Two Birds To Kill (Lou Malloy Crime Series) by J. Frank James
Two Birds to Kill, by J. Frank James, is an action packed crime thriller. It is the fifth book in the Lou Malloy Crime Series. It is available for sale on Amazon.
Lou Malloy had never been very family oriented. He left Kansas when he was 18 years old and had not seen his parents in almost 20 years. At the insistence of Hilary Kelly, he decides to go to Florida to make amends. As he gets mentally ready to make the trip, Hilary shows him a story about a large gaming initiative with a picture of his father as head of security. Digital plates used to make counterfeit money are being used to flood the monetary system through the various gaming operations in the United States and abroad.
Max Reynolds, Lou’s minder at the Department of Homeland Security, wants him to put a stop to it. Unable to say no, Lou loads his team up on the Take Away and prepares to battle with his old nemesis, the Outfit, and a man named Santino Salatorio, who operates one of the largest on-line gambling operations in the world.
Lou and his team head to Shell Island on a mission to get control of the on-line gaming system and put a stop to the counterfeit operation. But there is a problem… Rhonda, a 150 mile per hour hurricane is headed towards Shell Island and there’s a time bomb that is set to go off just about the time Rhonda is going to hit the area. Racing against time, Lou must acquire a laptop that contains all of Salatorio’s operations and get off the Island before the hurricane hits and the bomb goes off.
After getting back from Alaska, Hilary and I made a run in the Take Away to Nassau to open an offshore bank account. I had so much cash that I was running out of room in all my secret hidey-holes. To date, I had accounts in the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Grand Turks and Tobago. Whenever Hilary and I discussed the issue, it was always a discussion on where best to keep the next load of money.
“If I had to pick the perfect place, it would be Bermuda,” said Hilary.
“Why Bermuda? Why not, for example, Barbados or even Panama?”
“That’s an easy one. If we ever wanted to retire, I would like to live in Bermuda. The environment seems to me to be cultural and refined. Something some of the places we have been lately are lacking.”
“Retire? You have got to be kidding me,” I said. “How do you retire from what we do?”
“Easy,” said Hilary. “One day we just disappear and off to Bermuda we go.”
“Ever been to Bermuda?”
“No, but that’s beside the point. I like what I see in the travel brochures.
“Speaking of retirement, are you ever going to go see your mother and father?”
“Not really,” I said. “I have never seen the point. They probably are no longer alive.”
“Don’t you think it would be a good idea to find that out?”
“Hilary, to be honest, I haven’t given that subject a lot of thought. They say time heals all wounds, but not those. I left them physically as well as emotionally when I went to prison. I’m not sure where I would even begin.”
Walking over and standing next to where I was sitting, Hilary put her hand on my shoulder and gave it a slight squeeze.
“Are you saying these things because you really don’t care or are you just thinking of the consequences of finding out how they are doing?”
“I don’t know. Maybe a little bit of both.”
Having been back from Alaska for about three months and with my brother’s disappearance weighing on me, I hadn’t given my folks a lot of thought. It had been at least eighteen years since I last saw them. When I left home, Dad was in his forties and Mother had just turned forty, so it was possible that they could still be alive. I suppose Hilary was right in a way, but I didn’t know what I would say to them if I saw them now.
‘Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. What’s for dinner? Sorry about being gone for so long. Prison life didn’t make for good communication, but I wonder why you never bothered to come and see me. I’m out now, don’t you know. How have I been, you ask? Like everybody else, I’ve been robbing Peter to pay Paul. Thanks for asking.’
In reality, Hilary was right. I knew I had to talk to them. The problem was how to approach them. From the standpoint of my mother, I was pretty sure she would start crying. I couldn’t stand crying, even from my mother. My dad wouldn’t talk to me because in his eyes I was a convicted criminal. I could tell him about the Presidential pardon and he would say that didn’t change anything. I still did the crime and, in a way, he would be right.
While I did steal the money, I would tell him I paid for it. He would say, “How did you do that? You give the money back?”
I wasn’t even sure I knew where they lived. I could ask Max, I suppose, but this was a personal matter and I didn’t want him involved in that part of my life. Maybe I could find Uncle Bob Watson. Good old Uncle Bob. Never saw a drink he could pass up. I never understood why Dad would take Mother to a place they had never been to and try and work with someone who was drunk more times than not.
Sitting down at my laptop I started hitting the keys. I really wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I typed in Florida, State of and hit enter. The only thing I got out of that exercise was learning that Florida was a big place.
‘Welcome to the Land of Sunshine’ most of the sites flashed back at me. Oranges and shuffleboard for all ages, just be sure to bring your golf cart.
As I was pounding away, Hilary came up behind me and said, “Looks like you are doing some research.”
“I’m thinking about how I’m going to tell my family about Sam and not cause my mother to have a heart attack in the process.”
“What about your dad? What will he say?”
“Probably tell me to kiss his ass and hang up on me.”
“So I guess you two were pretty close as you grew up?”
“He couldn’t stand me. He was a sheriff’s deputy where we lived in Kansas and before that he was an officer in the MP’s for the Marines. He lives his life in a black and white world. Zero gray area.”
“Hmm…I can see your problem,” said Hilary. “I have an idea. Why don’t we get in the Take Away and motor over to where your folks live and try and make amends? In that way, we can get away and relax and see your mother and father at the same time.”
“It sounds risky,” I said. “They might see us and declare us living in sin, get out the red hearts, and paste one on each of our foreheads.”
“I don’t think they will. Besides, I want to meet them before it’s too late.”
“What if they don’t want to see me and we travel all that way for nothing?”
Bending down, Hilary put her arms around my neck and kissed me on the top of my head.
“Not for nothing, Sweetums. There will be some benefits along the way. Have no fear. Besides we need to get off somewhere and relax.
“How far is it anyway?”
“I don’t know. It will take us about two days to get to Stuart, Florida, and from there we take the canal from Stuart to Ft. Myers.”
“Have you ever done that?” asked Hilary.
“No,” I said. “Just heard about it.”
As Hilary climbed onto my lap, I could see that this could be a long conversation.
“And what did you hear?”
“Do you really want to do this?” I asked.
“Okay. It’s a waterway that basically crosses the State of Florida going from Stuart, Florida to Ft. Myers, Florida, through miles of untouched Florida Everglades and acres of Old Florida scrub and ranchland. It is the only navigable waterway that crosses Florida.
“There is a set of locks that we would have to pass through and I am told that this is one of the most interesting parts of the trip. About half way we enter a lake they call Lake Okeechobee. At one time it was one of the largest freshwater lakes in America. Not sure about that now.
“From there we head to Fort Myers on the West Coast of Florida and then head north up the coast to Tampa, I think. I’m not sure about that. I’ll have to find out where my parents live.”
“How are you going to do that?”
“I guess I’ll have to ask Max.”
“Oh, goodie. Good old Uncle Max. Where would we be without him?”
“In jail and broke, probably.”
About the Author:
J. Frank James is the author of crime thriller novels. His books are gripping and suspenseful.
Jim’s novels have the elements necessary of good crime novels that keep readers glued to the pages from start to finish. Although Jim’s crime novels are fiction works, they are exciting to read because of their authentic nature. They are written with the backing of Jim’s experience in law, so they are believable situations that have the readers wanting to find out what happens next just like they would in any crime situation.
They offer the readers just enough information to keep them guessing and trying to solve the crimes until the end of the books when they are actually revealed. Jim’s books are also fresh and unique takes on crime as well, though. They are not the same whodunit type books that have been done over and over again. By infusing his personal travels into his books, Jim creates characters and atmospheres based on just enough truth to be relatable.
Plus, Jim’s books have everything in them from robbery to prison to family. They have hard and soft elements simultaneously to really capture the life of a hardened criminal who is still very human and struggles with the same human emotions as the rest of society. At the same time, Jim gives the reader perspectives from private investigators to balance out the story.
Jim’s books even have a hit of romance when his characters come to care for each other as more than just friends. Then, crime and love mixes to create a dynamic atmosphere that is even more complicated than ever before since characters care not only for each other but for their other family members as well. Jim has an amazing way of incorporating various elements into his latest crime novels to create thrillers that readers cannot get enough of, which is perhaps why all four of his books so far carry on one from the other to continue the same story concerning the hardened criminal who did 15 years in prison, Lou Malloy and who comes to be his partner, private investigator, Hilary Kelly. The two of them go it together to create gripping stories that keep readers coming back for more.
Jim is an artist and creates all of his own book covers.
For further information, to request a review copy, or to interview J. Frank James, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.807.9027.