One rock star sensation.
Two men from her past want her dead.
Three others will risk everything to keep her safe.
Who will be caught in a trap?
SNARE – Revenge with a beat
Native American pop singer/songwriter Katina Salvo’s career is about to take off. There’s one problem: someone wants to kill her. Katina and her bodyguard, Deputy Steven Hawk, are attacked during an altercation at her first live concert. Could the assailant be a mysterious, dangerous man from her youth? Or her estranged father recently released from prison for killing her mother?
Performed against the backdrop of the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and the mysterious Taos Pueblo Indian reservation, SNARE is a thriller fans of Tony Hillerman will appreciate. SNARE is Book Two of the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series.
Katina nodded, thinking about the possibilities. She took up the moccasin Sylvie had been working on and ran a finger over the colorful beads. She knew her aunt held confessions from innumerable Pueblo people who had confided in her over the years, many of them long dead, their confidences still locked in Sylvie’s reverence. Katina cursed the stubborn pride that always steered her aunt’s conscience. All she could do was wait and hope Sylvie would reveal the hidden mysteries of Taima and her mother.
She knew she needed to be cautious as to how to begin, but instead, she blurted, “When did you last see Taima?”
Sylvie stubbed out the cigarette, her eyes on the winking red coal extinguishing in the saucer. “Friday night.”
The ringing grew louder in Katina’s ears. Her eyes scanned the floor as she whispered, “That can’t be.”
Sylvie motioned her head toward the front room, to the closed front door. “He was standing in the field, across the way. Just before sundown.”
The vision of Taima in the front row of the theatre entered Katina’s mind. “But he was at the theatre. I saw him in the wings, then during the concert. He’s the one who attacked Hawk.”
“That’s not true. Can’t be true.”
Leaning in close, Katina took Sylvie’s hand. “It is. You’re mistaken about seeing him. It was probably one of the Gomez brothers. They look a lot like him.”
“I know my husband, Katina.” Sylvie ripped her hand away.
“It was him, Sylvie. I smelled the campfire smoke in his hair and the leather of his boots as he stood over me with a knife in his hand dripping with Hawk’s blood.”
“I can’t . . . won’t believe that.”
“Hawk and I are going to find out the truth.”
“So that’s why you’ve brought him here.”
Katina held Sylvie’s anxious gaze, but didn’t speak.
“Most say Taima’s topepe. But . . .” Sylvie’s words, barely above a whisper, trailed off.
“He’s more than a troublemaker, Auntie. He’s a plague on the Pueblo. Cutting down viable trees instead of using fallen ones to make his precious drums. Hunting whenever and wherever he damned well pleases.” Katina leaned forward to study Sylvie who kept her eyes on the coffee mug. “You still love him, don’t you?”
Sylvie didn’t meet Katina’s eyes and she knew the truth.
“He blames me for my mother’s death. How can you love someone who hates me so much?”
“That was a long time ago, Kat. You don’t know him, now.”
Katina rose from the chair. “Oh, I know him. He’s just like my father. Both of them will stop at nothing to destroy me. If not my body, my soul.”
Katina bent over to kiss the top of Sylvie’s head. Katina closed her eyes, inhaling the scent of sage shampoo coming from her aunt’s hair. Resting her cheek on Sylvie’s shiny crown, she said, “If anything happens to me while I’m here, I won’t stand in Hawk’s way to make things right.”
Katina knelt down and with her fingertips, lifted Sylvie’s chin upward to meet her aunt’s dark eyes. “You can tell Taima that the next time you see him standing in the field, across the way.”
Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense thriller SNARE received the nomination for The Hillerman Sky Award. STACCATO is Book One of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela series, both released by Second Wind Publishing. She spent her summers growing up in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina which is the setting for her suspense thriller novels and many of her short stories.
As well as a suspense thriller novelist, Deborah J Ledford is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize. Her award-winning short stories appear in numerous print publications as well as literary and mystery anthologies. She is most proud of her stories that appear in the Sisters in Crime Chapter Desert Sleuths anthologies How NOT to Survive a Vacation and How NOT to Survive the Holidays (DS Publishing, 2009, 2010) and “The Spot” which is featured in Murder in the Wind (Second Wind Publishing, 2010). To find out more about Deborah, read the first chapters of SNARE and STACCATO, and a few of her previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her website.
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Click here to read the first chapter: Snare