Author: Jeff Gunhus
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
When a high-society call girl is murdered in her
home, investigators find two
cameras hidden in the walls of her bedroom. One has its memory erased,
presumably by the murderer. The second is connected to the Internet through an
encrypted connection...and no-one knows who's on the other end. Georgetown
Special Agent Allison McNeil is asked by beleaguered FBI Director Clarence Mason to run an off-the-record investigation of the murder because of the murder's similarity to a case she worked a year earlier. Allison knows the most direct path to apprehending the killer is to find the videos, but the rumors that the victim's client list may have included Mason's political enemies has her worried about the director's motives. As she starts her investigation, she quickly discovers that she's not the only one pursuing the videos. In fact, the most aggressive person racing against her might be the murderer himself.
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Allison McNeil tensed when she spotted the first shadow dart through the mist and take cover behind a tree. In the early-morning light it took her a while to pick out all six members of the Hostage Rescue Team approaching the cabin, but within a minute she could clearly see the tactical team converging on their target.
The small building stood on a rise, up from the swampy, flood-prone land around it. Wood-slated walls tilted precariously inward, twisting the windows into deformed rectangles. Moss and dead leaves covered the roof. The place smelled and looked like decay, well on its way to inevitable reclamation by the weeds and vines choking the cabin to a miserable death.
And, if Allison was right, the place deserved what it got. Hell, if she was right, she had half a mind to take a match to the place after everything was done.
She hunkered down behind a fallen tree, her head barely clearing the top to see the building and the team closing in. A trickle of sweat started at the base of her neck and went the length of her spine. She adjusted the Kevlar vest, under her light windbreaker emblazoned with large yellow letters. FBI. It felt ridiculous to wear the windbreaker when it was in the ’80s before daybreak with the
humidity hovering at about a thousand percent, but if it meant that the
hotheads with assault rifles could more easily identify her as a friendly, then
she was happy to have it. Louisiana
Garret Morrison shifted his weight next to her, stretching out a leg and rubbing his knee. She gave him a sideways look.
“You all right?” she whispered.
He scowled at her. They both knew she didn’t give a damn about him. The comment was intended as a dig at the fifty-three-year-old Garret who prided himself on being in better shape than the agents beneath him. Even though he ran the Behavioral Analysis Unit, home of the FBI’s fabled profilers who spent more time in the heads of the criminals they chased than in the field, he required an aggressive physical program for his people. Everything about Morrison is a throwback to the old male-dominated Bureau. A slicked-back head of hair with just the right amount of grey to lend him gravitas without making him look old, a square jaw out of a mountaineering magazine, cold steel-blue eyes that seemed to look through people instead of at them. Unless they were trained on an attractive female, in which case his eyes gave their full attention to the area below the chin and above the waistline.
“Worry about yourself,” Garret grumbled. He turned to Doug Browning, a junior agent who followed Garret around like a little puppy. “Jesus, Doug. Not so close.”
Allison turned back to the cabin and raised her binoculars, not bothering to hide the smile on her lips. Garret was a legend in the Bureau for his work hunting
worst criminals, but Allison’s own legend had grown since her work on the Arnie
Milhouse case a year earlier. While that case had given her credibility, she
knew she was just as likely to be referred to as the woman who’d broken Garret
Morrison’s nose when he’d made one too many unwanted advances while she was a
trainee. And, while she wanted to be known for her work, she didn’t mind that
piece of fame following her around. America
“Alpha team in position,” said a voice through the small speaker in her ear. She noticed Garret put a finger to the side of his head and nod. He looked over at her.
“You better be right about this,” he whispered.
Allison shook her head. For all his brilliance—and, regardless of how she felt personally about him, she recognized that he was brilliant—Garret’s transparency could border on the inane. What he was really saying was that if the lunatic Allison’s research had tracked to this location wasn’t holed up in this backwoods cabin, if the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team had been activated and deployed for no reason, then the blame would drop on her like a bag of bricks. If Sam Kraw was in there, Allison knew it would be Garret standing in front of the cameras taking credit for the HRT mission and the capture of
most wanted fugitive. America
She pushed the thought away. As long as they caught the bastard and ended his multi-year killing spree in the Southeast, she didn’t give a damn who got the credit.
Allison moved her binoculars. The tactical team was in place around the cabin, peering through scopes with infrared capabilities. If there was someone hiding in the shadows of a window or doorway, they wouldn’t be hiding for long.
On some signal unseen by Allison, the men began a steady, crouched advance to the building. She realized she was holding her breath so she blew out her air slowly between pinched lips.
“Relax, McNeil,” Garret muttered. “You’re making me nervous.”
The two members of the tactical squad approaching from the front reached the deck that wrapped around the front of the building. As they strode across it, the old wood floorboards groaned. The men froze. The seconds stretched out. Allison became suddenly aware of the hum of insects in the air around her. The dampness of her own skin. The sound of a bird calling in the distance. All of her senses were wired tight. An entire year of her life was wrapped up in the next few seconds. And if she’d got it wrong, Garret would have the ammo he’d been looking for to get her out of his unit once and for all. But she wasn’t worried about herself. What really bothered her was the chance that she had it right, that this was Kraw’s hideout, but that somehow they’d spooked him and he’d already slipped away. If that had happened, he’d be hundreds of miles away by tomorrow, scouting for his next victim as he traveled.
Movement in the cabin. Just a flutter. Like a bird trapped in a cage. Only her intuition told her it was more than a bird. It had been an arm. A human arm. Sam Kraw.
Based on the lack of movement from the tactical team, she realized no one else had seen it.
“I’ve got movement,” she whispered into her mic. “Window to the right of the front door. An arm.”
“I didn’t see anything,” Garret whispered.
Allison ignored him. The men around the cabin responded immediately, reorienting to the front door. Guns pointed at the window.
One of the men produced a miniram, a high impact, brute force breaching tool. Coordinating with his partner, he crouched next to the door while the other man readied a flash-bang grenade.
There was a pause, as if someone had pressed a button on a TV remote. Everyone was in place. The air seemed to still as if the world knew something was about to happen. Allison had her binoculars trained on the window where she’d seen the movement. If Kraw was inside, then the nightmare was almost over. She’d know in a few seconds whether that was the case or not.
But in that second, she saw the movement again.
Only this time, she knew something was wrong.
It was a man’s arm, she saw it clearly this time. But it was too stiff. The color was off. And, attached at the shoulder, she saw a coil of wire.
A mannequin arm on a spring.
Meant to make them think someone was inside.
It was a trap.
Grabbing you by the throat from the moment you open and begin reading this book, Killer Pursuit is a real page turner.
Clarence Mason, FBI director allows Special agent Allison McNeil to secretly investigate a new serial killer case even though she has been put on administrative leave. She chose to shoot a fellow agent in order to get to and take down 'her man' rather than let this serial killer escape. This was, Mason decided, good and bad. Mike Carrel, an ambitious reporter is, against her initial gut instinct, allowed to assist in Allison in her hunt.
Jeff Gunhus has won me over for this particular book. There are unexpected twists and turns and I enjoyed this book. I am hoping there will be further Allison McNeil books. If there are I am looking forward to reading the next McNeil hunt-for-the-serial-killer book.
As a result of the way Gunhus was able to make me feel as his characters felt, to handle the very realistic situations found in Killer Pursuit, I give it an enthusiastic 3.75. I encourage all would be sleuths or thriller buffs to pick up a copy. ~JoEllen
About the Author
Jeff Gunhus is the
TODAY bestselling author of
thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The
Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was
written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited
about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have
reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of
the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list. USA
After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in
with his wife Nicole by trying to
constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found
in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Maryland
working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com. Annapolis
His latest book is the thriller, Killer Pursuit.
For More Information
Jeff Gunhus is giving away a grand prize of $25 Amazon Gift Card plus one autographed copy of his book and 4 runner ups will receive an autographed copy his book as well!
Terms & Conditions:
- By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
- Five winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive either the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card plus one autographed copy of his book or one of 4 autographed copies of his book
- This giveaway ends October 28.
- Winner will be contacted via email on October 29.
- Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!