Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Price For Harmony by Jeffrey M. Thompson Jr.

I was born and raised on oatmeal in the rubber capital of the world, Akron, Ohio, a city I hold near and dear. Although I now live in the Philippines, I'll never release Akron from my heart.

I'm the father of two young children, an archaeology junkie, and an initiated follower of Lord Sri Krishna. I dream of seeing the Himalayas in Nepal, taking a stroll on the Great Wall of China, watching the sunset over the pyramids and traveling through India visiting all of the holy temples and shrines.

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About the Book

For six years the murder of Harmony Bane has gone unsolved. A complicated Goth kid in the midst of a metamorphosis, Harmony was found gutted, hacked up, and branded with demonic symbols in the trunk of her abandoned car. After a lengthy and unproductive investigation, her case went cold and was nearly forgotten.

Until Duke Bradley, private eye, came across it.

Now Duke is running between an obsessive cult leader, a self-proclaimed vampire, and a disgraced dentist, all the while dodging legal prosecution and doing his damnedest to hold onto his relationship with Shriya.

In this second installment of the Duke Bradley mysteries, Duke and Special Agent Shriya Thakur of the FBI find themselves in the middle of Akron’s gritty subculture as they take on the cold case murder mystery of Harmony Bane.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

Seven months after I shot and killed Vinnie Torlino in self-defense, the city of Akron got this new assistant chief prosecutor who had it in for me. Now this guy, Robert Wells, is a special kind of jerk. He convinced the suits in the ivory tower to let him reopen the investigation of the Torlino incident, even though I’d been cleared of any charges. He liked to toss around the term ‘Vigilante Justice’. Apparently he got wind of the medical examiner's opinion that Torlino would have sucked air for another twenty to thirty minutes after I stuck my slim jim in his throat. Plenty of time to get him to a hospital. And that he was probably no longer a threat before I plugged him with his own bullet. I told Wells to bring it on. Because I’m here to tell you that I’m not a vigilante. I’m a private eye. Duke Bradley, Private Eye.

I didn’t have time for that jerk. I had other balls in the air. The three-minute egg of fame I’d enjoyed after bringing down that human trafficking circus was gone, and the five grand reward I got from the FBI for solving the Karen Linford murder had already evaporated. Cases were tapering off and I’d just gotten stiffed on a skip trace by a landlord looking for a tenant who went on the lam. Found the guy in less than a day, then waited two to report it just to make it look good. Then all I got was stories and excuses instead of payment. Things were getting hairy in a hurry.

That's when I met Harmony Bane. She was young, Gothic, and dead. Just twenty years old, she’d been sliced up, gutted, and stuffed into the trunk of her own car like a hunted deer. The Harmony Bane murder is one of the strangest cases I’ve ever agreed to take on. And it taught me a little about acceptance.

It was 8:10 p.m. on a sticky-warm July night. I walked out of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where I’d been attending my regular Thursday night AA meeting. I didn’t feel much like sticking around for punch and cookie time. With this new prosecutor looking up my dress and my lack of real cases, I wasn’t the greatest company.

The sun was just starting to set and the traffic on West Market Street was down to a trickle. Typical summer night in Akron, Ohio. One that hangs on to the heat of the day, but can still put a chill down your spine. I smoked half a cigarette, then hopped the bus going downtown. My Taurus was in the shop.

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