Showing posts with label police procedural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label police procedural. Show all posts

Monday, November 5, 2018

"Beyond the Truth" by Bruce Robert Coffin

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Beyond the Truth
(Detective Byron Mystery Book 3)
by Bruce Robert Coffin

Beyond the Truth (Detective Byron Mystery Book 3) by Bruce Robert Coffin

Beyond the Truth is the third book in the Detective Byron Mystery series by Bruce Robert Coffin. Also available: Among the Shadows (read my blog post) and Beneath the Depths.

Among the Shadows by Bruce Robert CoffinBeneath the Depths by Bruce Robert Coffin


Beyond the Truth is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual 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 this latest enthralling mystery from #1 bestselling author Bruce Robert Coffin, Detective Sergeant John Byron faces the greatest challenge of his career.
When a popular high school senior is shot by police following a late night robbery, chaos ensues. The actions of the officer are immediately called into question. Amid community protests, political grandstanding, department leaks, and reluctant witnesses, Byron and his team must work quickly to find the missing pieces.
And when an attempt is made on the officer’s life, Byron shifts into overdrive, putting everything on the line. Was the attack merely retribution or something more sinister? The search for the truth may come at a price not even Byron can afford.

Excerpt
Veteran Portland police officer Sean Haggerty trudged across the deserted parking lot beneath the bright sodium arc lights of the 7-Eleven. His breath condensed into small white clouds before drifting away on the frigid night air. The thin layer of ice and snow covering the pavement crunched under his highly polished jump-boots as he approached the idling black and white. Only two more hours until the end of his overtime. After four months in his new assignment as School Resource Officer for Portland High School, it felt good to be back in a patrol car, even if it was only one shift. Balancing a large styrofoam coffee cup atop his clipboard, he was reaching for the cruiser keys on his belt when static crackled from his radio mic.
“Any unit in the area of Washington Avenue near the Bubble Up Laundromat please respond,” the dispatcher said.
The Bubble Up was in Haggerty’s assigned area, less than a half mile up the street, but Dispatch still listed him as busy taking a shoplifting report. Someone had snatched a twelve pack of beer.
Haggerty unlocked the door to the cruiser then keyed the mic.
“402, I'm clear the 10-92 at 27 Washington. I can cover that.”
“Ten four, 402,” the dispatcher said. “Standby. 401.”
“401, go.”
“And 421.”
“Go ahead.”
Haggerty knew whatever this was, it was a priority. Dispatch did not send two line units and a supervisor for just any call.
“402, 401, and 421, all three units respond to the Bubble Up Laundry at 214 Washington Avenue for an armed 10-90 that just occurred.”
As Haggerty scrambled into the cruiser, the styrofoam cup tumbled to the pavement, spilling its contents. The coffee froze almost instantly.
“Dammit,” Haggerty said.
He tossed his clipboard onto the passenger seat, then climbed in. Allowing for the possibility of a quick exit, he ignored the seatbelt requirement and threw the shift lever into Drive. He powered down his portable radio and reached for the microphone clipped to the dashboard. “402, en route.”
“421 and 401 responding from the west end,” the sergeant said, acknowledging the call for both backup units.
Haggerty pulled out of the lot onto Washington Avenue, and headed outbound toward Tukey’s Bridge. He drove without lights or siren, in hopes of catching the suspects by surprise.
“402,” Haggerty said, his eyes scanning the dark sidewalks and alleys. “Any description or direction of travel?”
“Ten four, 402. We have the victim on the phone. Suspects are described as two masked males. Suspect number one was wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans, carrying a dark colored backpack. Suspect two was dressed in dark pants and a red hoodie, with some kind of emblem on it. Unknown direction of travel.”
“Is the victim injured?” Haggerty asked, trying to decide whether to go directly to the scene, securing the laundromat, or take a quick spin around the area first to try and locate the suspects.
“Negative, 402,” the dispatcher said. “Just shaken up.”
“What was the weapon used?”
“Standby, 402.”
Haggerty caught a flash of red up ahead in the beam of the cruiser’s headlights as two figures darted from his right across Washington Avenue down Madison Street. He accelerated, flicked on the emergency lights and siren, and keyed the dash mic again.
“402, I have a visual on the two suspects near Washington and Madison. They just rabbited into Kennedy Park.”
“Ten four. 401 and 421, copy?” the dispatcher said.
“Copy.”
Braking hard, Haggerty spun the steering wheel left, making the turn onto Madison. He knew if he didn’t stay right on them that he would lose them among the project’s many apartments and row houses. The hooded figures sprinting down the hill were already several hundred feet ahead. He punched the gas and the cruiser shot after them. He was beginning to close the gap when they cut left in front of an oncoming car onto Greenleaf Street.
“Greenleaf toward East Oxford,” he shouted into the mic, trying to be heard above the wail of his cruiser’s siren as he raced through the built-up residential neighborhood.
The Ford skidded wide as he turned onto Greenleaf. Haggerty fought the urge to over-steer, waiting until the cruiser’s front tires found purchase on a bare patch of pavement and it straightened out.
The two figures were clearer now, about fifty feet ahead. He was nearly on top of them when they turned again, west, running between rows of apartment buildings.
“They just cut over toward Monroe Court,” Haggerty said.
“Ten four,” the dispatcher said. “421 and 401, copy?”
“Copy,” 421 acknowledged.
Haggerty accelerated past the alley the suspects had taken, hoping to cut them off by circling the block and coming out ahead of them on East Oxford Street. He turned right onto Oxford just in time to see them run across the road and duck between yet another set of row houses.
He rode the brake, and the pulse of the anti-lock mechanism pushed back against his foot. The black and white felt as if it were speeding up. Ice. Shit. The rear end started to swing to the right toward a line of parked cars. He eased off the brake and the Ford straightened out but was now headed directly toward a snowbank in front of the alley—an ice bank, really. Still traveling about five miles per hour, the black and white smashed into it with a crunch. Haggerty jumped from the car and gave chase, the door still open, the siren still blaring. He would have to answer for a mangled squad car later, but there was no time to think of that now. The snow piled against the apartment building walls seemed to dance in the flickering blue light of his cruiser’s strobes, making the alley look like a disco.
Haggerty could just make out the two hooded figures in the bobbing beam of his mini MagLite as he ran.
“Police! Stop!” he yelled. They didn’t.
He was gaining on them when his boot struck something buried beneath the snow, and he sprawled headfirst to the ground. Scrambling to regain his feet, he stood and quickly scanned the area for his flashlight, but it was gone. He turned and hurried down the dark alley, keying his shoulder mic as he went.
“402, 10-50,” he said, referring to his cruiser accident. “I’m now in foot pursuit of the 10-90 suspects. Toward Cumberland from East Oxford.”
“Ten-four, 402,” the female dispatcher acknowledged. “1 and 21, copy.”
Haggerty heard the distorted transmissions as both units responded simultaneously, causing the radio to squeal in protest. He rounded the rear corner of a three-story unit just in time to see the suspect wearing the red hoodie stuck near the top of a six-foot chain-link fence. The other figure had already made it over and stopped to assist.
“Freeze,” Haggerty yelled as he drew his weapon.
Neither suspect heeded his warning. Haggerty was at full stride, gun at the low ready position, about fifteen feet from the fence, when the first suspect finally pulled the second one loose. Up and over they went leaving Haggerty on the wrong side of the barrier.
Damn! Haggerty holstered his Glock, then backed far enough away from the fence to give himself a running start. He hit the fence, left foot out in front, reaching for the top with his gloved hands, and then vaulted up and over it with ease. The suspect in the dark-colored hoodie turned and looked back, giving Haggerty a glimpse of what seemed to be a ski mask made to look like a skull. Thirty feet now. He was closing the distance again.
If they don’t split up I’ll have a chance, he thought. He heard a dog barking frantically nearby, and the distant wail of approaching sirens. The combination of the cold air into his lungs and the adrenaline surge were beginning to take their toll, sapping his strength. His arms and legs were slowing, despite his efforts.
“What’s your twenty, 402?” the dispatcher asked. His location.
“Fuck if I know,” he said out loud and breathless. He keyed the mic on his shoulder. “Back yards. Headed west. Toward Anderson.”
“Ten-four.” The dispatcher said. “Units copy?”
“1 copies.”
“21, I copy,” the sergeant said. “The call came in as an armed 10-90. What was the weapon?”
“Standby, 21.”
Haggerty lost them again as they rounded another building. He slowed to a jog and drew his sidearm again. The alley was pitch back and he didn’t want to risk running into an ambush.
“Units be advised, the original caller was a customer who walked in on the robbery. I have the victim on the phone now. He says the male in the dark-colored hoodie displayed a silver colored 10-32 handgun.”
“21, give us a signal,” the sergeant said.
“10-4,” the dispatcher said. The familiar high-pitched tone sounded twice over the radio before the dispatcher spoke again. “All units, a signal one thousand is now in effect. Hold all air traffic or switch to channel 2. 401, 402, and 421 have priority.”
Haggerty stepped forward carefully, not wanting to trip again. His lungs were burning. He attempted to slow his breathing while waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He froze in place as he heard a banging sound, as if someone were striking a solid object with a bat. The sound was followed by shouting, but he couldn’t make out what was being said.
Peeking quickly around the corner of the building, he saw the figure in the red hoodie kicking at the stuck gate of a wooden stockade fence, while the other had scrambled onto the roof of a junk car and was attempting to climb over the barrier.
“Freeze,” Haggerty yelled, aiming his Glock at the dark hooded figure standing atop the car. Red Hoodie stopped kicking, but didn’t turn back toward Haggerty. The suspect on the car, also facing away from him, didn't move.
Haggerty approached the fence cautiously, making sure of his footing as he planted one foot in front of the other. His eyes shifted between the two figures, but he kept his gun trained on the suspect who was reportedly armed. “Let me see your hands. Both of you.”
Red hoodie raised his hands high above his head.
The dark figure on top of the car began to turn. His hands were hidden from sight.
“I said freeze.” Haggerty sidestepped to his left looking to regain some cover. “Goddammit, freeze!”
The dark figure spun toward him, bringing his right arm up in a pointing gesture.
Haggerty saw a familiar flash of light an instant before he pulled the trigger on his Glock.

Praise for the Book
“A gripping atmospheric thriller that finds the dark side of Portland, Maine. The Detective Byron mystery series is one of the finest to arrive in a long time.” ~ #1 New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston
“A superbly realistic, tense, and exciting novel.” ~ Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author
“Love this series especially since it's my favorite genre and the author manages to present a terrific read without the use of graphic sex and foul language ... Kudos. Coffin is an excellent writer and his story lines are based on current topics.” ~ D. Wooten
“Bruce Robert Coffin hits the mark with this John Byron mystery set in Portland, Maine. He knows the territory well from his years on the Portland Police Force and it shows in the development of his story and characters. Mr. Coffin is well on his way to becoming a legend among Maine writers.” ~ C. F. Clemons
“The author, Bruce Robert Coffin, is a retired police Detective Sargeant. He is able to provide an inside view of policing, their policies and procedures, the irksome political issues, and, at the same time the positive impact a good police force can make. The writing is deft and forceful, welcoming us into this world, dark at times, but for the readers, always enjoyable.” ~ prisrob


About the Author
Bruce Robert Coffin
Bruce Robert Coffin is a former detective sergeant with more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement. At the time of his retirement, from the Portland, Maine police department, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine’s largest city. Following the terror attacks of September 11, Bruce spent four years working counter-terrorism with the FBI, earning the Director’s Award, the highest honor a non-agent can receive. His first two books, Among the Shadows and Beneath the Depths, were both Maine Sunday Telegram #1 bestsellers. He lives and writes in Maine.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three print copies of Beneath the Depths by Bruce Robert Coffin (US only).

Links

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

"Dead in the Dark" by Stephen Booth

GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Dead in the Dark
(Cooper & Fry Mystery Book 17)
by Stephen Booth

Dead in the Dark (Cooper & Fry Mystery Book 17) by Stephen Booth

Dead in the Dark is the seventeenth book in the Cooper & Fry Mystery series by Stephen Booth.


Dead in the Dark is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
How do you prove a murder without a body?
Ten years ago, Reece Bower was accused of killing his wife, a crime he always denied. Extensive police searches near his home in Bakewell found no trace of Annette Bower's remains, and the case against him collapsed.
But now memories of the original investigation have been resurrected for Detective Inspector Ben Cooper – because Reece Bower himself has disappeared, and his new wife wants answers.
Cooper can't call on the Major Crime Unit and DS Diane Fry for help unless he can prove a murder took place – impossible without a body. As his search moves into the caves and abandoned mines in the isolated depths of Lathkilldale, the question is: who would want revenge for the death of Annette Bower?

Excerpt
Chapter One
No one wants to die in the dark. To lie alone in the blackness, feeling the chill of death creep slowly over you. Shut away from the light as the fear numbs your limbs and chokes the breath in your throat. The long, long sinking into the cold depths. And then to sense that slipping away. The final slipping away into nothing.
Do you feel that stab of pain as it shoots through your chest? Try to make your breathing more shallow. You have several broken ribs, a fractured arm, perhaps a punctured lung. You can hardly know, in the dark. But you can feel the internal bleeding, the seeping blood as it squeezes your internal organs, bloats your stomach and intestines. You know your injuries are fatal.
That fear of the dark is overwhelming. Because this is true darkness, an eternal night in which your eyes have become useless. Your heart thumps uselessly as you strain to see where you’re lying. You can sense space around you, a slight movement of icy air, a shifting of heavy masses, a solid weight way above your head. A sharp, stabbing pain is in your back from something hard you’re lying on. This isn’t a grave. But it is your tomb.
Does your fear of the dark make any sense? When you’re dead, you go into endless blackness. Yet you’ve always hoped you would get one last glimpse of the light, always prayed that you wouldn’t die alone.
Well, that’s not going to happen. There’s nothing for you to see here. Not a glimmer of light, not a flicker of hope. Only the darkness.
A creak and a rattling makes you freeze. Is someone here? Or some thing? But no . . . you breathe out and release the pain. The noise has quite a different meaning. It’s something huge shifting overhead. It signals the end, the approach of your death. You’re about to be crushed completely.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt. Please note the US and UK editions have different covers.]


Praise for the Book
“I love reading about these characters. I love the world in which Ben moves and I really enjoy the cases with which he is confronted. I always look forward to the next installment of this wonderful series.” ~ For Winter Nights
“An elegant reflection of what's happening in the country at large.” ~ The Book Bag
“This is an enjoyable, very readable yet understated crime novel by an accomplished author.” ~ Crime Fiction Lover
“The Peak District setting is as striking as ever ... the ever-present threat of violence will get under your skin.” ~ Real Crime
“Clever, beautifully written and superbly plotted, this is an entertaining page-turner with a compelling twist in the tail.” ~ Lancashire Evening Post*

Guest Post by the Author
Writing a Series
It seems hard to believe now - even for me! But twenty years ago, when I set out to write the first Cooper & Fry novel, Black Dog, I didn’t know I was writing a series.
At the time, I’d written some previous, unpublished novels which were standalones, and I had no particular reason to think that Black Dog would be any different, as I didn’t have a publishing contract for it.
Yet something different did happen. During the course of the writing, the central characters, my two young Derbyshire police detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, leaped off the page and became completely alive for me. I was discovering who they were as I wrote about them and was finding them more and more interesting. By the time I got to the end of that first story, I knew there was a lot more I wanted to say about those two characters than I could possibly get into just the one book. 
This was lucky because all the publishers who were interested in Black Dog assumed it was the start of a series - and they wanted to know what the second book would be about! I already had ideas for number 2, Dancing with the Virgins, and that was what sealed my first two-book contract with HarperCollins.
Since then, I’ve never known how many books there were going to be in the Cooper & Fry series. I’ve never been in the position of someone like J. K. Rowling, who had all seven Harry Potter books planned out in advance. After those first two stories, publishers have kept asking me to write ‘two more books’, or sometimes ‘three more books’. Each time I’ve said ‘yes’ and signed the contract - without actually knowing what anything of those books would be about, except that they’d feature Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, and would be set in their ‘patch’, the beautiful and atmospheric Peak District.
So what kept me saying ‘yes’ without a plan? The characters, of course. As long I’ve felt that Ben and Diane were moving forward and developing, I’ve known that I could keep writing about them. Events are always happening in their lives, and they’ve aged over the course of 17 books (though quite slowly). It’s definitely the characters who have driven the overall story arc, without the author actually knowing where the series was heading.
This can create problems for me, as you might imagine. If I refer to an incident from Ben Cooper’s past, for example, I might find that I’ve contradicted something I wrote six or ten books ago. I’m lucky that I’ve had great editors who know the series and will spot my mistakes. And, if they don’t, readers will soon point them out!
It particularly applies to small details. Diane Fry got a new car in one book, changing to an Audi from the Fiat she’d been driving up to then. In the next book, I forgot that she had a new car, and she was back driving the Fiat. That was wrong in the early editions - but not once readers had begun writing to me to let me know my error!
But generally, it’s these small details which catch me out. The characters and their lives are so real to me still that they seem to know what they’re doing better than I do. Ben and Diane have become like old friends, who have existed in my head for twenty years now. I try to give them as much freedom as I can to get on with their lives.
So, I don’t try too hard to keep track - it would feel as though I was controlling them. Ben Cooper and Diane Fry have an independent existence, and they’ll decide where their storyline goes!

About the Author
Stephen Booth
A former newspaper journalist, British author Stephen Booth is the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, who have appeared in 17 crime novels, all set in and around England's Peak District.








Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebook copies of Secrets of Death by Stephen Booth (read my previous blog post).

Links