BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 4 April 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – DEEP EXTRACTION
TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – DEEP EXTRACTION
A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.
A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional—the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.
Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer—and to each other—the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.
ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN while the dead slept. Which was why some would say a woman shouldn’t tread alone through a cemetery at 2:55 on a Tuesday morning in April. But possible danger had never stopped Houston FBI Special Agent Tori Templeton, especially when her mind marched with determination. Her body refused to give in to rest, but it wasn’t a violent crime robbing her of sleep.
The worn path below a black sky ended at Kevin’s gravesite. She was here to visit the one person who could help her make sense of a puzzling world.
Tonight, like many nights in the past, she made her way to Kevin’s final resting place to talk to him about work, life, problems, and victories. Maybe someday she’d figure out his intrigue with God.
Her brother. Her friend. The one she looked up to and treasured.
Tori didn’t stalk a cemetery because of some superstition that he lay beneath a marble stone and could communicate with her. She visited the site because it signified peace. Maybe by a weird osmosis, she’d find what had given Kevin strength. She wanted to believe he lived pain-free with his God. No cancer. No side effects of chemo and radiation. An eternal home with a God he embraced tighter than life. At least he’d claimed those beliefs before he breathed his last.
“Special Agent Templeton?”
At the sound of the voice, a twinge of annoyance filled her spirit. The man greeting her was a friend, except she wanted to be alone. No need to face him.
“Yes, Officer Richards.”
“Saw your car, thought I’d check on you.”
“I’m a creature of habit.”
“I noticed. Nothing’s stirring, so I’ll leave you to your thoughts.”
The sadness in his voice drew up a well of compassion, and she turned to him. “Wait. How’s your family?” The man walked the graveyard shift—literally—and he might need a listening ear more than she should ponder the existence of a good God in a world plagued with unrest.
“The same. Ups and downs mixed with hardheads and love.” He sighed and scanned the area. “Nice night.”
A familiar insect’s call reached her ears. “We have a choir.” She smiled into the shadows, where a light, twenty feet away, illuminated his stocky frame and highlighted his silver-gray hair, giving him a halo effect. She stared above his head at a slice of the moon resting on a canvas of stars.
“Cicadas are to the night as robins are to the day.”
“Well stated,” she said. “I never pay attention to them until it’s dark and quiet.” She brushed aside a leaf on Kevin’s gravestone. “We haven’t talked in over a week. Did your son join the Navy?”
“Yes. A good choice. I pray he learns discipline and respect for himself and others.”
He said the pray word. Not what she wanted to hear, and she drew in a breath. “Your daughter?”
“Agreed to rehab. Another prayer answered.”
Kevin had used the same language, and look where it got him. Was her brother’s confidence in a divine being a way to endure the devastation of cancer? A crutch in the midst of excruciating pain? Always the same questions as she searched for the why of tragedies. “How’s your wife?”
“Good, thanks. She told me you were welcome to—”
Her phone alerted her to a call. “Excuse me a minute.” She yanked it from her shirt pocket and confirmed it was Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ralph Hughes before answering.
“We have a possible homicide,” the ASAC for violent crimes said.
Her mind spun into agent mode, her job, the only part of her life where she sensed purpose. “Who and where?”
“Nathan Moore, owner of Moore Oil & Gas, died in his home this evening.”
Distress rambled through her, though she did her best to overcome it. She’d known Nathan since college days. “What happened? Why suspect murder?”
“Due to the threats on his life and a call made to his attorney prior to his death,” the ASAC said.
“What was said in the call?”
“Moore suspected someone was trying to kill him and getting close.”
Tori stared at Kevin’s tombstone and recalled the day she and Mom selected the blue-gray granite. Now Nathan’s widow faced the same dilemma. “Are we thinking the environmental activists are responsible?” Five days ago, one of Nathan’s drill sites had been bombed—possibly part of a retaliation move for winning a lawsuit filed by environmentalists who believed he was illegally dumping backflow water from fracking. But a bombing was unlikely in his home. “Was he gunned down? A break-in?”
“Moore’s death appears to have been a heart attack, the result of natural causes. A medical examiner is on it.”
“Too coincidental for my take. I want to know who threatened him, and I need you and Max at the Moore residence. He’s been notified and will meet you there.” He texted her the Moore address at Lake Pointe Estates in the Katy area west of Houston, but she had it memorized.
The call ended and Tori rose to her feet. “Officer Richards, I need to go.”
“Sure thing. See you again soon.”
“Count on it. Best to you and your family.” She hurried to her car while the devastating news played havoc with her mind.
Why hadn’t Sally contacted her about Nathan’s death? They were closer than sisters, weren’t they? Tending to her grieving sons could have her emotionally spent. Even Tori was finding it hard to accept Nathan’s death.
She shoved aside personal sentiments that ushered in disbelief. Her investigative skills were needed. The ASAC had assigned her to investigate a potential crime.
Nathan possibly murdered? He had sainthood stamped next to his name. Charity work. Generous donations to worthy causes. Incredible husband and father.
Who could possibly want him dead?
rem: Hullo, DiAnn, if you could live anywhere in any time period, where would you go?
DIANN: The good ole USA. This is where God put me, and this is where I want to be.
rem: Yeah, I kinda like it here, too. Where did you find this story idea?
DIANN: I stumbled onto an article about pacemakers being an easy prey for hackers. The what-ifs started churning, and then the characters rose to the surface.
rem: Interesting—and scary—thought! Who was the easiest character to write and why? The most difficult?
DIANN: The easiest character was Cole. I understood how a bad experience could scar him and how he needed time to work through the situation.
The hardest character was Tori. She had a totally different upbringing than I’d experienced, so I needed to dig deep for psychological responses regarding her dialogue and actions. That’s when writing is fun, when it stretches me.
rem: You got that right! What do you munch on while you’re writing / researching / editing?
DIANN: black coffee and peanut butter pretzels
rem: Oh yum! I’mma have to try some of those! What do you do to recover once you’ve typed “THE END?”
DIANN: Cook, bake, garden, play with grandkids. Not necessarily in that order.
rem: Got (chocolate chip) cookies??? 😉
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall. Connect with DiAnn here: http://www.diannmills.com
- “You can’t live when you’re afraid of dying.” Valerie Templeton
- “Anything could happen while the dead sleep.” Opening line of Deep Extraction from FBI Special Agent Tori Templeton
- “Everyone creates what he fears.” US Marshal Cole Jeffers
- “A pilot who signs up to fly through the eye of the storm doesn’t complain of the turbulence.” US Marshal Cole Jeffers
See Pinterest Board for quotes and memes – https://www.pinterest.com/diannmills/deep-extraction-book/
- I’m so picky about my coffee that I roast my own coffee beans.
- I do most of my writing on the treadmill. Takes care of the story and exercises the body.
- I always dreamed of becoming a Hollywood actress, but I decided writing stories would be more fun than acting the part.
- I am admittedly, a picky eater. I prefer fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains, and dark chocolate. I’m building my own food pyramid.
- I once took an African Safari by myself. Sleeping lions didn’t bother me. Neither did the charging elephant. But the crocodiles gave me nightmares.
- The oldest piece of clothing I own is my high school jacket – the one with a boot to show I was a majorette.
What terror haunts a tough FBI agent? What fears trail the Deputy US Marshal?
Tori Templeton is as tough an agent as they come, but her fear of cancer might eat her alive before any bullet ever finds her.
And when Cole Jeffers’s best friend, Nathan Moore is found murdered, it’s the very thing to drive him to reinstatement, facing his fear of being shot again head on.
As Tori works to discover who killed her best friend’s husband, she and Cole and Nathan’s widow, Sally, uncover a man none of them knew—Nathan had been a master of lies and deceit.
Between the lies Nathan posed and the false persona he hid behind, every clue leads down a more twisted path, uncovering more mystery than solving it.
Thrown together to work a case that’s too personal for either of them, Tori and Cole develop a rapport that would be enviable in any work situation—and invaluable when both their lives are ever on the line.
I felt Tori’s struggle with a faith that was foreign to her, and had utter admiration for Cole for not pressuring her into a faith she was not ready for. I felt the tension—and terror—rise with each page and each shot fired. I sweat with Tori as she faced down her fear, and I rallied with Cole as he defeated his own.
Ms. Mills writes with compelling momentum and page-turning suspense. When a story begins in a graveyard, you know it’s gonna sizzle. And Ms. Mills does not disappoint. The characters’ reactions and interactions are gritty and soul-wrenching and genuine.
In the style of Dame Agatha Christie, Ms. Mills has countless red herrings sending her agents—and her readers—down rabbit trails and dead ends. And in the same fashion, it is an unexpected twist at the end that provides the final piece of the puzzle.
I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.