Title: DEADLY SECRET, O’Halleran Security Int’l, Book 1
Author: TJ Logan
Genre: Romantic Suspense
He steps into the shadows to pursue a killer… F.B.I. Special Agent Beckett O’Halleran values Family, Honor, and Loyalty. A botched undercover assignment results in the brutal murder of his partner. When the killer is set free by a Deputy Director on the take, Beck walks away from the Bureau. He vows to stop at nothing to avenge his partner’s death, including using an innocent woman. She is dragged into the shadows by her mother’s past … A deadly secret from the past threatens Gwendolyn Tamberley’s life. Thrust into the crosshairs of a merciless psychopath who will destroy anyone who threatens his empire, she becomes the center of a firestorm between the Russian mafia, the F.B.I. and a former agent hell-bent on retribution. Will deadly secrets destroy them? Gwen’s only hope is the man who’s been deceiving her. And Beck must choose between his obsession with vengeance and the woman who’s come to mean everything to him.
In a dark room on the thirteenth floor of a nondescript federal building, FBI Special Agent Beckett O’Halleran stared into the soulless eyes of a monster. Nikolai Radoslav couldn’t see through the two-way mirror, but he would know Beck was there.
Thanks to a complaint from Radoslav’s attorney—some bullshit about “disrespectful treatment of his client by members of the task force—Beck was stuck observing while his commander got to sit face to face with psychopath. After what the sick son of a bitch did, he was lucky to be alive.
Black eyes peered out from beneath the Russian mob boss’s thick, bushy white brows. A conspicuous road map of very fine, red veins spread across his bulbous nose, an unsightly side effect of a life spent dumping rotgut vodka into his system. Too bad it hadn’t killed him. He dipped his shoulder sideways for his attorney to whisper in his ear. He threw back his head, and his fat neck bobbled with laughter. His attention returned to the mirror, and a slow smile slithered across his bloated face.
The douchebag’s defense attorney dug into his expensive, hand-stitched briefcase and pulled out a tin of mints then offered one to his client.
Beck’s hands fisted at his sides, and he ground his molars until his jaw hurt.
Something was wrong with this picture. Radoslav was staring down the barrel of being charged with the murder of a federal agent. A capital offense, punishable by death. Yet, here they were, relaxed and shooting the shit like they were hanging out at a bar.
Commander Samuel Simmons walked in the door, dropped a folder on the table, unbuttoned his jacket, then sat across from the two men. A consummate professional, he gave away none of the repressed rage churning just beneath the surface. Beck knew it was there because he was feeling it too.
Beck reached over and flipped on the speaker.
Without saying a word, Sam opened the folder and, one by one, laid out a series of grisly crime scene photos, each one more horrific than the one before.
Sweat beaded across the lawyer’s brow, and all the color—and arrogance—drained from his face. His throat bobbed up and down, and he quickly covered his mouth and nose with his handkerchief, as if he could actually smell the blood.
His client, on the other hand, looked bored as he sucked his teeth and looked at his perfectly manicured nails. The overhead fluorescents flashed off the blood-red ruby in his ring.
For the next forty-five minutes, jaw tight, muscles tensed, Beck watched and listened to Radoslav’s lawyer do all the talking.
“No, the warehouse does not belong to my client.”
“No, Mr. Radoslav was nowhere near the warehouse where the body was found. He was having dinner with friends.”
“No, my client has never seen that knife before.”
“No, my client does not recognize the body in these photographs.”
The “body” he so callously referred to was that of Jodi Andrews, a young agent on her first undercover assignment. She was part of the Organized Crime Task Force. Until Radoslav kidnapped, raped and tortured her.
Beck reached for the doorknob, ready to charge into the interrogation room and beat the truth out of the Russian bastard, when Sam’s cellphone vibrated on the table.
“Simmons.” He listened for a moment. His shoulders stiffened, and his spine visibly straightened as he looked across the table at Radoslav. “But sir, we … Yes, sir.”
Beck’s boss stood. The chair screeched across the floor, and Sam shoved his phone in his breast pocket.
“Thank you for your time, Mr. Radoslav.” He gathered the photos and slipped them back in the folder. “The agent on the other side of the door will show you out.”
The Russian smirked.
What. The. Hell?
Radoslav stood, smoothed his silk tie and buttoned his three-thousand-dollar Armani jacket over his large belly. He smiled as he shook his scumbag lawyer’s hand, then turned to Sam.
His commander glanced down at the extended hand, back up at Radoslav’s smug grin. Then Sam turned and walked away without so much as a “kiss my ass.”
Was that … ?
Beck stepped close to the window, his nose almost touching the glass. Yeah, that was a twitch in the Russian’s left eye. Seems the old man wasn’t used to getting the brush-off and didn’t like it much.
He hung back long enough to ensure Radoslav and his lawyer had left the building before he charged into his boss’s office.
“What the hell was that?” Beck pointed his thumb over his shoulder toward the interrogation room.
Sam stood, and his shoes scuffed across the old carpet as he crossed his office to shut the door.
“Have a seat, O’Halleran.” He pointed to a chair in front of his desk.
“Have a seat? You have got to be kidding me.” Beck jammed his hands on his hips, exposing the gold shield and weapon clipped on either side of his waist.
“Fine, stay standing. I can do this either way.” The old chair Sam had been using since he started with the bureau creaked when he dropped into it with a heavy sigh. The only personal item in the cramped space, an outdated picture of his wife and two daughters, sat hidden behind a stack of files teetering on the corner of his gray, government-issued desk.
“Why’d you cut him loose?” Beck was confident they’d nailed the old psychopath this time.
“The call I got was from someone providing an alibi for Radoslav.” His boss’s jaw jumped, and his eyes blazed with anger. “Said they were at dinner together during the time of death.”
“Let me guess … ” Beck hesitated. “Barlow?”
Simmons gave one quick nod.
“Come on, Sam.” He threw his hands up in frustration. “We both know that’s bullshit.”
“Maybe.” Resignation settled into Sam’s shoulders. He yanked off his reading glasses and tossed them on the desk. “But I was given a direct order to cut him loose.”
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What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
When You Dare, book 1 in Lori Foster’s Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series
What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?
It’s suspenseful and introduces readers to the powerful O’Halleran family; five alpha brothers and their tenacious “baby” sister, led by their loving parents, Michaleen & Molly O’Halleran. Their credo is Family, Honor and Loyalty. Each of the first six books in the series features a different sibling.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US account to win.
Runs August 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on September 1.
TJ Logan is an award-winning author of romantic su