Excerpt: Josh Lanyon’s “Winter Kill”

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winter kill bookIf you’re a fan of LGBT mystery novels, then Josh Lanyon’s latest release – Winter Kill – might be just the kind of book you want to snuggle up with this weekend.

This book hasn’t even been for sale for a full month and is already sitting high on the best sellers chart. Here’s a summary of the novel:

Clever and ambitious, Special Agent Adam Darling (yeah, he’s heard all the jokes before) was on the fast track to promotion and success until his mishandling of a high profile operation left one person dead and Adam “On the Beach.” Now he’s got a new partner, a new case, and a new chance to resurrect his career, hunting a cruel and cunning serial killer in a remote mountain resort in Oregon.

Deputy Sheriff Robert Haskell may seem laid-back, but he’s a tough and efficient cop — and he’s none too thrilled to see feebs on his turf — even when one of the agents is smart, handsome, and probably gay. But a butchered body in a Native American museum is out of his small town department’s league. For that matter, icy, uptight Adam Darling is out of Rob’s league, but that doesn’t mean Rob won’t take his best shot.

If that catches your interest, then check out the excerpt below.

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Chapter One

“It was a mistake bringing in the feds,” Zeke said.

Rob grunted. He thought it was a mistake too, but it hadn’t been his call and it was too late now, so what was the point of bitching? He said, “Feebs.”

“What?”

“The FBI. They call them feebs now.”

“I don’t care if they call them fucking frankfurters.”

Rob grunted.

From the observation deck at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport they watched in silence as Alaska Airlines Flight 477 touched down, skimmed the rain-blackened runway, and taxied slowly toward the terminal.

Rob straightened. “Come on.”

“There’s no hurry.” Zeke continued to gaze out the wet, streaked window.

The overhead speaker announced the flight’s arrival for anyone who wasn’t paying attention and offered information on collecting baggage to the passengers still sitting on the plane.

A few long minutes passed before the mobile stairway was lined up with the plane doors. The cabin door opened. At last the passengers began to disembark.

Rob’s stomach growled and he glanced at his watch. It was already twelve thirty and in this weather it would take about an hour to drive from Medford to the resort of Nearby. He sighed inwardly. It had been a long morning and it was going to be a long afternoon. Of that, he had zero doubt.

Zeke said suddenly, “Fucking Barbie and Ken!”

A woman carrying a briefcase exited the plane. The rainy breeze tousled her long, pale hair. She threw a comment over her shoulder to a man in an olive rain coat. The man replied and the woman laughed.

Rob smiled grimly because that time Zeke nailed it. Tall and blond and elegant in their His and Hers trench coats, these two looked more like they were auditioning for a hot new TV series than real law enforcement. But law enforcement they were. Real live FBI Special Agents come all the way from sunny Los Angeles to offer their wisdom and expertise.

Yep, it was pretty damned annoying.

“Come on,” he said again, and this time he meant it. Zeke heaved a heavy sigh but followed him downstairs to the Arrival Gate where Barbie and Ken were impatiently scanning the waiting crowd for their welcome committee.

The bystanders parted before Rob and Zeke. There was nothing like a sheriff’s badge to clear a path.

“Special Agents Gould and Darling?” Rob asked. Not that he had any doubt.

The man–Rob’s height, green eyes, short, wavy fair hair–said crisply, “I’m Darling. This is Agent Gould.”

“Deputies,” Gould said. She had a very pretty smile. No question who played Good Cop on that team.

“Special Agent What’dyousay?” Zeke asked.

Darling directed a look that should have left Zeke encased in ice, and Rob preserved his poker face with effort.

“I’m Haskell. This is Deputy Lang,” Rob said. “How was your trip?”

“Long,” Darling said. “Shall we hit the road?”

“I could see getting that mixed up,” Zeke interrupted with his usual godawful timing.

Darling looked almost human as his green gaze met Rob’s. Gould’s pale brows drew together. “I’m sorry?”

Zeke opened his big mouth again. “I could see how someone might think you were the d–”

Rob spoke over him. “We’re parked in the lot across from the terminal.” He gave Zeke a helpful, hard nudge in the direction of the exit. Zeke winced and glared at him. “You have any luggage?” Rob asked the feds.

Gould held up her briefcase. Darling didn’t seem to hear the question, heading straight for the doors leading out to the rainy gray October day.

They piled into the Rural Patrol SUV, the FBI agents in the backseat and Zeke riding shotgun. Rob started the engine.

“How long a drive is it to the resort?” Darling asked.

“Not quite an hour. Maybe a little longer in the rain.”

“With you driving, definitely a little longer,” Zeke said.

Rob ignored him, pulling out of the parking lot and turning east.

“You really think our DB might be one of the Roadside Ripper’s vics?” Zeke asked, looking back at their passengers.

“That’s what we’re here to find out,” Gould said.

“What’s the body count now?” Zeke asked.

“We believe we have twenty-one confirmed kills.” Gould’s voice was pleasant. She might have been discussing the weather.

“I almost applied to the FBI,” Zeke said. “I didn’t want to have to wear a fucking tie all the time.”

Rob managed to swallow his snort. He glanced in the rearview mirror as he merged onto OR-62 West and briefly met Darling’s eyes. Darling’s mouth quirked in a sardonic not-quite-smile.

 

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You can finish reading the rest of the Chapter One excerpt on the author’s website here. You can also find an additional excerpt here. Or, just head over to Amazon and download the entire book.

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Shawna prefers fantasy books for the most part, but will read pretty much any type of fiction with LGBT characters. She prefers books with great secondary characters as well as main characters. And, she is really tired of lesbian romance novels where one character is/was straight and/or married to a guy. Despite that, she recently enjoyed Clare Ashton’s That Certain Something.

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