Kyle McKenzie dropped out of the helicopter hovering fifty feet above the ground, his gloved hands swinging for the rope like he’d done a thousand times before. Only this time, they missed.
His left hand grasped at air while his right one made an awkward loop around the rope, enough to send a fiery warning down his wrist, but not to hold his weight. He dropped fast – too fast – toward the concrete below him.
His partner’s panicked voice floated up to him from where Gabe had already landed safely on the ground. His heartbeat drummed in his ears too loudly, panic thumping in his chest as he made another grab. This time, his left hand gripped the rope. He was still sliding too fast, too awkwardly, and he tried to slow himself down. Hostage Rescue Team agents had died in practice sessions just like this one. When it came to training their tactical agents, the FBI didn’t use safety nets.
Finally, he felt himself slowing, but the ground was still racing toward him, and instead of his usual smooth landing, he dropped and rolled, the way he would do if he was parachuting instead of fast-roping. His shoulder took the brunt of it, and he knew he’d be lucky if all he needed was ice.
But he was still breathing. So he was counting this a win.
“What the hell happened?” his partner, Gabe Fontaine, demanded, the anger in his voice almost covering up the worry as he helped Kyle to his feet.
FBI profiler Evelyn Baine had happened. She wasn’t even in the state and she was distracting him at work.
But since their relationship was brand new and a complete secret from the FBI, Kyle didn’t say that. Instead, he joked, “You looked bored down here. Figured I’d wake you up.”
Gabe didn’t crack a smile. “Mind on the mission,” he reminded Kyle, almost like he knew the truth.
“You got it,” Kyle returned, rolling his shoulder and deciding he hadn’t done any permanent damage.
And he tried to focus. But for some reason, he couldn’t keep his mind off of Evelyn. She was in Montana, off on some bullshit assignment from the head of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, because she’d pissed him off again. But the latest assignment was an interview with a convicted bomber inside the supermax portion of a prison.
The prisoner would be cuffed and tethered the whole time she was there, but that didn’t stop images from the prison riot his team had contained last year from stampeding through his head. Thirteen dead, and that was before HRT had even breached the outside walls.
“Hey!” Gabe nudged him. “Evelyn will be back soon. You can hassle her to go out with you when she gets back. Focus.”
Startled, Kyle gave his partner a weak grin and nodded. So, Gabe still thought Kyle was asking Evelyn out at every opportunity, and didn’t suspect she’d actually said yes. It had started as a joke, when he’d seen her in the BAU office a year and a half ago, looking so damn serious. But it sure as hell wasn’t a joke now.
And it didn’t matter how many times he told himself she was perfectly safe in Montana, that Gabe was right and she’d be home in a day or two. Because there was a bad feeling in his gut, the same feeling he’d gotten right before he’d rushed into his first hostage situation, back on the job as a cop, before he’d ever joined the Bureau. If he thought about that day at all, he could swear he still felt the blood all over his uniform from the girl he’d tried to save.
His gut was screaming at him that something bad was going to happen in Montana. And that just like when the school had been targeted by a lone shooter, he’d be too late to stop it.
Seized is the third book in the “The Profiler” thriller series, published by Mira, December 2015.
Danger is all around her. . .
What should have been a routine investigation for FBI profiler Evelyn Baine turns ominous when she’s kidnapped by a dangerous cult of survivalists. As her worst nightmares become a reality, she begins to question what she’s seeing. Because the longer she’s inside their compound, the more she realizes this cult is not what it seems to be.
The next terrorist threat is right beside her. . .
As the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team closes in, Evelyn suspects she may have stumbled onto an emerging terrorist threat – and a leader who has a score to settle with the FBI. If Hostage Rescue breaches the compound, Evelyn’s dead for sure. If they don’t, the cult may unleash a surprise attack that could leave the whole country shattered.
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Click HERE to watch the trailer for SEIZED
About AVENGED, a Profiler short story with a free a chapter a day started Dec. 28, 2015
Love and vengeance
FBI profiler Evelyn Baine and fellow agent Kyle McKenzie are—secretly—on vacation together, visiting an island off the coast of Georgia. Evelyn has recently solved a notorious cold case, so she considers their holiday a reward of sorts. More than that, it’s a cautious acknowledgment of her growing feelings for Kyle.
One day a body washes up on the beach, a body that’s been disfigured. The killer has carved the word “pervert” into the victim’s stomach. A second murder, with the victim labeled a “killer” appears soon after. The police don’t agree when Evelyn tells them the murders look like the work of a vigilante trying to avenge. . .something.
Evelyn and Kyle find their own lives at risk as they move closer to the truth.
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All comments are welcomed.
About the author
Critically acclaimed author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lee Child called her latest Profiler novel SEIZED, “Suspenseful from the start and intriguing throughout. Recommended!”
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of SEIZED. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end January 15 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!