I’m Keye Street. My first name comes from my Asian grandfather; my adoptive parents awarded me the second. By trade, I am a detective- private, that is- a process server and bail recovery agent. In life, I am a dry alcoholic, a passionate believer in Krystal cheeseburgers and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and a former behavioral analyst for the FBI.

I woke to Rauser’s ringtone. That’s Lieutenant Aaron Rauser of APD Homicide, the guy that should have been sleeping next to me. I rolled over and checked the clock: 3 a.m. White Trash, the straggly white cat I rescued from a trash bin on Peachtree Street, sailed off the bed, miffed I’d dared to move my legs.

“Hey. Everything okay?” I asked, knowing it wasn’t. Rauser wasn’t in the habit of calling in the middle of the night, though waking me wasn’t unusual. He had odd hours. Seems like the bad guys always come out at night.

“Rise and shine darlin’. Got a crime scene I need your brain on. Killer left something behind. We’ve seen it before. A little piece of twine tied around the victim’s finger. Popped up two months ago just like this.”

I sat up and tried to shake off the cobwebs. I’d been asleep all of two hours after a very long day. Two bail jumpers who didn’t want to come in and three subpoenas the recipients didn’t want to accept. Chasing criminals all over town really has a way of complicating things. My body hurt. I’d chased one of them a few blocks before getting close enough to leap at his ankles. With cameras all over Atlanta now I couldn’t wait until that turned up on YouTube.

“The vics similar? Age, race, sex?”

“You got it, Street,” Rauser said, and gave me the address.

I rolled out of bed and slipped into a pair of Levis and a sleeveless pullover, then stepped out into Atlanta’s steamy summer. The sun hadn’t even set fire to Atlanta’s chemical air yet and it was already eighty-eight degrees. We were having a full- on Southern style heat wave.

So this is what I do now since the Bureau sent me packing with a polite dismissal. I make a living doing PI work, bond enforcement, and process serving, and consult for local law enforcement on violent offender cases. It wasn’t my dream, but it suits me. Sometimes you only get one chance at something. Sometimes that’s a good thing too. When that door slams shut on the thing you thought you couldn’t live without, what happens next is when the real education begins. Digging down deep is never really a bad thing in the end, but it will flat out kick your ass while it’s happening.


You can read more about Keye in STRANGER IN THE ROOM, the second book in the “Keye Street” thriller series. The first book in the series is The Stranger You Seek.

About the author
Amanda Kyle Williams has contributed to numerous short story collections and worked as a freelance writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In order to lend authenticity to her Keye Street series, she studied criminal profiling under Brent Turvey, a nationally known criminologist and profiler, took courses geared to law enforcement in serial homicide investigation, worked with a PI firm in her hometown of Atlanta on surveillance operations, became a court appointed process server, and consulted with professionals in bond and law enforcement.

Amanda is currently at work on her third Keye Street thriller, Don’t Talk to Strangers. Visit at amandakylewilliams.com and on Facebook.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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