Tour Into Danger (Romantic suspense)
Penny is booked on a flight to Toronto to look for her sister. Her 9-year-old nephew, Rob, says Angela went on holiday…without saying goodbye. But when Rob sees his stepfather murder a man and begs Penny for asylum, she changes direction. Rather than call the police, who she believes are corrupt, Penny takes Rob to Honolulu. They’ll be safe there. Or so she thinks.
Followed by two hit men, she is desperate to keep her nephew safe and worried sick about her sister. And who is the attractive but bumbling tourist who turns up wherever they go?
What People Are Saying
A well-written, fast-paced blend of action and suspense. The Hawaiian setting is fresh and the characters are finely-drawn. A really good read.
— An Amazon Customer
The plot was realistic, the police procedural interaction seemed authentic, and the author is obviously familiar with her Hawaiian setting.
— An Amazon Customer
Tour Into Danger held me until the final page.
— An Amazon Customer
(Smashwords offers ebooks in all formats.)
Greg’s car was still in the garage.
Angela parked, heart thumping and palms moist. He should have been at the restaurant by now, giving her the whole day to think up a plausible lie. She let herself in and put the change from her pocket into the two foot high glass vase beside the fireplace.
It was stupid putting money on view like that but Greg seemed fascinated by the coins. He often put his hand in and let them trickle through his fingers. There must be close to five thousand dollars in the vase by now.
“Where have you been?” Greg’s voice. Angry. She smiled brightly to hide the way her body shrank from him.
His slap knocked her sideways, burning her cheek and bruising her elbow on the rough stone of the fireplace. He was poised to strike again, his heavy black eyebrows pulled down in a scowl, thick lips taut with fury.
Anger roughened Angela’s voice. “Why do you have to know what I do every minute of the day?”
“You’re my wife.” He moved closer, forcing her to tilt her head back to look at his face. “Answer me!”
His rage brought memories of barely healed bruises, a broken arm. And rising fear. It was hard to believe this was the same man who’d courted her with Caribbean vacations and diamonds little more than four years ago.
If she told him the truth, he’d tear her apart.
“I was shopping.”
“This early?” Greg sneered. “You?”
It was true she didn’t bother getting up until mid-morning most days. Mrs. Hanson, the housekeeper, got nine-year-old Rob ready for school. But she had to convince Greg she wasn’t lying or he’d break more of her bones.
She’d have to tell more lies to her sister, too, and Penny was getting suspicious. She’d already wondered out loud why Angela was so clumsy all of a sudden, falling down stairs and banging into doors.
She should tell her sister about the beatings; Penny had fought her battles all through school. But Penny was too impulsive; she’d wade in with feet and fists — and lawyers — and Greg would kill all three of them.
Greg’s hand clamped around her throat. “I asked you a question, you little slut! Where were you?”
Fear ballooned into terror. She couldn’t think. She was shaking so much she could barely stand.
“I took my diamond necklace to be fixed.”
“Why now? Why first thing in the morning?”
“Because of the party tonight. The jeweler said he had to have it early or it wouldn’t be ready. I thought you’d want me to wear it.”
Greg’s hand loosened on her throat.
She relaxed a little. She might have made it as an actress after all. She’d done plenty of acting the last couple of years.
He’d kill her if he found out she’d pawned it. The money, a ridiculously small amount, was in her bag. She had to get more money soon, before he hit Rob again. Just a little more. Then she and Rob would be on their way to Toronto. She had friends there she could trust.
“You never told me the necklace was damaged.”
“I thought you’d be angry. It was my fault.”
He let go of her and straightened his tie. “Accidents happen.” He picked up his briefcase. “I’ll be at the restaurant the rest of the day. Give me the claim ticket for the necklace and I’ll pick it up this afternoon.”
Her knees almost buckled. “He didn’t give me one.”
Greg put the briefcase down in a deliberate fashion that sent shivers along her spine.
“No claim ticket, Angela? For a necklace worth thousands?” He strode across the room toward her, arms swinging loosely at his sides. She put a hand on the mantel to brace herself.
“Liar! I want the truth. You and that useless sister of yours are up to something, aren’t you?”
The crack of his open hand across her face stunned her and she staggered.
He’d hit Rob that way a month ago. She grabbed the poker and swung it at his head. But she was too close. The poker struck his upper arm.
He roared. His fists, closed and iron hard, smashed into her face. She felt her legs collapse, felt the back of her head crack against the hearth.
Greg kicked her in the ribs. “Get up!”
She didn’t move. As his breathing slowed he saw blood seeping through her blonde hair, spreading over the hearth.
“Angie…” He knelt and took her hand. It was limp.
“Angie!” Her eyes were open, staring.
She was still. Too still.
He put his arms around her, held her against his chest, heedless of the blood soaking into his dark blue pinstripe.
“Baby, I didn’t mean it.”
Even as he said the words, he knew it was too late. He laid her on the hearth and stood up.
The first year they’d been together, he’d idolized her, given her everything. He’d been a fool. His old man always said you could never trust a woman.
She’d betrayed him. He didn’t know who the man was, but that interfering sister of hers had been part of it somehow. She’d tried to turn Angela against him right from the start.
He hadn’t meant to kill her, but she had it coming. Once a slut always a slut. She’d as much as said she didn’t know who Rob’s father was. He’d adopted the brat but he should have made her give him sons of his own. That would have kept her too busy to get fancy ideas.
Now he had a problem. A serious problem.
Should he call the cops? It would make him look like a decent law-abiding citizen, everything open and above board. If they bought it, he might even get off with probation.
Trouble was, they were already sniffing around him. Give them an excuse to tear his house and restaurant apart and they might find something. Or frame him. Wouldn’t be the first time he’d heard of cops planting evidence on somebody.
No. No cops. Too risky. If he did go down for manslaughter, Sam Denton would make sure some other guy took over the business before he even got into court.
Greg’s gaze moved to the view of English Bay and the high rises of Vancouver. Sure, he had this fancy house and a bank account in the Caymans, but it wasn’t enough.
Ten million would be better. Enough to erase the memories of poverty and oppression in Rumania before his family escaped and immigrated to Canada. Enough to buy anything he wanted, anywhere in the world.
He had to get rid of Angela fast, before Mrs. Hanson brought the brat and his little buddy back from the beach. And figure out a foolproof story. It was nobody’s business how he dealt with his own property, but the law would stick its nose in and there’d be questions from her family.
As he reached for the phone, he decided it was time Penny got what was coming to her, too. And he knew exactly how to do it.
Carl Fredericks heaved his lanky six-foot-two frame off the sofa and picked up the phone. “Yeah?”
He listened, his breath quickening.
“Why should I get involved in your personal problems?” He’d always thought Greg was a loser, but what he’d just heard proved his boss was the prize scumbag of all time.
“Yeah, I can see where you going to prison would put the business down the tubes.”
He couldn’t afford to lose what Greg’s drug dealing brought in. The Plan was so close to being a reality that just one more year ought to do it. Then he’d be gone and nobody’d find him where he was going.
“Okay, I’ll be right over.”
Carl put the phone down and considered the methods of disposing of a body. If they did it right and Greg stayed cool — and kept his mouth shut — it would be okay.
But would Greg stay cool? He’d killed his wife, which wasn’t cool at all. Why hadn’t he just booted her out?
He ran a comb through his pale blond hair and hid his ice-blue eyes behind aviator sunglasses. His cocker spaniel, Wildwood Butterscotch Candy, bounced around his feet, wriggling with excitement. He picked her up and rubbed her ears while she tried to lick his face.
“I won’t be long, girl. Then we’ll go to the park.”
He put her down. “Gotta find you a boy friend pretty soon. Some big horny dog with a pedigree to match. No SPCA strays for my Candy girl.” Which reminded him he’d been meaning to send some cash to the SPCA. Next week would do; he had to get Greg off his back first.