Once Stalked (A Riley Paige Mystery—Book 9)

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“A masterpiece of thriller and mystery! The author did a magnificent job developing characters with a psychological side that is so well described that we feel inside their minds, follow their fears and cheer for their success. The plot is very intelligent and will keep you entertained throughout the book. Full of twists, this book will keep you awake until the turn of the last page.” --Books and Movie Reviews, Roberto Mattos (re Once Gone) ONCE STALKED is book #9 in the bestselling Riley Paige mystery series, which begins with the #1 bestseller ONCE GONE (Book #1)—a free download with over 900 five star reviews! When two soldiers are found dead on a huge military base in California, apparently killed by gunshot, military investigators are stumped. Who is killing its soldiers, inside the secure confines of its own base?And why?The FBI is called in, and Riley Paige is summoned to take the lead. As Riley finds herself immersed in the military culture, she is amazed to realize that serial killers can strike even here, in the midst of the most secure location on earth.She finds herself in a frantic cat and mouse chase, racing to decode the killer’s psychology. Yet she soon discovers she is up against a highly-trained killer, one that may, even for her, be too deadly an opponent.A dark psychological thriller with heart-pounding suspense, ONCE STALKED is book #9 in a riveting new series—with a beloved new character—that will leave you turning pages late into the night. Book #10 in the Riley Paige series will be available soon.

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Publié par
Date de parution 31 juillet 2017
Nombre de visites sur la page 0
EAN13 9781640290792
Langue English

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O N C E S T A L K E D (A RILEY PAIGE MYSTERY—BOOK 9) B L A K E P I E R C E
Blake Pierce Blake Pierce is author of the bestselling RILEY PAGE mystery series, which includes ten books (and counting). Blake Pierce is also the author of the MACKENZIE WHITE mystery series, comprising six books (and counting); of the AVERY BLACK mystery series, comprising five books; and of the new KERI LOCKE mystery series, comprising four books (and counting). An avid reader and lifelong fan of the mystery and thriller genres, Blake loves to hear from you, so please feel free to visitwww.blakepierceauthor.comto learn more and stay in touch. Copyright © 2017 by Blake Pierce. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior permission of the author. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Jacket image Copyright d1sk, used under license from Shutterstock.com.
BOOKS BY BLAKE PIERCE RILEY PAIGE M YSTERY SERIES ONCE GONE (Book #1) ONCE TAKEN (Book #2) ONCE CRAVED (Book #3) ONCE LURED (Book #4) ONCE HUNTED (Book #5) ONCE PINED (Book #6) ONCE FORSAKEN (Book #7) ONCE COLD (Book #8) ONCE STALKED (Book #9) ONCE LOST (Book #10) M ACKENZIE WHITE M YSTERY SERIES BEFORE HE KILLS (Book #1) BEFORE HE SEES (Book #2) BEFORE HE COVETS (Book #3) BEFORE HE TAKES (Book #4) BEFORE HE NEEDS (Book #5) BEFORE HE FEELS (Book #6) AVERY BLACK M YSTERY SERIES CAUSE TO KILL (Book #1) CAUSE TO RUN (Book #2) CAUSE TO HIDE (Book #3) CAUSE TO FEAR (Book #4) CAUSE TO SAVE (Book #5) KERI LOCKE M YSTERY SERIES A TRACE OF DEATH (Book #1) A TRACE OF MUDER (Book #2) A TRACE OF VICE (Book #3) A TRACE OF CRIME (Book #4)
PROLOGUE CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER TWO CHAPTER THREE CHAPTER FOUR CHAPTER FIVE CHAPTER SIX CHAPTER SEVEN CHAPTER EIGHT CHAPTER NINE CHAPTER TEN CHAPTER ELEVEN CHAPTER TWELVE CHAPTER THIRTEEN CHAPTER FOURTEEN CHAPTER FIFTEEN CHAPTER SIXTEEN CHAPTER SEVENTEEN CHAPTER EIGHTEEN CHAPTER NINETEEN CHAPTER TWENTY CHAPTER TWENTY ONE CHAPTER TWENTY TWO CHAPTER TWENTY THREE CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE CHAPTER TWENTY SIX CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT CHAPTER TWENTY NINE CHAPTER THIRTY CHAPTER THIRTY ONE CHAPTER THIRTY TWO CHAPTER THIRTY THREE CHAPTER THIRTY FOUR CHAPTER THIRTY FIVE CHAPTER THIRTY SIX CHAPTER THIRTY SEVEN CHAPTER THIRTY EIGHT CHAPTER THIRTY NINE CHAPTER FORTY CHAPTER FORTY ONE CHAPTER FORTY TWO CHAPTER FORTY THREE CHAPTER FORTY FOUR CHAPTER FORTY FIVE CHAPTER FORTY SIX
CONTENTS
PROLOGUE Colonel Dutch Adams looked at his watch as he strode through Fort Nash Mowat, and saw that the time was 0500 hours on the dot. It was a brisk, dusky April morning in Southern California, and all appeared as it should. He heard a woman’s voice yell out sharply … “The garrison commander is present!” He turned in time to see a training platoon snap to attention at the female drill sergeant’s command. Col. Adams paused to return their salute and continued on his way. He walked a little faster than before, hoping not to attract the attention of other drill sergeants. He didn’t want to interrupt more training platoons as they gathered in their formation areas. His face twitched a little. After all these years, he still wasn’t quite used to hearing female voices snapping out commands. Even the sight of mixed-gender platoons sometimes startled him a little. The Army had definitely changed since his own days as a teenaged recruit. He didn’t like many of those changes. As he continued on his way, he heard the barking voices of other drill sergeants, both male and female, calling their platoons into formation. They don’t have much punch anymore,he thought. He could never forget the abuse spewed by his own drill sergeant so many years ago —the savage invectives against family and ancestry, the insults and obscenities. He smiled a little. That bastard Sergeant Driscoll! Driscoll died many years ago, Col. Adams recalled—not in combat as he’d surely have preferred, but of a stroke brought on by hypertension. In those days, sky high blood pressure had been an occupational hazard of drill sergeants. Col. Adams would never forget Driscoll, and as far as Adams was concerned, that was how things should be. A drill sergeant ought to make an indelible imprint on a soldier’s mind for the rest of his life. He ought to present a living example of the worst kind of hell a soldier’s life had to offer. Sergeant Driscoll had definitely had that kind of lifelong impact on Col. Adams. Were the trainers under his command here at Fort Nash Mowat likely to leave that kind of impression on their recruits? Col. Adams doubted it. Too damn much political correctness,he thought. Softness was now even written into the Army’s training manual … “Stress created by physical or verbal abuse is non-productive and prohibited.” He scoffed as he thought of the words. “What a load of crap,” he murmured under his breath. But the Army had been moving in this direction since the 1990s. He knew he ought to be used to it by now. But he never would be. Anyway, he wouldn’t have to deal with it much longer. He was a year away from retirement, and his final ambition was to make brigadier general before then. Suddenly, Adams was distracted from his musings by a puzzling sight. The recruits of Platoon #6 were milling around aimlessly in their formation area, some doing calisthenics, others just idly talking among themselves. Col. Adams stopped in his tracks and yelled. “Soldiers! Where the hell’s your sergeant?” Flustered, the recruits jumped to attention and saluted. “At ease,” Adams said. “Is somebody going to answer my goddamn question?” A female recruit spoke up.
“We don’t know Sergeant Worthing’s whereabouts,sir.” Adams could hardly believe his ears. “What do you mean, you don’t know?” he demanded. “He never showed up for formation,sir.” Adams growled under his breath. This didn’t sound like Sergeant Clifford Worthing at all. In fact, Worthing was one of the few drill sergeants that Adams had any real use for. He was a real hard-ass of the old school—or at least he wanted to be. He often came to Adams’s office to complain about how the rules reined him in. Even so, Adams knew that Worthing bent the rules as much as he could. Sometimes the recruits complained about his rigorous demands and verbal abuse. Those complaints pleased Adams. But where was Worthing right now? Adams waded among the recruits into the barracks, passing between the rows of beds until he got to Worthing’s office. He knocked sharply on the door. “Worthing, are you in there?” No one replied. “Worthing, this is your CO, and if you’re in there, you’d damn sure better answer me.” Again no one replied. Adams turned the doorknob and pushed the door open. The office was immaculately neat—and no one was there. Where the hell did he go?Adams wondered. Did Worthing even show up on the base at all this morning? Then Adams noticed the NO SMOKING sign on the office wall. He remembered that Sergeant Worthing was a smoker. Had the drill instructor just stepped out for a smoke? “Naw, it can’t be,” Adams grumbled aloud. It didn’t make sense. Even so, Adams stepped out of the office and headed for the back door of the barracks. He opened the door and stood staring into the early morning light. He didn’t have to look long or hard. Sergeant Worthing was crouched with his back against the barracks wall, a burned-out cigarette hanging out of his mouth. “Worthing, what the hell …?” Adams snarled. Then he recoiled at what he saw. At Adams’s eye level was a large dark wet blotch on the wall. From that blotch, a continuous smear trailed down to where Worthing was crouched. Then Adams saw the dark hole in the middle of Worthing’s head. It was a bullet wound. The entry wound was tiny, but the exit wound had taken off much of the back of Worthing’s skull. The man had been shot dead, standing there smoking an early morning cigarette. The shot had been so clean that the drill sergeant had died instantly. Even the cigarette had remained in his mouth undisturbed. “Jesus Christ,” Adams murmured. “Not again.” He looked all around. A large empty field stretched out behind the barracks. The shot had been fired from some great distance. That meant it had been fired by a skilled