My latest novel, a suspense story with a little romance thrown in for good measure, is officially available for Kindle downloads this morning!
Although I tend to prefer the sparkly, happy world of romance novels, I decided to stretch myself and write a novel that had some suspense, darkness and mystery. Stretching is a good thing.
The QR Code Killer is a shorter novel, coming in at around 51,000 words. At the end is a sneak preview of The Cowboy’s Spring Romance, which will be out in March.
Since I was writing something outside of my comfort zone, I decided it would be fun to include some things that were familiar to me, which is why part of the story takes place in Walla Walla, WA, and there are a few scenes in Ontario, OR.
Here is the brief description of the book:
Mad Dog Weber relentlessly pursues the killer Zeus, only the hunter has now become the hunted. Zeus tauntingly mocks Mad Dog, sending warnings and then grisly images via QR Codes as he eliminates those in his way, ever-widening his swath of destruction.
Erik Moore struggles to overcome his grief and make it through one day, then another. Running from his past and the pain of losing his wife and unborn baby, Erik finds himself in Walla Walla, WA, installing wind turbines on a century farm for the summer. Little did he know that choice would lead him directly into the path of a madman and down a road filled with many unexpected turns.
From the water front of Seattle to the rolling hills of wheat and beautiful vineyards of the Walla Walla Valley, Mad Dog and Erik race to stop Zeus before he makes things really personal.
You can find the book on Amazon for Kindle exclusively. In a few weeks, a print edition will be available. You can preview part of the first chapter below!
“You in position, Mad Dog?”
“You ready to do this?”
“Bring it on.”
Mad Dog Weber was one of Seattle’s finest detectives in the narcotics division. A cop for ten years, Mad Dog was well respected, on top of the game, and seemingly fearless.
Now, sitting on the curb outside a seedy dive near the waterfront, watching the back door and waiting for the signal to move, no one would know they were looking at someone who offered firearm training to many of Seattle’s newest police force members. Face smeared with dirt and clothes covered in filth, Mad Dog reeked with the stench of sweat and booze. A grimy hand held the 9mm Glock handgun under a rumpled newspaper while an ear piece remained hidden beneath stringy hair and a moth-eaten stocking cap.
“You can still back out,” a deep voice badgered over the connection.
Mad Dog muffled a snort. “Right. Cause that’s how things roll with me.”
Devin, Mad Dog’s partner of four years, laughed quietly, “Don’t I know it.”
“Just shut up and get ready,” Mad Dog whispered, keeping both eyes hooded but alert as a drunk wandered by.
Once the drunk staggered around the corner, Mad Dog got up and pushed the rickety shopping cart filled with a homeless man’s treasures closer toward the back entrance, keeping the newspaper covered hand on top of the cart.
This stake out was more than just an opportunity to nab another bad guy. Zeus was a thief, drug lord and murderer. Mad Dog wanted nothing more than to see him brought to his knees begging for mercy. Dreams of pulling the trigger and driving home the bullet that would end his miserable life had been a constant, haunting companion since Zeus had made things personal. Six months ago, he shot down Mad Dog’s own mother in cold blood.
Mad Dog was ready to return the favor.
Zeus had been on their radar for almost a year, but no one seemed to be able to identify him, let alone catch him. His name traveled in the circles of drug runners, crack houses, meth labs and hit men. If it was dirty and illegal, Zeus was probably involved in it. Mad Dog nearly caught him eight months ago. Tipped off by a dealer who wanted to barter a shorter sentence, Mad Dog discovered Zeus set up an appointment to talk about a large shipment of drugs out of Seattle. The stake-out collapsed when one of Zeus’ bodyguards caught on to the scheme and Mad Dog went running after the elusive figure known as Zeus, getting close enough to smell the fear surrounding him as he fled.
With no idea what his face looked like, Mad Dog had the department’s artist create a sketch featuring a tall, fit man with dark hair and skin.
Shortly after the encounter, Mad Dog received a QR Code in the mail. Arriving in a plain brown envelope, the code was printed on a piece of white cardstock. Scanning it, the code landed on a page that simply said “Back off!”
Mad Dog had all their techie experts try to find where and how the website was built, to pull an IP address, but the page was impenetrable.
Furious beyond belief, Mad Dog doubled the efforts being put into hunting down Zeus. Three weeks later, Zeus shot Elaine Weber in her car on her way home from the grocery store. Shortly after the killing, Mad Dog received another QR code that scanned into a video showing Elaine being shot along with the words, “I told you to back off. Now maybe you’ll listen.”
Rousing from the vicious memories, Mad Dog listened to the conversation going on between their undercover cop and one of the men who worked for Zeus.
Hearing the phrase, “right on time,” Mad Dog recognized the signal to get into position.
With a tightened grip on the Glock, Mad Dog took a careful look around. Something didn’t feel right. Something was off. Muscles tense, Mad Dog waited.
“You’re a cop! You’re wearing a wire!” buzzed through the earpiece.
Knowing there was another cop in the shadows of the alley who would watch the back door, Mad Dog took off at a dead run. Clearing the corner of the building, Devin and two other officers, Glen and Danny, were already chasing down Zeus’ man. Heading toward the pier, he kept right on running. Devin was gaining on him and Mad Dog wasn’t far behind.
Devin took a shot and missed, but the runner stopped and drew a gun.
“Unless you want your pretty boy face blown to oblivion, turn around and leave.”
“I don’t think so,” Devin said, standing a few feet away. “Drop your weapon or I’ll shoot you.”
“Not happening, pretty boy.”
“I said, drop your weapon.” Devin’s voice sounded rough and harsh, a sharp contrast to his blue eyes, blond hair and guy-next-door looks.
Mad Dog stood with the other two officers, guns drawn, hoping they wouldn’t have to shoot. They needed this guy alive so they could pump him for information about Zeus.
“No can do,” the man said and fired. Devin took the bullet as he propelled himself into the gunman, carrying them both off the edge of the pier. Two more gun shots rang out as Mad Dog and the officers ran to the edge.
“No, Devin. No!” Mad Dog frantically tugged off the stained coat, the moth-eaten hat and ripped at the bullet proof vest covering her chest. She could hear Danny and Glen both yelling into their mics requesting back up and equipment.
This would happen on a night as dark as sin. The lights on the pier did nothing to penetrate the blackness of the lapping water below.