Showing posts with label crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crime. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

"Las Vegas Crime" by Leslie Wolfe


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Las Vegas Crime
(Baxter and Holt Book 3)
by Leslie Wolfe

Las Vegas Crime (Baxter and Holt Book 3) by Leslie Wolfe

Las Vegas Crime is the third book in the Baxter and Holt series by Leslie Wolfe. Also available: Las Vegas Girl and Casino Girl (read my blog post).

Las Vegas Girl by Leslie WolfeCasino Girl by Leslie Wolfe


Las Vegas Crime is currently on tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Detectives Laura Baxter and Jack Holt are members of the elite: Las Vegas Metro PD, one of the toughest and most respected law enforcement agencies in the United States. In the middle of a city with two million residents and 43 million annual visitors, they’re searching for a missing girl and the ruthless killers who snatched her.
The girl: gone.
When a teenage girl is daringly kidnapped from her school, minutes after being dropped off, a frenzied search begins, involving the entire police force of a city that never sleeps. But for Detectives Baxter and Holt this isn’t a crime like any other; it is personal.
The crimes: terrifying.
A bold and merciless serial killer preys on young girls and leaves them out to die in the cold and dreadful expanse of the Mojave Desert, unable to move, to scream, to fight for their lives.
The choice: impossible.
Now Detective Holt is faced with an agonizing decision: he can sacrifice all that he holds dear or jeopardize the life of an innocent girl, his own flesh and blood. The man holding all the cards in this game of life and death isn’t willing to negotiate; he’s only willing to kill.
In Las Vegas, few things end well.
Two mavericks form an intriguing team. Baxter and Holt trust each other with their lives, just not with their secret plans.


Excerpt
1
Silent Screams
She struggled to control her sobs but failed miserably. With every mile the man drove into the dark desert, her fear grew, panic overtaking her sense of reason, making it impossible for her to sit still and be quiet like the man had ordered.
“No, please,” she whimpered, “I’ll disappear. I won’t say a word to anyone. I swear,” she added in a high-pitched plea, her voice trembling badly.
She stared through a blur of tears at the man’s intense eyes, reflected in the rearview mirror. He rarely looked at her, not even when he spoke to her, but when he did, his eyes were ice cold, feral.
She couldn’t tell how long they’d been on the road, or how far away from the city they’d traveled. Far enough for darkness to engulf the dazzling lights of Las Vegas, left behind at their brightest and now gone from view. Far enough to know that no matter how loud she’d scream, no one would hear her desperate cries for help. She sat silently, petrified, unable to fight anymore, knowing what Homeboy did to those who disobeyed him.
They had entered the desolate vastness of the Mojave Desert, cold and bleak at night.
Her breath shattered as raw memories swirled in her head, repeating over and over like a broken record.
“Get rid of her,” that terrible man had said, “this bitch ain’t good for nothin’.” The one they called Snowman had curled his lip in disgust and ran his fingers across his throat in a clear gesture, sealing her fate.
She was to be killed.
She remembered how her knees gave and she folded onto the cold, grimy floor, half-naked and barefoot, shaking, sobbing uncontrollably, while the other man, a brute she got to know only as Homeboy, smiled and licked his lips. Then he’d grabbed her arm and dragged her out of that place, mumbling, “Sure, boss, whatever you say.”
She’d seen that look on Homeboy’s face before.
Maybe she was better off dead than having that animal’s hands on her again. Her body still ached from the hours she’d endured at his pleasure. The thought of peace soon to be found, even if in death, calmed her taut nerves. Soon she’d be free, one way or another.
No one dared defy Snowman’s orders.
Her mind wandered, numb and absent for a while, as Homeboy drove fast into the night, mile after mile, without saying a word.
A slight chime came from the GPS and he braked, although there was no intersecting road crossing the highway, no available turn to take, just desert dunes, covered in shrubs and cacti, and trolled by scorpions, snakes, and coyotes.
He turned off-road and drove carefully into the desert, climbing over a hill then descending behind it. He didn’t immediately stop; he kept on going, putting more and more distance between them and the road, eliminating any chances that someone could see her, could hear her screams.
She felt her heart thumping against her chest, the sound of its terrified beats deafening against the deathly silence of the desert. Fresh tears started rolling down her cheeks and her pleas were left unanswered.
She gasped when he cut the engine, bringing the SUV to a stop. Trembling, she didn’t fight back when he grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the vehicle.
“Please,” she mumbled, “I’ll do whatever you want. Please let me go.”
“Can’t do that,” he replied, his lips stretched in an evil smile that exposed crooked, yellow teeth. “You heard the boss man.”
He let go of her arm and reached inside his pocket. Panicked, she bolted in a desperate attempt to save herself. She ran toward the highway, now hidden behind a hill, not feeling the cactus thorns tearing at her flesh, not minding the sharp edges of the desert stones bloodying the soles of her feet.
She’d run a few yards and he hadn’t caught up with her yet; hope gave her wings, and she sprung uphill clawing at the stones with her bare hands, desperate to put more distance between the two of them.
She was almost at the top of the hill when his steeled grip bore into her arm, stopping her in place so abruptly that her bleeding feet sent pebbles and sand in the air. Angered, he dragged her back to the SUV and slammed her against the cold metal.
“Nice try, bitch. There’s nowhere to go.”
She was starting to understand that, to accept it, although every fiber in her body screamed its fear, urged her to fight, to run, to survive. She drew breath hastily and let out a blood-curdling shriek.
Homeboy laughed. “Sure, go ahead, scream. You’re giving me a hard-on.”
Her scream died, stifled by a sob.
He dug into his pocket and pulled out a small bottle fitted with an eyedropper. With a lewd, sickening smile, he took his time unscrewing the cap and carefully extracted two drops of the clear liquid. Then he grabbed her jaw and forced her lips open.
“No, no,” she whimpered, fighting desperately to free herself.
Homeboy just smirked, ignoring her feeble kicks, and squeezed the eyedropper, releasing the liquid into her mouth. Then he held her lips sealed under his heavy hand, forcing her to swallow.
She couldn’t detect any strange taste; he’d barely used a drop or two. It couldn’t be too bad, she thought, gasping desperately for air as soon as he released his grip.
She felt her tongue becoming numb, then her lips. Panic opened her eyes widely and made her lungs scream for more air. She gasped, feeling an evil numbness taking over her body, reaching her extremities, weakening her knees. A strange sense of dizziness overtook her, making her reach for support, finding none until her body hit the ground. No matter how much she willed herself to move, she lay still on the cold desert dirt, feeling every stab of pain where sharp-edged rocks cut into her flesh.
Homeboy crouched near her body with a satisfied grin. He pushed aside a few locks of her hair, clearing her face, touching her frozen lips.
“You won’t die,” he said, while his hand fumbled with his belt buckle. “Not now, anyway. Not until I’m bored with you.”
She forced her lungs to draw air and screamed, then drew another raspy breath and screamed again.
She listened but couldn’t hear her own screams. The desert was completely silent, except for the brute’s rhythmic grunts.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I enjoyed the story, character development, and dialogue. There were plenty of plot twists that I didn’t see coming and that added to the book's mystique. When I stopped reading to work, I found myself wondering what happened in the book, and replaying parts of the novel in my head to see if I could figure more out. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book this much. A first-class thriller with perfect pacing. Not much is as it appears here, which is just the way fans of mystery, thriller and suspense will want it.” ~ Piaras
“An excellent thriller that keeps you turning pages, a book I will go back in a week and read again it was that good. […] This is a book everyone should read to learn that Cops are only human. Highly recommend this book!” ~ J. T. F.
“I have read all of Leslie's books, she is without a doubt at the forefront of authors. Each book seems to get better than the last one, which is nearly impossible to do. Las Vegas Crime captured all the excitement I've come to expect from Leslie. However, she has that unique ability to express the emotions of the individuals and make you feel what they are going through. All I can say is Las Vegas Crime is absolutely a MUST READ.” ~ Dick Fasching
“Blasted right through this ‘gritty’ thriller in no time. Yes, it was that compelling of a read. I'm not gonna say any more about it than that. I'm totally hooked on these Baxter and Holt adventures. Leslie Wolfe certainly knows how to get your attention and then some. Give it a try. You'll see. Cheers and happy reading!” ~ JIM in MT
“Fast paced, suspensful and filled with twists and turns. Only this time, Holt's family is traumatized by the kidnapping of his teen daughter. Some brutal rape scenes are hard to deal with so this is not for the squeamish. Baxter and Holt make a great and creative team and I want more books about them. Love this series.” ~ Astrida M.

About the Author
Leslie Wolfe
Leslie Wolfe is a bestselling author whose novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. She creates unforgettable, brilliant, strong women heroes who deliver fast-paced, satisfying suspense, backed up by extensive background research in technology and psychology.
Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller.
Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.


Links

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"Casino Girl" by Leslie Wolfe

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Casino Girl
(Baxter and Holt Book 2)
by Leslie Wolfe

Casino Girl (Baxter and Holt Book 2) by Leslie Wolfe

Casino Girl is the second book in the Baxter and Holt series by Leslie Wolfe. Get your copy today for only $0.99. Also available: Las Vegas Girl and Las Vegas Crime (pre-order now, releases 16 November).

Las Vegas Girl by Leslie WolfeLas Vegas Crime by Leslie Wolfe


Casino Girl is currently on tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
In Las Vegas, secrets are deadly.
Detectives Laura Baxter and Jack Holt are members of the elite: Las Vegas Metro PD, one of the toughest and most respected law enforcement agencies in the United States. In the middle of a city with two million residents and 43 million annual visitors, they’re hunting for a killer.
The girl
When a beautiful, young girl is killed in the high-roller Pleasure Pit of the exclusive Scala Casino, the news reverberates for hours among the ritzy clientele. Before taking the stage where she found her death, Crystal was last seen boarding an unmarked helicopter for a late-night flight to an unknown destination.
The money
The stakes are high at the roulette table, and the players are hot-blooded. Among them, a stone-cold killer watches, waits, and kills without leaving a single trace of evidence. Rien ne va plus but death.
The game
The name of the game is murder, and it doesn’t stop with Crystal’s demise. Anyone who threatens to expose the killer’s identity will soon find they’re being targeted.
In Las Vegas, secrets can kill.
Two mavericks make an intriguing team. Baxter and Holt trust each other with their lives, only not with their darkest secrets.


Excerpt
1
Odds
They’re called quasi-strippers.
They don’t really bare it all, like real strippers do behind the darkened glass doors of specialty adult clubs, but they aren’t exactly fully dressed either while they perform.
Crystal preferred the term exotic dancer. Five nights a week she took the small stage at the center of the high-limit blackjack tables, in the glamorous Scala Casino. Five nights a week she danced and smiled and undulated her perfect body to the rhythm of sultry songs, carefully chosen to lure the gamblers’ attention away from the cards and the ever-diminishing stacks of their chips. In the background, nothing is more Vegas than the Scala Casino floor, filled with a million noises, dazzling lights, and excess adrenaline. Nothing is more alive.
That’s where she belonged, among the glitter and the gold, the glitzy and the rich.
She wore strappy lingerie with black and gold lace accents on beige silk, designed to trick the mind’s eye into believing she was naked. Black, knee-high stiletto boots completed her attire, her black, garter-belt straps attached to them, sexy and kinky and fun. The appreciative looks she basked in that night told her she’d chosen her ensemble well. It was going to be a profitable evening.
The familiar music seemed a bit too loud, making her wince, a little dizzy. She grabbed the pole tighter, aware she was dancing out of rhythm, but knowing the customers were too far gone to notice. It was almost four in the morning, and by that time, most of them were pleasantly inebriated, high on their own excitement and maybe more, living the Vegas dream.
The only danger was that asshole, Farley, a fat, lewd pig who liked to scream at the girls, giving them a hard time for everything they did, right or wrong regardless. Two minutes of being late or changing clothes mid-shift and she’d get pulled inside the pit manager’s office for another scolding session.
But she held her head up during those moments, aware they were going to pass and even more aware they were meant to intimidate her into offering sexual favors in return for a privileged work atmosphere.
Oh, hell, no.
Not ever. Not even if the prick turned blue in the face from too much screaming, or his waiting-to-happen stroke knocked him dead right before her eyes.
But even Stan Farley was looking away that moment, focused on a newly arrived high roller who’d taken a seat at one of the blackjack tables with a view of the stage. She didn’t know that one, but judging by the way Farley fawned over him, he must’ve been someone important.
Someone rich.
Someone who didn’t care that the odds at his blackjack table were stacked higher against him, just because the table came with a view of full inviting cleavage and tight little buns.
Hers.
She felt beads of sweat bursting at the roots of her hair and forced some stale air into her lungs. Maybe the air conditioning was off, or something. The cigar smoke made it almost unbreathable, but it was an acceptable tradeoff for being allowed to work the high roller pit, not some fifty-cents-minimum roulette floor, where the tips were always Washingtons, never a Franklin and rarely a Lincoln, and not a whole lot of them to count at the end of a shift anyway.
No, she’d been lucky, and her luck had started to play in her favor about a month after she’d been hired. For that she probably had Devine to thank.
Her sweaty palms made it difficult for her to get a good grip on the shiny, chrome pole, but she managed a back hook spin and landed facing Devine. Her best friend danced some 30 feet away, on a small, elevated stage set among four, high-limit, roulette tables.
She waited until she could make eye contact with Devine and waved discreetly at her best friend. Just seeing her smile back made her feel less lonely, less vulnerable. Maybe she was going to be okay. Maybe things would work out after all.
Without realizing, she put her palm on her belly in a soft, caressing gesture, aimed to comfort the tiny sparkle of life growing inside her. She wasn’t showing a baby bump yet, but soon that would change, and with it, her entire life as she knew it.
She skipped out of rhythm again, but soon snapped out of her trance, motivated by Farley’s mean glare. She focused on her customers for a while and, within a few minutes of smiling provocatively and wiggling her rear, a crisp fifty-dollar bill landed under the thin strap of her thong, delivered by long, hairy fingers that reached lower and lingered longer than was necessary.
Sometimes she was happy the payout was 6:5 instead of 3:2 on a blackjack at the tables facing her; those jerks deserved to pay.
But she smiled at the man who’d delivered the tip and mocked a reverence without letting go of the pole. Then she let herself fall into a back bend and frowned when she saw Farley was approaching.
“What the hell is wrong with you, huh?” he snapped, after grabbing her arm and pulling her close. The music was loud, and no one could hear his words; not that anyone would care if they did. “Could you be bothered to do your job tonight? A deaf penguin has more rhythm than you.”
“I’m working it, Stan, what the hell? I haven’t taken a break in two hours.”
“The hell you are, bitch. You see those bozos? If they’re looking at their cards instead of your ass, you ain’t earning your keep.”
He let go of her arm and disappeared before she could say anything. He was a two-faced creep; with her and the other girls he showed his real charm. For all the patrons and the rest of the Scala staff, he was a perfect gentleman, always dressed in an impeccable suit and starched, white shirts, pleasantly smiling and accommodating.
She knew better than to let him get under her skin.
But her head was spinning, and she held on tight to the pole, not as part of her routine, but for much-needed balance. The music changed, and she welcomed the new beat, one of her favorites. She knew the playlist by heart; the casino had a limited supply of premixed tracks, but the customers didn’t seem to care.
Cheers erupted at the table in front of her, and one of the players lifted his arms in the air, beaming. The croupier pushed an impressive pile of chips in front of the man, and she quickly flashed her megawatt smile and made lingering eye contact. He didn’t disappoint; he picked one of the chips and sent it flying her way. She caught it gracefully, then placed it on the floor, next to the pole. Her barely-there panties weren’t made to hold casino chips.
When she looked up, she startled.
It was him. It was Paul, and he was furious, by the angle of his eyebrows, by the deep ridges flanking his mouth.
He stood right there, next to her stage, glaring at her with a loaded gaze filled with such hatred that her breath caught. He beckoned her to come closer without making a single gesture. She approached him hesitantly and crouched to bring their eyes on the same level, aware not even Farley would dare say a word. She shot a quick glance toward Devine’s stage, but she was gone, nowhere in sight.
His eyes drilled into hers, close enough she could see his dilated pupils. Without a word, he shoved a purple and white chip deep inside her bra, then grabbed the thin strap, pulling her closer to him. He said something, keeping his voice low and menacing. She couldn’t make out his words but didn’t dare to ask. She wanted to explain herself, wanted him to understand her motives, but she couldn’t find her words.
She didn’t want his money, and she didn’t deserve his anger.
When he finally let go of her strap and pushed her away, she almost fell. Her knees were shaking, and she felt the urge to sit for a moment, to catch her breath. She grabbed the pole tightly and did a clumsy back slide against the shiny surface, landing hard on her butt, then folded her legs to the side. She let her head hang low, and her long, wavy hair covered her face, hiding the fear in her eyes until it subsided a little.
Then she wrapped her hands around the pole again, planning to stand and do a pirouette, but her arms and legs felt numb, listless. She tried to breathe, but air refused to enter her lungs. Frantic, she looked around, searching for someone, anyone, who could help. Only one man was looking at her, but her desperate and silent plea was misunderstood.
The man licked his lips, arranged his crotch with a quick gesture, then looked away at another dancer.
She gasped for air a couple of times, then the bright lights of the casino seemed to dim, inviting darkness to engulf her view of the lively floor. Silence came, heavy, palpable. Against it, not even her own heart beats could be heard.
Defeated, she let go. Her body landed on the stage floor with a loud thump that no one heard. Unnoticed, a white and purple casino chip fell out of her top and rolled onto the floor, stopping under a table.
For a long moment, Farley thought the immobile pose was part of Crystal’s routine, some new dance move that she was trying. Customers really enjoyed seeing girls crawling on the stage; it made the viewers feel powerful, superior, in control. By the time Farley realized he’d been wrong, she was already gone. His chubby fingers felt for a pulse and found nothing.
Now he’d have to call the cops and close the pit. His worst nightmare.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“This was well thought out and really a good mystery. The story unfolds little by little, making you want more. It has murder, powerful people who believe they can do anything they want, greed, revenge and self preservation. The characters are all interesting with their own set of secrets each, that Baxter and Holt have to pick through layer after layer to find the killer. There are several twists that keep you guessing. There are no misspelled words or grammar mistakes, or filler pages, which makes this a pleasure to read. I sincerely hope we see more of Baxter and Holt in the future. Another well thought out and well written story by Leslie Wolfe.” ~ PWA
“This story will take your breathe away! Leslie Wolfe has become one of my Must Read authors. […] I would highly recommend this book if you like thrillers.” ~ Cheryl Pompilii
“This book has it all: murder, mystery and intrigue! Not only is there a great plot, there are several good subplots masterfully woven in. There is no shortage of suspects - everyone from another dancer to billionaires. This thriller moves along at a decent pace from the beginning and will keep your attention until the end.” ~ Gabi Rosetti
“Satisfying murder mystery with continuous twists and turns. My kind of book. A really good sequel to Las Vegas Girl. Best to read it first for more info on the relationship between Baxter and Holt. Good editing, which is greatly appreciated. No fillers, long paragraphs. I read it in one day. Looking forward to the next sequel. Love this duo!” ~ Astrida M.
“Bestselling author Leslie Wolfe weaves another great mystery, thriller and suspense, with intriguing twists and turns that will easily captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a gripping and mesmerizing detective story in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It’s a fast-paced novel that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last.” ~ Piaras

About the Author
Leslie Wolfe
Leslie Wolfe is a bestselling author whose novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. She creates unforgettable, brilliant, strong women heroes who deliver fast-paced, satisfying suspense, backed up by extensive background research in technology and psychology.
Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller.
Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win $1000 cash in the gift card of your choice.


Links