Thank you for joining us on The Writers Revolution. This week we are celebrating the release of Conviction (book 3 of the Detective Ryan Series). Today is the release and release party. Join us each day as we bring you more from the Detective Ryan Series, including teasers, reviews, and even an excerpt.
What would you do if your whole world just shattered into tiny pieces? Most would curl up and hide from the world, but Detective Ali Ryan wasn’t most people. After suffering the lethal combination of heartbreak, betrayal and death, Ali must find the will to pick up the pieces and solve the biggest case of her life. With the lives of her loved ones at stake, Ali will do everything to uncover the truth. And the question everyone has been dying to know will be answered; WHO IS THE PUPPET MASTER?
Sitting in the confines of his pitch black office, the man the police once labeled as the Puppet Master pulled out a wrinkled piece of paper from the cold metal desk. He clicked on the light and stared at the names crossed off with red marker. Four names remained on the list, but when his eyes found Matthew Alvarado, he merely laughed while inking out another name.
Tucking the paper away, he took his suit jacket and exited the room. The T.V. in the bedroom could be heard down the hall as they announced the funeral for latest victim of his manipulation. The evil grin was unmistakable as he looked in the mirror. He remembered the carnage from a week earlier as Matthew’s body was wheeled out of Detective Ali Ryan’s home. The blood soaked, white sheet was secured around the deceased, keeping from the public’s view.
Much deserved, he thought. At least you won’t get in my way of killing her again. His hands gripped the black tie and tugged it tightly at the memory of his foiled attempt to drown Detective Ryan only few months prior. He would have to settle for seeing the devastation in her eyes as she watched the man she loved get lowered six-feet beneath the ground. The thought calmed his anger long enough to fix his tie.
He arrived at the funeral. There were so many people there, blending in was easy. There were so many grieving men and women there, no one would think twice about questioning who he was. He slipped into a chair without drawing attention to himself. There would be no master plan, no attacks or murders. He was there to watch Ali Ryan’s spirit get crushed beneath his brilliance.
Matthew’s family naturally stood at the front, welcoming everyone as they paid their respects. A large group of people walked by, making it increasingly difficult to hear anyone approaching. At the tail end of the group were three people whose names were inscribed on his list.
The man bringing up the rear was the most recent addition. Detective James Thornton, the man who was so full of himself he believes he’s god’s gift to women. The man had a habit of getting what he wanted and leaving a trail of broken hearts behind. In front of him stood Amanda Ryan, Ali’s sister. Her coal black hair and thin body’s appearance made her look anorexic compared to the rest of her friends and family.
The sick smile returned to his face, remembering six months earlier knocking her onto the train tracks at the Poughkeepsie Train Station. As much as he would have loved to watch her death eat away at Detective Ryan, he was happier to see Amanda’s boyfriend jump down to save her. The unfortunate bastard never had a chance. He saved the girl only to be crushed by the inbound train. Amanda’s cries for help may have alerted others to her impending abduction, but failed to stop him from escaping with her. Taking her captive was the perfect way to cut Ali deep enough to make her snap. There was never an intention to kill Amanda, she was the bait to lure the police away from Ali’s pursuit of Nick DeFalco. The plan worked to perfection as Ali pulled the trigger, killing his little protégé.
DeFalco wasn’t considered a big loss. He was viewed as a necessary expenditure, a loose end that couldn’t be left for the police to interrogate. If they arrested and questioned DeFalco, they would know he had an accomplice.
The Puppet Master’s eyes moved to Detective Ali Ryan. She looked stunning in the black dress her sister picked out for her. It showed off her curvaceous body, but maintained the class she wanted to show as she hugged the mother of her deceased boyfriend. The tears ran down her reddened cheeks. It was a sight he wanted to savor. She was a pure emotional wreck and the man sitting three rows from her was to blame.
If only you knew the truth Ali, he thought. He watched the ceremony proceed without a hitch. Then it was time for those closest to the deceased to add a rose to the top of the casket. He watched as Matthew’s mother and brothers gently tossed the roses into the grave, landing on top of the box. A high pitched wail came from Mrs. Alvarado as turned away. Her sons grabbed her arms and directed her back to their seats. More of their family huddled around her after depositing their roses on the casket.
The Puppet Master searched his cold, black heart for any sign of remorse. Sympathy and empathy went out the window long ago. The pain Mrs. Alvarado felt was one he knew all too well, but wouldn’t allow that tragedy to get the better of him when he was so close to reaching his ultimate goal, to kill Ali Ryan.
Once the family paid their respects, they brought Mrs. Alvarado to the side, hoping it would help to calm her down. Then Ali and her sister approached with their new bodyguard. The sisters stood in front of the old woman and cried in each other’s arms.
Before he could lose himself in savoring the moment, the procession line of people paying their respects moved to his row. He was obligated to participate. If he didn’t, he would start to stick out. Getting up with the rest of his row, the Puppet Master collected the rose and approached the grave.
“Don’t worry,” he whispered. “I’ll make sure you are with Ali again very soon.” He dropped the rose and started to walk back to his car. With one last look, he saw a tall, husky man moved with a purpose towards Ali as she left Mrs. Alvarado. Now this should be interesting.
Detective Thornton jumped between Ali and her now former partner, Detective Rodney Johnson. There was nothing but anger and hatred burning in Ali’s eyes. The Puppet Master believed if Ali were given the chance, she would murder Rodney in cold blood.
“Listen,” Rodney shouted. “I didn’t pull the trigger.”
That was not the response the Puppet Master thought he would hear. He thought Rodney would beg for forgiveness or for Ali to help him prove his innocence.
He wanted to listen to their conversation, but knew if he got too close, they would turn their attention to him instead of where he wanted it diverted to.
Turning his back to the group, the Puppet Master walked back to his car, hearing Rodney shout, “You think I’d bash my own head in to cover up an accidental shooting?”
Rodney must have found some way to prove he was attacked. If he has enough evidence, he’ll be cleared of the shooting and my plan will be over.
The Puppet Master jumped in his car and pulled away slowly, continuing with his role as a grieving friend or co-worker. Once he pulled up to a stoplight, his fist connected with the steering wheel.
“I’m done waiting. She needs to die.” He looked up at the light with the evil smile. “Ready or not; I’m coming for you, Detective Ali Ryan.
If we've piqued your interest, be sure to pick up a copy of the third book in the Detective Ryan Series, Conviction