Hot Trick

A banshee predicts a new murder…but it’s not who Shelley fears it will be…

Being a Chicago homicide detective, Detective Shelley Caldwell finds her life complicated by her city’s supernatural underground, her abilities as a sensitive and her half-vampire lover, Jake DeAtley. She’s approached by a man who claims he’s a banshee, who has visions of someone drowning in a trunk. Shelley shakes the warning away until illusionist Sebastian Cole claims he will escape from a locked trunk submerged in the river. He pulls it off, but a woman across town drowns in another kind of trunk.

Then another banshee warning and a second death with circumstances eerily similar to another of Sebastian’s tricks makes Shelley even more determined to identify and stop the killer. There must be a link between the magician and the murders. Otherwise, why is Sebastian invading her sleep and stirring her senses? Jake’s negative reaction to the illusionist makes her even more wary. Can Shelley fight off Sebastian’s supernatural influence to determine if he’s the killer…or will she become another victim?

Excerpt:
A crimson streak bleeding into a rising full moon held me mesmerized outside my area office of the Chicago Police Department. On my way to the parking lot after a seventy-two-hour stint working a homicide, I couldn’t move for a moment. Though I wanted to believe this was no dark omen, simply a phenomenon of nature—strange cloud cover extending a colorful sunset across the western evening sky—a shiver coursed through me.
Already late, I shook off the odd feeling.
Rushing toward my red Camaro convertible, I was unprepared for the scrawny man who popped up in front of me and stopped me cold in my tracks. Though the evening was warm, he wore a tweed suit with vest and a Donegal tweed cap.
“You must be Detective Caldwell,” he said, his accent faintly Irish.
That would be me—Detective Shelley Caldwell, Homicide. “Who wants to know?”
His narrow face spread into a wide grin, showing off a gold tooth, and his sandy eyebrows wiggled. “The name’s Casey Brogan.”
“What can I do for you, Brogan?”
“’Tis not what you ken do for me, but what I ken do for you.”
“Which would be…”
His grin faded, leaving a serious expression on his wizened face. “To tell you of the murder, of course.”
Another shiver. “You have information about the White case?” I’d thought we’d solved it. Did he have new information to add?
“Na, na. I’m here to tell you someone is about to die.”
My gut clenched as it always did when I was about to investigate a murder. “About to… Who?”
“I wouldn’t be knowing the name.”
But he obviously knew something. My exhaustion faded as adrenaline pumped through my veins. “What would you be knowing?”
He went all glass-eyed and a long, eerie moan escaped him. “I see a trunk…bound hands…” Another moan. “Water…deep water…”
“Seeing?” I interrupted, having a moment’s doubt. “As in psychic?”
“Not psychic, not exactly, ’tis my heritage as a banshee to know these things.”
Banshee. Uh-huh.
I raised my eyes to the full moon and wondered why it always brought out the kooks. They came to the office on a monthly basis with stories that spanned the city and beyond. Really beyond, as in alien arrivals. I played him along.
“Now why would you tell me if you were a supernatural creature?”
“Because you’re a sensitive.” His forehead wrinkled. “You would know soon enough. I’m figuring ’tis best to start out with truth between us.”
I ignored the chill that shot up my spine at the word sensitive. The only person I was sensitive to was my twin, Silke. We’d always had kind of a radar which I generally chose to ignore. The curse of being an identical twin, I figured.
I sighed. “All right. So when is this murder going to happen?”
“Tonight.”
“Where?”
“I told you—deep water.”
“Nothing more specific?”
“Your Da would have believed me…”

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