by Todd M. Thiede
Date Published: February 2018
Jesse Fairlane is missing. Max Larkin and Special Agent Michaels are unsure if this is related to a recent case involving human trafficking or something else. On top of trying to locate his partner, Max has to make a decision as to whether he leaves Rockton to work with the FBI or stays to become captain at the local police department. As Larkin, Michaels, and the other detectives work furiously to find Jesse before it’s too late, Max finds himself despairing they’ll find her alive. He struggles to maintain his relationship with Veronica and trying to be a friend to Jesse’s girlfriend, Melissa, all while following a maze of clues to Jesse.
The convention had been long and tiring, and Fiona stifled a yawn. Then she caught the eye of the man in the elevator, the man whom she’d met just hours before, and giggled.
“Long day, eh?” he said.
She nodded, too shy to say more. It was unthinkable almost. Unthinkable that a man so attractive, so well dressed, so . . . what was the word? Cosmopolitan, that was it. A man
so cosmopolitan would be interested in her. But then hadn’t the last few days been unthinkable? She thought back to the plane trip—her first—taking her away from Montana. She’d landed in the bright lights of San Diego, yet another first. It was no wonder she was tired. Perhaps that was why she’d thrown caution to the wind and accepted the invitation of the man who was now impatiently hammering at the “door open” button, gesturing for her to go first. Well, that and the fact that he wasn’t a damn cowboy and had manners, she thought.
She stared around, taking in the artwork on the walls, the deep pile of the carpet under her feet, and the shining wood of the doors in the corridor, as the man held his key card against the lock, buzzing them into his suite. The interior astounded her. He’d laughed when she had stoutly declared that she wouldn’t go to his hotel room, and now she could see why. This was an entire apartment with no bed in sight to remind her of the things she refused to do on a first date. There were enormous plate-glass windows lording over stylish furniture. A big bowl of fruit sat on the counter of a well-equipped kitchen.
“Wow!” she said, unable to stop herself.
“Quite something, isn’t it?” he said. “Glad I’m expensing this rather than footing the bill.”
He was a sales rep, he’d told her. Must be pretty good at his job to merit a hotel like this.
“So, Fiona Turner,” he said, eyes flicking down to the name badge that was still pinned to her chest. “Let me get you a drink. I’d say we deserve one, wouldn’t you?”
She nodded and walked to the windows to look out over the glowing city below as he strode to the kitchen area. She heard the pop of a cork as she tried to locate landmarks below her. She felt the cool touch of glass against her hand, and turned to take it from him.
He stood next to her and they sipped while watching the city move toward slumber for the night. At times, she could feel his stare on her in the glass. Whenever she tried to catch him, he would take another sip to hide his eyes.
She wasn’t sure when she knew that something was wrong. At first it was nothing, a little blurring around the edges of her vision, a slight dizziness when she went to sit down. Perhaps the wine was hitting her harder than she’d imagined. She shouldn’t have skipped lunch to attend that talk. On the other hand, she thought, perhaps she was just dehydrated. She took the last sip of crisp pinot grigio in the stemmed glass. It was the last thing she remembered.
Perhaps you wouldn’t characterize the Finance Manager of your local automobile dealership as an Amazon best-selling author–until you get to know Todd Thiede. He has worked for the past decade at Elmhurst Toyota, but Thiede is in the driver’s seat as the writer of a murder mystery series featuring his hero Detective, Max Larkin. “Time Killer,” which Kirkus Reviews deemed “a fast-paced thriller” that will “keep crime and thriller fans wrapped up in its twisting plot, fast pace and memorable detective,”, “Lies To Die For” (which reached No. 1 on Amazon in the “Serial Killer” category), Miss Me? (3rd in the series) and Slashtag (4th in the series) are available via Amazon Kindle.
Go to www.toddthiede.com for more info on Todd and his books.
According to Kirkus reviews (the toughest book reviewer in the business):
A fast-paced thriller centered on a brutal, time-obsessed serial killer.
The expression “killing time” rarely means murder, but here, the victims of a serial killer must pay for time they’ve wasted, often with both their money and their lives. In a brutal scene from the opening chapter, an entire family is murdered after a stranger invades the family’s home and accuses the patriarch of wasting his time. Veteran cop Max Larkin is on the case. Unfortunately, he’s also been assigned a new partner; though she’s green in the field–she has “very sad eyes” and prays upon arriving at the first crime scene–she gives the hardened old detective a new perspective he never knew he needed. But as the serial killer claims more victims, a pattern emerges that neither Max nor his new partner can ignore. With brisk pacing, Thiede’s debut brims with action, violence and, occasionally, emotion. Though the book takes a while to find its heart, procedural fans will feel right at home. Larkin feels like a guy worth rooting for, despite filling the shoes of the beaten-down, grizzled, old loner cop trope a little too well. His interactions with his new partner, plus the twists and revelations regarding his past, give him enough of a pass to get readers invested in the story and looking forward to his next outing. Larkin’s story doesn’t break any boundaries, but it’ll keep crime and thriller fans wrapped up in its twisting plot, fast pace and memorable detective. Plenty of shock value and a charismatic, if formulaic, male lead.