Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CODE OF VENGEANCE by Melanie Atkins

CODE OF VENGEANCE by Melanie Atkins

Keller County Cops Book Seven

Sheriff Rick Blaylock relies on an anti-crime platform to win re-election, but with crime on the rise, his critics are relentless. Desperate to prove himself, he must either solve the county's latest murder, or face defeat.

Angry her sister's killer dodged a grand jury indictment, court artist Keegan Riley comes with a plan to avenge her dead sibling, but is thwarted when someone else stabs her intended victim. Still thirsty for revenge, she takes aim at another man who got off scot free, and is again thwarted. What's a girl to do?

Before Keegan can line up victim number three, Rick unearths evidence that puts her at the scene of the latest murder. Should she tell him the truth, or lie? Love is the last thing on her mind, but when he kisses her, she can't help but wonder if falling for him will get her off scot free.



Keegan tugged her new black turtleneck over her head, pausing only when the soft cotton caught on one of her new garnet earrings. She freed it, settled the shirt over her body, and tugged her hair out of the collar. Taking a deep breath, she pulled the long dark strands back in a tight ponytail. Her pulse raced as she dropped to her haunches to tie her heavy black combat boots. Her charcoal-colored yoga pants fit her like a second skin. Once she donned her matching knit cap and slipped inside that dark alley, she'd disappear.

Vengeance wrapped in shadows.

She strapped a serrated hunting knife to her waist, attached a smaller one to her ankle, and settled the paddle holster containing her brand new Sig Sauer P220 in the small of her back. As an extra precaution, she pocketed a container of pepper spray and picked up the black leather sap she'd ordered off the Internet. The weapon was illegal in Mississippi, but then... nothing about her plan was legal. So what did it matter?

I'm sick and tired of following the damned rules. Rules are why Jenny died. Hell, even after Dirk murdered her, the cops bought his flimsy alibi. Attending an AA meeting, my ass.

Well, that was then, and this is now. Dirk won't win this round. I'm going to see to it. Haley lost her mommy that night, and even though she has her grandma and grandpa now to keep her safe, she'll always have a gaping hole in her life. I'm going to make sure Dirk never has a say in anything, even though he's her father. He doesn't know the meaning of the word.

Keegan grabbed her bike helmet and melted outside into the night. The summer heat enveloped her, and she wished like hell she could shuck the turtleneck, but she didn't dare. Blending into the shadows was more important than not breaking a sweat.

She wiped her brow and hurried over to the detached garage. One flick of her wrist, and the hidden panel at the back of the building swung open to reveal the used Kawasaki motocross bike she'd bought from a kid over in New Orleans for a song. The teen had even agreed to paint it black for her after she'd offered to pay him extra, because he was desperate for cash to buy a car. A week later, she'd picked up the bike. Took her another three weeks of spills and scrapes before she conquered it, but conquer it she did... and now she rode like a pro.

A wide grin split her face as she donned her helmet, rolled the bike from its hiding place, and closed the hidden door. Every time she climbed onto the bike, a thrill shot through her. She'd always been adventurous, but readying herself to take care of Dirk had taken the term adventure to a whole new level. She'd doubled her number of martial arts classes, bought the Sig and learned to shoot, and studied with a local cop who specialized in self-protection for women.

Then, after a two-day computer search, she'd finally located the cruel rat bastard who'd murdered her sister. The skunk had left Hunter's Bayou for a couple of months and returned after he decided the coast was clear. Too bad he hadn't remembered Jenny had a sister. Or if he did, he didn't view her as a threat. The first time he'd put Jenny in the hospital and Keegan had vowed revenge, she hadn't been much of a menace to him. Now, however, she was.

Now, she was ready.


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