Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Dangerous Game (EXCERPT!!)

I'll have the review for this book for you in a few weeks but today we're taking part of an EXCERPT tour so you can read a portion of the book yourself.

A Dangerous Game - Heather Graham
The third novel in the New York Confidential series by long-established NYT bestselling romantic suspense author Heather Graham. This is the author's romantic-suspense stream, in addition to her successful ongoing mass market paperback paranormal romantic suspense series.

Psychologist Kieran Finnegan is thrust into the middle of an investigation into human trafficking when a desperate woman shoves an infant into her arms and then flees...only to be murdered minutes later on a busy Manhattan street. Despite the fact that it isn't an FBI case, Special Agent Craig Frasier starts poking around, because Kieran can't stop thinking about the child and the victim. Their one lead comes through the pub, Finnegan's on Broadway. One of the waitresses also volunteers at a church outreach center, and had been in contact with a distraught young pregnant woman, whom she recommended Kieran to as someone who might be able to help her. When Kieran goes to the outreach center to do some off-the-books investigating of her own, she is approached by two women who are worried for their missing friend, and who reveal that they were part of a human trafficking ring that did business in babies. As Craig and Kieran delve deeper into the underbelly of NYC trying to find out more, the dangerous elements of the ring come to the surface, hoping to silence Kieran before she exposes them.

It was her fault, and she knew it. Craig was up early.

She’d finally fallen asleep. But knowing she’d kept him up meant that guilt riddled her. When he got up to leave and head into the office, she got up to start the coffee.

She pulled out her laptop. She had a desktop computer at work but had it networked with her laptop—it was a good setup. It had often enough saved her from having to go back into the office over a small detail—a note that one of the doctors might need, or even something that she wanted to reread herself to help her with a case they were working on.

She often interviewed and provided therapy for abused women—and occasionally men. It was certainly not in the same number, but there were men who suffered from abuse. One of her recent cases, Harold Lenin, was certainly that man—he’d been given black eyes by his wife, broken bones and tons of bruises. He’d kept silent through the years, a sad, cowed, little man. He was learning how to live again, recovering from his gunshot wounds.

He wouldn’t receive any more of them. His wife had shot him while they were up on the roof. She hadn’t been familiar with the gun and the kickback had sent her over the roof—and down thirty-five floors.

A lot of the people on the street that day had needed therapy, too.

Oddly and sadly, there were many such cases. They were also working on one case in particular now in which a man had snapped—and killed his wife. An all too common occurrence. As it turned out in depositions from neighbors and his own children, his wife had physically and mentally abused him for years, striking him constantly in the head. Apparently, for a few decades, he—like poor Harold—had just taken it.

His lawyers were still trying to plea bargain his case. Was it self-defense? He had finally slugged her back. He was a big guy; she’d fallen hard across the room, struck the edge of a credenza and dropped dead.

The reports issued by Kieran’s office would be incredibly important in what kind of punitive measures the man would face. He had killed his wife, and the prosecution was arguing it hadn’t been self-defense, not by the legal definitions that usually set someone free in a courtroom. And women and children were far more often victims of this kind of violence.

Her cases were often very sad, and frustrating. Kieran could usually work really hard and with tremendous empathy and still go home at night. But this thing with the baby…

None of the cases in their office at the moment seemed to have anything to do with an infant.

Ah. What about Melanie and Milton Deering?

At the offices of Fuller and Miro, they were also working with a scary pair—a murderer and his bride. The question was just how much the bride knew about the murder—and if she had participated.

Yes, looking at it all, Kieran felt a bit overwhelmed by the number of bad cases on the books right then.

But nothing that might have to do with a baby.

Her newest case was Besa Goga. Her crime had been biting. She’d bitten the cable man. At the rate cable men actually showed up in the city of New York, it might be unusual that more people didn’t strike out in one way or another.

How had the woman known about their office? 

“Who were you?” Kieran wondered aloud. “Why me?”

And then she wondered how the baby was doing.

Fine! The baby was going to be fine! 

She looked at her computer again and then emailed Drs. Fuller and Miro, asking them if they could think of anything at all that might help figure this out.

Of course, maybe it wasn’t that much of a dilemma. People knew about Fuller and Miro—they were rock stars in their chosen field. Not that being celebrated by your peers meant anything to the general public, but the doctors were known for their talents and the way they helped law enforcement. Word of mouth. In the same way, people knew about Kieran. She had managed to get her name in the paper a few times—she felt lucky the police had helped her avoid the media last night.

The thing was, they weren’t out there in the same way as true stars or personalities—actors, musicians, artists, performers—but neither were they any kind of secret.

So what did that mean? Had that woman just known that getting the baby to someone in that office would guarantee police—and help?

Why not just head to a police station?

Kieran yawned.

It was Saturday. She could go back to sleep.

She headed to her room and crawled into her bed.

Two minutes later, she was up again.

She showered and dressed. She was tempted to call Craig, but she absolutely refused to allow herself to do so. No sense driving him crazy at this point, too.

She had the thought that it was too bad that—at this moment—the apartment was almost spotlessly clean. She might start cleaning spotlessly again. No, she would find something else to do.

But it was Saturday. For many places in the downtown area, it was a slow day.

But, Finnegan’s was a popular pub, the kind of place people were willing to take the subway or cab to reach, even on a weekend.


She would go to work!

She headed into the bedroom for her jacket and purse and then paused. She’d left the television on.

And she was staring at a reporter who was talking about the murder. And the baby. And she suddenly found herself sitting at the foot of the bed.


Even though there was nothing the reporter could say that she didn’t already know.

Doesn't that sound so good, you guys? Heather Graham is a really solid author and I've yet to read something from her that I didn't love. Do yourself a favor, order the book and read along with me so that by the time I do my review you can see if you agree with me.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for featuring this excerpt for the tour!