When Jack Spencer, the Head of Security for Fairview Mountain Resort, calls about a missing coed, computer tech and sometimes troubleshooter Carrie Anderson answers. Jack knows that Carrie has a unique set of skills - on the side Carrie is part of a team that help domestic violence victims escape their homes and abusers.
Complicating things for Carrie is the handsome new attorney who just joined the team. What she finds, though, in her search for the missing girl, will test her ability at making people disappear and put all their lives in danger.
This is a story that is real; maybe too real in some ways. I came to know the main character, Carrie, and felt like I was present in everything she was going through in the story. Some things in this world are hard to hear but need to be said. This story does that. And huge props for the author in creating a pretty big cast of supporting characters, each with their own personalities. It’s a crazy, scary, fun gang of people that are both emotionally present and will kick butt for their closest friends. As a romantic suspense, it covers both pretty well and though Carrie’s love interest is not a story book stud, I think you’ll find him attractive. There were some very nice settings in this story and a great wrap up at the end. Overall an enjoyable read.
Talk about a baptism by fire. Oh, I hoped we had time.
“Pastor, get the puppy if you would, Sandy get the
I was hooking my hands-free over my ear and pushing speed
dial. “Code,” was all I said when Moira picked up. I hung up instantly. “Let’s
All of us heard the sound of a car in the parking lot,
hitting the gravel in a hurry, a bit of a skid.
One of the kids started crying as instinctively I hit the
stairs two at a time, praying to get to the door first. The car door slammed
even as I shot the lock home. Drew and the Pastor were both in the hallway.
“Are there any other doors unlocked?” I hissed.
“Try to keep the children quiet. Bring everyone out into the
hallway so he can’t look through the windows.”
Both my shoes were off and I was sprinting through the
building to the front of the church. It was a small church, very local. Come
on, come on, I told myself as I tried to figure out how to lock them. Drew
reached across from behind me and shot the bolt home. I jumped about a foot. He
damn near scared the shit out of me.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, quietly.
“Too many things to explain right now.” I was already
heading for the one window that would give me a clear view of the parking area
as someone banged on the door.
“Sandy!” a voice shouted. “Sandy! I know you’re in there.
Come on, honey. It’s okay. I’ll be good. I just got a little mad. It won’t
happen again. I promise.”
He banged on the door again, the force of it belying his
words. He was pissed. He’d seen the car and knew she was here.
Carefully, I peered out the window. Looked again. Ready to
duck if he looked the wrong way, I took a closer look, trying to keep out of
view. He was pacing in front of the door. There was something about the way his
jacket was hanging. Then I was running barefooted through the church again,
Drew close behind. I gestured him through the basement door and pulled it
quietly shut behind me.
A very frightened Sandy Miller crouched with her children at
the end of the hall. The Pastor was looking very bewildered.
“Sandy,” I whispered. Please don’t say yes. “Does your
husband own a gun?”
Slowly, with big eyes, she nodded.
This was worst case scenario, all my preparations and plans
undone. I nodded, hitting speed dial.
I hung up. “Does he know where the parsonage is?”
Pastor Charles nodded, his face paling.
I darted quickly into the office, grabbed the phone, and
dragged it out of the office.
“Call your wife; tell her to get out of the house. Go to the
nearest neighbor’s. She’s to go now.”
If Sandy’s husband got no answer here at the church, that’s
where he’d go next.
I dialed 911 on my cell phone.
The Last Resort is available on Amazon.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a low flying Angel
heard of Lara Croft. You’ve heard of Modesty Blaise. Well, here comes Angel
Murphy – Angel for short – a Belfast girl on holiday in Greece, sorts out a
villain who wants to make millions for his pharmaceutical company by preventing
the use of a newly discovered vaccine for malaria.
has a broken marriage behind her and is wary of men, but perhaps her meeting
with Josh Smith, who tells her he’s with Interpol, may change her mind?
action, thrills, romance in a beautiful setting – what’s not to enjoy?
Angel in Flight
Sounds and movements from the outer door. A voice speaking Greek. A key rattling in the lock.
Angel glanced quickly over
to the foot of the stairs. No good. She couldn’t get up there in time. Useless, anyway. It was a dead end.
She ran down the passage. There
was a recess to one side. Her outstretched hands clutched the handle of the
door and she tugged it open.
She was in, the door pulled
shut behind her, her breath coming in ragged gasps.
People coming in, footsteps
and voices. Louder. Coming in her direction.
She crouched down
Footsteps growing still
louder. Voices almost in her ear.
The steps went past, the
voices were no longer close beside her.
The men opened the door of
a room at the other end of the passage.
In another moment they had gone in.
* * * * Angel pressed further back into
the closet. It was deep, a small
room. Only one door. No windows.
A collection of junk filling up the space, pieces of household
equipment. Brushes, a mop-bucket which
cut her shin.
She tried to flatten herself
against the rear wall. There was
something in her way. She found herself
backing into it.
Old clothes. A pile of them, propped against the back
wall. She turned round, feeling cautiously with one hand.
She didn’t want to believe
Up from the depths, in
spite of her efforts to push it down, came realisation.
She moved her hand
carefully round. Something very cold.
Outside the closet, all was
Her exploring hands must
have unbalanced it.
The dreadful bundle fell
forward, the cold face kissing hers, the dead arms embracing her.
How did she manage not to
The two men had closed their
door. When she looked out of the closet there
was no light from that direction, only a few faint beams from the moon shining
through a nearby window. She thrust the closet door open. Half lifted, half dragged
the body forward until the faint moonlight fell directly on the white face.
She recognised him immediately.
There was no doubt that he was
Murphy, Angel for short, walked away from Mickey Murphy, the violent man she
had been fool enough to marry a year before, the first thing she did was to
enrol in an unarmed combat course.
Never again did
she intend to be a helpless victim of anger and aggression.
The second thing
she did was get a licence and buy a gun.
A small convenient .22. She thought she would be ready to use it if
necessary. The gun laws in her native Belfast were stringent enough, but Angel
managed to get around all the obstacles.
Six months later,
feeling a lot calmer, Angel booked a holiday to Greece and flew to Athens on a
foggy day which turned into bright sunshine halfway over. They wouldn’t let her bring the gun, of
course. By that time she’d learnt how to use it. But she’d no expectation of needing it on her
Angel booked into
the Alexandria, on the Venizelou Panepistimiou, a pleasant hotel, well-appointed
without being overly expensive. She was
reluctant to venture out to explore on her first night. However, a good night's sleep in her luxurious
hotel room did wonders for her morale.
Breakfast in the sunny restaurant downstairs helped even more. A young,
attractive looking Greek waiter took her order.
‘Ach, isn’t it a
beautiful day?’ Angel said to him.
His name, pinned
to his collar, was Zervas. ‘All days in Athens are beautiful, miss.’
certainly. But don’t be calling me miss, Zervas. My name’s Angel.’
They chatted for
a few more minutes about the best places for Angel to see, and then, breakfast
over, she set out, relaxed and light-hearted, to begin her holiday with a
little sight-seeing in the city centre.
She turned down
the Korai and strolled along the Churchill Stadiou, one of the main shopping
streets of Athens. A delicate breeze
lifted her long fair hair and floated it out gently around her shoulders. She wandered
along, delighted with everything she saw, past shops, pavement cafes, little
open-air stalls and kiosks. Her huge
dark eyes were constantly attracted by windows full of brightly embroidered
clothes, expensive jewellery, or cheap gifts for tourists.
stopped to buy a cup of coffee at one of the little cafes, and a paperback book
at one of the dozens of kiosks scattered along the edge of the pavement. They
seemed to have anything from Greek vases to paperback Agatha Christies, or
freshly squeezed orange juice.
She sat listening
with amusement to the chatter of the Athenian crowd, and the strident noise of
the traffic. The sun, the noise and the colour had lifted her to a pitch of
happiness she couldn't remember having felt for over a year. Since the early
days of her marriage to Mickey.
her coffee and stood up. She walked up Churchill Stadiou into Omonia Square –
Harmony Square – feeling ready to burst into song. The sunlight sparkled on the fountains, the
heat rose from the ground – and there he was, like the demon king in pantomime
– suddenly, out of nowhere.
She was crossing Omonia Square when she saw
Walking across in
front of her, not a hundred yards away.
Then she began to
back away, treading on the toes of an old man selling roasted almonds, bumping into
a fat woman heavily laden with shopping.
A watermelon bounced across the pavement.
muttered, and looked hurriedly round for somewhere to retreat.
The sun still sparkled
on the fountain. Heat still rose from
the ground. The noise of the traffic and the busy Athenian crowd filled her
This must be some
kind of nightmare.
The last night
she had seen Mickey, his hands had been round the throat of the girl he had
called Sylvie. Squeezing. Squeezing.
Angel should have
tried to help her. She should have
But she had
failed in her efforts to fight back against Mickey’s strength too often.
Until later that
night when she turned her life around. When she left.
She need never
see Mickey again. Or so she’d thought.
Someone picked up
the fat woman’s watermelon. Angel
slipped in behind the roasted almond stand, and peered out.
Mickey was still
there, gazing into a shop window, exchanging some remark with his companion. Above the noise of the crowd, his laugh, unmistakable,
floated over to her.
Theo - d’ye think it’s Onassis you’re
The other man’s
reply was lost in the screech of a red car – a taxi? – skidding past, its horn
blaring angrily. Mickey was coming on,
moving in her direction.
In the six months
since she left Mickey, so much had happened.
She had become
more than expert in the art of Judo and other self-defence tactics.
She had learned
to use her gun.
She had a
temporary job with the BBC in Belfast, which might lead to something permanent
if she made a good impression. Working
on the local news programme, mainly as a runner so far.
But none of that
made any difference.
The sight of
Mickey had the same effect on her as it used to do six months ago, while she
was still stubbornly struggling to make her marriage work, still believing that
Mickey would change back into the charming, loving man who had swept her off
her feet such a short time before.
She didn’t want
to meet him.
The red car pulled
up level with her. A business man, tall,
elegant, grey-haired and with an impressive moustache, got out and went on his
way. She stepped out, raised her
hand. Darted to the front passenger
door. Opened it. Scrambled into the seat.
Said the first
thing that came into her head.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gerry McCullough, born and brought up in
North Belfast, is an award winning short story writer, with a distinguished
reputation. She has had around sixty short stories published, broadcast, or
collected in anthologies. In 2005 her story Primroses won the Cuirt Award
(Galway Arts Festival) and she has won, been short listed, and been commended
in a number of other literary competitions since.
Gerry lives in Conlig just outside Bangor.
She is married to singer-songwriter, writer and radio presenter Raymond McCullough,
and has four children.
Gerry's first novel, Belfast
was published by Night Publishing in 2010 and has been in the top 100 bestsellers
list on paid UK Kindle for over a month recently and at Number 1 in Women's
Literary Fiction. Danger Danger, her second Irish
romantic thriller, published by Precious Oil Publications, is fast catching up
on Belfast Girls, as is her collection of 12 Irish short stories, The
Seanachie: Tales of Old Seamus. Her new book Angel in Flight, featuring Angel
Murphy, the new Lara Croft, is now out on Kindle. Gerry’s plan is that this new
book will be the first of a series about Angel, the strong-minded Belfast Girl.