Serial Killers Run Amok In The Count To Ten series by Jane Blythe @jblytheauthor

The simple covers for Jane Blythe’s Count To Ten series speak to me and, of course, reading about serial killers is always a high priority.

I love dark stories, the darker, the better.

One…

One (Count to Ten #1)

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW FOR ONE

I love dark stories with murder and serial killers running wild, and Jane Blythe has come through in this fantastic series. This guy is a real sicko. Only death will stop him.

Right off, I’m thinking…Oh no she didn’t…

Yes, he fell for her and yes, there’s a lot more gory and brutal murder to come.

Who is it? Why such grotesque murders?

I have a problem with Annabelle and Xavier hooking up, but hey, stranger things have happened. He seems too old for a naive, inexperienced young woman like her. I like my books to be ‘realistic’ and, even though I enjoyed how it developed, not just jumping in bed, but the slow and getting to know you kind of thing, something still felt off.

Annabelle ‘s dialogue made her seem older than her years, but maybe the traumatic events she has been though have caused her to grow up sooner. After all, she had been the adult of her household.

I love the fact I can’t figure out who is the culprit, even though I feel I must have met him by now. I do have a feeling…oh, wait, maybe it’s him…or could it be him?

The sicko wants revenge and I want to know why.

The twists and turns kept coming, never letting up, even when the last page was read. I DID NOT want it to end. Jane Blythe was ‘this close’ to having me rate this a five and I definitely look forward to reading more of her work.

I voluntarily reviewed One by Jane Blythe.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

Annabelle Englewood slaughters her family while they sleep.

Or so it seems to Detective Xavier Montague when he and his partner arrive at her house to find her sleeping peacefully, her family all dead.

But then another family and another are murdered, again with one family member left alive, and it becomes clear that Annabelle is simply a pawn in a vicious killer’s game.

Intrigued by Annabelle, the first woman Xavier has been attracted to since his divorce, when he comes face to face with the killer he will be forced to make the ultimate choice, a life and death decision, that could let a psychotic murderer walk free.

~~~~~~

Two…

Two (Count to Ten #2)

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW FOR TWO

Jane Blythe writes of serial killers and grotesque murders and I LOVE it.

Brooke Mariano is a pregnant teenager with dreams of wealth and leisure and her life is snuffed out like a candle, all to keep a secret, a secret I want to be revealed and the guilty party to pay for it.

I like that Ryan’s interest in Sophia began before they were shoved together because of the murder. Her mysterious illness may seem to make her weak, but she is strong enough and determined enough to live on her own, disinherited by her rich father because she has a mind of her own. I love strong, independent female protagonists, and Sophia is spot on. I hate men that act like dictators and feel women are supposed to fall in line.

The body count grows and so does the suspect list. I love to be kept guessing and Jane Blythe is very good at doing that. Was someone in the family eliminating other members? If so, why? Most of them are wretched, miserable, pathetic excuses for human beings, so, in my book, none of them would be missed. LOL

Sometimes those surrounding the killer are worse than the killer himself.

When they go into the room…

Jane Blythe’s use of misdirection is very well done.

I can easily visualize events as they unfolded, as if a Criminal Minds episode was playing in front of me. It is so easy to picture Sophia…in a wheelchair, hunched over, looking at photos…But…I do hate a character I am growing very fond of making such a predictable and stupid error. Now, I am pissed at her. Is it my personal feelings keeping these ratings at fours, where others would rate them higher? It’s up to you to decide.

The book has an ending , but Three will bring One and Two together in a reunion I do not want to miss. I can hardly imagine where Jane will  take it and I am rubbing my hand together in glee just thinking about it.

I voluntarily reviewed Two by Jane Blythe.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

Before the sun rises, another will fall.

When Brooke Mariano is found murdered on the grounds of the powerful Everette family’s estate, it looks at first as though she may have been killed in order to keep the paternity of her unborn child a secret.

However, when another member of the Everette family turns up dead each night, it quickly becomes a race against time as Detective Ryan Xander and his partner try to discover which member of the family is the killer before the entire clan wind up dead.

Ryan’s only inroad to the secretive family is Sofia Everette. Shunned by her father for her refusals to obey him, and battling a mysterious illness, Sofia’s childhood dreams may be the key to saving her life and stopping the killer from exterminating the entire Everette family.

ABOUT JANE BLYTHE

Jane BlytheJane has loved reading and writing since she can remember. She writes dark and disturbing crime/mystery/suspense with some romance thrown in because, well, who doesn’t love romance? She has one completed series, Detective Parker Bell, and one new series, Count to Ten.

When she’s not writing Jane loves to read, bake, go to the beach, ski, horse ride, and watch Disney movies. She has a black belt in Taekwondo, and a 200+ collection of teddy bears. She has the world’s two most sweet and pretty Dalmatians, Ivory and Pearl. Oh, and she also enjoys spending time with family and friends!

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The doctor is in….and he’s insane – Celeste: Primal by Kristine Mason @KristineMason7

Kristine Mason has taken the Celeste Files to a new level in Primal.

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

 I have been waiting for Olivia to shine, and Kristine Mason is letting her show her stuff in Celeste: Primal. Olivia is only three years old, but when her mother is abducted, it is up to her to save her. I have read all of Celeste’s stories, and this one tops them all.

Celeste, John, and the kids were heading home to Wissota Falls, Wisconsin, for vacation. She wanted to go home, but, with her memories of the past and the last time she was there, I would have opted for the beach.

Maxine, Celeste’s mentor, has seven failed marriages and a house she shares with some friendly ghosts. Too bad they can’t talk to Maxine, but they use Celeste as a go between. They are funny and helpful, and this time they are talking to Olivia.

When Celeste goes missing, the wrath of CORE, owned by her father, Ian, comes down…There will be hell to pay and no one will stop until she is brought home.

Some CORE secrets will be exposed and I wonder what the repercussions will be.

I always laugh at myself when I come to the part where the action revs up and all the bad begins. I wait, anticipate, and revel in the badness. The darker, the better.

Primal is an apt title for this brutal, savage delving into parapsychology by those with their good and bad reasons for it.

OMG. I think I’m going to puke. OMG, Celeste…I have to wait, collect my thoughts as the horror and true evil of Martha washes over me, making my skin tingle and shivers run up and down my spine. I actually gagged. Through the tears pooling in my eyes, I read to the end.

If you love a breathtakingly beautiful love story and a horrifying supernatural thriller, this is one you will no be able to put down once you start. You will want the to follow the characters through their life, meet their friends, family, and ghosts, struggle through their trials with them, and share in their happiness during the good times.

If you have a ghost in your life, hold tight. You never know what help they can be in your time of need.

I love that Kristine shared the middle finger in the novel and if you want the chuckle I got hearing about letting the bird fly, read this yourself. You won’t regret it. Her writing will leave you wanting more.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 5 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

Fear the living, not the dead…

John Kain’s wife, Celeste, has been abducted. With little evidence, the CORE investigator enlists the help of their clairvoyant, three-year-old daughter. He attempts to connect with Celeste through his preschooler, but he’s left with more questions than answers, and even more fear. Using psychic visions, his little girl somehow takes him into the paranormal world and shows him the horror his wife is facing—if he doesn’t find Celeste soon, he might never see her alive again.

Celeste has woken to a living nightmare. Thirty-five years ago, a psychiatrist obsessed with the supernatural had kidnapped her psychic mother. Although her mom had survived, the twisted doctor had murdered five other people like her, and thanks to her mom’s testimony, was sentenced to life in prison. Spurred by vengeance, the psychiatrist’s son is determined to continue with his father’s experiments, and he has a special room just for Celeste.

With the help of the dead, Celeste is doing everything possible to save herself from being tortured. But she’s running out of time. Her kidnapper believes he can enhance her psychic gift through brain surgery. The doctor is in….and he’s insane.

ABOUT KRISTINE MASON
.

AuthorPhoto_PerfectlyToxicKristine Mason is the bestselling author of the popular romantic suspense trilogies, C.O.R.E. Shadow, and Ultimate C.O.R.E. She is currently working on her next trilogy, C.O.R.E. Above the Law, along with a series of Psychic C.O.R.E. novellas.

Although Kristine has published a few contemporary romance novels, she focuses most of her energy on her romantic suspense stories, which she loves for their blend of dark mystery/suspense and sexy romance. She is fascinated with what makes people afraid, and is famous for her depraved villains whose crimes present massive obstacles for her heroes and heroines to overcome.

Kristine has a degree in journalism from Ohio State University and lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, four kids, and two dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s chauffeuring kids, gardening, or collecting gnomes. Oh, and she makes a mean chocolate chip cookie!Connect with Kristine on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kristinemasonauthor, Twitter https://twitter.com/KristineMason7 or email her at [email protected] You can also find out more about Kristine’s books at http://www.kristinemason.net

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MY REVIEWS FOR KRISTINE MASON’S NOVELS

The Sisters Book Trailer Blast Giveaway @pumpupyourbook

 

About the Book:
 
Title:
THE SISTERS: A MYSTERY OF GOOD AND EVIL, HORROR AND SUSPENSE
Author: Don Sloan
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 239
Genre: Supernatural/Mystery/Horror/Thriller
 
 
In this book, written in the style of Stephen King, two young people on vacation
in a small New England seacoast town battle unspeakable horror and solve a
hundred-year-old mystery. Fourteen Victorian mansions whisper dark secrets
among themselves, and a dangerous shadow roams up and down the wide, wintry
boulevard in search of new prey.

The Sisters: A Mystery of Good and
Evil, Horror and Suspense is available at Amazon

 

Book Excerpt:

Snow pellets blow white across the boulevard and up onto the wide, night-shadowed porch of the house just inthe center of the block. Inside, past leaded glass doors and heavy oakfurnishings, something moves.
Up the polished mahogany staircase, and up yet another flight to the third story something moves that has no breath, no warmth, no life.
There is a narrow passageway to the attic, locked behind a heavy door with steel bands. The shadow pauses at the door only long enough to pass cold fingers over the padlock. It falls heavily to the floor and the door opens. The shadow passes through, as quietly as a midnight breeze in an icy cold forest. Here, no light at all warms the creaking steps.
It is darker than the inside of death.
In the attic, the bitter, knifing cold whirls and eddies around shapeless mounds of old memorabilia and the shadow moves silently to a dormer window. Cobwebs—spun by industrious spiders long dead—are brushed aside and a single candle is placed on the sill. And in the darkness a flame is struck.
Outside, the wind falls off to nothing, and snow drifts listlessly to the ground. The candle flickers briefly and catches, burning a pinprick hole in the vastness of the night.
Far out to sea, a single cry begins and then falls silent.
And in the dormer window, where the shadow has settled down to wait, the candle flares brightly and then goes out.
 
 
About the Author
 
 
 
 
Don Sloan is a former journalist for a large metropolitan daily newspaper and also an avid book reviewer, with more than 200 reviews posted on Amazon. His goal with the Dark Forces Series is to present readers with a new and exciting horror and suspense thriller experience. He currently lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with his wife of 39 years, and, when not writing, enjoys a cold glass of Chardonnay in the evenings, sitting on his back deck.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

 

 
 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to a $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • This giveaway ends midnight April 24.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on April 25.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
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Creature Feature Review – The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea @huntershea1

The Jersey Devil is not my first Hunter Shea novel, nor will it be my last. His creature features are packed with horrifying thrills and chills that entertain me for hours and I always hate to see the story end.

I borrowed this paperback copy from Laura, my sister at fuonlyknew.

ALSO, be sure and check out Hunter Shea’s bio. I find him VERY interesting and I think you will too.

28475212

Amazon  /  Goodreads

I love creature features and The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea is a gripping and terrifying horror tale that unrolled like movie film as the images flitted through my mind. I am an avid watcher of B movies and this cover told me all I needed to know.

Boompa knew the legend of The Jersey Devil was true and his family had been waiting…waiting…waiting…knowing this day would come.

I love that Boompa, a farmer in his eighties, used a computer to keep aware of any monster sightings. The Willet family had prepared for this moment their entire lives and they will fight to the death.

I can’t imagine being in the woods and I mean so far back in the boonies that even the people that live there are off the grid…dangerous…Imagine how dark it is, how every rustle of leaves or crack of a branch leaves you shivering in fear. I have sat in my back yard, very late at night photographing the moon and freaked myself out listening to the sounds of the night, looking over my shoulder wondering if it is really some harmless lizard or…

The characters all have their purpose, some heroes and some not so much, and some who will not make it out alive and I felt Hunter Shea disposed of them in a way that made me feel it was okay.

So…look to the side, look to the back, look below, look above…

This action packed legend comes to life early with bloody, savage, gripping and terrifying horror. These super charged monsters will take you to a gruesome place where no one is safe. You won’t want to miss it.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  5 Stars

~~~

GOODREADS BLURB

“Old school horror.” —Jonathan Maberry

THE LEGEND LIVES

Everyone knows the legend of the Jersey Devil. Some believe it is an abomination of nature, a hybrid winged beast from hell that stalks the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey searching for prey. Others believe it is a hoax, a campfire story designed to scare children. But one man knows the truth…

THE DEVIL AWAKES

Sixty years ago, Boompa Willet came face to face with the Devil—and lived to tell the tale. Now, the creature’s stomping grounds are alive once again with strange sightings, disappearances, and worse. After all these years, Boompa must return to the Barrens, not to prove the legend is real but to wipe it off the face of the earth…

THE BEAST MUST DIE

It’ll take more than just courage to defeat the Devil. It will take four generations of the Willet clan, a lifetime of survivalist training, and all the firepower they can carry. But timing is critical. A summer music festival has attracted crowds of teenagers. The woods are filled with tender young prey. But this time, the Devil is not alone. The evil has grown into an unholy horde of mutant monstrosities. And hell has come home to New Jersey…

~~~

ABOUT HUNTER SHEA

Hunter SheaHunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. He’s a bestselling author of over 13 (lucky number!) books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

Website  /  Twitter  /  Facebook

~~~

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MY REVIEW FOR THE MONTAUK MONSTER BY HUNTER SHEA

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Giveaway & Review – The Fixer by Jill Amy Rosenblatt @JillARosenblatt @partnersincr1me

The Fixer: The Killing Kind by Jill Amy Rosenblatt on Tour April 1-18, 2017

The Fixer: The Killing Kind

by Jill Amy Rosenblatt

on Tour April 1-18, 2017

 

The Fixer: The Killing Kind by Jill Amy RosenblattMY REVIEW

Kat’s a Fixer. You have a people problem, just give her a call and she will get take care of it.

Illegally…maybe.

Then…why is she dating Detective Ryan Kelllan, whose search for answers in the murder of Felicia Reynolds touches awfully close to home and her secret.

The more work she does, the deeper she gets. She witnessed a murder. Her father is being hunted and they think she has answers.

Bad guys…good guys…they all want her.

Danger surrounds her…does anyone ever get out?

And then there’s Alexander Winter. I have a picture in my mind of this fascinating character and he is someone who intrigues me. He leaves me wiith more questions than answers.

The Fixer was thought provoking and I enjoy mulling over the questions left to answer after having read a novel.

Have you ever wondered how you got into a situation? And how far is too far.?

Pretending to be someone else can be a fun adventure, but what do you do when the bill comes due?

A little more sense of urgency and maybe some more details of the incidents and her feelings would bump up my rating, but one thing is for sure…I want more of her story which doesn’t end here.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of The Fixer by Jill Amy Rosenblatt.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

Synopsis:

Kat’s back and in over her head with crooks, cops… and killers.

Christmas is around the corner but professional “fixer” Katerina Mills isn’t feeling the holiday spirit, juggling college classes, a lovesick cop, and demanding clients.

Obnoxious hedge fund manager Simon Marcus wants his prized Porsche back from his vengeful wife. The job is hard enough until wise guy Anthony DeSucci shows up and orders her to bring the car to him.

Rock star writer, Paul Patel needs something “special” to finish his next bestseller, something that will get Katerina a “Go Straight to Jail” card if she gets caught.

And what about mysterious Thomas Gallagher? His jobs are simple and easy. Is he just a bored billionaire, or is he watching Kat’s every move, making his own plans for her?

As the jobs heat up, handsome, elusive thief Alexander Winter re-enters Kat’s life to tutor her in all things criminal. But can she trust him?

Katerina Mills is still haunted by her first assignment…and her first assignment is about to come back to haunt her…a deadly enemy who’s closer than she thinks…

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Crime
Published by: Jill Amy Rosenblatt
Publication Date: November 28, 2016
Number of Pages: 348
ISBN: 1539839443 (ISBN13: 9781539839446)
Series: Fixer – Katerina Mills Series
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

“Again?” Katerina asked as a whipping wind whistled around the parked car. “This is the fourth time.”

“There’s been a delay,” Jasmine said.

A few weeks earlier, Jasmine, MJM Consulting’s “Iron Maiden” gatekeeper, had called late at night. Thomas Gallagher, one of New York’s billionaire one percent, needed an assistant. Except he probably didn’t. Katerina Mills had already learned the first rule of a fixer. The job is never the job.

“Does he want a consultant or not?” Kat asked, her mouth overruling her mind. Careful Katerina. Don’t antagonize. You have to stay in. It’s too dangerous to be on the outside on your own. Not after the last assignment…

“Yes,” Jasmine said. “Any other questions?”

Katerina answered by clicking off the cell phone. Burrowing deeper into her coat, the heavy bangs of her short blond wig brushed her eyebrows as she focused on the apartment building diagonally across the street.

“Bad news?” came a voice behind her.

Katerina didn’t bother turning around. On the floor of the backseat, her current client, Lester Callahan, rearranged himself, kicking the back of Kat’s seat. She sighed.

“I hear you,” Lester said. “It’s tough. People are no good, you know? They give their word, it don’t mean shit.”

Katerina assumed Lester spoke from experience.

A pretty woman, swathed in a fur coat, exited the building and hustled to the corner, her hand in the air to hail a cab.

“Is that her?” Kat asked.

Rustling from the back seat. “Nope.”

Katerina crushed herself further into her coat. She didn’t want the work but she had to keep her hand in this world, to protect herself. And I need the money. But instead of a steady windfall of cash, the jobs had been few and far between. Lester needed an item retrieved; but she didn’t know what the item was. From his babbled tale of rambling half-truths, Kat pieced together a picture: Lester had dangerous connections, something had gone wrong, and he needed to disappear. He was about to board a Greyhound bus when he realized he had forgotten something.

“You know it’s not easy to get lost.”

“So you said,” Kat answered.

“Yeah, people don’t understand how big their digital footprint is, you know? Take you for instance. You’re a young girl. You on social media?”

“No.”

“Dating sites? Not that you need one.”

“No.”

Lester shifted again; Kat’s seat lurched forward. She sighed.

“You’re smart, you know. There’s a lot involved. I hired a professional to help me. Rebel One.”

“Yup,” Kat said, glossing over the sound of Lester’s voice. Am I smart or did it just work out that way? she thought, reflecting on her training by her first boss, shady lawyer and ex-lover, Philip Castle. Stay away from the computer unless it can’t be helped. Never leave a trail. Katerina realized Lester was still talking.

“It’s a stupid name but I didn’t say that. I didn’t want to hurt the kid’s feelings. Anyway, Rebel One can make you disappear. You don’t realize you do a thousand things every day and leave clues how to find you: the phone, the credit card, the bank account, your magazine subscription to Cosmo… everything.”

“I don’t read Cosmo.” My college transcript. My library card. Could I get away clean if I needed to?

They sat in silence.

“You have a family?” Kat asked.

“Yeah.”

“Yeah? And you’re just taking off?”

“It’s okay, I made arrangements, you know? I left some cash, told the wife we’d get a condo when I got settled.”

“Is that what you told your girlfriend?” Kat mumbled.

“I’m sensing judgment coming from the front seat. I don’t think you’re supposed to do that.”

“Sorry,” Kat said.

As they fell back into silence, Kat’s thoughts turned to her father, William Mills. She had plenty of judgment for him. After walking out on her mother weeks earlier and breezing through the Big Apple with his new bimbo, where was he now? Had he left a digital footprint? Could he be found?

Her father wasn’t the only one to pull a Houdini. Where was Lisa, who had brought Kat into this life as a “fixer”? Where had she vanished to? And then there was Alexander Winter. If it hadn’t been for him…

She relived the robbery in her mind; Winter taking her by the hand, leading her through the break-in to retrieve the client’s requested item. He had schooled her, protected her, and brought her home safe. Kat realized that not a day passed without her thinking of him. Except for a post-robbery “all clear” text, he had disappeared. Where is he now?

A young woman, rock star groupie attractive, wearing leopard Ugg boots and a winter-white fur coat over black pants exited the apartment building.

“Is that her?” Kat asked.

Rustling from the back seat. “Yeah, yeah, that’s her.”

Katerina shook her head. This anemic, two-bit hustler is hooked up with the jailbait leaving the building. “Let me guess. You bonded over shared interests.”

“You know, sarcasm is not attractive in a woman. It shows a lack of self-esteem.”

Said the man hiding on the floor of the back seat. “Uh-huh.”

“You got the code, the key, and the phone, right?”

“Yes,” Kat said, her heart racing like she was on the track waiting for the flag to come down. She slipped on her sunglasses, fussed over the wig hiding her long, chestnut-colored hair, and shrugged a large black bag onto her shoulder.

“Call me as soon as you’re in the apartment,” Lester said.

Katerina cracked the car door, checking for oncoming traffic. Getting out, she slammed the door and crossed the street. Punching the numbers on the keypad, she slipped into the building.

Remember, keep your head down. There are cameras everywhere. She made a mental note to change out her coat afterwards. The elevator chimed, the doors opened, and Kat ducked inside.

***

Getting out on the fifth floor, Kat stole down the hall. Apartment 512. She slipped the key out of her coat pocket, letting herself in. Taking the phone from the bag, she punched in the number. After two rings, Lester picked up.

“I’m here,” Kat said. “What am I getting?”

“Go into the bedroom,” he said.

Kat entered a room drowning in feminine pinks. “Okay, what?”

“You don’t see it?”

“Obviously not,” she said. “Is it a bill, a laptop, a deed to the apartment?”

“Go back into the living room.”

Katerina retraced her steps and froze in her tracks. A West Highland white terrier stared at her, its head cocked to one side.

Don’t bark. For the love of God and all that’s holy, do not bark.

“You didn’t tell me there was a dog in the apartment,” she whispered. What I wouldn’t give for a Snausage right now.

“Okay, good. You got it.”
“I wouldn’t say that—wait … what? I’m here for the dog? You’re leaving—and you want the dog?”

“No, no,” Lester said. “The dog has a microchip in it. I need the chip.”

“Why?”

“Because if the dog is scanned, the chip has my information. They’ll find my wife and then, you know—they find me. Digital footprint.”

Katerina blew out a mouthful of air. Still staring, the dog sat down.

“The chip is implanted by the right shoulder blade,” he said. “It’s the size of a grain of rice. It’s nothing to take it out.”

“I left my veterinary degree in my other purse.” Moron. “And what do you suggest I use for a scalpel, a Ginsu knife?”

“If you think that’s best. I’m not really attached to the animal. I don’t think she is either, truthfully. I mean, look, she doesn’t even take it with her when she goes out. I paid a shitload of money for that thing.”

Katerina clamped her eyes shut.

“I was told you agency girls are up for anything. Anything. I need the chip. Get the chip.”

Katerina clicked off the phone. She stared at the dog. It raised a paw as a greeting, then lay down on its back, baring its belly for a scratch.

Unbelievable.

***

Katerina hustled into the car, depositing the bag on the passenger seat. She revved the engine and took off.

“Did you get it?” Lester asked.

“Yup,” Katerina answered.

***

Katerina dropped Lester Callahan off at the Greyhound bus terminal. Then, she parked the car and sent a text.

Done. W. 42nd. 8th Ave. Thanks

She got out of the car and walked away. The text had gone to Luther, an entrepreneur with his own limousine service. Luther’s clients paid in cash. Luther saw nothing, heard nothing, and asked no questions. Luther had a lot of clients. He had gotten the car through Moose, a man Katerina had yet to meet. The car would disappear and turn up somewhere else: different state, different plates, different color. Five thousand of Kat’s take had already gone for payment for the service. Contacts liked to be paid up front. That was a problem; she didn’t get paid until the job was done.

Kat passed the Plaza and entered an elegant, gleaming office building. A few minutes later, she was standing in the empty, dark paneled anteroom of MJM Consultants.

“Come in, Katerina,” she heard Jasmine’s hard-edged voice call out.

With her bag slung over her shoulder, Kat entered the small, immaculate office. Jasmine, wearing her signature black Chanel and pearl teardrop earrings, glanced up from her laptop; she didn’t bat an eye at the wig on Kat’s head.

“The job is finished,” Kat said.

“The client called.”

I know. I was there. Right before he got on a bus.

“And then he called back again.”

Shit.

“You never showed him the item he wanted retrieved.”

Katerina caught the hint of a smirk on Jasmine’s lips. Is this part of the ‘probation’ test? You are not cheating me out of my money. Think fast, Katerina.

“The client never said he wanted to see the item. He just said retrieve it. I retrieved it.”

Jasmine was about to speak when Kat’s bag moved, a sliver of fur peeking through the top. The smirk vanished. “Is that a dog in that bag?”

“You’re not a pet person?” Katerina asked.

“Is that the item?”

“It’s the item that contains the item.”

Opening a desk drawer, Jasmine removed two rubber banded packets of bills. She held them out to Katerina. “Get it out of here.”

Katerina took the money, turned on her heel, and left.

Stepping out of the building into the bright, chilly day, she placed a call.

“Whatever it is, it’s gonna cost you a lot of money,” the raspy voice said through the line.

“Morning, Doc. I need something removed,” Kat said. “But the patient isn’t human.”

The raspy voice broke out into a low gutteral laugh.

***

Katerina watched over the sleeping Westie. A clean-cut man, wearing surgical gloves and a gown, used a feather touch to perform the procedure. He held up the forceps, showing Kat the tiny chip. Moving to the microwave on the counter, he placed the chip inside, closed the door, and hit a few buttons. Kat watched the plate rotate. A few sparks later, the chip was cooked.

Kat turned to Doc, perched on a stool, his frame struggling under the weight of his bulging stomach. Between wheezes, he puffed on a cigarette.

“Thanks, Doc,” she said.

“Don’t bother. You still have to pay me.”

Kat nodded. At least he’s honest. This little act of benevolent kindness is about to take another healthy bite of my take-home pay.

A woman entered the room without knocking. Dressed to the nines, she looked to be in her late sixties, a cross between a gracefully aging Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O., complete with swing coat and pillbox hat.

“Miss Kitty, this is Gertie. She provides pet relocation.”

“Charmed, I’m sure,” Gertie said with a flourish of her hand. “Now darling, time is money. You want a major city or you prefer something rural?”

Thousands of criminals in the city and I get the Dolly Levi of pet theft.

“What do you have?”

“Oh, honey, it’s carte blanche. I always have a waiting list for Westies; very popular breed. Lucky you came along. People are so careful these days. Owners almost never leave them unattended.”
“You steal to order?”

Gertie’s eyes opened wide. “Steal? I beg your pardon,” she said. “Darling, I connect pets with loving families. I provide a service. You think Social Security pays enough to live on? A girl’s gotta get by. I used to be in the garment business—before they moved everything to China—no disrespect.” She gave Kat the once-over. “I can get you a coat at cost. You’d look to die for in a Saint Laurent Chesterfield. You want a coat?”

Kat shook her head. “No thank you. Any location far away from here will be fine.” She wanted to apologize. It wasn’t judgment. Kat didn’t know why, but she never quite felt prepared for the world she found. Even after what she had seen so far, she could be surprised. Maybe I’m not up for anything. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes.

The man finished scrubbing at the sink. Drying his hands, he turned to Kat.

“How long have you been a veterinarian?” Kat asked.

The man smiled.

Oh shit. Kat turned to Gertie.

“Meet my nephew,” she said.

The family that steals together… that’s one my father missed.

“Still lots to learn, Miss Kitty,” Doc said. “Lots to learn.”

Katerina glanced over at the sleeping dog. Pulling out the packets of money, she counted out fifteen thousand, half of her cut.

A girl’s gotta get by.

She certainly does, Kat thought, watching Gertie and Doc divvy up the cash. And not for the first time, she wondered how she would get by.

Author Bio:

Jill Amy RosenblattJill Amy Rosenblatt is the author of Project Jennifer and For Better or Worse, published by Kensington Press. She has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Literature from Burlington College.

“The Fixer” mystery/suspense series is Jill’s first adventure in self-publishing. The Fixer: The Naked Man (Katerina Mills, Book 1) is available in e-book and paperback formats. The second book in the series, The Fixer: The Killing Kind, released on November 28, 2016. She is currently at work on the third book of the series, The Fixer: The Last Romanov (when she’s not watching NY Rangers hockey).

She lives on Long Island.

Catch Up with Jill Amy Rosenblatt on her Website 🔗, her Twitter 🔗, & her Facebook 🔗.

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