Salvation Station, by Kathryn Schleich, was released in April 2020 published by She Writes Press.
“Salvation Station is your next must-read mystery. Kathryn Schleich perfectly blends together a taut tale of murder in the church. A devilishly good tale.” —CARA LOCKWOOD, USA Today best-selling author of I Do (But I Don’t)
“Salvation Station is an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning thriller that might possibly leave you unable to sleep. This book is what we need in the world right now—a killer we can hate and a model cop we can get behind, showing us that women are as fierce as men and then some.” —MARGO DILL, Managing Editor, WOW! Women On Writing
When committed female police captain Linda Turner, haunted by the murders of two small children and their pastor father, becomes obsessed with solving the harrowing case, she finds herself wrapped up in a mission to expose a fraudulent religious organization and an unrepentant killer.
Despite her years of experience investigating homicides for the force, Captain Linda Turner is haunted by the murders of the Hansen family. The two small children, clothed in tattered Disney pajamas, were buried with their father, a pastor, in the flower garden behind a church parsonage in Lincoln, Nebraska. But Mrs. Hansen is nowhere to be found—and neither is the killer.
In St. Louis, the televangelist Ray Williams is about to lose his show—until one of his regular attendees approaches him with an idea that will help him save it. Despite his initial misgivings, Ray agrees to give it a try. He can’t deny his attraction to this woman, and besides, she’d assured him the plan is just—God gave her the instructions in a dream.
Multiple story lines entwine throughout this compelling mystery, delving into the topics of murder, religious faith, and the inherent dangers in blindly accepting faith as truth. While Reverend Williams is swept up in his newfound success and plans for his wedding, Captain Turner can only hope that she and her team will catch the Hansens’ cunning killer—before more bodies surface.
Two of them were just babies. Captain Linda Turner had been a homicide detective for over ten years, but this crime scene was still a shock. Half a dozen murders are considered a bad year, she mused, striding toward the scene. Three bodies accidentally discovered through an innocent act: an inquisitive dog burrowing deep into the flower garden behind its new home and bringing its master a gruesome prize.
“Morning, Steve,” she said. The cop guarding the area raised the yellow plastic Police Line—Do Not Cross crime tape as she folded her body and slipped under. “I understand the owner’s dog found the bodies.”
“Good morning, Captain. Yes, ma’am, he recently moved to town, the pastor of University Disciples of Christ Church,” Steve offered.
“He made the 911 call.”
“What a welcome.”
This was all the information Captain Turner had on this breezy May morning. The smell of freshly turned soil and blooming flowers combined with a stench she knew all too well. Behind the neat limestone house, the flower garden was cordoned off, and evidence flags and numbered photo markers dotted the soil with yellow. A crime scene photographer had finished documenting the shock- ing scene, and the coroner was directing forensic experts gingerly extracting human remains from beneath the black earth. The bodies were wrapped individually in blankets, fragile from decomposition. The badly deteriorated remains were gently uncovered, revealing two young children dressed in tattered Disney pajamas. One body clad in pink Disney princesses and the other in Mickey Mouse gave Linda pause. The little girl and boy lay on blue plastic tarps spread over the grass, human jigsaw puzzles waiting to be solved. Linda couldn’t look any longer and turned away, her free hand covering her mouth, breathing through her nose to keep from gagging.
It had happened before, but the horror of murdered innocent children always had the same effect: Linda couldn’t stop until the depraved killer was found and convicted. She didn’t have any children of her own because she had invested 110 percent into her police career, but she was a favorite aunt. Linda envisioned the sweet faces of her nieces and nephews, all under the age of ten.
The back door swung shut with a loud bang, snapping Linda into the here and now. A familiar figure strode toward her. Tall and lean, Lieutenant Lyle Dale was a twenty-year veteran of the force. Dressed in a tailored dark suit and cowboy boots—always cowboy boots—he cut a striking figure. Linda met him halfway across the lush lawn.
“Morning, Lieutenant. Bring me up to speed,” she said gesturing toward the vigilant CSI team.
Lyle spoke matter-of-factly. “One adult male and two small children. CSIs are still looking for a fourth body, but no luck so far.”
“I assume that would be the mother?” Linda asked, watching the hive of activity.
“That’s our best guess. The children make this crime especially heinous.”
“Yes, they do,” Linda acknowledged sadly. She strolled back toward the partially excavated garden, shading her eyes from the rising spring sun. “Walk me through the discovery.”
Lt. Dale cleared his throat. “If it weren’t for the Reverend Martin’s very large and curious dog, Kris Kringle, the bodies might have gone undetected. According to the reverend, Kris is always dragging home road kill or what have you. This morning, Kris took to digging in the flower garden and brought his master a human leg.” Lyle turned toward the house. “Rev. Martin followed his dog out here,” he added, tracing the pastor’s path in one motion ending at the garden, “where he discovered additional human remains. At which point, he called 911.”
A strand had come loose from the ponytail securing her blonde hair, and Linda casually brushed it aside. “Any idea yet who they might be?”
“That’s where it gets intriguing,” Lyle replied. “Rev. Martin moved into the parsonage about eight weeks ago, replacing the former pastor named Gregory Hansen, who’d left to pursue missionary work in Africa. Rev. Hansen was married and had two young children. After the Hansen family moved, the national missionary office for the Disciples of Christ contacted the church concerned that the Hansens had never arrived.”
Linda glanced toward the corpses and the growing mounds of dirt from the excavated garden. “Three bodies. What are the chances that the Hansen family never left town?”
Lyle nodded, his face grim. “That’s my thought—that these are Rev. Hansen and his children. But we’ll need autopsies to confirm that.”
The sour feeling in Linda’s stomach made her think Lyle was right, but she had another question. “Did the church contact us or file a missing person’s report?”
“The church secretary confirmed a missing person’s report was filed when the national Disciples office called to say the Hansens weren’t in Cleveland,” Lyle answered, following her gaze.
Linda kept focusing on those tiny pajama-clad bodies. “Start interviewing persons of interest—”
“I’ve already got staff ready for interviews,” Lyle interrupted. “Rev. Martin is very willing to cooperate and has agreed to let police search the house and take prints. Then there’s the church secretary, Darlene Jordan, who specifically asked to speak with the person in charge.”
Linda removed a small pad of paper and pen from her jacket pocket, scribbling notes. “I’ll talk with the church secretary. Once we’ve secured the house, you and Amy start canvassing neighbors and church members.”
“Right. One other thing: both Amy and I detected the odor of bleach throughout the house, as though someone was cleaning up after themselves.”
“Captain Turner? Ma’am, there’s a reporter from the Journal Star asking to speak with you.” It was Steve, the strapping, young, uni- formed officer assigned to keep bystanders away from the scene.
“I need to give the press a preliminary statement,” Linda acknowledged. “We haven’t seen a case involving the murder of children in quite a while, so it’ll merit extra attention. I’ll see you back at the station.” Linda strode toward the quickly forming gaggle of reporters with Steve at her heels.
Cases like this were one reason Linda Turner loved her job. Her dedication and tenaciousness had assured her promotion as the youngest person to attain the rank of captain in the LPD. Sifting through the clues of a tangled mystery, discovering which pieces fit and which led to a dead end, then assembling that evidence into a case to catch the perpetrators and bring them to justice were what had made law enforcement so enticing.
But there was an unhappy downside to her meteoric rise. No longer was there anyone to come home to and share a lifetime with.
To preserve her sanity, Linda made the choice to delve deep into her career, personal needs be damned. This case was already tugging at her emotions. Those children’s bodies haunted her. Who would savagely murder their own flesh and blood and bury the evidence in a flower garden? Why? And most troubling, where was the mother? Linda made a silent vow to find out. No matter what.
About the Author:
Kathryn Schleich has been a writer for thirty years. Her most recent publications include the short story “Reckless Acts,” featured in After Effects: A Zimbell House Anthology, and her story “Grand Slam,” published in The Acentos Review in May 2017. She is the author of two editions of the book Hollywood and Catholic Women: Virgins, Whores, Mothers, and Other Images, which evolved from her master’s thesis. Her guest posts have been featured on the Women On Writing blog, The Muffin, and she writes for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s volunteer newsletter. When she’s not writing, Schleich is likely volunteering in the education and arts communities in the Twin Cities, where she lives. Friends, family, good food, wine, and traveling are important aspects of her life. Salvation Station is her first novel.
Ed Duncan announced today the release of his latest book, The Last Straw, the second book in the Pigeon Blood Red series.
It started with a run-of-the-mill carjacking. An inner-city kid with no priors and no experience with a gun fumbled the ball, and the driver ended up dead.
A teenage girl witnessed the whole thing, and now a target has been placed on her back. The carjacker’s father, a notorious crime boss, is willing to move heaven and earth to prevent her from testifying, even if that means having a hitman kill her.
Richard “Rico” Sanders, the best in the business, was his first choice for the job. But there was a problem. He was a “killer with a conscience” and a killer with a conscience doesn’t murder teenagers. The crime boss reluctantly turns to someone who has no such qualms, John D’Angelo. There was bad blood between him and Rico, so knowing that Rico had passed on the job, he eagerly accepted it.
Rico forms an uneasy alliance with the girls lawyer, Paul Elliott, to try and protect her from the hitman. As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.
Paul Elliott stretched and tumbled out of bed, shaved and showered, had a quick bowl of cereal, and was off to work inside forty-five minutes. Thirty minutes later he was behind his desk in his office digging through an avalanche of mail in his in-box when his phone rang. It was the judge’s bailiff. The muscles in Paul’s stomach tightened. The jury had reached a verdict. He looked at his watch: 9:20 a.m. This was some kind of record. The jury had just gotten the case at 3:30 p.m. the day before, an hour before retiring for the day. As his large law firm’s first black partner, he was still a little self-conscious about the need to maintain his excellent won/lost record. Deep inside he knew that this feeling was entirely self-imposed, but that did little to banish it from his psyche.
Paul was at the courthouse in fifteen minutes. Waiting for the elevator, he spied Benjamin Yanders, a neighbor from his apartment building, and followed him into the elevator behind a throng of other people. Yanders was looking down at his shoes and inside the packed elevator Paul couldn’t make eye contact with him. Before he knew it, the elevator had reached his floor and Paul was getting out. He glanced over his shoulder and when he saw his neighbor exiting with a few other people, he stopped and waited for him.
Yanders was tall and thin and an old lower back injury caused him to stoop forward a little when he stood for a while or walked long distances. He had a full head of dark, closely cropped hair that was peppered with gray and he had crowded, bushy eyebrows. His dark brown face was more lined and haggard than Paul remembered from the last time he saw him only a few days earlier.
“You practicing law now, Ben?” Paul joked as Yanders approached.
He was looking right past Paul and hadn’t recognized him, so the sound of his name startled him a little. “Oh, Paul . . . Sorry, I didn’t see you.”
“No problem,” Paul said. “What’s up?”
“Sandy got a subpoena. I’m down here to see the assistant State’s Attorney,” Yanders said, more than a little dejected.
For the first time Paul noticed Yanders’s daughter Sandra. He hadn’t seen her when she got on the elevator or when she got off. Now she was standing a few feet behind her father. Studious and shy, she was a cute sixteen-year-old. As an only child, she looked upon Paul as an older brother and he treated her like a younger sister. He wondered what the State’s Attorney’s interest was in her and why Yanders hadn’t mentioned the subpoena before now. “Hi, Sandy. How are you?” he said.
“Hi, Paul. I’m okay, I guess,” she said, glancing at him when she answered and then looking away.
Paul checked his watch. “The State’s Attorney’s office is around the corner. I’m going that way. I’ll walk with you.”
Yanders didn’t respond, but the three of them started down the hallway together. After a few paces Paul said, “So, Ben, you want to tell me what’s going on?”
Yanders stopped. He had the look of a man who had just come from the funeral of his best friend. “Sandy witnessed a shooting. The guy died,” he said morosely. “They want her to testify against the killer.”
Paul didn’t try to mask his shock. “My goodness. That’s horrible.” He looked over at Sandy. She was out of earshot and still looking away. “How is she?”
“I think she’s holding up better than I am.”
Yanders took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I know you’re wondering why I didn’t call you, but I didn’t want to impose and—”
“Ben, you know me better than that.”
“Yeah, I know. With everything that’s been going on with Danielle and me, I guess I’ve been a little overwhelmed – haven’t been thinking straight. I’m glad I bumped into you.” He was nervous. He paused and took in another lungful of air and let it out.
Paul wanted to hear what had happened, but he had to get to the courtroom soon. “So, fill me in, Ben. What happened?”
“There was a carjacking. This young kid shot the driver. Maybe the guy resisted or maybe the kid panicked. Maybe it was cold blood. I don’t know. Sandy was coming around the corner and the kid must not have seen her, but she got a good look at him – unfortunately. He pushed the guy out of the car and drove off like a bat out of hell. She used her cell to call 911. She was with some of her friends, but since she was way ahead of everyone else, she was the only one who saw it.”
“I think I read something about that in the paper,” Paul said. “Hell of a shame, all the way around.”
Paul turned to Sandy. “Are you holding up okay?”
She returned his gaze and didn’t look away this time. “I’m all right. A little scared, though.”
“I would be, too,” Paul said. “But just a little, like you. Listen, everything’s going to be fine, okay?”
She nodded timidly. Paul smiled at her and extended his fist. She extended hers and they did a fist bump. He then turned his attention to Ben, whose face continued to wear the same worried look. “Ben, what’s the State’s Attorney’s name?”
“Mitchell Tolliver. Do you know him?”
“I do,” Paul said. “I’ll call him and see what I can find out. Then I’ll stop by this afternoon – if that’s okay.”
“Okay? That would be great,” Yanders beamed, smiling for the first time since his daughter told him about witnessing the hijacking. They shook hands and Paul went into the courtroom.
About the Author:
Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the third installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red series. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/
Cops Lie! is a new mystery / crime thriller by Leonard Love Matlick. The story is fiction, but it is based on fact. Filled with descriptions of cop abuse and killings that are fresh out of today’s news stories.
NYPD Officer Charles Griffin, a known drunk, a notorious bully, and dirty cop is involved in stealing drugs and money. When an accident with an 18 wheeler kills him, one other cop, and leaves two other cops in critical condition, Detective Tony Philadelphia, a homicide detective from the 9th precinct, is tasked with finding out what happened…
“Misbehavior, corruption, and lawbreaking are all on full display in this gritty tale of bad cops and good guys in the New York City Police Department,” says Joe Kilgore, The US Review of Books. “Tony is an NYPD detective who gets wind of potential malfeasance on the part of one of his fellow officers… If it were simply the typical freeloading, bribe taking, or head bashing, that most of his cohorts engage in, then he’d let it pass. But his source implies that it goes a lot deeper—including everything from theft, extortion, money laundering, and even committing murder for various mob bosses. Straight shooter Tony hates the thought of ratting out any fellow officer, but the behavior is so egregious he feels he must inform his superiors. Soon he and his partner, Longo, are on the trail of not just one but a band of rogue cops committing crimes all over the city.”
Longo and Tony went to Griffin’s place. He lived in SoHo at 19 Mercer Street just off of Canal Street in a 5 story row house from the 1890’s. There were approximately 8 apartments in this particular apartment house, mostly young, rich guys and gals who worked in the financial district or actors and actresses. The super, Ivan, wasn’t going to let them in even after Tony and Longo flashed their gold shields.
“Officer Griffin was killed in a car crash and we have to look for next of kin stuff.” Tony told him annoyed that a gold shield won’t give him immediate entrance to any place.
Ivan took them in the elevator to the 3rd floor. Apartment 3C was Griffin’s.
As soon as Tony and Longo went inside, it was very clear to them that this wasn’t done on a cop’s salary.
“Holy shit!” Longo exclaimed.” This is NICE!.”
Tony looked at the high ceilings, the baroque furniture, even the toilet fixtures were of the highest quality. They went into the kitchen with the 6 burner stove, Garland oven and two refrigerators.
“Who has two refrigerators?” Tony asked.
“Someone with money.” Longo said. “But definitely not on a cops salary.”
They went into the bedroom, with wall to wall TV’s, entertainment units and cameras on the ceiling, and started to stare at the closets.
“Quite a clothes horse.” Tony said flipping thru Griffin’s suits, shoes and dress shirts.
“Hey, I didn’t know he was a dandy.” Longo said fingering the silk fabrics.
Then they started to go thru the drawers, all neatly assembled by underwear, socks, t-shirts, etc. Even his bills were arranged in order.
“Philadelphia”, Longo said, “We’ve got to comb thru this stuff and camp out here.”
“Uh-huh.”. Tony said, amazed at what he saw.
“Ivan” Tony motioned to the super, “What does something like this go for?”
“Are you kidding me? A triplex in SOHO? “Ivan said. “When the market was at its top a few years ago, it was around 7 million, but now between 3.5 to 5 million.”
“WHAT!!” Tony exclaimed. ”Where did he get the money for this. After all he’s a cop!”
“I believe that he had a co-signer or somebody was sub-letting it to him. I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the rental agent.” Ivan stated.
“Okay, we’ll do that.” Tony said. ”Who’s the rental agent?”
“Cushman and Gold” Ivan said. “There’s also some interesting people who live here in the building.”
“Like who?” Longo asked.
“Like the singer Nora, the actor who played the Vulcan in the Star Trek movies, and even Justin, the actor.”
Longo made a face like he was impressed.
“Ivan, one more thing.” Tony turned to the super, “Did Griffin get many guests here?”
“I don’t know. What do you mean by many guests? More than one?”
Tony looked at Longo and then asked Ivan,” I’m guessing that you mean that there were many guests?”
“Well, he was quite the ladies man. I mean that there was a different girl here every day.” Ivan mentioned. “Since he worked the night shift. I never saw many guys come here, but there was a lot of girls, a lot.”
Again, Tony looked at Longo.
“What do you mean by a lot? More than one or two?” Tony asked.
“Oh yeah.” Ivan said.” I’ve seen him bring 2 and sometimes even 3 at a time here. I guess that he was into twosomes and threesomes. Must have been quite the stud.”
“Apparently not on a cops salary.” Longo mentioned. “Philadelphia,” Longo motioned for him to come closer. ”How come we live in such shit and he gets all of this nice stuff? Money, broads, all of this” He moved his arm all around to span the luxury apartment. “He must have been dirty.”
“Yeah,” Tony said. “Very dirty.”
Cops Lie! was published in July 2017 and is available for sale on Amazon.
For more information, or to request a review copy, please contact Kelsey at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com
Tell us a little about yourself, your work and how you got into writing.
I retired in 2012 after 37 years as a practicing lawyer at a national law firm in Cleveland. I’ve always liked to write and in 2008 I wrote a legal text entitled Ohio Insurance Coverage which I updated annually through 2012. My practice involved a good deal of writing as well. But what I really wanted to do was write crime fiction, so I retired a little early to do that and to travel.
The idea for Pigeon-Blood Red came to me while attending a legal seminar in Honolulu years ago. As I pictured the novel then, it was far from complete. The only thing I saw in my mind’s eye was a beautiful, mysterious woman in danger and on the run and a stranger (a lawyer, of course) coming to her rescue (or trying to). In the final version of the novel, Evelyn, the woman, and Paul, the lawyer, are not strangers but, instead, are long lost friends who haven’t seen each other since college. Back then he was smitten by her but she was swept off her feet by Robert, the deeply flawed man who eventually became her husband.
While Paul and Evelyn continue to be pivotal characters in the novel, despite my best efforts to prevent him from doing so, Rico, the man from whom Evelyn is fleeing, becomes the focal point of the story. He is an underworld enforcer in pursuit of Robert, who stole a pigeon-blood red ruby necklace worth millions. He follows his prey from Chicago to Honolulu and back, but the chase goes sideways after he develops a grudging respect for Paul and Evelyn, who accidentally become embroiled in the crime. The hardened hitman must decide whether to follow orders and kill them or spare them and endanger the life of the woman he loves.
If you were to create a writing soundtrack, what artists would be on it?
I’m a big fan of both rhythm and blues and jazz but I like music from all genres. As Duke Ellington once said, “If it sounds good, it is good.” That said, (showing my age) I think I would include The Temptations, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra as the artists who would be on my writing soundtrack.
How do you come up with the character names in your books?
The characters in my novel are interracial. I try to think of a few unusual names but ones that fit. The black characters are middle class professionals, so those are fairly standard, although I used my high school year book to come up with a couple of last names. “Paul” is the name of my best friend in elementary and high school, and “Elliott,” Paul’s last name, is the name of a biology teacher at my high school. I borrowed “Evelyn” from the tragic lead character in Chinatown, a movie I admire a lot. “Rico,” the name of the underworld enforcer, just popped into my head. Rico’s boss’s last name, “Lyptak,” is a variation of “Rybak,” the name of someone I worked with in the steel mill in the summers when I was in college. When I’m stuck, sometimes I look for interesting names in the phone book.
Have you ever written yourself or people you know as a character in one of your books?
The lawyer is meant to be a highly idealized version of me. He’s taller, younger, smarter, braver, better looking, and more athletic, but he has my values and ethics.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?
Some of the incidents in the book are based on real life experiences. For instance, the childhood fight Paul remembers actually happened in about the way it’s described. Also, the telephone call Paul receives when he’s a young lawyer actually took place, as did the trial he recalls.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Never hesitate to take a writer up on his offer for advice.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up based solely on rejections from agents. As most of them freely admit, they are often wrong. Try to get an objective reading from someone whose opinion you trust.
Who are you reading right now?
I’m always reading the latest Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. I take one with me whenever I go on vacation. I recently went to a mystery writers convention and picked up Blue Heaven by C.J. Box and Burned by Valerie Plame. They are my next projects when I can find some time. I’m also reading a nonfiction book about the last year of World War II in the Pacific, Retribution by Max Hastings and Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King, which chronicles the harrowing exploits of Thurgood Marshall defending black men in the South, many wrongly accused.
What’s next, do you already have a new project in the works?
I’m working on the second novel in the trilogy that began with Pigeon-Blood Red. Originally it was titled Red Autumn but I’m working on trying to come up with a new title.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Fortunately, I haven’t suffered from writer’s block thus far. There are certainly times when the words come too slowly. I can usually cure that problem by stepping away from the work for a few days.
What tools have you found most successful in advertising/marketing yourself and your books?
I read numerous self-help articles and a few books but I found the task of following the advice given to be too daunting, not to mention time-consuming. My advice to others who have a similar experience is to hire a good publicist, as I did. It has made life so much simpler.
Did any specific author(s) motivate you to begin writing?
The author who motivated me to begin writing was Dashiell Hammett and the novel was The Maltese Falcon. The scene where Spade explains to Brigid O’Shaughnessy why he won’t “play the sap for her” and why he’s “sending her over” for murdering his partner, although he may love her and she may love him, is masterfully written, and I reread it whenever I need inspiration or just want to appreciate riveting dialogue.
You are hosting a dinner party and must invite 3 famous people. Who would you choose and why?
If I were hosting a dinner party and had to invite 3 famous people, I would invite President Obama, Colin Powell, and James McPherson. The President’s story is remarkable (a bonus is he’s an excellent writer), and to be able to talk to him about his life experiences and the decisions he’s made during his presidency would be endlessly fascinating. The same could be said of Colin Powell, his life story, and his experiences as a White House advisor and as Secretary of State. I am a Civil War buff and James McPherson is one of the nation’s most renowned experts on that conflict. I’ve read some of his work but would love to pick his brain further.
To learn more, go to EDuncan.net
April 6, 2016 (Shaker Heights, OH) – Loganberry Books announced today that Ed Duncan will be at their store in Shaker Heights on July 10, 2016 from 1-3pm. He will be discussing and signing copies of his book Pigeon-Blood Red.
Pigeon-Blood Red is a fast-paced and suspenseful crime thriller. It was published in March 2016 by Zharmae.
For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.
As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?
Praise for Pigeon-Blood Red
“Fast-paced and full of surprises. Will keep you on the edge of your seat!” – Amazon Customer
“Pigeon Blood Red has a dramatic and satisfying conclusion, leaving the reader nodding his head with approval.” – Readers’ Favorite
“In a novel with as much action as love, it is sure to be a story that will fulfill the desires of readers of all ages, genders, and areas of interest.” – Red City Review
Loganberry Books is located in historic Cleveland at 13015 Larchmere Boulevard, Shaker Heights, OH 44120. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about the bookstore, visit http://w1.loganberrybooks.com/.
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or email@example.com.
Pigeon-Blood Red is a fast-paced, suspenseful, crime thriller. It is the first book in the Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy, followed by The Last Straw (book 2) and Rico Stays (book 3). Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.
Pigeon-Blood Red tells the story of underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, who believed his next assignment to be an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.
As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?
Praise for the Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy:
“…It rips along like a .45 bullet rushing past your head….a crime novel in a style you don’t … see too often… a juggernaut of a story that just won’t quit.” – Monkey’s Book Review
“A fast-paced read with complex and morally ambiguous characters that leaves you on the edge of your seat!”– AllieReads.com
“Readers in search of a tight, well-written…crime/action/adventure will find…an engrossing story that will keep them involved to the end. And like me, they will find themselves eagerly awaiting the next installment.” – Mike Siedschlag’s Review
“This charming, classically-told crime thriller is a must for noir fans…refreshingly old-school pulp, inhabited by a familiar cast of gamblers, con men and hustlers found in Dennis Lehane and Elmore Leonard novels” – 5 Stars, Best Thrillers
“This Chicago set thriller is a pacy read, written with an edge and style… Ed Duncan’s series will sweep up fans as it goes along.” – Crime Thriller Hound
“With danger looming in every chapter… Duncan skillfully draws the reader into a complex web of characters… A few key twists within the storyline keep the reader intrigued… an outstanding crime thriller…”– 5 Stars, Red City Review
“…suspense from start to finish… a fast-paced read… Entertaining, Gritty and Nailbiting.” – The Bibliovert
Excerpt from Chapter 1
When Rico knocked on Jean’s door he was happy to hear the sound of footsteps. At least she was there. Maybe it was a good omen. Jean, a stunning redhead with a figure that made the heart leap, looked through the peephole, opened the door, and greeted him wrapped in a towel. She was even more tantalizing than she’d been in the car earlier that day. She wasn’t completely dry, and here and there tiny droplets of water glistened on her arms and shoulders. Rico inhaled the subtle fragrance of her shower gel, but before it could distract him, a voice in his head reminded him, “Point one percent.”
“I wasn’t expecting you back so soon,” she began, a playful, sultry smile on her face.
From the doorway Rico scanned the living room and saw nothing amiss. He walked in and closed the door behind him. Too bad. He only knew how to do this one way. “Jean, how long have you known me?” he asked stoically.
She was baffled. “You know as well as I do. What kind of a question is that?”
“I never tried to hide from you how I make my living, true?” They stood face to face, inches apart, before she took a few halting steps backward. “So you know what happens to people who don’t tell me what I want to know, don’t you?”
“Rico,” she stammered, her voice trembling, “you aren’t making any sense. What’s this all about? I don’t know what you’re accusing me of, but I haven’t done anything, I swear.”
He took a straight razor from his coat pocket and opened it. As he walked toward her, she covered her face with her hands. He stepped behind her, thrust his left arm through the triangle formed by her hands pressing against her face, and grabbed her right shoulder. With his right hand he held the blunt side of the open razor against her right cheek.
“Where is it?”
“Please, Rico,” she sobbed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He pressed harder and tightened his grip on her shoulder. “Please, please!”
“I don’t believe you.” He turned the sharp side to her cheek.
“Rico, not my face, please! I swear I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her tears puddled where the razor met her skin.
As Jean cried out he let the razor fall from his hand and, in one uninterrupted motion, expertly muzzled her scream with the same hand before the razor hit the floor. She fainted.
When she came to, she was lying on the couch where Rico had carried her. He stood with his back to her, talking to Jerry on the phone. Jerry hadn’t been able to get past lobby security in Robert’s building.
“He palmed it, right?” Jerry asked.
Rico glanced over his shoulder at Jean. “I’ll be there in a few minutes.” He hung up. “I had to be sure,” he said unapologetically.
She shivered in her towel and glared at him, anger roiling in her eyes. He went to the bedroom and returned with a blanket, which she allowed him to drape around her shoulders.
“Sorry, baby. It was just business.”
Still too furious to speak, she defiantly turned her back to him and silently dared him to say anything about it. A small victory but it was something. Ignoring the gesture, Rico walked out and closed the door softly behind him.
She was enraged, as much at herself as at him, because she knew that the next time he called she would answer. She tried to justify her emotions by telling herself that he’d stopped short of actually harming her and that he never would have. But who was she kidding? She could hope but she could never know for sure.
When the cab pulled up in front of Robert’s building, Jerry was standing outside smoking a cigarette. It was an expensive high rise on the city’s Gold Coast along Lake Michigan’s north shore, with a security guard on duty twenty- four hours a day. There was no way around it; if they wanted to get into Robert’s apartment, one way or another they’d have to deal with him. This was admittedly a minor detail, more of an annoyance than anything else.
Jerry knew Rico hated cigarette smoke. An icy stare from him whenever Jerry lit up was as effective a deterrent as a punch in the gut, so he put the fag out as Rico left the cab. Rico kept his body rock solid by lifting weights at a neighborhood gym, jogging regularly, and minimizing his intake of junk food. He didn’t like the idea of second-hand smoke undoing any of his hard work.
“So what happened?” Jerry asked.
“She didn’t have it.”
“I could’ve told you that. She’s good people.”
“Don’t start with me.”
“But nothing. Anybody can cross the line.”
“Including me?” Jerry hoped Rico might exempt him
but didn’t expect it.
“Yeah, including you.” The two men stared at each
other for a long moment before Rico smiled. “No, not including you.” The smile vanished as quickly as it had appeared and his eyes narrowed. “You know better.”
The comment stung and Jerry hung his head a little, but it was true and he knew it. It wasn’t easy to get close to Rico and not many people did. He was loyal to a fault, yet distant and brooding. Deadly as a cobra but with a dry, sometimes biting sense of humor. Brutally honest, he lacked guile. Hated hypocrisy. Loathed arrogance. If you were in a fight for your life against hopeless odds and could pick just one person to help even them out, he would be your choice every time. But if you needed a shoulder to cry on or even a pat on the back, you’d have to think long and hard before you settled on Rico.
“Now, about this guy…” Rico said, ignoring Jerry’s reaction.
Jerry snapped out of it. “You have to tell the security guard who you want to see. He rings the apartment. If the person answers, the guard buzzes you in.”
“No wonder he’s always out of money.”
“How much traffic in and out?”
“Not too bad so far.”
Taking in as many details as his eyes could process in one sweep of the area, Rico slowly turned in a circle, looking for anything out of the ordinary, anything that counseled against getting on with the business at hand. Outside, there were pedestrians and cars passing everywhere, but it was a busy street, so there was nothing unusual about that. Inside, the foyer was empty except for the security guard. Nothing looked menacing. Nothing looked out of place. He nodded. “Okay?” Jerry nodded back. “Let’s go and talk to the man.”
They walked briskly to the entrance, donning sunglasses almost in unison, then glanced behind them one last time before opening the door. Rico nodded to a spot inside. Jerry planted himself there. Without slowing, Rico continued toward an oak-paneled counter facing the door, behind which sat an unarmed security guard casually reading a newspaper. He was about forty, with a gaunt face and stringy hair reaching below his collar. He was the kind of guy who went through life trying to keep from stepping on anyone’s toes and hoping everyone would try to avoid stepping on his. He looked up in time to see Rico, advancing quickly in his direction, throw open his coat and jerk a .45 out of a powder-blue shoulder holster. He leaped to his feet and raised his hands above his head. Rico slammed the gun on the counter.
“Put ’em down,” Rico said. Eyes bulging and hands shaking, the guard complied and his face took on the look of a condemned man who had just received word of a reprieve. “That’s right. Relax,” Rico said. “Now buzz Robert McDuffie’s apartment.” There was no answer. “Try again.” Still no answer. “Get the key and take me up there,” he ordered, then nodded in the direction of the .45 resting on the counter under his hand. “This’ll be pointed at the back of your head on the way. Any questions?” The guard shook his head. “Then let’s go.”
About the Author
Ed Duncan lives outside of Cleveland, OH. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years.
Ed Duncan is the author of the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. The first book in the series Pigeon Blood Red was released in September 2016, followed by The Last Straw, the second book in the series, released in December 2017. The third book in the series Rico Stays was released in May 2020, published by Next Chapter. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.
“It’s always been said that you should write what you know. I am a lawyer – as is a pivotal character in the novel who is being pursued by a hit man – and I’m excited to be able to use my legal training creatively as well as professionally,” says Duncan.
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Ed Duncan, please contact Kelsey at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.
October 22, 2015 (Weston, FL) – Eric Matheny announced today that he will be at the Starbucks in Weston, FL on Sunday, November 8th from 4-6pm to discuss and sign copies of his latest legal thriller The Victim.
Eric is a criminal defense attorney that lives in Weston, FL. He has handled everything from DUI to murder. Eric writes crime fiction, drawing from his experience working in the legal system.
His latest novel The Victim tells the story of Anton Mackey, a criminal defense attorney in Miami whose life was altered drastically at the age of 21 when his decision to get behind the wheel despite being in no condition to drive claimed the lives of two people. When Daniella Avery, the beautiful wife of a man accused of a heinous act of domestic violence, comes into Anton’s office seeking his services, Anton thinks he’s landed a great case with a great fee. But when he succumbs to temptation, he realizes that Daniella is a figure from his past.
Anton finds himself caught between the possibility of being exposed and the fact that his client – Daniella’s husband – may be an innocent pawn in the victim’s attempt to carry out her revenge against Anton. As Anton struggles to balance defending his client while concealing the secret he has sought to forget, he uncovers the truth behind what really happened on that highway eleven years earlier.
BestThrillers.com calls The Victim, “a staggeringly well-crafted mystery…you’ll hear your own heart thumping loudly as Anton begins to lift the veil on his curious client.”
Michael A. Draper says, “[Anton] Mackey is a character who could be taken from one of John Grisham’s excellent novels…It’s a thrill to find a new author who stands out and Eric Matheny is an author with a bright future.”
If you are a fan of John Grisham, David Baldacci, and Harlan Coben, The Victim may be your kind of novel.
The Starbucks is located at 310 Indian Trace, Weston, FL 33326. Copies of The Victim will be available for sale at the signing event. However, personal copies may be brought for signatures as well.
To learn more, go to: EricMathenyBooks.com.
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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