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GARRICK JONES - THE GILDED MADONNA
Halloran pulled the sheet down to the man's waist. What I saw made me take a deep breath: the man's throat was cut so deeply his head looked like it had almost been severed.
"If you tell me this man was found in the public toilet behind the grandstand of Coogee Oval opposite where I live, I might just need a chair," I said.
Clyde Smith's quiet, happy life, in love for the first time, working as a private detective and journalist, is suddenly thrown into disarray by the appearance, after a three year hiatus, of a body bearing the distinctive hallmarks of a string of murders he hadn't been able to solve when working in homicide.
Forced to cooperate with the new detective sergeant who'd taken his place in the local cop shop, Clyde has to not only deal with the enormous chip on the young man's shoulder, but also with a complex case that involves kidnapping, the re-emergence of the Silent Cop Killer, the historical abuse of young men and boys in orphanages across the State, and a ghost from the past who is out for revenge.
Will Clyde and the new DS be able to find the killer before he finds them? Or will they be his final prize, the last victims in his string of grisly murders? Perhaps only the local psychic, owner of a Romany religious statue, the Gilded Madonna, can provide the clue that might ultimately solve the puzzle, but which will also lead Clyde and DS Dioli into mortal danger
Claudia Christian & Chris McAuley - Dark Legacies38:58Dark Legacies is a Science Fiction universe created by Chris McAuley and Babylon 5 legend Claudia Christian. It is set after Earth emerges from a brutal totalitarian regime and looks towards the stars with a renewed sense of hope. However, the dark legacies of the past remain and threaten to drag humanity back to darker times.Through a series of novel, comics, games and audio dramas we will explore the struggles of Major Jessica Steele. A special ops commander who has a tortured past. She must uncover the conspiracies which could destroy the heart of the new government as well as reconcile her own demons."Although we look towards the future with hope in our series, part of the dramatic tension comes from the legacies of the past – elements attempting to destabilize the newly elected democratic global government. We also explore the legacies which Jessica Steele (Claudia’s character) must contend with as she attempts to investigate the approaching danger. Jessica has a painful past but she doesn’t wallow in it or let melancholy overwhelm her. She dedicates herself to ensuring that humanity doesn’t step backwards into totalitarianism again." - Claudia ChristianRELEASE DATE - New retail version out June '23 - this is a pre-order and will be shipped on release.The Expanse Meets Bladerunner in this hard hitting Sci Fi action series from Babylon-5 actor Claudia Christian and a host of top creators.The story entitled "Prey" takes place within a pivotal point in the Dark Legacies timeline as Earth is emerging from a dystopian past, moving from a brutal governmental regime to democracy. Our main protagonist, Commander Jessica Steele, finds herself caught in a web of intrigue as the legacies of the totalitarian past surround her. Dark secrets are uncovered and all hell is let loose in this all action blockbuster.US Format 32 pages, Full ColourWriters/ Co Creators: Claudia Christian & Chris McAuleyArtist: Staz JohnsonCover Art: Ben OliverColour Art: Matt SoffeLetters: Robin JonesDesign: Andy BloorEditor: Shane ChebseyPublishers: SCRATCH COMICS
Gavin Stone - The Unforgiven Spy47:56Former British Intelligence contractor Jensen is a first time dad and about to start a fresh life in the civilian world. His best friend Marshall is also a freelance U.S. intelligence contractor and has shared many assignments with him over the years. Just when both men think they’re about to embark on a peaceful future, their past comes back to haunt them. Marshall’s ex-girlfriend is killed by the head of an organised crime syndicate that both Marshall and Jensen have clashed with before. Shortly after, Jensen’s American wife and daughter are kidnapped from their home in England. Relying on their skills, Jensen and Marshall do what they’ve been trained for and set out to rescue Jensen’s family.After a wild shootout exchange in London, Jensen and Marshall want to end this personal war once and for all. They enlist their colleague Darius to undertake an unsanctioned mission to take down their enemy at his base of operations in Syria. Things go from bad to worse as they embark on a chaotic hunt across England and Europe, while trying to stay off the grid. And matters further escalate when the CIA gets involved and has an alternative agenda.Even if Jensen and his friends make it to Syria, they’ll be outgunned, outnumbered and out of their depth.This gritty action packed thriller will have you gripped as you journey every step of the way with the three operatives. The question is not only will they succeed, but also will they make it home?
Nick Roberts - It Haunts the Mind46:38From Nick Roberts, the best-selling author of The Exorcist's House and Anathema, comes fifteen dark tales that are as horrific as they are moving.“Come for the horror, stay for the heartbreaking emotion that bleeds into every page. Roberts really shows his range here, and it’s obvious early on in these stories that they will stick with you long after reading them. It Haunts The Mind is that damn good.”—John Durgin, author of The Cursed Among Us and Inside The Devil’s Nest.Witness absolute evil in “Sally Under the Bed” and “It Haunts the Mind.” Endure vengeance and violence in “The Noose” and “The Bitter End.” Face the realities of addiction and grief in “Thanks for Sharing” and “The Weeping Wind.” Survive otherworldly monsters in “The Paperboy” and “Voodoo Bay.”In balancing the terrors of the supernatural with the horrors of real life, this collection drags you down the dark alleys of a haunted mind, forcing you to confront your demons, both real and imaginary.“Nick Roberts has an uncanny ability to scare the bejesus out of readers. With It Haunts the Mind & Other Stories, he does it time and time again. Highly recommended if you don’t want to sleep in the dark again.”—James Aquilone, Bram Stoker Award nominated editor and writer of Classic Monsters Unleashed, Shakespeare Unleashed, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker - 50th AnniversaryThis horror fiction book is perfect for fans of horror short stories, short story anthologies, horror collections, U.S. Horror fiction, ghost fiction, suspense horror, stories about substance abuse, possession, and coming of age horror.Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Phillip Strang - Dark Streets37:37A homeless man, Old Joe's death was not unexpected. Not until it was found to be murder.This was Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross, once a hub of inequity, of strip joints and gentleman's clubs, of licensed premises and restaurants. But now, the area is changing, going upmarket, another enclave for those that can afford it, not a place for the homeless, nor is it a place of murder, but then, another murder in Point Piper, upmarket and exclusive, a woman, her throat cut.Detective Gary Haddock's a seasoned hand in Homicide, but he's baffled by the murders. Statistically, Sydney's Eastern Suburbs rarely has a murder, but after four, are they serial or random, and if they are, why?Sergeant Natalie Campbell from Kings Cross Police Station is wet behind the ears when she pairs with Haddock, but she soon learns that she is more astute than the man, although she's a risk taker. He has to protect her, but she will take the investigations forward.
Matt Scott - The Ayatollah Takedown (Surviving the Lion's Den Book 3)46:42In 1979, the Islamic Revolution gave birth to a new beginning for Iran.But every beginning has an ending……And every ending has a new beginning.The Supreme Leader of Iran, Marzban Shir-Del, is desperate. After discovering that Iran started a war between India and Pakistan for national gain, the international community places the toughest economic sanctions on them to date. Thinking that an oil deal with China will shield them from their enemies, Shir-Del turns to General Secretary Zhang Xu for assistance, but he wants more than Shir-Del is willing to give.Unbeknownst to the Supreme Leader, chief commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Ramin Lajani, is conspiring with CIA operatives Ben Thrasher and Beth Jenkins to overthrow him. With the 1953 CIA coup never far from Iranians’ minds, the task is daunting. With Tom Delang acting as a conduit between themselves and the U.S. government, Thrasher and Jenkins must secure the necessary funds from an old nemesis, Vivian Walsh, keep Israel from interfering with their mission, effectively utilize insiders Farhad and Donya, and coordinate with Lajani, without being detected.But Lajani isn’t as beloved as he thinks. Basij General Mohammad Nassiri has been suspicious of him for years. Will Lajani accomplish the impossible or will Nassiri discover his motives before it’s too late, allowing the Supreme Leader to make one last stand?
Bernie Ardia (Robert Karr ) - At Sea with Patrick Dennis37:23Prepare to Feast on LIfe!Robert (Raub) Karr and his best friend, Walter, planned a relaxing cruise from Seattle to Mexico. Little did they know that their vacation would be upended when they met the author and creator of Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis, on board the ship. Dennis was traveling under an assumed name. And much like his character Mame, Patrick Dennis brought a whirlwind of mayhem, fun, and chaos into the lives of those onboard the ship.Raub, Walter, and Patrick became fast friends, with Patrick attracting a collection of eccentrics and oddball characters wherever he went. What was supposed to be a simple cruise turns into a full-blown adventure when Patrick and Walter jump ship and disappear into Mexico. Later, Raub comes to their rescue. Wealthy widows, art connoisseurs, masked midget wrestlers, ladies of the night, and hunting rats are just part of the trio's comical escapades.The story behind At Sea with Patrick Dennis: My Madcap Mexican Adventure with the Author of Auntie Mame is as fascinating as the memoir itself. When Raub Karr passed away in 2017, his memoir languished unpublished and was doomed to be lost forever. Fortunately, theatrical hair designer, Bernie Ardia, rescued the manuscript from obscurity. Ardia instinctively knew this story needed to be shared with the world.So, don your best jewelry, fix yourself a cocktail, and prepare to laugh as you come on a madcap Mexican adventure with Patrick Dennis, Raub, and Walter. To quote Patrick Dennis's most famous character, Mame, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving."Patrick Dennis, Raub, and Walter pile their plates high and feast from the banquet of life.
James Comey - Central Park West44:11The gripping crime fiction debut from former FBI director James Comey takes readers deep inside the world of lawyers and investigators working to solve a murder while navigating the treacherous currents of modern politics and the mob.When a years-long case against a powerful mobster finally cracks and an unimpeachable witness takes the stand, federal prosecutor Nora Carleton is looking forward to putting the defendant away for good. The mobster, though, has other plans. As the witness’s testimony concludes, a note is passed to the prosecution offering up information into the assassination of a disgraced former New York governor, murdered in his penthouse apartment just days before. It’s enough to blow the case wide open, and to send Nora into a high-stakes investigation of conspiracy, corruption, and danger.Drawing from the author’s decades in federal law enforcement, including his years in Manhattan as a mob prosecutor and later the chief federal prosecutor, Central Park West is a fast-paced legal thriller with an intriguing plot enriched by real-life details and experiences. That unique perspective gives the novel much of its allure, but it’s the unforgettable characters, shocking twists, and courtroom scenes as authentic as they are dramatic that will leave readers looking forward to more from this bold new talent in the genre.
Mike Martin - All That Glitters41:07.All That Glitters: The Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series Book 13Sergeant Winston Windflower is moving on to a new chapter of his life, no longer an RCMP officer but now a Community Safety Officer in the small community of Grand Bank, Newfoundland. But when a body is found in the bed and breakfast he co-owns, diamonds are found in the body’s digestive system, and then Windflower’s friend Dr. Sanjay, who was given the diamonds for safe keeping, is kidnapped, it’s clear that crime has returned once more to Grand Bank.Windflower finds himself back in the thick of it, helping his newly promoted friend, RCMP Corporal Eddie Tizzard, track down a ruthless diamond smuggler who will stop at nothing — kidnapping, even murder — to pull off his dirty business.This is another finely spun Windflower mystery that contrasts suspense and tension with the joys of friendship, family, and gratitude. Come back to Grand Bank for another great adventure in Sgt. Windflower Mysteries
Mark Allan Gunnells - Septic (Against the Clock)39:10Septic by Mark Allan Gunnells: The year is 1988. When Carl finds himself trapped in a school bathroom with a faulty lock over Christmas break, things seem bad. When the pain in his abdomen increases and he realizes his appendix has burst, things get worse. Can he manage to free himself in time?