UK author and reviewer Harry Whitewolf has posted the most insightful review yet of our new release thriller Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) on the literary site Goodreads.com so we have opted to run it in full – and here it is:

 

The premise of this book alone is extremely enticing and original, which means my expectations were high from the start, but boy, do the authors deliver!

There are three main facets to this story:

1) It is a whodunnit mystery thriller, where the main protagonist, detective Valerie Crowther tries to track down a serial killer who’s targetting deaf students at a world-renowned university.

2) There is a worldwide virus known as Monkey Flu which is killing hundreds of thousands of people. The U.K has escaped the epidemic until there is a breakout at the very uni Crowther is conducting her investigations, so the school soon becomes quarantined and shut off from the outside world.

3) The story is a great insight into the deaf community.

Combining these three facets makes for an exciting and interesting read. At first, I was a little cautious at embarking on an 800 page story, but I needn’t have worried. It doesn’t feel like a long book at all, and the authors are so adept at breaking up the scenes and the various tangents, and pacing it so well, that I didn’t feel like I was reading a mammoth book at all. I’d thought it would probably take me a couple of months to get through it, but I raced through this in a week. Like all clever and well written thrillers, there are enough cliff-hanging chapters and side stories which made me think I’d just read one more chapter and then before I knew it, I’d read another fifty pages. So don’t let the length of this book put you off at all – it’s exactly the right length that the book needs to be – especially when it’s effectively combining two stories in one (the outbreak of the virus and the whodunnit mystery).

It’s superbly written, and there are plenty of red herrings and clues throughout to make you try to guess who the killer is, only for you to then completely change your mind a few pages later.

There are also plenty of other side stories going on, such as – unexpectedly – Satanic rituals, and the personal stories of the characters. And man, for a book with so many characters (as there needs to be), the authors make it such an easy read to follow who’s who and to have such solid, well-rounded, believeable characters. There are the students – who are a vast array of different types, including some punkish ruffians, there’s the main protagonist Crowther; and her Superintendent ex husband on the outside, there are two news reporters who have bluffed their way into the school and who soon find themselves being quarantined with the rest and becoming the eyes and ears of the media, there are… so many engaging characters with their own stories – and they are all effortlessly portrayed well throughout.

Even the opening scene in the prologue is exceptionally brilliant – it feels like a classic scene from a classic film: where the killer is taking care in bricklaying a wall to conceal his first victim behind it. The attention the killer has to using three parts sand, one part cement and the skill of angling his trowel, with little thought towards the fact that he’s just killed someone in cold blood, is the perfect introduction to a disturbed psychopathic mind. Not to mention that he also then masturbates upon finishing the job.

And knowing that this book is going to be made into a film, I can already see that scene being chillingly played out as clear as mud.

No way will you figure out who the killer is, but you’ll enjoy trying to figure it out. I can guarantee it.

This is such a meaty book, that I could go on for another thousand words detailing just how well it’s all been put together and how well it’s been written, but this review is already turning out to be a long one, so I’ll leave it on this point:

Not only is this a great epidemic-sci-fi and mystery thriller, it’s also a fantastic insight into the deaf community, and it’s very apparent how much research has gone into this book. Reading the afterword from the authors’ consultant makes this clear, and it’s good to know that the writers have gone to lengths to show a very realistic portrayal of that community. Forget the whodunnit and epidemic stories, this book works just as well at being a much needed insight for hearing people into a community we may not know much, or anything, about. As their liaison Brent Macpherson says in the afterword:

“Silent Fear is one of the few mainstream novels to address the unique challenges faced by members of the Deaf community in any great detail. As a member of that community, and as someone who has been Deaf since birth, I believe this book is an important addition to the dearth of literature that exists about Deaf people and Deaf culture.”

Harry Whitewolf is the author of several acclaimed books, including The Road To Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash  and Matrix Visions.

 

To see all the reviews of Silent Fear go to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35626239-silent-fear

 

Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]

Amazon pre-orders for this book open now.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/

 

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October 3 is a red letter day for Dan Brown fans: that’s when The Da Vinci Code author’s latest thriller, Origin, is launched on Amazon.

 

Origin: (Robert Langdon Book 5) by [Brown, Dan]

Book 5 in the Robert Langdon series.

 

We have an excerpt from Origin  for you below. First, here’s the storyline:

In, Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. This evening is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.

But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

In order to evade a tormented enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, Langdon and Vidal must navigate labyrinthine passageways of hidden history and ancient religion. On a trail marked only by enigmatic symbols and elusive modern art, Langdon and Vidal uncover the clues that will bring them face-to-face with a world-shaking truth that has remained buried – until now.

 

And here’s the promised excerpt from Origin  (courtesy of Amazon):

 

PROLOGUE

As the ancient cogwheel train clawed its way up the dizzying incline, Edmond Kirsch surveyed the jagged mountaintop above him. In the distance, built into the face of a sheer cliff, the massive stone monastery seemed to hang in space, as if magically fused to the vertical precipice.

This timeless sanctuary in Catalonia, Spain, had endured the relentless pull of gravity for more than four centuries, never slipping from its original purpose: to insulate its occupants from the modern world.

Ironically, they will now be the first to learn the truth, Kirsch thought, wondering how they would react. Historically, the most dangerous men on earth were men of God . . . especially when their gods became threatened. And I am about to hurl a flaming spear into a hornets’ nest.

When the train reached the mountaintop, Kirsch saw a solitary figure waiting for him on the platform. The wizened skeleton of a man was draped in the traditional Catholic purple cassock and white rochet, with a zucchetto on his head. Kirsch recognized his host’s rawboned features from photos and felt an unexpected surge of adrenaline.

Valdespino is greeting me personally.

Bishop Antonio Valdespino was a formidable figure in Spain—not only a trusted friend and counselor to the king himself, but one of the country’s most vocal and influential advocates for the preservation of conservative Catholic values and traditional political standards.

“Edmond Kirsch, I assume?” the bishop intoned as Kirsch exited the train.

“Guilty as charged,” Kirsch said, smiling as he reached out to shake his host’s bony hand. “Bishop Valdespino, I want to thank you for arranging this meeting.”

“I appreciate your requesting it.” The bishop’s voice was stronger than Kirsch expected—clear and penetrating, like a bell. “It is not often we are consulted by men of science, especially one of your prominence. This way, please.”

As Valdespino guided Kirsch across the platform, the cold mountain air whipped at the bishop’s cassock.

“I must confess,” Valdespino said, “you look different than I imagined. I was expecting a scientist, but you’re quite . . .” He eyed his guest’s sleek Kiton K50 suit and Barker ostrich shoes with a hint of disdain. “‘Hip,’ I believe, is the word?”

Kirsch smiled politely. The word “hip” went out of style decades ago.

“In reading your list of accomplishments,” the bishop said, “I am still not entirely sure what it is you do.”

“I specialize in game theory and computer modeling.”

“So you make the computer games that the children play?”

Kirsch sensed the bishop was feigning ignorance in an attempt to be quaint. More accurately, Kirsch knew, Valdespino was a frighteningly well-informed student of technology and often warned others of its dangers. “No, sir, actually game theory is a field of mathematics that studies patterns in order to make predictions about the future.”

“Ah yes. I believe I read that you predicted a European monetary crisis some years ago? When nobody listened, you saved the day by inventing a computer program that pulled the EU back from the dead. What was your famous quote? ‘At thirty-three years old, I am the same age as Christ when He performed His resurrection.’”

Kirsch cringed. “A poor analogy, Your Grace. I was young.”

“Young?” The bishop chuckled. “And how old are you now . . . perhaps forty?”

“Just.”

The old man smiled as the strong wind continued to billow his robe. “Well, the meek were supposed to inherit the earth, but instead it has gone to the young—the technically inclined, those who stare into video screens rather than into their own souls. I must admit, I never imagined I would have reason to meet the young man leading the charge. They call you a prophet, you know.”

“Not a very good one in your case, Your Grace,” Kirsch replied. “When I asked if I might meet you and your colleagues privately, I calculated only a twenty percent chance you would accept.”

“And as I told my colleagues, the devout can always benefit from listening to nonbelievers. It is in hearing the voice of the devil that we can better appreciate the voice of God.” The old man smiled. “I am joking, of course. Please forgive my aging sense of humor. My filters fail me from time to time.”

With that, Bishop Valdespino motioned ahead. “The others are waiting. This way, please.”

Kirsch eyed their destination, a colossal citadel of gray stone perched on the edge of a sheer cliff that plunged thousands of feet down into a lush tapestry of wooded foothills. Unnerved by the height, Kirsch averted his eyes from the chasm and followed the bishop along the uneven cliffside path, turning his thoughts to the meeting ahead.

Kirsch had requested an audience with three prominent religious leaders who had just finished attending a conference here.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Since 1893, hundreds of spiritual leaders from nearly thirty world religions had gathered in a different location every few years to spend a week engaged in interfaith dialogue. Participants included a wide array of influential Christian priests, Jewish rabbis, and Islamic mullahs from around the world, along with Hindu pujaris, Buddhist bhikkhus, Jains, Sikhs, and others.

The parliament’s self-proclaimed objective was “to cultivate harmony among the world’s religions, build bridges between diverse spiritualities, and celebrate the intersections of all faith.”

A noble quest, Kirsch thought, despite seeing it as an empty exercise—a meaningless search for random points of correspondence among a hodgepodge of ancient fictions, fables, and myths.

As Bishop Valdespino guided him along the pathway, Kirsch peered down the mountainside with a sardonic thought. Moses climbed a mountain to accept the Word of God . . . and I have climbed a mountain to do quite the opposite.

Kirsch’s motivation for climbing this mountain, he had told himself, was one of ethical obligation, but he knew there was a good dose of hubris fueling this visit— he was eager to feel the gratification of sitting face-to-face with these clerics and foretelling their imminent demise.

You’ve had your run at defining our truth.

“I looked at your curriculum vitae,” the bishop said abruptly, glancing at Kirsch. “I see you’re a product of Harvard University?”

“Undergraduate. Yes.”

“I see. Recently, I read that for the first time in Harvard’s history, the incoming student body consists of more atheists and agnostics than those who identify as followers of any religion. That is quite a telling statistic, Mr. Kirsch.”

What can I tell you, Kirsch wanted to reply, our students keep getting smarter.

The wind whipped harder as they arrived at the ancient stone edifice. Inside the dim light of the building’s entryway, the air was heavy with the thick fragrance of burning frankincense. The two men snaked through a maze of dark corridors, and Kirsch’s eyes fought to adjust as he followed his cloaked host. Finally, they arrived at an unusually small wooden door. The bishop knocked, ducked down, and entered, motioning for his guest to follow.

Uncertain, Kirsch stepped over the threshold.

He found himself in a rectangular chamber whose high walls burgeoned with ancient leather-bound tomes. Additional freestanding bookshelves jutted out of the walls like ribs, interspersed with cast-iron radiators that clanged and hissed, giving the room the eerie sense that it was alive. Kirsch raised his eyes to the ornately balustraded walkway that encircled the second story and knew without a doubt where he was.

The famed library of Montserrat, he realized, startled to have been admitted. This sacred room was rumored to contain uniquely rare texts accessible only to those monks who had devoted their lives to God and who were sequestered here on this mountain.

“You asked for discretion,” the bishop said. “This is our most private space. Few outsiders have ever entered.”

“A generous privilege. Thank you.”

Kirsch followed the bishop to a large wooden table where two elderly men sat waiting. The man on the left looked timeworn, with tired eyes and a matted white beard. He wore a crumpled black suit, white shirt, and fedora.

“This is Rabbi Yehuda Köves,” the bishop said. “He is a prominent Jewish philosopher who has written extensively on Kabbalistic cosmology.”

Kirsch reached across the table and politely shook hands with Rabbi Köves. “A pleasure to meet you, sir,” Kirsch said. “I’ve read your books on Kabbala. I can’t say I understood them, but I’ve read them.”

Köves gave an amiable nod, dabbing at his watery eyes with his handkerchief.

“And here,” the bishop continued, motioning to the other man, “you have the respected allamah, Syed al-Fadl.”

The revered Islamic scholar stood up and smiled broadly. He was short and squat with a jovial face that seemed a mismatch with his dark penetrating eyes. He was dressed in an unassuming white thawb. “And, Mr. Kirsch, I have read your predictions on the future of mankind. I can’t say I agree with them, but I have read them.”

Kirsch gave a gracious smile and shook the man’s hand.

“And our guest, Edmond Kirsch,” the bishop concluded, addressing his two colleagues, “as you know, is a highly regarded computer scientist, game theorist, inventor, and something of a prophet in the technological world. Considering his background, I was puzzled by his request to address the three of us. Therefore, I shall now leave it to Mr. Kirsch to explain why he has come.”

With that, Bishop Valdespino took a seat between his two colleagues, folded his hands, and gazed up expectantly at Kirsch. All three men faced him like a tribunal, creating an ambience more like that of an inquisition than a friendly meeting of scholars. The bishop, Kirsch now realized, had not even set out a chair for him.

Kirsch felt more bemused than intimidated as he studied the three aging men before him. So this is the Holy Trinity I requested. The Three Wise Men.

Pausing a moment to assert his power, Kirsch walked over to the window and gazed out at the breathtaking panorama below. A sunlit patchwork of ancient pastoral lands stretched across a deep valley, giving way to the rugged peaks of the Collserola mountain range. Miles beyond, somewhere out over the Balearic Sea, a menacing bank of storm clouds was now gathering on the horizon.

Fitting, Kirsch thought, sensing the turbulence he would soon cause in this room, and in the world beyond.

“Gentlemen,” he commenced, turning abruptly back toward them. “I believe Bishop Valdespino has already conveyed to you my request for secrecy. Before we continue, I just want to clarify that what I am about to share with you must be kept in the strictest confidence. Simply stated, I am asking for a vow of silence from all of you. Are we in agreement?”

All three men gave nods of tacit acquiescence, which Kirsch knew were probably redundant anyway. They will want to bury this information—not broadcast it.

“I am here today,” Kirsch began, “because I have made a scientific discovery I believe you will find startling. It is something I have pursued for many years, hoping to provide answers to two of the most fundamental questions of our human experience. Now that I have succeeded, I have come to you specifically because I believe this information will affect the world’s faithful in a profound way, quite possibly causing a shift that can only be described as, shall we say—disruptive. At the moment, I am the only person on earth who has the information I am about to reveal to you.”

Kirsch reached into his suit coat and pulled out an oversized smartphone—one that he had designed and built to serve his own unique needs. The phone had a vibrantly colored mosaic case, and he propped it up before the three men like a television. In a moment, he would use the device to dial into an ultrasecure server, enter his forty-seven-character password, and live-stream a presentation for them.

“What you are about to see,” Kirsch said, “is a rough cut of an announcement I hope to share with the world—perhaps in a month or so. But before I do, I wanted to consult with a few of the world’s most influential religious thinkers, to gain insight into how this news will be received by those it affects most.”

The bishop sighed loudly, sounding more bored than concerned. “An intriguing preamble, Mr. Kirsch. You speak as if whatever you are about to show us will shake the foundations of the world’s religions.”

Kirsch glanced around the ancient repository of sacred texts. It will not shake your foundations. It will shatter them.

Kirsch appraised the men before him. What they did not know was that in only three days’ time, Kirsch planned to go public with this presentation in a stunning, meticulously choreographed event. When he did, people across the world would realize that the teachings of all religions did indeed have one thing in common.

They were all dead wrong.

#

For an advance read of Origin’s chapter 1 go to: http://www.omnivoracious.com/2017/09/dan-browns-new-novel-origin-prologue-and-chapter-one.html

The Kindle ebook, paperback and hardcover versions of Origin  can be pre-ordered via Amazon now. The ebook will be auto-delivered to buyers’ Kindles on October 3.

Origin’s pending release follows in the wake of today’s launch of Nelson DeMille’s latest thriller, The Cuban Affair.

Other notable thriller novels to be launched in the coming weeks include John Grisham’s The Rooster Bar (October 24), Michael Connelly’s Two Kinds of Truth (October 30), David Baldacci’s End Game (October 31), Lance and James Morcan’s Silent Fear (October 31) and Lee Child’s The Midnight Line (November 7).

As was the case with DeMille’s The Cuban Affair, these novels are all available now as Kindle ebooks on Amazon’s Pre-order program.

 

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Media Release – September 19, 2017: A new thriller novel to be launched on Amazon next month was inspired by the true-life murders of students at Gallaudet University, one of the world’s premiere learning institutions for the deaf and hard of hearing, in Washington, D.C.

Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes), by New Zealand father-and-son writing team Lance and James Morcan, has been dedicated to the many millions of deaf people around the world and was written under the guidance of one of the world’s leading deaf storytellers working in film, television and other creative mediums.

The actual crimes that provided the inspiration for the novel occurred at Gallaudet University between 1980 and the early 2000’s.

Image result for gallaudet university

Gallaudet University…scene of three student murders.

The 1980 murder saw one student stab another to death on August 16th of that year. The ‘dual’ killings two decades later gripped America from the time of the first of those murders until an arrest was made following the second some five months later. Washington Metropolitan Police didn’t know if these were ‘inside jobs’ and for a time nearly everyone connected to Gallaudet was under suspicion.

When the Morcans learned of the murders a decade ago, they came up with the idea of a novel set in a university for the deaf. It has, they say, been a labour of love ever since.

Speaking from his home in Papamoa, New Zealand, Lance Morcan says while Silent Fear  could have been set just about anywhere in the civilized world, he and his son chose to set it in London.

“We felt the thriller genre suits London,” he says. “This story has a very British feel to it and we set it in the upmarket Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.”

Morcan says members of Gallaudet’s senior staff are aware of the upcoming novel and requested an advance reading copy of the manuscript. No comment on the novel has been received back from them at the time of writing.

“Writing Silent Fear certainly presented challenges as neither James nor I were familiar with deaf culture or with the unique issues facing members of the deaf community. To this end we owe a debt of gratitude to deaf filmmaker Brent Macpherson, our number one collaborator, who figuratively held our hands throughout the entire lengthy endeavour.

“Brent educated us on the unique challenges facing the deaf community and he corrected potentially embarrassing errors in our portrayal of deaf and hard of hearing people. His commentary on Silent Fear from a deaf reader’s viewpoint is included at the end of the book.”

The premise of Silent Fear, in brief, is:

Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the Deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more Deaf students are murdered, it becomes clear there is a serial killer operating within the sealed-off university. A chilling cat-and-mouse game evolves as the unknown killer targets Valerie and the virus claims more lives.

The paperback version of Silent Fear  is scheduled for publication on Amazon on October 1. The Kindle ebook version is available now via Amazon’s Pre-order Program, and will be auto-delivered to buyers’ Kindles on October 31.

The Morcans, who are also screenwriters and filmmakers, are, in league with Macpherson, developing a feature film adaptation of Silent Fear. The following trailer promotes the novel and planned film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8bv1vbQxYo

END

Media information:

The Amazon link for Silent Fear  is: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/

Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]

ARCs (advance review copies) of this novel are available now via the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/Dv7GH9oJVAKLuRM23

 

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For lovers of thrillers with a touch of horror and sci-fi, we will email an ARC (advance review copy) of Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes)  to you!

No strings attached. We simply seek advance reviews for our new release novel.

Simply fill out the form via the link below and your eBook will be delivered to your Inbox!

https://goo.gl/forms/Dv7GH9oJVAKLuRM23

***WE WILL NOT SHARE, SELL, OR SPAM YOU***

Your email address will be used for the sole purpose of delivering your eBook.

Offer open until October 30 – one day before Amazon’s Pre-order program for Silent Fear  ends.

 

Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/

Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the Deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more Deaf students are murdered, it becomes clear there is a serial killer operating within the sealed-off university. A chilling cat-and-mouse game evolves as the unknown killer targets Valerie and the virus claims more lives.

 

Here’s what one reviewer says about this book:

★★★★★ “Whoa! What a ride. Excellent book, well constructed, and with brilliant delivery. Great to have a female lead character who is: clever, resourceful, and adaptable. And love requited – or is it? Loved it.”Author John Morris

See what other reviewers are saying on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35626239-silent-fear

And here’s a short YouTube video promoting the book and planned feature film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8bv1vbQxYo

 

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In a quarantined university for the deaf, there’s a serial killer and a deadly airborne virus.

Don’t blink. Don’t breathe.

Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes)

Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James] 

Available now for pre-order now on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/

 

Enjoy the Silent Fear  trailer for the book and planned feature film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8bv1vbQxYo&t=1s

 

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Feisty Detective Valerie Crowther kicks some serious butt when she takes on a serial killer and a killer virus in Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes), the new release thriller they’re all talking about.

 

Detective Valerie Crowther

Meet First Class Detective Superintendent Valerie Crowther, of New Scotland YardValerie has been assigned to investigate the murder of a student at Wandsworth University, a learning institution for the deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it becomes clear there is a serial killer operating within the sealed-off university. A chilling cat-and-mouse game evolves as the unknown killer targets Valerie and the virus claims more lives.

Fortunately, our Val knows how to look after herself — as the following excerpt from Silent Fear  demonstrates. (To set the scene, our heroine is attacked by rebellious deaf students intent on escaping the deadly quarantine they’ve found themselves caught up in)… 

…The door burst open and Cassidy and his three mates piled into the room. They headed straight for her. The Mohawked One was closest to her, and she could see he wasn’t here for a friendly chat. There was murder in his eyes.

Valerie dropped her phone without pausing to end the call and she reached for her Taser.

Not there!

She realised too late she’d left her Taser on the desktop. She realised also that Cassidy had seen the electroshock weapon for his eyes were now locked on it and he changed direction slightly to grab it. He was closer to it than she was.

Valerie gambled. She gambled that Cassidy wouldn’t know how to disengage the Taser’s safety mechanism – a recent design improvement in the latest model – and she gambled she could subdue him and his mates before he worked out how to disengage it.

As Cassidy grabbed the Taser, Valerie turned her attention to the next in line. That happened to be Wolf who was almost upon her.

The detective deftly stepped to one side and employed a judo throw, using the big Swede’s forward momentum to send him flying across the room. He hit the wall headfirst, and was momentarily stunned.

Unbeknown to anyone in the room, Kent was now filming all the action through the open door. Hillary was beside him, microphone in hand, describing what she was seeing.

Out of the corner of Valerie’s eye, she could see Cassidy lining her up with her Taser.

Please let the safety be on!

She couldn’t remember whether she’d left the safety on after charging the weapon that morning.

There was no time to think about that now for Warne and Harris were onto her.

Valerie backed up furiously as she tried to keep the two Colonial boys at arm’s length. Warne and Harris were both big bastards – not as big as Cassidy and Wolf, but big nevertheless – and they were both swinging wild punches in her direction.

Cassidy meantime was cursing as he unsuccessfully tried to activate the Taser.

When the detective felt the edge of the desk at her back, she threw herself forward, elbows raised out in front of her. In the heat of battle, she preferred elbows over fists. She’d learned the hard way a female’s small fists were more likely to suffer damage than achieve anything of note if used in anger. Especially a slim lightweight like herself. However, her elbows – bony and sharp as they were – could cause some real damage with little risk of injury to herself if used the right way. And so it proved.

Valerie’s sudden change of direction placed her exactly between Harris and Warne, and her extended elbows connected simultaneously and with considerable force with the foreheads of each student. Warne was out to it before he hit the floor. Harris, who was now on his hands and knees and evidently wondering where he was, was sent into Disneyland with a well-placed kick to the side of his head.

Valerie turned too late to avoid being hit by Cassidy. He’d given up on trying to activate the Taser and had decided to sort the detective out the old-fashioned way – with his fists.

The blow caught Valerie on her cheek. If it had caught her flush, it would have sent her through the wall or flying out into the corridor. As it was, she’d had enough foresight to ride the blow, throwing her head and bodyweight to one side so that the force of the punch was greatly diminished. Even so, it rattled her teeth and sent her crashing to the floor.

When she hit the carpet she saw stars, but she still had the presence of mind to roll over and over toward the near wall to distance herself from her attacker. As she rolled, she saw two things of interest. One caused her concern, the other gave her hope.

By the far wall, she saw that Wolf was now on his feet and on his way to help Cassidy subdue her; and on the carpet by the wall she saw her Taser. Cassidy had evidently thrown it there when he found he hadn’t been able to operate it.

The gang leader saw the danger too late. He lunged at Valerie to stop her, but she was too quick. In a flash, she grabbed her Taser, disengaged the safety, aimed the weapon at Cassidy and fired. The two barbed electrodes, or probes, stopped the gang leader in his tracks. He fell to the floor, twitching violently, as electricity coursed through him.

Hillary and Kent were catching all this live through the open door. The reporter was still talking into her mic and her cameraman was still filming the mayhem.

Valerie, who was now back on her feet, knew she should apply the voltage for the recommended thirty seconds to ensure her attacker was fully immobilised, but she didn’t have thirty seconds. She had no more than five seconds before Wolf was onto her.

A blow from the big skinhead sent the Taser flying out into the corridor. The blow had been meant for Valerie’s head, but she’d blocked it with her right arm. Which was just as well because the force of the blow spun her around and left her arm completely numb.

Fighting one-armed now, she ducked and weaved as Wolf lashed out at her with his fists and feet.

Meanwhile, Cassidy had recovered from his brief but painful Tasering, and he was coming for her, too.

All the combatants had to step over and around Harris and Warne who were still out cold. They weren’t all that was out of place. The room by now was a mess. The desk, fans, couch and chairs had been upended, the mirror and other items had been broken, and Valerie’s spare clothes and other personal effects lay scattered about.

Worst of all, from Valerie’s perspective at least, the expensive fish tank had been shattered, and Nemo the Angelfish, Bennett the Puffer Fish and other tropical fish lay flapping and gasping on the carpet. Nemo gasped his last when he disappeared beneath a size 12 shoe.

Bill Prescott, who had finally checked his phone messages and retrieved the detective’s urgent message, appeared in the doorway. Shocked, the portly guard ran to Valerie’s aid. He grabbed Cassidy in a headlock and dragged him out into the corridor where the two ended up wrestling, kicking and cursing on the floor.

Screams could be heard coming from startled staff members who had been alerted to the commotion.

Valerie by now was nearly spent. Gasping for breath and fighting one-handed, she copped another blow – this time on the mouth – from Wolf. The Swedish student grabbed her and pushed her backwards onto the desktop. Then he placed his hands around her neck and began to throttle her.

The detective fought back, but it was a losing battle. She was feeling faint and her efforts to resist grew weaker.

The bugger means to kill me!

 

Silent Fear  is available now on Amazon’s Pre-order Program at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/ and will be auto-delivered to your Kindle on October 31.

The paperback will be published by early October.

ARCs (advance review copies) of Silent Fear  are available now. Interested? Leave your email address and a bit about yourself (for security reasons) and we’ll email a pdf of the novel to you.

 

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Thriller fans are in for a treat with the release of new titles by some amazing authors in the coming weeks, and what’s interesting is all are available right now as Kindle ebooks on Amazon’s Pre-order program.

A quick skim of Amazon’s Pre-order lists reveals that Dan Brown, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, John Grisham and David Baldacci are among those literary heavyweights represented.

Here’s an overview of some of the new releases coming up (with the Kindle release date in parenthesis):

Origin: (Robert Langdon Book 5) – by Dan Brown (October 3)

Origin: (Robert Langdon Book 5) by [Brown, Dan]

“The spellbinding new Robert Langdon novel from the author of The Da Vinci Code. Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”… ‘Dan Brown is the master of the intellectual cliffhanger’ Wall Street Journal…‘As engaging a hero as you could wish for’ Mail on Sunday…‘For anyone who wants more brain-food than thrillers normally provide’ Sunday Times”

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The Rooster Bar – by John Grisham (October 24)

The Rooster Bar by [Grisham, John]

“Grisham’s newest legal thriller takes you inside a law firm that shouldn’t exist. Law students Mark, Todd and Zola wanted to change the world – to make it a better place. But these days these three disillusioned friends spend a lot of time hanging out in The Rooster Bar, the place where Todd serves drinks. As third-year students, they realise they have been duped…So they begin plotting a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they have to leave law school, pretend they are qualified and go into battle with a billionaire and the FBI.”

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Two Kinds of Truth (HARRY BOSCH) – by Michael Connelly (October 30)

Two Kinds of Truth (HARRY BOSCH) by [Connelly, Michael]

“Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando police and is called out to a local drug store where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town’s three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill production and prescription drug abuse… two unrelated cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.”

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End Game (Will Robie) – by David Baldacci (October 31)

End Game (Will Robie) by [Baldacci, David]

“End Game is the fifth book in the thrilling Will Robie series by international number one bestselling author David Baldacci…London is on red alert. Will Robie, as the US government’s most lethal assassin, is called in to foil a terrorist attack on the London Underground. An attack serving as a test run for a much larger plot to take place on US soil. Trained to neutralize threats without leaving a trace, he’s an indispensable asset to his country. But then reports come in that his mentor, Blue Man, real name Roger Walton, has gone missing while visiting his home town in Colorado. Fearing he’s been kidnapped, Robie, and fellow agent Jessica Reel, are sent to investigate.”

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Silent Fear — by Lance & James Morcan (October 31)

Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]

“In this the latest novel by the authors of White Spirit and Into the Americas, Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the Deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more Deaf students are murdered, it becomes clear there is a serial killer operating within the sealed-off university. A chilling cat-and-mouse game evolves as the unknown killer targets Valerie and the virus claims more lives.”

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The Midnight Line: (Jack Reacher 22) — by Lee Child (November 7)

The Midnight Line: (Jack Reacher 22) by [Child, Lee]

“Jack Reacher takes an aimless stroll past a pawn shop in a small Midwestern town. In the window he sees a West Point class ring from 2005. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher’s a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it. Reacher tracks the ring back to its owner, step by step, down a criminal trail leading west…He’s still shaken by the recent horrors of Make Me, and now The Midnight Line sees him set on a raw and elemental quest for simple justice. Best advice: don’t get in his way.”

 

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