Title: Don’t Go
Author: Beverley Bateman
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detective, and a member of Crimes Against Children, Samantha Brennan, is a dedicated to finding pedophiles who stalk teenage victims online. She works to catch pedophiles and prevent young girls from becoming potential rape victims.
Reno Police Department Lieutenant Devlin O’Reilly is loose cannon, a renegade cop who prefers to work undercover and catch bad guys than do regular detective work. A gun in the perp’s mouth gives him a real rush. He works alone and doesn’t take on crimes involving children. Off duty he likes to drink and pick up bimbos. A relationship to him is a long weekend.
Forced to work together when a fourteen-year-old girl leaves home to meet a ‘boy’ from a chatroom, Sam and Devlin have to overcome personal challenges and forge a working relationship. Can they move past their personal agendas to catch a killer in time?
“Thank you, Mrs. Morrison. It would probably be best if you waited downstairs for now.” The soft, almost melodious, voice caught his ear.
He turned toward the door.
The tall, leggy, blonde striding into the room didn’t disappoint. Her soft pink lips pursed together, she stopped inside the door to survey the room. Her forest green Washoe County Sheriff’s uniform hugged her body in all the right places.
He choked back a whistle.
For the first time, he decided he liked that uniform.
Emerald green eyes regarded him thoroughly, before dismissing him.
His pulse revved as he met her gaze before it moved on. Not his type, but damned attractive all the same; although her expression didn’t fit the voice that had preceded her.
Not that he was interested. He didn’t even know why he noticed her, except for her great figure and gorgeous blonde hair. Not the one-night-stand variety though.
He pulled his shoulders back, assumed a wide, defense stance and crooked one eyebrow higher than the other. “So, you would be…?”
“Detective Sam Brennan, Washoe County Sheriff’s office. You must be Lieutenant O’Reilly from the Reno Police Department.” She strode across the room and stopped in front of him.
“What the hell is the sheriff’s office doing here?”
“Don’t ask me. I just follow orders. They said you needed computer help.”
“I guess.” He had a strong aversion to take-charge, assertive women. The vibes this one gave off were definitely assertive.
“You touch this?” She snapped and pointed at the computer. The musical voice developed a razor-sharp edge, slicing through the room.
Now it went with the uniform.
“No ma’am. I wouldn’t want to screw anything up for the sheriff’s department.”
Bad enough he had to work this case, but now he had a woman messing around in it. Women shouldn’t be in law enforcement. They were too emotional. You couldn’t trust them.
Why the hell had the captain called the sheriff’s office? They always had attitude. What was wrong with their guys? Oh yeah, right, shorthanded.
“Good, because it’s turned off. If you had turned it on you could have lost evidence.” She snapped on her latex gloves. “Are you going to continue to stand there, or are you going to let me get to work?”
“Fine. Look Detective, you’re here to check the computer for chatrooms and whatever else will help find the girl. That’s it. It’s the Reno PD investigation.”
“Whatever. I didn’t ask to be here. I was told to come because the Reno PD asked for our help. I’m following my orders. If you want to change them call the sheriff.”
“Go ahead, do what you need to.”
“Then get out of my way and let me work.”
“Yes ma’am.” He moved back to the center of the room.
She slid in front of the computer. She sat quietly for several minutes as she listened to the machine before she touched it for warm spots.
Her shoulder-length, blonde hair smelled of something outdoorsy, maybe flowers or pine trees. The fragrance tweaked his nostrils. The fresh smell made him think of mountain hiking through alpine meadows, providing another contradiction, with the no-nonsense appearance of the detective. An oxymoron was Detective Brennan, but a woman he hoped he never saw again.
He liked his women young, cosmetically enhanced, with IQs of bubble gum.
“Before I take the computer back to the station, I’ll check a few things and see if we can find out where she went. Let’s see where Melissa has been playing.”
The computer whirred and clicked. Dev continued checking the room. With one eye on the detective, he pulled out drawers in the red, antique style dresser, got down on his knees to peer under the bed and jumped back up to emphasize the fact that he worked out regularly. Not that he gave a damn what this woman thought. Another hour he’d pick up some bimbo in Danny’s bar. Dev believed in relationships that only lasted through a long weekend; shallow and based strictly on sex.
He lifted a corner of the mattress and pulled out a photo, printed from a computer.
“I doubt if this will be any help.” He flashed the picture of a clean-cut blond teenage boy in the detective’s direction.
Detective Brennan glanced up and shook her head. “You’re right. That’ll be the online picture he sent of himself. He probably cut it from a magazine. Bag it, but it won’t help find him.”
Dev stuffed it in a plastic bag and headed toward the closet. “I’ll need the mother to give me an idea of what clothes are missing. I’m thinking the girl didn’t plan on being gone that long.”
“He probably talked her into meeting him for an hour or two. Here we go.” Her fingers clattered over the keyboard. The screen flipped rapidly through a sequence of websites.
“Oh shoot.” It slipped out between her luscious lips, crossing the room like a soft breeze, before the storm hit.
“They exchanged private emails. She emailed the perp outside the chatroom. She said she’d meet him.”
“When? Where’s the meeting?”
She shook her head. “It doesn’t say in these emails. He’s probably being careful, in case someone checks her messages. This guy’s done this before. It’ll take a little work to get that info.”
“So, she was hanging out in a chatroom?”
“How did you know which chat room she was in?”
“I hang out there, too. I was following her.”
He stared at her. Then it hit him like a slug to the side of the head. “You’re not just a computer geek are you? I mean you’re one of those involved in that task force--Internet Crimes Against Kids?”
“Internet Crimes Against Children? Yeah, that would be me. Want to make something of it?” She glared at him.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
It was researched through the Washoe County Sherriff’s office. A lot of the information is from a Detective there who worked chatrooms, often up to ten sites at a time. The information was accurate at that time. And tracking a serial killer of teenage girls, always once step ahead will keep you turning the pages and guessing at the killer.
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Winner will be drawn on October 5, 2020.
Murder, mystery and romance fills award-winning, Canadian author, Beverley Bateman's life. She loves to plot, kill and hopefully baffle the reader. Her nursing and public health nursing background helps with some details and administering a community care facility program had her investigating and directing investigations into irregularities and sometimes a death. She even has court experience.
She began writing in her preteens and loved to write locked room mysteries. Reading Nancy Drew helped her figure out plots. Facing breast cancer, she decided she needed to do what she’d always wanted and began to write. She completed her first romantic suspense novel and hasn’t stopped writing since. She recently moved and now lives among ranches and wheat fields in southern Alberta, with her husband and Shiba Inu dog. During the cold Alberta winters, she snowbirds to Arizona.
Social Media Links:
Website – http://www.beverleybateman.com
Facebook Authorpage - http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBeverleyBateman?ref=hl
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Beverley-Bateman/e/B008M01F5E
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