Thursday teaser: Collateral Damage

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cover-collateral-damage1(Annie Ogden Series Book 3)

By Frederick Lee Brooke

Sometimes it bugs the hell out of me. She calls, I jump. She knows I’ll do anything for her, anytime. She takes advantage of me. We’ll have a fantastic time, laughing together, kissing, and dreaming about the future, and the next day she’ll be twelve kinds of bitchy. We spend a glorious day and a half after getting engaged, and then she calls me from her ex-boyfriend’s car. She’s on her way to Florida.

Fine.

She goes on a road trip with her ex-lover. Accepting this is part of being an adult. I’m not jealous. I’m not worried. I’m not happy, either, but I’ll deal with it. Even though Garcia is a certified wingnut who does stalkerish things like attacking Annie wearing a mask or breaking into her sister’s apartment and spending the night in a closet. Talk about unhealthy fixations.

And what happens at their famous party? Garcia’s best friend is butchered with a bayonet. They have Garcia’s fingerprints, they have the murder weapon, and they have the body. He’s got a mile-long record. Florida hasn’t outlawed capital punishment like a lot of other states, including Illinois. He’s gonna fry.

Will you come to Florida?

Will you help me find the real killer?

Not because there’s anything between them. Not because he wrote her a love poem, oh no. For justice.

Of course, it’s for justice. We all want justice. And the police don’t know what they’re doing, right, Annie?

It means nothing to her that the murder victim is the nephew of a US senator. That means the police will be working three times as hard to build a solid case. They’ll want ironclad evidence, spotless procedure, and the best witnesses money can buy. To Annie, all this means nothing. Garcia is innocent no matter what everyone else says, no matter what all the evidence says. He couldn’t have done it. When Annie becomes irrational, watch out. You don’t stand a chance. Her ears might as well be plugged.

There’s always a motive if you look hard enough. Two war buddies could have a fight, two roommates who’ve done three tours in Iraq. They can call it PTSD. Maybe drugs. No shortage of motives in that minestrone. That DA would have to be a real idiot to botch this one.

Or was this wishful thinking?

I was boarding my Tampa-bound plane as these thoughts traversed my love-addled brain. Annie only had to call to set off a chain reaction in my body chemistry. Hormonal reactions.

I’m getting married again.

It hit me for the five hundredth time. I was standing there, waiting for someone to move in the cramped airplane aisle, so I could sit. A single mom was buckling three kids into their seats. Suddenly I felt the contentment of an old mafia don surrounded by laughing grandchildren. Annie and I would make wonderful kids. We would have a blast raising them. God made me for that.

About Collateral Damage

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 from 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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About fbrooke

Frederick Lee Brooke is the author of the widely-acclaimed Annie Ogden mystery series, which includes Doing Max Vinyl, Zombie Candy, and Collateral Damage. The first book in Fred's entirely new dystopian series for YA and adult readers alike is Saving Raine (The Drone Wars: Book 1)A consummate jetsetter, he was born and raised in Chicago (where both Doing Max Vinyl and Zombie Candy are set) and has lived in Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, France, and Germany; he has called Switzerland his home for the past two decades, and travels widely throughout Europe (at latest count, he has visited Italy over 50 times!). Brooke’s love of the written and spoken word is vast—not only has he taught English in various European schools, he also knows French, German, and Italian, and dabbles in Turkish in his spare time. This love of language led him to quit his day job two years ago and focus on his original dream: writing fiction. When not writing books, his three kids (and their homework) keep him busy. He is currently working on a new series of thrillers and, once that’s done, he might take some time to visit one of those Swiss chocolate factories (but only for the free samples). He can often be found chopping vegetables in the kitchen, and makes a mean lasagna.

You can find him online at www.FrederickLeeBrooke.com. Sign up for his newsletter and read all about his travels, recipes, and upcoming works!