Launch day went better than I expected. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a success. And tonight from 7-9 EST come join me and the authors for a Facebook party. There will be giveaways and you can ask any of the authors and myself anything you like. Today’s author, Scott Bury, will be there to talk about his Kindle World contribution…
This novella takes place between the events of Death in the Dark and Insatiable.
Sydney Rye thought it would be an easy assignment: trail Nigel Willem, a software company executive because his boss suspects he’s up to something with mysterious trips across Europe. Sydney thinks he’s just a boring businessman.
Then Willem is poisoned in his own home. Van, a mysterious young man with long, scruffy blond hair brings Sydney the dead man’s laptop, saying he knows who ordered the murder. The laptop reveals why Willem travelled: he was expediting human trafficking.
As Sydney follows Willem’s trail eastward, she finds more proof about Willem’s underworld contacts in pornography, people smuggling, drugs and murder. But the presence of the unpredictable, aggravating and irresistible Van may be more of an obstacle than a help.
Chapter 5: Needle
Sydney could never get used to the police vehicles in London. Vans and cars seemed too small by American standards, and the green-and-blue Battenburg markings along the sides did not make her think Police.
What really jarred her was seeing four of them together, blocking the narrow street in front of Willem’s house, lights flashing in the early morning when she arrived to begin her long day of surveillance. It had been three days since he had returned from France, three dreary London days of watching a man go through the same motions over and over again. The only variation had been last night, when Willem came home later than usual. Sydney had thought he looked nervous. He looked up and down the street twice after he got out of his limo, and practically ran to his front door.
And now, the next morning, there were four police cars in front of his home and a woman officer stretching yellow tape across the entrance.
Sydney kept walking past without changing her pace, Blue at her hip. She hit speed dial. “Mulberry? There are four London Police cars in front of Willem’s house and the cops are putting up crime scene tape. Do you have any idea what’s going on?”
“We just heard from a source at the Police. Willem’s dead.”
“What the fuck?”
“Police got a call early this morning. They found him lying on his back doorstep. There’s no official word from the medical examiner, yet, but it looks like he was killed some time last night.”
“Any idea who killed him?”
“Nair thinks it was someone connected with the people you saw him with in France three days ago. You better get back here to the office. Things have changed.”
“With the subject dead, I guess they have. So the cops are taking over the case?”
“They’ll be investigating the death, yes, but it’s not officially a homicide case, yet. And Majors-Taurus still wants us to continue to find out what Willem was up to. Only now, we don’t have to worry about him finding out.”
“Just whoever killed him.”
“We don’t know that anyone did. He could have had a heart attack—”
“Not very likely at his age.”
“It’s not unheard of. Or he could have slipped and fallen. We don’t know, yet. That’s why you need to come back, sit down and talk about what we know and don’t, yet, and what to do next.”
London is getting into his head. He never used to talk this much. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
She and Blue were walking down a street of two-storey brick homes with small gardens in front of them. The pavement was wet with overnight rain, and Blue was doing his best to step in every puddle. They reached a narrow opening between the sides of two houses when a tall man stepped onto the sidewalk, nearly colliding with Sydney.
“Why don’t you watch—” she began, and Blue barked happily, his tail wagging.
Then she recognized him: long, tangled blond hair, bright blue eyes, broad shoulders. “Van! What the hell are you doing here?”
Van was dressed for London: long beige cargo pants and a red rain jacket that covered a tattered t-shirt. He bent down to pat Blue’s head. “Just workin’. Fr’instance, I know who killed Nigel Willem,” he answered. He straightened, looking down at Sydney’s grey eyes.
“What do you know about Nigel Willem? Who says he’s dead?” Sydney could feel her pulse in her throat and her mouth began to water. She pushed a lock of light blond hair behind her ear.
“You know, you need to work on blending in. Yelling at someone who almost but doesn’t bump into you on the street really screams ‘New Yorker.’” He turned and started walking in the direction Sydney had been heading. For no reason that Sydney could imagine, she fell into step beside him, Blue between her and Van.
You can find more about Scott Bury, and contact him through his website, http://www.writtenword.ca, his blog, Written Words, and on Twitter @ScottTheWriter.
And there’s still time to join The Sydney Rye Kindle World Readers Group to get 8 free books, including one from Scott.