New Release Giveaway
Secret Relations – A Finn O’Brien Thriller By Rebecca Forster
3 Lucky Winners!
Winner #1 to receive: Entire Finn O’Brien Thriller Series, 3 print books, Plus print copies of Hostile Witness and Hannah’s Diary from the Witness Series
Winner #2 to receive: Entire Finn O’Brien Thriller Series, print
Winner #3 to receive: Entire Finn O’Brien Thriller Series, digital
**Giveaway Eligible in US Only**
Book blurb: They’re illegal. They’re undocumented. They’re disappearing. When Finn O’Brien learns that day laborers are disappearing form the corners, he petitions for a task force to look into the matter. But politics and prejudice put the problem on the back burner as Los Angeles girds for Cinco de Mayo demonstrations and fights an uptick in gang activity. Having no choice, Finn takes matters into his own hands and delves into a shadowy world where life is cheap – even his own.
Captain Fowler: The mayor has asked that all personnel make themselves available for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations at Grand Avenue Park and Olivera Street. That means seventy-two hours, round the clock, not just the day of.
Detective Pauly:Uniforms only, right?
Officer Shay: Screw you, Pauly.
Captain Fowler: Detective Pauly, if you do not understand the word ‘all’, I will refer you to Officer Shay for a remedial vocabulary lesson since it appears she has a fine command of the English language.
Captain Fowler:Seriously, ladies and gentlemen, we have to be in top form. We have Intel that at least three major migrant rights groups are planning protests and those are only the ones with permits. Gangs are overly active of late, and the new federal ‘surge initiative’ to arrest parents who pay smugglers to bring their children over the border is putting a strain on everyone.
Detective Durant: ‘Bout time.
(mutters of agreement and disagreement)
Captain Fowler: You are a servant of the people, Durant. If I hear that you aren’t serving and protecting every single person in L.A. on May five, you will be put on leave without pay. Is that understood? (pause)By all?
Cori Anderson: In court on a personal matter, Captain. Then on call tonight.
Captain Fowler: You’ll advise him Anderson.
Cori Anderson: No problemo, Captain.
Detective Smithson:Didn’t know you spoke Spanish, Anderson.
(Snickers. Cori flipping him off. Laughter. Captain Fowler stacking papers ignoring them all.)
Captain Fowler: Be safe. Specifics on Cinco de Mayo coming as I receive them. Any problems or concerns, my door is open.
Finn and Beverly O’Brien arrived punctually in Department 5, the courtroom of Judge Charlene Dubois, at eleven a.m.
For ten minutes they sat across the aisle from one another. Waiting. Silent. Finn found it curious that they had walked down an aisle on their wedding day, happy, looking forward to the future, and today they would once again walk down an aisle. This time only one of them would be happy and there would be no future together. Finn was not exactly sad about the event – he had long since resigned himself to the fact that his marriage was over – but he was disappointed, melancholy, low as only an Irishman can be. That, he supposed, was a step in the right direction being as he had passed on to the other side of pain and guilt.
At eleven fifteen, the judge’s clerk having called the court to order, and the judge herself having taken the bench, the marriage of Finn and Beverly O’Brien was put asunder.
By noon, Finn was in Mick’s Irish Pub, enduring Geoffrey’s teasing about his suit and tie and fancy shoes. Finn ordered Guinness and explained that he was in mourning. This was not exactly a lie for that was what it felt like when Finn left the courthouse, holding the door for Beverly, standing atop the stairs to watch her put on the big sunglasses that made her look like a movie star. He watched her run across Grand Avenue, away from him to something wonderful and new. She disappeared into the parking garage without a backward glance. He succeeded in silencing Geoffrey, whose long face grew longer with sympathy. The Guinness was on the house, Geoffrey said, for which Finn thanked him.
At one thirty Finn tired of throwing darts. He was scoring no bull’s eye and the hollow sound of the metal hitting cork gave him no satisfaction. Knowing one brew was all he could afford to drink given that he was on call that night, Finn left Mick’s Irish Pub and went home.
At two o’clock he went for a run. He had no idea how far he ran but, when he finished every muscle in his body ached, and he was sure that he had sweated off every last ounce of the one draft he had drunk.
It was five o’clock when he walked past Kimiko’s house. He thought to stop and ask his landlady if she would grant him a bath in her sento, but he decided against it. Instead, Finn kept walking across the yard and through the garden to the building at the back of the property that he called home. Thesentowas a place to relax and reflect and Finn wanted none of that. He wanted to simply get through the day and then forget it altogether.
Taking the stairs lightly, not wanting to disturb the downstairs neighbor who he had never seen but knew to be in residence, Finn let himself into his apartment, took a shower and planted himself in front of the television. On the couch beside him sat the ‘big black dog’ of depression though Finn O’Brien would never admit it. Even after his little brother, Alexander, was murdered the ‘big black dog’ was not allowed into the O’Brien house. It was banished to the porch and chained up on the rail. No matter how it howled, his mother and father would not let it in. Finn, though, had brought that ‘black dog’ into his room many a time back then. He imagined every one in his family had, but it was something that was never spoken of. Finn had thought that dog had run away years ago and now here he was again, a brute of a thing.
By eight o’clock Finn had enough of television and insipid shows about housewives who were no housewives at all. They were old, shrewish women who had not a happy man between them, having run off all the husbands and lovers with their bickering and greed. At least Bev had been honest when she left him. She had been unable to live in exile, ostracized by everyone they knew because of what her husband had done. It was an honest difference of opinion and one Finn would have changed if he could. Had he not drawn his gun to defend a homeless man from a rogue cop, a fellow police officer would still be alive, Finn would be dead and Beverly would now be a lovely widow.
At ten o’clock Finn went to bed. When he lay down, he closed his eyes and found that the ‘big, black dog’ had settled on the mattress beside him. It took all his concentration to put the ugly thing out on the porch of his mind and chain him up. By the time he did, Finn was asleep so he did not see the text messages on his phone, urgent and pleading. Even if he had, he probably wouldn’t have done anything about it. He and the black dog were in no mood. He would sleep it off – all of it – and tomorrow all would be well.
But he did not sleep until the morrow.
At three o’clock in the morning there was a call that he could not ignore because he was the detective on call. Finn dressed, strapped on his weapon, and put his badge on his belt. He was headed out the front door only to realize that he had forgotten his phone. He backtracked and in a moment had it in hand. He pressed the button to check for updates but there were none, not even the step down order he had hoped for. But he did see a text message sent so many hours ago. He read it as he went down the stairs.
I have to talk to you. I’m at work until eleven. Don’t tell mom.
Finn turned off the phone and opened the door of his unmarked car. He peeled away from the curb estimating his time of arrival at the crime scene to be four minutes.
Amber Anderson, his partner Cori’s daughter, would have to wait.
About the Author:
Rebecca Forster will try anything once but when she was dared to write a book she found her passion. Now a USA Today and Amazon best selling author with over thirty five books to her name, Rebecca is known for her keen ear for dialogue, an eye for detail, twisted plots and unexpected endings. Her legal thrillers and police procedurals are inspired by real life crime but are enriched by her exceptional talent for characterization. “There is a poignancy to crime stories,” Rebecca says when asked why she writes thrillers. “Those who investigate or prosecute crimes are personally challenged to be heroic and the victims are forever changed. There is no greater drama.”
Rebecca is married to a superior court judge and is the mother of two grown sons. She lives in Southern California but loves to connect with readers around the world.