Category Archives: Thriller

RETRIBUTION (#15) NOW AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED!

I’m so excited to share this new release with my readers!

A Miranda and Parker Mystery #15

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IS WADE PARKER DEAD?

Almost three weeks ago on a cold dark pier in Boston, PI Miranda Steele saw her beloved husband shot down before her eyes.

Now she and her team are on a quest to find his body and bring it back to Atlanta.

But the criminal mastermind who gunned down Parker has a plan that’s more devious and evil than anything Miranda could ever have imagined.

If she can’t bring him down, it could be the end not only of her and her team, but of the whole world.

Can she stop him before it’s too late?

Find out now.

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Chapter One

Six weeks prior

Just after dawn in a port in Odessa, Ukraine, Boris Petrov stood on the deck of a sixty-thousand-deadweight-tonne cargo ship barking orders at the man operating the crane high above.

“Careful! Slowly now.” Ignoring the chill in the air, Petrov scratched his dark beard and signaled to the left.

The wooden crate dangling forty meters overhead at the end of the heavy chain was huge. The first of almost a dozen, it was giving Petrov an ache in the stomach.

Though it was padded with foam, Petrov was not certain of the box’s strength. In his opinion, they should have used regular containers. But those who were above him had decided the interchangeable metal containers would draw attention, and possibly inspection.

That could not happen.

As extra cargo loaded with the usual scrap metal the ship carried, the crates were less likely to be noticed.

But as the heavy box was lowered into the first hold, Petrov’s anxiety only grew.

“Gently, gently,” he shouted to the men who were guiding it into place. “Handle her like a woman.”

“She is fine,” a young man called back with a too confident grin. “I know how to handle the fairer sex.”

Petrov did not like the man.

His name was Andruko. He had arrived from Kiev yesterday evening begging for a job and telling horrific stories of a shootout in a parking lot. The contraband Petrov himself had loaded into a truck days ago had been seized by the police, Andruko had said. All two hundred and forty kilos of it gone.

There was more. Udar had been raided and shut down by the authorities. Sergei Chumak and Irina Savko were dead.

Unbelievable. The details made his head ache.

How could this have happened?

He had checked and double-checked the texts on his encrypted phone. Was the voyage today canceled? No. He was to proceed as ordered.

A week ago the funds had been wired by a senator’s aide in Washington. Today’s cargo had been packaged and shipped to port from somewhere in the east. No one knew where. It was unnecessary information.

No time to ponder it. The next crate was being lowered into the hold.

He had a vague idea of what each one contained. The boost controls, the body section, the cable assembly, and so forth. And most importantly, the warhead itself.

That would go on the upper deck under strict watch.

And then it would be off for the long trip to the island south of the United States.

Petrov had been ordered to travel with the ship to ensure the cargo’s safe arrival and to help with the unloading at the destination. Experts would be in place there to reassemble the thing.

He wanted no part of that.

But it was by no means certain they would arrive. If the sea did not behave, if the cargo shifted too much? Well, he and all the crew could wind up as fish food on the bottom of the ocean.

Why take such a risk? Because it was orders. Petrov always obeyed orders. And this time, the reward was too handsome to turn down. Not that he had a choice.

What his boss had in mind with such a weapon as this, he could only guess. He only hoped it would bring power back where it belonged.

He guided the next crate into the hold and wished for the best.

He did not have answers. All he knew was to obey and keep his mouth shut. It was all he needed. Once he was paid, life would be better. The risk was worth it. Besides, one did not question the Man in Boston.

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Predator

A Miranda and Parker Mystery #14

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What’s wrong with Mackenzie?

PI Miranda Steele knows something has been eating away at her teenage daughter for months now. Does Mackenzie know her real father was a psychotic serial killer?

Miranda’s afraid to ask and this time, Parker has no answers.

But when her precious daughter goes missing, Miranda goes into a tailspin. Now she’s forced to ask the most painful question of all.

Has Mackenzie’s emotional state caused her to fall victim to a sexual predator?

You’ll want to read this exciting, fast-paced thriller because it’s a story readers say they can’t put down.

Get it now!

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Chapter One

She plodded along the concrete walkway of the interstate bridge, head down, barely aware of the cars whizzing past her.

She felt numb and yet she shivered a little in the chilly March wind. She’d worn too light of a jacket. Not that it would matter soon.

It was her time.

Everyone has a time, her mother used to say.

She’d been thinking about her mother a lot lately. The headaches brought on the memories. In her mind, she could see her mother stretched out on the old worn couch, dressed in the robe with the pretty blue flowers she used to wear, her hair a tangled mess. She could smell her breath. The odor made her sick, just like it used to.

She hadn’t learned until much later it was the smell of alcohol. She’d been too young to recognize it then. But she could remember those words.

Everyone has a time.

Her mother had been talking about her father.

She had never known him. He’d left before she was born. Her mother would call him names and cuss at his imaginary figure going out the door. Then she’d call her names. “You’re too stupid for words,” she’d say. “Why did I ever have you?”

And then one day she’d told her her father was dead. When she asked how that could be, all her mother had said was that it had been his time.

“Everyone has a time,” she’d told her.

The wind grew stronger as she reached the edge of the bridge where the railing stopped and the concrete barrier began. Her head pounding, she stared up at the chicken wire fence mounted high atop the ledge.

She peeked over the barrier and saw a small concrete platform about five feet down. That would work.

She blinked at the cars buzzing by down below the overpass. So many of them. All going so fast. Where were they heading? To soccer practice? To games? Shopping? It was the weekend.

How nice it would be to know who you are and where you were going every day.

She never had.

And then there was that girl at school. The junior with the perfect brown hair. The words she’d said about her at lunch on Friday still burned in her heart. Even now, she could feel her cheeks reddened. She’d been so humiliated.

The girl hadn’t been mean, exactly. Just superior. Far above her, anyway.

That’s when she’d known she’d never be good enough. Not for her faceless father. Not for her drunken mother. Not for the kids at school. Not for anyone. She’d never ever be good enough.

That’s when she knew it was her time.

She took off her jacket and laid it over the rail. The wind whipped through her, rippling her lightweight short-sleeve top.

Closing her eyes, she put her hands on the concrete and drew in its rough cold surface.

Minutes went by. Her hair blew around her face as her brain swam with hurtful words from her past, from her mother, from the girl at school, from deep inside her own mind. She breathed in the cold air, searching for the courage for what had to be done.

A shout made her open her eyes again.

The cars down below were slowing. There must be a traffic jam up ahead. She thought she heard tires screech behind her. And a cry.

But her head was so fuzzy with memories, she couldn’t make out anything.

She had to go.

Then a strong female voice came from the sidewalk beside her. “Hello, young lady.”

She turned and saw a police officer coming toward her.

No.

“Don’t be alarmed. I thought you might like to talk a little.”

Talk? What was there to talk about? Nothing would change. Nothing would ever change.

Again she peered over the railing. Cars were stopped in their lanes. Flashing lights came from a fire truck a few yards beyond the overpass. A group of firemen were assembling a large yellow inflatable thing just below her. It looked like a raft she’d been on at summer camp one year.

They were trying to stop her.

No.

She slung a leg over the rail.

“I just want to ask you a question.” The woman sounded friendly, but she wasn’t. “What’s your name, honey?”

She didn’t answer.

Instead she held onto the rail, pulled her other leg over, and let herself drop down to the concrete platform. It was only about a foot wide. She had to be careful or she’d land in the trees.

“C’mon, sweetheart. Don’t do that.”

“Leave me alone.” Trying to position herself, she clung to the iron bar of the railing now over her head.

“I just want to talk to you.”

The woman leaned over the rail and a strong hand gripped her arm.

“Let go of me.”

“I’m sorry I can’t do that.”

The grip was tight. The pain confused her. “You’re hurting me.”

“I don’t mean to do that. I’m just here to help.” The woman kept on talking, but she couldn’t make out the words.

She was in too much of a panic. She looked down. The men below were pointing up at her and moving the yellow raft thing so it would catch her.

If she was going to do it, it had to be now.

She looked up and glared at the woman. “Let go of me, I said.”

She pulled her arm away as hard as she could. The officer’s nails scraped her skin as she lost her grip.

She lost her balance and fell backward.

Her feet left the narrow platform. She tumbled down toward the pavement below. Down past the bare tree branches. Past the beams of the overpass. Past the stains on its concrete supports.

Down, down, down. And into darkness.

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Vanishing Act now available in Kindle Unlimited!

Hello again Miranda and Parker fans!

I’m so excited to announce Vanishing Act (A Miranda and Parker Mystery) #13 is now available in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program.

I’m thrilled to share this riveting story with my wonderful KU readers. Links and details are below.

Enjoy!  🙂

Linsey

A Miranda and Parker Mystery #13

Amazon | FREE on Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Five thousand miles away from Atlanta.

A young man is killed.

A young man with secrets.

When Parker’s father asks him to travel to Ukraine to find someone who’s been missing over a decade, Parker flatly refuses. But Miranda can’t say no to Mr. P.

And so they board the plane.

After a long flight and a futile search, they are about to give up. Until they rouse the ire of a very dangerous group. People with secrets. People who will kill to keep them. People who now want Parker and Miranda dead.

You’ll want to read this next adventure, because secrets are about to be revealed.

Get it now!

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Chapter One

It was two o’clock in the morning.
The motor of his cycle growled beneath him as fear pounded in his temples.
Faster. Faster. Faster.
The cold November wind whipped his hair over his face, into his eyes and his mouth. Above the highway, streetlights twinkled against the blue velvet of the sky and the river below.
Kiev lay to the left of him, the lights of its majestic old buildings and ancient cupola-topped churches shimmering with the mystique of a beautiful woman attempting to seduce him.
He had always fallen for her charms, though he wished he hadn’t. Tonight he wished he had stayed in his little village and been content.
Too late for those wishes.
He could not think about home now. He could not stop. He had to keep going.
He had to get away.
He had left the club perhaps only fifteen minutes ago. He had taken what he had in his satchel and snuck out the back.
He had thought he had not been seen.
But now, as he raced along the wide highway that bordered the Dnieper River, he knew someone from the club was behind him.
If he could just make it across the river. Back to Troieshchyna and his bleak little apartment, he would be all right. That dingy living space fourteen stories up in the cheap Soviet era building. Olga deserved better than that. He had wanted to give it to her.
He had failed.
Just as he made it to the straightaway, a shot rang out from behind him.
Sergei. He had followed him.
He swerved, and the bullet missed him.
But he could taste the fear in his mouth.
Where was the politsiya? The police did not patrol this part of town so well as the wealthier sections.
Sergei was the enforcer. A huge man five years his senior. He could beat him to death with his bare hands if he caught him. He could easily shoot him. But it was difficult to aim well on a motorcycle.
Another shot spat over his shoulder. Sergei’s aim was better that time.
The vehicles around him began to slow, the drivers no doubt wondering what was going on. Why was there a gunfight on Naberezhno-Rybalsak in the middle of the night?
He sped up, swerved around a car on his left, another on his right. He took the curve to the bridge as fast as he dared.
He could not fall now.
Focusing on the tall buildings far away in the distance across the river, he ignored his pounding heart.
He could get there. He had to.
His motor roaring, he reached the bridge and swung out onto traffic without yielding. A little Lada blared its horn at him as they nearly collided.
Ignoring the driver’s protests, he zoomed ahead.
He was over the river now. In a month, the water would be frozen and children would come to skate along the banks.
But tonight the Pivnichny Bridge seemed to stretch across the world.
No, it was only a few more kilometers to home.
Would Sergei follow him there? The little flat would not provide much protection. He had not thought of that. Perhaps he should head south and into the forest, toward his old village instead.
He was almost to the left bank now.
He swerved past a Renault on the side closest to the railing. Between the iron barrier and the road lay a path bicycle riders used to travel back and forth across the river to their jobs on the right bank.
He had such a job once. And he had Olga. What would she think of him now?
He would never know.
Another bullet came from Sergei. This time it hit his rear tire. He spun, veered in a circle. He lost his balance and the cycle went down and slid out from under him. The pavement dug into his jeans, tearing his flesh.
No time to think of that now. He put a palm onto the asphalt to lift himself up.
Before he could rise, Sergei was on top of him, the short red curls atop his head glistening in the street lights.
His massive body hovered over him like the prize oak in the Buda village.
“Where is it?” His face was like a snarling leopard.
He would pretend not to know. “Where is what? Why did you shoot at me, Sergei?”
“Where is it?” Sergei shouted, ignoring the ploy.
He tried again. “I do not know what you mean.”
It was not a good answer. He saw the reply come in the form of Sergei’s boot.
He rolled, but not in time. The kick caught him hard in the kidney and he cried out in pain.
Yet somehow, he managed to get to his feet. If it was a fight Sergei wanted, he would give it to him.
He swung and grazed his chest as Sergei stepped back. Then the large man returned a jab.
He ducked, an American move, and Sergei missed.
He swung again, but once more missed the treelike target.
Sraka!” Sergei growled. “How dare you steal from us? From those who care for you?”
He wanted to deny it, but he could not lie to this man. Looking down at the pavement, he tried to find the words to say.
The hesitation was a mistake. He looked up just as Sergei’s fist flew toward him like a flash of lightning.
It connected with his jaw, shooting incredible pain through his skull. He stumbled back, tasting his own blood in his mouth.
He should not be tangling with Sergei. This man was one of the top fighters in the MMA club where he worked. Sergei’s footwork and balance were impeccable. His blows were like iron.
But he had little choice now.
He swung again and somehow landed a punch to the stomach. The leather of his jacket softened the blow, yet he heard Sergei groan.
And then Sergei’s face became a wall of stone.
“That was your last chance.” Sergei’s arm flew back. The blow sped toward him, too fast for him to duck this time.
He felt the cartilage crunch as Sergei’s knuckles landed against his nose. He crumbled to his knees, blood dripping onto the pavement.
And then he saw it.
His satchel lay along the railing, its strap just beyond reach. Biting back the pain, he crawled forward. Grabbing onto the leather band, with all his effort he pulled himself to his feet.
“What are you doing?” He heard Sergei yell behind him.
Too late. He took the satchel and hurled it over the railing as far as he could.
Into the air it went, then down into the river below. Never to be found again.
Bracing himself against the railing, he turned around. “And now we are even, no?”
Sergei did not reply. Instead he drew his pistol and aimed it at his chest. “You have betrayed us. You know what happens to traitors.”
He did.
There was no reasoning with the man now, if there ever had been.
And so he was not surprised when Sergei pulled the trigger and the final bullet hit him dead center in the chest.
His body recoiled with incredible pain. He felt himself fall backward. Felt his feet leave the pavement. His arms flapped the air like a young bird trying to take flight.
But he was no bird. He could not fly.
Instead he plunged head down into the river. All the way into the depths of the Dnieper.
And disappeared.

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The #Audiobook is HERE!

At long last,  Someone Else’s Daughter is now available as an audiobook narrated by the fabulous Kristin James.

I can’t wait for everyone who loves the Miranda and Parker stories to hear it! Kristin really brings these characters to life.

Amazon | Audible | iTunes

PLUS – I’m giving away FIVE Audible coupons (US) for a FREE copy of the audiobook.*

Enter the contest here:

Audiobook Giveaway

More changes to win when you share on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

The giveaway ends soon, so be sure to enter right away.

Good luck to you and thank you for your support.

Happy listening!

Linsey

PS: If you enjoy this audiobook, feel free to leave a review, especially on Audible. It means a lot to Kristin and me. Thanks in advance!

* Sorry, I can only give away coupons for the US. You also must have an audible or Amazon account to redeem the coupons.