free.” Her fine hair moved in a blur as she shook her head derisively while she rummaged for something in her bag.

“Hey, I’m happy to buy a subscription. I support journalism,” I said. It sounded lame.

We both flinched as a thunderous banging rang through the room as something or someone hit the other side of a door to my left.

She threw her hands up, exclaiming, “Not again!”

“What? What’s that?” I said.

“Calling the cops,” she sang out. “They said they’re gonna start charging us if this happened again,” she whispered.

Another, more urgent banging erupted through the room. The reporter had her cell out.

“Wait,” I said. “Is it really that dangerous?”

“No, just annoying.” She pressed a button on her phone. “You believe this? Now I’m on hold. I could probably walk over to the police station faster. He’ll probably take a dump on the floor by the time we get back.”

***

Excerpt from Dark Paradise by Gene Desrochers. Copyright © 2018 by Gene Desrochers. Reproduced with permission from Gene Desrochers. All rights reserved.

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

 

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Gene Desrochers. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on January 1, 2019 and runs through February 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Dec 132018
 

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Giveaway starts today, December 13th
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As part of our holiday giveaway promotion, BookTrib will be giving away 20 books each week to one lucky winner through the month of December. Who needs to feel cozy and safe when you can feel frightened and paranoid reading a fantastic thriller? Like what you see? Enter for a chance to win lots of great titles and be sure to check in next week to see what our new box might have in store for you!

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Dec 132018
 

The Winner Maker

by Jeff Bond

on Tour December 1-31, 2018

Synopsis:

The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond

Bob Fiske — the 74-year-old dinosaur who’s taught Honors English and coached varsity football for five decades — is missing.

To his Winners, class favorites Fiske designated over the years for their potential to “Live Big,” it’s heartbreaking. Fiske did more than inspire with soaring oratory; he supported their ambitions into adulthood. Four of his brightest former stars reunite to find him, putting high-octane careers on hold, slipping police barricades, racing into the wilds of Northern Michigan for clues about the fate of their legendary mentor.

Others don’t see a legend. They see an elitist whose time has passed.

When a current student — female — disappears just hours into the Winners’ search amid rumors of inappropriate meetings, the Great Man’s reputation is a shambles.

Feints, betrayal, explosive secrets from their own pasts: as facts emerge, each Winner must decide how far they’ll go for Fiske. Can the truth redeem him? Or has this cult of hyper-achievement spawned a thing so vile none of their lives will survive intact?

“An exhilarating and emotionally astute mystery.” ~ Kirkus

Book Details:

Genre: Upmarket Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: December 1st 2018
Number of Pages: 332
ISBN: 1732255202 (ISBN13: 9781732255203)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Jeff Bond

Author Bio:

Jeff Bond is a Kansas native and graduate of Yale University. He lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters, and belongs to the International Thriller Writers association.

 

 

Q&A with Jeff Bond

Welcome!
Writing and Reading:

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

I do, from both. I keep a running document of story ideas – categorized into “short,” “novella,” and “novel” – and try to add at least one per day. Generally it’ll be something inspired by my day, an interesting person I crossed paths with or situation I or one of my kids faced; or by a news story.

I subscribe to The New York Times on Kindle and live in constant regret for not reading it cover-to-cover, because every time I do, I find a great germ of a story.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

It varies. I’m a big upfront plotter, and before I sit down to write any scene at the level of dialog or physical description, I’ll know all the major plot points. (Which is not to say they can’t change later, either based on my own or early readers’ thoughts.) Sometimes the climax comes to me first—if you have a well-defined protagonist and antagonist, you can often imagine how they ought to collide for maximum effect.

Other times, particularly if the element driving a story is character or setting/milieu rather than situation or episode, I’ll just start brainstorming complications and possible twists, sprinkling them throughout an outline, and the plot emerges sort of all at once.

Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?

While I certainly steal certain traits or mannerisms, I don’t have any characters – at least in The Winner Maker – that’re very close to real people. It can be tempting to do with minor characters. For example, if you want to quickly characterize a setting and know a person who typifies that place, you feel like just rolling them out with a different name. I try not to.

With major characters, in my experience, it can’t really work. You’re always going to need something different to support your plot or maximize conflict – even if it’s just a stray hobby or expertise.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

I keep it pretty simple. Coffee and laptop. A café, library, or botanical gardens in good weather. I used to write in the early morning hours before going to a regular nine-to-five job, which conditioned me to write anywhere and make use of small windows of time.

Tell us why we should read this book.

The Winner Maker is unique in that it delivers high-octane thrills and reversals in the style of Harlan Coben or James Patterson, but does it using complex, likable characters you’ll recognize from real life.

I thought Kirkus Reviews captured this well: “Bond collapses two distinct literary genres into one seamless novelistic whole: a mystery and an emotional drama…The novel’s central mystery is thrilling, but the true spine of the tale is the fragile connections between the past Winners, who must not only investigate Fiske’s disappearance, but also the authenticity of their lives and friendships.”

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Gillian Flynn, Tana French, Jonathan Franzen, Nick Hornby, Harlan Coben

What are you reading now?

For me, Beartown by Fredrik Backman. To my kids, Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

My follow-up is called Blackquest 40. It’s more of a go-go thriller than Winner, a fresh take on the Die Hard formula about San Francisco tech workers whose office is locked down for a forty-hour corporate training exercise—or so they’re told as the story begins.

I’m just finishing final edits and plan a mid-May release.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

I’m afraid parenting duties have eroded my knowledge of current movie actors who might play my Winners–in their late twenties—but for the title role of Bob Fiske, the missing teacher, I’ll take Ian McKellen.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Basketball when I can find the time, and listening to audiobooks every morning while walking the dog.

Favorite meal?

Pozole, a pork and hominy Mexican stew.

Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.

 

Catch Up With Jeff Bond On:
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook!

 

Read an excerpt:

Bob Fiske stalked out onto a glass-bottomed observation box of the Sears Tower, appearing to join the sky. His hair, wild and white, whorled with the passing clouds. His strides were at once rickety—owing to seventy-four-year-old joints—and resolute, each footfall seeming to make gravity, to seize its own plane of air.

He planted the portable lectern before his students with a leathered fist. “Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning brightly, poetry is just the ash.”

The entire honors English class, and more than one passing tourist, considered this in reverential silence. The students’ faces glowed with a mishmash of excitements. They were out of school on a field trip! They had to recite a poem by heart; would they remember?

Being here with Fiske—Coach Fiske, Fiske the Great, Fiske the Feared—made them feel the way all high-school seniors should at least once during this final, never-to-be-forgotten year: special. Sure that every important thing in life was happening right here, right now, to them uniquely.

Marna Jacobs (left side, midway back) felt all this too, but more pressing was the weight of dual backpacks on her shoulders. What had Jesse put in this thing, lead? She shifted to resettle the load more comfortably over her five-one frame.

A voice behind her said, “Ooh, Marna, carrying your boyfriend’s bag for him? How old-fashioned. Part of the new vintage motif?”

It was Caitlyn of the perfect cheekbones and 4.5 GPA, a surefire Winner when Fiske’s list came out.

“Jesse’s not my boyfriend.” Marna crossed her ankles, suddenly less psyched about her thrift-store oxfords.

“Didn’t you two go to homecoming together?”

“We, um, broke up.”

“And you’ve accepted the demotion to pack mule?” Caitlyn said with a grin of ice.

Marna and Jesse were outsiders here, AP English being their only honors class. While the others elbowed for brownie points, Marna tried to fly under the radar—a strategy that had worked until last month when Mr. Fiske had praised her Brave New World essay as “refreshing, primitively honest.” Now Caitlyn ridiculed her at every turn.

Still, the question was legit. Marna had been standing around waiting to board one of the tower’s shockingly fast elevators when Jesse nudged her, asking if she’d leave his backpack on the glass bottom for him. Without waiting for an answer, he’d heaved the pack onto her shoulder. When she’d complained it was heavy, he had said all she had to do was leave it on the glass—then he slipped away as every ligament in Marna’s neck and upper back croaked under the burden.

“We’re friends,” Marna said now. “Friends do each other favors.”

Caitlyn sneered around the observation deck. The first student was approaching the podium, stealing a last peek at her crinkled notes. “What’s inside, a bomb? You two always were quiet. Maybe too quiet.”

Marna squirmed underneath the pack. It couldn’t be a bomb. Right? Everyone had gone through security. Jesse’s pack had been X-rayed.

She thought. Was pretty sure.

“Marna brought a bomb?” Todd Bruckmueller said, overhearing.

Caitlyn opened her shoulders to a larger audience. “Maybe.”

“This is really mean, you guys, I—”

“Let’s see!”

Todd, right tackle for the football team, reached for the pack. Marna hunched like a threatened armadillo but couldn’t keep Todd from dislodging one arm. They struggled. Marna dug an elbow into the oaf’s ribs. He lost his grip, and the pack crashed to the glass floor.

Driven less by loyalty to Jesse than rage, Marna grabbed one strap. Todd grabbed the other. Security personnel moved dimly in the periphery.

“Enough.”

The word boomed forth, sucking all air from the fight. Marna first thought Todd had said it—so loud, his meat-pie face right here—before spotting the pair of Illinois State 6A Championship rings against his neck. The rings belonged to Fiske. The septuagenarian had his 230-pound lineman in a half nelson.

“Poor form, Mr. Bruckmueller.” Fiske unhanded Todd, then turned to Marna with a wink. “I cordially invite you to Wildkit Stadium this afternoon, four o’clock sharp, to witness your tormentor ascending and descending the east stairs in rapid succession. Two hundred flights or heatstroke, whichever comes first.”

Before Marna could respond—was she supposed to respond? could Fiske get busted for laying hands on a student like that?—a metallic clunk sounded nearby. Jesse’s pack began sliding in the direction of the noise.

“Hey, what—what’s happening?” Todd said, scurrying back.

Marna instinctively raised her hands. Three guards were beelining her way, fingers pressed to earpieces. Students and tourists alike scattered. The backpack moved seven inches across the glass floor before locking into place with a small, intense shimmy.

Directly below, on the underside of the glass and suspended 103 stories above Wacker Drive, a hook protruded from a squat black cylinder.

A magnet.

That’s why the backpack was so heavy. There’s a gigantic magnet inside.

The hook was closed, and now a hand—a hand?—emerged from the void to clip what looked like a fat red ribbon onto it. The backpack’s fabric strained about the glass in a circle, the magnet inside perfectly mirroring the magnet below.

Marna squinted to make sure this wasn’t allergies messing with her eyes. Also, the day was overcast; up here, they were literally in the clouds.

“Oh. My. God.”

Jesse.

Suspended upside down, staring at her with that wobbly grin. The diamond-check soles of his shoes visible through the glass, he held on by a short length of the ribbon—which Marna saw was a bungee cord. The rest of the cord dangled far below, lilting now back against the skyscraper, now out over the Chicago River, twisting and kinking, rippling, the greatest part shrouded in fog.

Marna staggered into a row with the security guards. How did he get up there? Are those magnets seriously gonna hold? Will the guards shoot him, or Tase him? Can you Tase through glass?

The guards barked into walkie-talkies. When one stepped toward the pack, Jesse felt for something behind his waist and gave the bungee two sharp tugs.

“No!” Marna screamed. “You stupid jerk, no! Whatever you’re thinking!”

But she recognized the sequence he was rushing through: the harness buckling, the strap cinching, his rawboned fingers jittery but unhesitating. Technical rock climbing was Jesse’s thing—he actually taught yuppies at a downtown bouldering gym. He could do it in his sleep.

Marna flattened her whole body to the glass floor, fingers splayed, nose squished. “Why? What is the point, J? Stop!”

Into the misty chasm, her words were weak and scrabbling and basically nothing.

Jesse glanced past her. As his wild pupils settled on Fiske, his face took on a dreamy, near-euphoric blush.

The venerable teacher stood with arms folded. Impassive. Like Marna, Jesse had been encouraged by Fiske—had won kudos for his “exuberant prose style,” even been assigned an extracurricular joint project with one of Fiske’s pet students. In recent weeks, Jesse had even talked about making Winner.

“Respect your life!” Fiske called down. “Cherish it. Be the keeper of its sanctity.”

He knelt beside Marna and, placing both hands on the glass, glared down. She had a fleeting notion that the Great Man could grab Jesse, that those gnarled fingers were capable of parting glass—or transmuting through, or willing matter around, something—and rescuing him.

The blush heightened in Jesse’s face. His eyes pulsed. The sinews of his neck became taut and grotesque.

He plunged. Leading with his forehead, Adam’s apple slicing the clouds. He was a falling, twisting, shrinking blur.

Smaller, smaller…very small.

Marna had almost lost the dot when an enormous white tarp exploded upward through the fog. A block-print message snapped into view across its expanse:

LIVE BIG.

***

Excerpt from The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond. Copyright © 2018 by Jeff Bond. Reproduced with permission from Jeff Bond. All rights reserved.

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeff Bond. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on December 1, 2018 and runs through January 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Nov 282018
 

The Devil’s Son

by Charles Kowalski

on Tour November 19 – December 21, 2018

Synopsis:

The Devil's Son by Charles Kowalski

 

 

The son of a notorious Nazi fugitive is running for U.S. President. A Secret Service Agent sworn to protect him meets a beautiful Mossad spy determined to stop him.

 

 

 

 

Book Details:

Genre: Political, Espionage thriller
Published by: Seabridge Press
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Number of Pages: 333
ISBN: 1724248731 (ISBN13: 9781724248732)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Charles Kowalski

Charles Kowalski is an active member of International Thriller Writers. His debut thriller, MIND VIRUS, won the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Colorado Gold Award, and was a finalist for Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Award for Best Thriller of 2017. His latest, THE DEVIL’S SON, was shortlisted for the 2018 Adventure Writers’ Competition Grandmaster Award. He divides his time between Japan, where he teaches at a university, and Downeast Maine.

Catch Up With Charles Kowalski On:
Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Q&A with Charles Kowalski

Welcome!
Writing and Reading:

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

I started this book by drawing from current events, but then current events caught up with the book – and overtaken it, in frightening ways that I couldn’t have foreseen. As C.S. Lewis once said, “The trouble with writing satire is that the real world always anticipates you, and things that were meant as exaggerations turn out to be nothing of the sort.”

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

I start with a concept. When I sit down to write, I start from the beginning and have a fair idea where the story will go. I don’t start unless I can see the ending, but invariably, there are twists and turns on the way that take me by surprise.

Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
Any similarity to any actual persons, events, or presidents is purely coincidental.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

I have a full-time job and a family, so I write in stolen moments – on trains, in cafes, in the office after the day’s work is done, or at home after everyone has gone to bed. I often get my best ideas when I’m in motion, either going for a walk or performing some mindless task, so I’ll often have my laptop on the kitchen counter when washing the dishes or hanging the laundry, just in case inspiration strikes.

Tell us why we should read this book.

To make sure it stays in the fiction section.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I’ve been inspired by other writers of thrillers with a religious angle, like Dan Brown and Daniel Silva. I’ve also been encouraged by other Japan-based thriller writers whose scope has expanded worldwide, like Barry Eisler and Barry Lancet; I hope I can do the same, even though my name isn’t Barry!

What are you reading now?

I’m eagerly looking forward to starting the Detective Hiroshi series by a fellow Japan-based author, Michael Pronko.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

After two highly charged, research-intensive thrillers, MIND VIRUS and THE DEVIL’S SON, I’m working on something lighter and hopefully non-controversial: a middle-grade historical fantasy set in 17th century Japan, featuring Simon Grey, an English boy who runs away to sea to escape from his “gift” of seeing ghosts.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

Gal Gadot as Rachel. As for Henry Hale, Aaron Eckhart says he doesn’t want to play any more villains, but I hope he’d make an exception.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Besides writing? Or did you mean “favorite means of procrastination”? I confess before the assembly of the faithful that I’m more easily distracted by the siren song of social media (that counts as writing, right?) and Netflix (that counts as research, right?) than I would like to be.

Favorite meal?

My default lunch on a busy writing day is spaghetti pepperoncino made with habanero-infused olive oil. Definitely not for the faint of heart!

Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.

 

Read an excerpt:

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
1960

Azriel “Azi” Horowitz grimaced as his partner’s Zippo flared in the darkness beside him. He had never been a smoker, and in the confines of the Ford Mainline – a clunker, but the best rental they could find, and not out of place in the working-class Olivos neighborhood in Partido Vicente Lopez – the fumes from the Lucky Strikes nauseated him.

“Yaki, you know I have a little problem with noxious gases in closed spaces.”

Yaakov Lavan shrugged, with his usual easygoing grin. “We’re just two old friends having a chat, right, Azi? And we have to do it in the car, because my wife won’t let me smoke near the baby.”

Horowitz had to concede the point, although he still thought it was a rather thin cover story. One small mercy of operating in Argentina was that the sight of two men conversing in a parked car at night was not altogether uncommon, but every little extra touch of realism they could add was vital. If anyone accosted them, they would have a lot more explaining to do than either of them could manage in Spanish.

Lavan took a deep drag from his cigarette, held it for a moment, and slowly exhaled a white cloud with a look of supreme contentment. As much as Horowitz hated the smell of tobacco, he felt a touch of envy for his partner, and wished he had some similarly portable means of calming his own nerves. His mind continually flitted over the long journey that had brought them to this moment – the years of detective work that had traced their targets to Argentina, the months of secretly stalking and planning in their theater of operations – and all the hundreds of things that could still go wrong.

In addition to the unease in his mind, Horowitz felt another kind in his body: he desperately needed a bathroom break. Thanks to one of the men they were waiting for, his kidneys had stopped growing at the age of seven.

Their targets called themselves Carlos Vasquez and José Mendoza, and had the identity cards to prove it, but Horowitz had first made their acquaintance under different names. One was SS Hauptsturmführer Karl Weiss, #7278, the sadistic Lagerführer – deputy commandant – of Auschwitz. The other, holding the same SS rank, was Josef Mengele, #317885, a living desecration of the title of “doctor.” Anyone who had ever passed through the gates of Auschwitz knew him by yet another name: der Totesengel, the Angel of Death.

If all goes well, Horowitz thought, tonight will be a night for the history books. With luck and the blessing of the Almighty, they would soon have their targets in hand and be on their way to the safe house code-named Tira – “castle” in Hebrew – where Mengele and Weiss would go straight into an improvised holding cell, to join the worst of the worst: SS Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, “the Master,” architect of the Holocaust, personally responsible for the murder of millions.

The Israeli government naturally regarded Eichmann as the grand prize, but Horowitz had a personal score to settle with Mengele and Weiss. As soon as the cattle car arrived in Auschwitz, Weiss had sent Horowitz’s mother and father directly to the gas chambers, but knowing Mengele’s notorious fascination with twins, kept Azriel and his sister Rachel alive as subjects for his experiments. Mengele had tried to change Rachel’s eye color by injecting her eyeballs with a substance that left her blind, and then infected her with typhus, keeping a careful record of her wasting away. When her end was near, rather than let the disease claim her, Mengele passed her on to Weiss, who used her in one final experiment to see how long it would take to die from a new type of lethal injection.

It had taken twelve minutes and nineteen seconds before she stopped screaming.

“Look,” came Lavan’s voice, bringing Horowitz sharply back to the present. “Is that them?”

Horowitz gazed through the windshield and saw two figures staggering tipsily along the route from the Hofbräuhaus, the German restaurant Mengele and Weiss were known to frequent, towards the guest house where they lived. At first, the darkness and distance made it impossible to make out their features. Then they stepped into the light of a street lamp, and Horowitz risked a quick glance through his binoculars. At the sight of their faces, he felt a sudden burning pain in his left forearm.

Fifteen years had passed since Horowitz last saw those faces, but there could be no mistaking the granite jaw and ice-blue eyes of Weiss. Nor was there any doubt about the gap-toothed smile that gave Mengele the appearance of a little boy – one who delighted in torturing anything smaller and weaker than himself. Many children in Auschwitz had seen that smile on the face of their self-proclaimed “Uncle Josef” as he sat them on his knee, gave them sweets, stroked their hair – and in a soft, soothing voice, ordered an aide to inject them with poison.

“It’s them,” Horowitz said.

“You’re sure?”

“Positive.”

Lavan stubbed out his cigarette. He turned around in the driver’s seat, pointed a hooded flashlight at the car behind them, and gave it two quick on-off bursts. The crew in the second car would relay the signal to Tabor and Rosen, who were waiting around the corner.

Right on cue, they appeared a moment later, Tabor in a suit and fedora, Rosen in a coat that would allow her ample freedom of movement. They sauntered toward Mengele and Weiss, with the same relaxed, unsteady gait as their targets, pretending to be absorbed in conversation, occasionally leaning on each other for support. To all appearances, they were a couple coming home from a party with a few too many drinks under their belts, too wrapped up in each other to take much notice of their surroundings.

They would maintain this masquerade until they passed their targets, right between the two cars. Then they would turn and grab them from behind, as the driver of the rear car switched on the high beams to blind them. Horowitz, and the other strongman in the rear car, would jump out and help Tabor and Rosen subdue their targets and bundle one of them into each car. They would apply an ether mask to knock them out, and the two cars would take off on separate routes to Tira, where they and their captives would stay until the plane was ready to take them all back to Israel.

And then, Horowitz thought, all the stories you thought would lie buried with your victims will be told to the world, from a courtroom in Jerusalem. The world will know what we mean when we say, “Never forget.”

He pulled on a pair of gloves. The May night was chill enough to warrant them, but more than that, he might have to use his hand to muffle Weiss’s screams. It revolted him to think of his bare hands touching the mouth that had ordered his parents gassed and his sister tortured to death.

Tabor and Rosen were fifty paces away from their targets and closing.

Forty paces.

Thirty.

Horowitz heard the roar of a motorcycle approaching from behind. He tensed, and took an anxious glance in the rear-view mirror. The last thing they needed at this moment was for the police to pass by. The upcoming celebrations for Argentina’s hundred-fiftieth anniversary, which had all of Buenos Aires in a festive mood, had proven to be a double-edged sword for Horowitz and his team. The diplomatic entourage from Israel, one of many visiting from all over the world, had provided the perfect cover, but the influx of high-level international visitors also meant the constant menace of police patrols and checkpoints. The Mossad team was conducting this operation without the knowledge or approval of the Argentine government, and if they were found out, they might well go to jail. And, far worse, their targets might well go free.

The motorcycle passed by the lead car. Horowitz took a sidelong glance and saw no police insignia, just a single rider driving rather unsteadily. He breathed a little easier, but his heart was still pounding.

Twenty paces.

Ten.

“Get ready to meet the real Angel of Death, you sons of bitches,” Horowitz muttered aloud.

***

Excerpt from The Devil’s Son by Charles Kowalski. Copyright © 2018 by Charles Kowalski. Reproduced with permission from Charles Kowalski. All rights reserved.

 

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Nov 272018
 

Beyond the Truth

by Bruce Robert Coffin

on Tour November 1-30, 2018

Synopsis:

Beyond the Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin

In this latest enthralling mystery from #1 bestselling author Bruce Robert Coffin, Detective Sergeant John Byron faces the greatest challenge of his career.

When a popular high school senior is shot by police following a late night robbery, chaos ensues. The actions of the officer are immediately called into question. Amid community protests, political grandstanding, department leaks, and reluctant witnesses, Byron and his team must work quickly to find the missing pieces.

And when an attempt is made on the officer’s life, Byron shifts into overdrive, putting everything on the line. Was the attack merely retribution or something more sinister? The search for the truth may come at a price not even Byron can afford.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Number of Pages: 448
ISBN: 0062569511 (ISBN13: 9780062569516)
Series: Detective Byron #3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Read an excerpt:

Veteran Portland police officer Sean Haggerty trudged across the deserted parking lot beneath the bright sodium arc lights of the 7-Eleven. His breath condensed into small white clouds before drifting away on the frigid night air. The thin layer of ice and snow covering the pavement crunched under his highly polished jump-boots as he approached the idling black and white. Only two more hours until the end of his overtime. After four months in his new assignment as School Resource Officer for Portland High School, it felt good to be back in a patrol car, even if it was only one shift. Balancing a large styrofoam coffee cup atop his clipboard, he was reaching for the cruiser keys on his belt when static crackled from his radio mic.

“Any unit in the area of Washington Avenue near the Bubble Up Laundromat please respond,” the dispatcher said.

The Bubble Up was in Haggerty’s assigned area, less than a half mile up the street, but Dispatch still listed him as busy taking a shoplifting report. Someone had snatched a twelve pack of beer.

Haggerty unlocked the door to the cruiser then keyed the mic.

“402, I’m clear the 10-92 at 27 Washington. I can cover that.”

“Ten four, 402,” the dispatcher said. “Standby. 401.”

“401, go.”

“And 421.”

“Go ahead.”

Haggerty knew whatever this was, it was a priority. Dispatch did not send two line units and a supervisor for just any call.

“402, 401, and 421, all three units respond to the Bubble Up Laundry at 214 Washington Avenue for an armed 10-90 that just occurred.”

As Haggerty scrambled into the cruiser, the styrofoam cup tumbled to the pavement, spilling its contents. The coffee froze almost instantly.

“Dammit,” Haggerty said.

He tossed his clipboard onto the passenger seat, then climbed in. Allowing for the possibility of a quick exit, he ignored the seatbelt requirement and threw the shift lever into Drive. He powered down his portable radio and reached for the microphone clipped to the dashboard. “402, en route.”

“421 and 401 responding from the west end,” the sergeant said, acknowledging the call for both backup units.

Haggerty pulled out of the lot onto Washington Avenue, and headed outbound toward Tukey’s Bridge. He drove without lights or siren, in hopes of catching the suspects by surprise.

“402,” Haggerty said, his eyes scanning the dark sidewalks and alleys. “Any description or direction of travel?”

“Ten four, 402. We have the victim on the phone. Suspects are described as two masked males. Suspect number one was wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans, carrying a dark colored backpack. Suspect two was dressed in dark pants and a red hoodie, with some kind of emblem on it. Unknown direction of travel.”

“Is the victim injured?” Haggerty asked, trying to decide whether to go directly to the scene, securing the laundromat, or take a quick spin around the area first to try and locate the suspects.

“Negative, 402,” the dispatcher said. “Just shaken up.”

“What was the weapon used?”

“Standby, 402.”

Haggerty caught a flash of red up ahead in the beam of the cruiser’s headlights as two figures darted from his right across Washington Avenue down Madison Street. He accelerated, flicked on the emergency lights and siren, and keyed the dash mic again.

“402, I have a visual on the two suspects near Washington and Madison. They just rabbited into Kennedy Park.”

“Ten four. 401 and 421, copy?” the dispatcher said.

“Copy.”

Braking hard, Haggerty spun the steering wheel left, making the turn onto Madison. He knew if he didn’t stay right on them that he would lose them among the project’s many apartments and row houses. The hooded figures sprinting down the hill were already several hundred feet ahead. He punched the gas and the cruiser shot after them. He was beginning to close the gap when they cut left in front of an oncoming car onto Greenleaf Street.

“Greenleaf toward East Oxford,” he shouted into the mic, trying to be heard above the wail of his cruiser’s siren as he raced through the built-up residential neighborhood.

The Ford skidded wide as he turned onto Greenleaf. Haggerty fought the urge to over-steer, waiting until the cruiser’s front tires found purchase on a bare patch of pavement and it straightened out.

The two figures were clearer now, about fifty feet ahead. He was nearly on top of them when they turned again, west, running between rows of apartment buildings.

“They just cut over toward Monroe Court,” Haggerty said.

“Ten four,” the dispatcher said. “421 and 401, copy?”

“Copy,” 421 acknowledged.

Haggerty accelerated past the alley the suspects had taken, hoping to cut them off by circling the block and coming out ahead of them on East Oxford Street. He turned right onto Oxford just in time to see them run across the road and duck between yet another set of row houses.

He rode the brake, and the pulse of the anti-lock mechanism pushed back against his foot. The black and white felt as if it were speeding up. Ice. Shit. The rear end started to swing to the right toward a line of parked cars. He eased off the brake and the Ford straightened out but was now headed directly toward a snowbank in front of the alley—an ice bank, really. Still traveling about five miles per hour, the black and white smashed into it with a crunch. Haggerty jumped from the car and gave chase, the door still open, the siren still blaring. He would have to answer for a mangled squad car later, but there was no time to think of that now. The snow piled against the apartment building walls seemed to dance in the flickering blue light of his cruiser’s strobes, making the alley look like a disco.

Haggerty could just make out the two hooded figures in the bobbing beam of his mini MagLite as he ran.

“Police! Stop!” he yelled. They didn’t.

He was gaining on them when his boot struck something buried beneath the snow, and he sprawled headfirst to the ground. Scrambling to regain his feet, he stood and quickly scanned the area for his flashlight, but it was gone. He turned and hurried down the dark alley, keying his shoulder mic as he went.

“402, 10-50,” he said, referring to his cruiser accident. “I’m now in foot pursuit of the 10-90 suspects. Toward Cumberland from East Oxford.”

“Ten-four, 402,” the female dispatcher acknowledged. “1 and 21, copy.”

Haggerty heard the distorted transmissions as both units responded simultaneously, causing the radio to squeal in protest. He rounded the rear corner of a three-story unit just in time to see the suspect wearing the red hoodie stuck near the top of a six-foot chain-link fence. The other figure had already made it over and stopped to assist.

“Freeze,” Haggerty yelled as he drew his weapon.

Neither suspect heeded his warning. Haggerty was at full stride, gun at the low ready position, about fifteen feet from the fence, when the first suspect finally pulled the second one loose. Up and over they went leaving Haggerty on the wrong side of the barrier.

Damn! Haggerty holstered his Glock, then backed far enough away from the fence to give himself a running start. He hit the fence, left foot out in front, reaching for the top with his gloved hands, and then vaulted up and over it with ease. The suspect in the dark-colored hoodie turned and looked back, giving Haggerty a glimpse of what seemed to be a ski mask made to look like a skull. Thirty feet now. He was closing the distance again.

If they don’t split up I’ll have a chance, he thought. He heard a dog barking frantically nearby, and the distant wail of approaching sirens. The combination of the cold air into his lungs and the adrenaline surge were beginning to take their toll, sapping his strength. His arms and legs were slowing, despite his efforts.

“What’s your twenty, 402?” the dispatcher asked. His location.

“Fuck if I know,” he said out loud and breathless. He keyed the mic on his shoulder. “Back yards. Headed west. Toward Anderson.”

“Ten-four.” The dispatcher said. “Units copy?”

“1 copies.”

“21, I copy,” the sergeant said. “The call came in as an armed 10-90. What was the weapon?”

“Standby, 21.”

Haggerty lost them again as they rounded another building. He slowed to a jog and drew his sidearm again. The alley was pitch back and he didn’t want to risk running into an ambush.

“Units be advised, the original caller was a customer who walked in on the robbery. I have the victim on the phone now. He says the male in the dark-colored hoodie displayed a silver colored 10-32 handgun.”

“21, give us a signal,” the sergeant said.

“10-4,” the dispatcher said. The familiar high-pitched tone sounded twice over the radio before the dispatcher spoke again. “All units, a signal one thousand is now in effect. Hold all air traffic or switch to channel 2. 401, 402, and 421 have priority.”

Haggerty stepped forward carefully, not wanting to trip again. His lungs were burning. He attempted to slow his breathing while waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He froze in place as he heard a banging sound, as if someone were striking a solid object with a bat. The sound was followed by shouting, but he couldn’t make out what was being said.

Peeking quickly around the corner of the building, he saw the figure in the red hoodie kicking at the stuck gate of a wooden stockade fence, while the other had scrambled onto the roof of a junk car and was attempting to climb over the barrier.

“Freeze,” Haggerty yelled, aiming his Glock at the dark hooded figure standing atop the car. Red Hoodie stopped kicking, but didn’t turn back toward Haggerty. The suspect on the car, also facing away from him, didn’t move. Haggerty approached the fence cautiously, making sure of his footing as he planted one foot in front of the other. His eyes shifted between the two figures, but he kept his gun trained on the suspect who was reportedly armed. “Let me see your hands. Both of you.”

Red hoodie raised his hands high above his head.

The dark figure on top of the car began to turn. His hands were hidden from sight.

“I said freeze.” Haggerty sidestepped to his left looking to regain some cover. “Goddammit, freeze!”

The dark figure spun toward him, bringing his right arm up in a pointing gesture.

Haggerty saw a familiar flash of light an instant before he pulled the trigger on his Glock.

***

Excerpt from Beyond the Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin. Copyright © 2018 by Bruce Robert Coffin. Reproduced with permission from WitnessImpulse. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Bruce Robert Coffin

Bruce Robert Coffin is a former detective sergeant with more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement. At the time of his retirement from the Portland, Maine police department, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine’s largest city. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Bruce spent four years working counter-terrorism with the FBI, earning the Director’s Award, the highest honor a non-agent can receive. His first two books, Among the Shadows and Beneath the Depths, were both Maine Sunday Telegram #1 bestsellers.

Catch Up With Bruce Robert Coffin On:
Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

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Enter To Win!!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Witness Impulse/Harper Collins. There will be 3 winners of one (1) PB of BENEATH THE DEPTHS by Bruce Robert Coffin. The giveaway begins on November 1, 2018 and runs through December 2, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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