Best selling British author, M. A. Comley and I are proud to introduce the Deception series. Mel and I have talked about co-authoring for years, but only recently did we turn that talk into action. Although are genres are similar, our styles are somewhat different, and we wondered if we could find our rhythm. Once we found our character, Sergeant Alexandra Fox, the rest was easy. Early reviews of our introductory novella, Clever Deception, have thrilled and humbled us. If you're a member of Goodreads you can check out the early reviews there. Our first novel is now available for pre-order and will be released on October 1st. The novella, Clever Deception is also available for pre-order and will be released on September 14th. Book 2 is will under way. I hope you enjoy this sample of Tragic Deception. We believe Alex has a long and tempestuous career ahead of her.
Book Trailer for Clever Deception
“As of eight o’clock this morning, we have three missing babies. Only one is in our borough, but we’ll we working in conjunction with all precincts. Talk to your CIs, keep your ears open, and knock down doors if you have to—but find those babies.”
Commander Patterson was winding down his morning speech, and for once, the squad room was quiet and somber. “Any questions?”
He waited only a second before issuing his final command. “Then hit the streets and find those babies.” His dark eyes bored through the crowd, homing in on her. “Fox, my office.”
Alexandra waited for the snickers and “Alex the Fox” comments that usually followed his summons, which happened frequently—at least once a month, and more likely than not, once a week. She shot a glance at her current partner, Corey Graves, who averted his eyes and turned his back on her. “Bloody tosser,” she mumbled as she pushed her way through the throng of officers to follow the commander.
She knocked on the door and waited for the command that would allow her to enter. Even after a year, Alex didn’t quite understand American protocol. He’d ordered her to meet him in his office; why couldn’t he just leave the damn door open?
Opening the door, she stuck her head inside. “You wanted to see me, sir?”
Patterson sighed heavily. “Come in and close the door behind you.”
Alex stepped inside the room, closed the door, and took her position in front of his desk. She’d made the mistake once of sitting down without an invitation. Her face flushed at the memory. Patterson didn’t like her, and she knew if it weren’t for Chief Brown, he would have fired her on the spot. She’d learned to play Patterson’s game, but she didn’t like it.
Patterson eyed her over his glasses, a smirk playing around his lips. “No surprise, but Officer Graves no longer wishes to partner with you. He called you a ticking time bomb.”
“Right. Like I’m the bloody one off with the fairies.”
His face blanched. “What the hell does that mean, Fox?”
Alex met his gaze head on. “It means Graves needs to pull his head out of his arse, stop ogling the skirts, and do his job. Most of us eat three times a day. Graves has to be laid three times a day, or he can’t function.”
His gaze slowly drifted away from hers when she refused to admit defeat. He opened the window behind the desk, then leaned back in the chair, bit off the end of a cigar, and lit it. His eyes held a challenge when they met hers again. Smoking had been banned in New York for several years. An officer could actually be dismissed if caught smoking on the grounds. She could report him, but Patterson would probably get a slap on the wrist, and warning. “You’ve lost six partners in the last year, Fox. I suppose all of them were ‘off with the fairies’?”
The anger bubbling just below the surface rose, and Alex clenched her hands at her side. He’s probably going to fire me anyway, so sod it. “I have never lost a partner, sir. Not one of them has been shot, knifed, beaten, or killed. I do my job, which is to have their back, not inflate their egos or their willies.”
Patterson puffed on the cigar and blew smoke in her direction. “Sit down, Fox.”
Pulling out a chair next to his desk, she sat, steeling herself for a long lecture on the importance of loyalty and fitting in. A chill shivered down her spine. She hoped he didn’t ask her about the bloody book he’d given her last time. How to Win Friends and Influence People. She’d thrown it in the trash after reading the first chapter.
“You passed all the protocol for detective.” Patterson ruffled the papers on his desk as he continued to huff and puff on the cigar. The smirk around his lips widened. “Except one—a recommendation from me.”
“I’m a good copper, sir. I deserve that promotion.”
He shrugged. “The problem is your attitude and your refusal to fit in.”
Anger surged to the surface again, and she gripped the arms of the chair. “You mean conform, sir. Not fit in.”
He eyed the white knuckles, and Alex took a deep breath, forcing herself to relax as Patterson continued. “You’re not in England, Fox. Half the time, we can’t understand what the hell you’re saying, and the other half, we feel like you’re insulting us.” His jaw tightened, and his eyes darkened. “Fit in or get out.”
“Recommend the promotion, and I’ll be out of your hair, maybe even out of your district.”
He chuckled. “I’ll do you one better.” He rummaged through the papers on his desk then pulled out a file and passed it to her. “You want to be a detective? Find those babies before the FBI does, and I’ll recommend your promotion.”
Alex flipped through the file, which contained some of the same information that had been passed out earlier, along with a more in-depth case summary listing the names and addresses of the parents, doctors, nurses, and hospitals as well as pictures of the newborns.
“You’ve got a week. That’s how long I’m suspending you.”
Her head jerked up, and she once again met the dark gaze. “Suspending me? For what, sir?”
He continued to puff on the cigar and blow smoke in her direction. He wanted her to challenge him. She hadn’t been insubordinate, but he knew if he pushed hard enough, she could be.
“And how exactly am I supposed to investigate while under suspension? I won’t have access to anything.”
He sneered. “You like working alone. Isn’t that what you’ve told me for the last year?”
Alex closed the file and stood. “And if I can’t find them in a week?”
“Send out some resumes. You’ll be looking for a new job.”