I have an excerpt for you today featuring two of my favorite characters – Lucianna and Vinnie from Hit List:
“Patrick called twice,” Vinnie said.
Lucianna groaned, pushed the rest of the way through the door. She said, “Can you wait until I get all the way inside before delivering bad news?”
Vinnie shrugged. He waited while Lucianna shoved the door closed and trudged across the room to his desk. Then he said, “Ready now?”
“Is there more?”
“The man is a nuisance. Not to mention a complete embarrassment to the male gender. What is with this groveling nonsense?”
Lucianna tugged off her coat. “Apparently he thinks that he loves me.”
“Is this a recent revelation or one discovered during your brief… relationship?”
“Recent, I think. Who knows? I don’t really care.”
“This is how stalkers begin.”
“Oh please.” Lucianna strode toward her private office. “He’s immature, that’s all.”
Inside her office, Lucianna tossed her coat over a corner chair and dropped her briefcase on top. From behind her, Vinnie said, “Care to hear about my morning?”
Lucianna rubbed her temples as she crossed the room. After dropping into the chair behind her desk, she said, “Should I be mean? Like tell him I was just using him for the sex?”
Vinnie broke into a wide grin. “And Patrick is the type you’d seek out for that sort of thing?”
“Okay, so a diversion then.”
“A diversion from the type you would normally seek for a sexual fling?”
“Might work,” Vinnie said. “Might just piss him off. The problem is that any acknowledgement you give him could be misconstrued as encouragement. You know, by someone in his pathetic state.”
“Great.” Lucianna leaned back, stretched her arms over her head and yawned. “Okay, tell me about your breakfast meeting. You had pancakes smothered in syrup. Bacon. Two eggs, over easy. And at least a half pot of coffee.”
“And wheat toast.”
“Hmm… Something healthy as a concession to all that cholesterol?”
“Have to keep my doctor happy.”
Lucianna shook her head, though she couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m sure your doctor just adores you.”
“Who doesn’t?” Vinnie had made himself comfortable in a chair opposite Lucianna. He stretched out his long legs, smoothed the creases in his slacks. “Now would you like to hear about my breakfast conversation? Or was your interest limited to the menu?”
“My interest is piqued at the prospect of hearing details of the conversation. Please, do tell.”
“This investigation Graham is running,” Vinnie said. “It’s all very hush-hush. No one knows much. And the little information floating around is difficult to piece together.”
That sounded very much like her entire case so far. She crossed her legs, leaned her elbows on the desk, and rested her head on her hands. She watched Vinnie. His face had that serious edge that said he had a line on something big.
Vinnie said, “Graham has been after a guy by the name of Nico. Been trying for years to take him down. Guy keeps slipping through the cracks, using the system to his advantage.”
“What is Graham after this Nico for?”
“Ahh, an endless list. The most prominent has to do with young children, sometimes runaways. Maybe for use in child pornography. Or young hookers. Like I said, details are sketchy.”
Lucianna let that information bounce around her brain cells for a few moments. Then she said, “And you’re going to tell me that Nico is somehow tangled up with Corinne McCormick?”
“Nico is big man on campus with the K Unit. In charge of a flock of morons.”
“The same gang that Sam Evans is tangled up with.”
“You’re catching on quick.” Vinnie straightened, drummed his fingers against the arms of the chair. “At the very least, that puts your crazy lady on the sidelines of some pretty nasty stuff.”
“Her name is Corinne.”
“Dating Sam Evans doesn’t automatically imply that she was aware of any of this.”
Lucianna rubbed her temples. “This can’t be good.”
“I’m going to have a little talk with Mr. Evans,” Lucianna said. “See if he squirms.”
Vinnie stood. The motion was fluid, as if nothing he did required effort. He gazed down at Lucianna. When he spoke, his voice had softened. “Be careful. And do me a favor?”
“The next time you choose a partner for a sexual diversion, first make sure he’s mentally stable.”
No one is able to give Ian a reasonable explanation. Corinne suffers from severe memory loss, odd behavior, and paranoid delusions. Or at least Ian had been told they were delusions. After all, who would be hiding outside watching his mother? And why?
Ian hires private investigator Lucianna Martel to retrace the events of his mother’s last sane day. During Lucianna’s investigation, she and Ian learn that Corinne may not be so crazy after all.
All of my titles are available in print and ebook format. Find them all on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords and Sony’s Reader Store. I’m also in the process of getting them all narrated as audiobooks.
I hope you enjoyed today’s visit with Lucianna and Vinnie.
Thanks for reading.
Tags: Book Excerpt, Emotional Trauma, Female PIs, Female PIs in Fiction, Female Private Investigators, Hit List, Insanity, Memory Loss, Novel Excerpt, Paranoid Delusions, PI Fiction, private investigators, psychological suspense, Spontaneous Amnesia