Thursday Teaser: Collateral Damage


An Annie Ogden Mystery

By Frederick Lee Brooke

cover-collateral-damage1I sat without moving. My muscles weren’t reacting. He had invited me to his party. He had followed me around town, stalked me, and camped out in my sister’s apartment. He knew I was living with Salvatore, and still he persisted. What the hell could be in that envelope?

“Christ, Annie, how can you spend four years in the army and be such a pansy?” Alison plucked the envelope out of Michael’s fingers.

I watched my sister’s lips moving as she read the words. I saw the blood rushing to her face. I didn’t hear more than snippets, words like “bullets” and “blood.” But I caught a rhythm. I looked at Michael.

“You wrote a poem?”

“See what she says,” he said.

Finally, my sister’s eyes flicked up. First, she looked at me, then Michael. She was shaking her head.

“What possessed you, Annie? I mean, in the final analysis it doesn’t make an inch of difference, but telling everyone he was dead was really, really wrong, don’t you think?”

“Are you going to tell me what it is?”

“It’s beautiful.” With a serious expression, ignoring Michael, Alison handed the paper across the table.


i wrote ur name in bullets

i shot them in the air

i saw ur voice i heard ur face

& tried to drink ur hair

tracers burned the nite above

xplosions everywhere

i held u but a breath before

u vanished in the air

on my skin is etched ur name

i wrote it with my blood

injected snorted swallowed u whole

stitched u to my gut

nailed my heart, stuck it with glue

an ocean away, ur lost in time

the moon and stars all hidden from view

all i ever wanted was u

My eyes filled with tears I couldn’t control. The paper fell to the ground.

It was too much to comprehend.

Michael had found me here. He had come to Chicago and waited all night. He wasn’t just inviting me to his stupid party. Michael wanted me back. The poem made everything so clear.

In all of the 523 days I’d stumbled through since he dropped me, I never once allowed myself to seriously consider the possibility of this moment. I’d never dared. I was only human. It took iron self-discipline to repress that longing, but I’d had a long time to get it right. I’d grown strong again.

And now this.

I felt the strangest sensations shooting through me. My whole being felt alive. The feelings that filled my heart to bursting made me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

All I ever wanted was u.

Michael had written that. My name was at the top.


About Collateral Damage
Annie Ogden Book 3

Annie Ogden is back. Like it or not, she’s about to learn about COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

A love story.

When Annie Ogden’s ex-boyfriend Michael Garcia reappears, she has to confront a lie dating back to her time in Iraq. Will she go back to hot, passionate Michael, who has developed a disturbing interest in meth, or stick with her pudgy PI partner and fiancé, Salvatore?

A murder.

The calculus changes when Michael is arrested for murder. When Salvatore refuses to help investigate, Annie is forced to try to find the killer herself. Meanwhile her sister’s creepy husband, Todd, is making more of an ass of himself than usual.

An obsession.

Annie’s problems with three obsessive men suddenly pale in significance when she realizes the killer has set his sights on her. Having changed his mind about helping her, Salvatore finds himself in a desperate race against time, the only man capable of finding the killer before it’s too late.

Get it on Amazon.

About the author

fredbrookeFrederick Lee Brooke launched the Drone Wars Series in 2013 with Saving Raine, and the sequel, Inferno, followed in 2014. The third and last book in the series, The Drone Wars, released in June, 2015 wraps up the short, catastrophic period in which Matt Carney first learned he had a twin brother.

A resident of Switzerland since 1991, Frederick Lee Brooke is also the author of the Annie Ogden Mystery Series. He has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He makes frequent trips to the United States to visit friends and family. Visit Fred on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @FrederickBrooke.

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