Monster’s Dream is the second in a series of chilling thriller stories and is a stand-alone book, in that I have not read the first one yet and I was still able to understand the plot and thoroughly enjoy reading this story. That being said, I wish I had had the chance to read the first book in the Jersey Murder Series as the characters would have come even more to life than they had in this story. P.K. Abbot has given us just enough backstory to understand that the detective, Raphael Riley, is not ready for desk duty as is his fate due to heart complications. He was the best on the force and had the most arrests, for prostitution, but he was never a homicide detective. Fortunately for the force, he doesn’t go too far and he is willing to work alongside his peers to make sense of some brutal murders that seem to go back as far as ten years. He becomes even more drawn in when one of the next victims is the son of a woman he is beginning to really care about. Unable to comprehend these heinous murders against young boys, Riley tries to unravel the clues and figure out the how and why. Seeing the other police officers for the first time, in a new light, is more than enlightening, it may be the basis for this profound evil. This is a short read and kept me turning pages the entire time. I could not put down the book as with the end of each chapter a new piece of the puzzle draws you in, keeping you enthralled and wondering who could kill a child. I gave the story four out of five stars as I felt the plot could have been expanded a bit further to enhance the experience for the reader. It was enjoyable to not have to read through chapters of unrelated or irrelevant material, but I would have liked a little more build-up to the conclusion. This is a must-read for the psychologically twisted thrill.
Welcome to the book tour for Crescent Moon Crossing by Sandy Wright. Read on for more!
Crescent Moon Crossing
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2022
Staff Sgt. Jace Merrick’s two short-term goals: Join the Army Intelligence Unit, and kill his wife.
When his bleeding-heart spouse, Abby, begins volunteering at Hope House, a group that leaves supplies in the Arizona desert for illegals crossing the border, he hatches a plan to make her murder look like a coyote smuggling gone wrong. But before he can carry out his plan, Abby is murdered—and he’s the prime suspect.
Rumor Vargas is first on the witness list of Deputy Sheriff Cooper “Coop” Jones who’s investigating her friend’s murder. Rumor finds his methodical mind attractive and she’s curious about his battle-weary eyes. But when he turns that inquiring mind on her big brother as a prime suspect, Rumor has a reason besides attraction to keep Coop close.
The Sheriff suspects Alberto Vargas has Cartel ties, and this certainly looks like the Sinoloan gang’s work. On the other hand, Abby’s husband—and his lover–have their own motives for murder.
The further Coop digs into the case, the less the facts add up for any of his known suspects. Someone has a grudge against Jace Merrick. A life and death grudge. And it’s time for pay back.
Staff Sergeant Jace Merrick was still enjoying the limp-limbed afterglow of his third orgasm when his lover flipped back the covers and stood up. “Hey, where do you think you’re going?” He stretched like a contented cat and scratched the line of blonde hair running from his chest to navel, remembering his lover’s lips following that path an hour earlier.
“Rise and shine soldier.” First Lieutenant Kendra Clark’s bare feet slapped the cheap linoleum in the motel bathroom. “We report at oh-eight-hundred tomorrow. Lots of loose ends to tie up before then.”
Jace rolled onto his back and listened to the clank and whoosh of the shower. One more day until he began training for his new assignment, and the seventeen-week base restriction that came with it. Although he would miss the daily sex, this transfer to Fort Huachuca was the culmination of a dream he’d been working toward for years. Military Intelligence. Pretty damned good for a guy who’d lost his ROTC scholarship and come up the hard way, straight leg infantry, 11-Bravo.
He left the bed and stepped into the steamy shower behind Kendra, slipping his arms around her bare waist.
She glanced over one sleek shoulder. “Miss me already?”
“What can I say?” He lathered her arms, working his way down to run a soapy finger in slow circles around one nipple, pleased to feel it harden at his touch. He’d always trusted his instincts, and those instincts told him she’d wait for him. After all, she’d followed him from fort to fort for the last two years, finagling matching assignments. She’d wait seventeen weeks. Absence makes the cock grow harder, said member twitched in reply.
“Move it, mister.” Kendra stepped out of the shower and dried off with brisk efficiency. “Quit daydreaming.”
Just one last thing, Jace thought as he stepped out of the shower. “One little detail to handle,” he told his reflection, wiping the steam from the motel mirror.
After he completed training, he’d change his marital status. Then he’d finally be free of his do-gooder, bleeding-heart wife. How, he wasn’t sure yet. The tricky part was getting rid of Abby while keeping her recent inheritance.
Kendra stood in front of Jace so he could fasten her bra. “What are you thinking about so intently?”
“I’m thinking about Abby,” he replied, finishing the clasps. “I’m thinking it’s convenient that the Army doesn’t pay for a family transfer until my next deployment.”
Kendra frowned. “Yes. But we have to deal with her eventually. I hate sneaking around.”
He leaned over to scoop his shirt from the floor and kiss the dimpled spot just above her lacy panties. “Be patient. I’m working on a plan to be rid of her. Permanently.”
* * *
Outside the motel, a silver Honda Accord sat in the shade of an overgrown mesquite tree, the front window rolled up despite the stifling Arizona heat.
The man in the driver’s seat removed his baseball cap and rubbed his sweaty head with a bandanna. He hated this monochrome desert landscape and its searing heat. It reminded him of Iraq. Made him feel exposed and twitchy. The glare brought back his blinding headaches, and the nightmares too. The ones that jerked him awake in a cold sweat, reaching for his rifle.
But he had a job to do.
When Jace came out, the man put down his black coffee and raised binoculars to his eyes. He watched Jace unlock his metallic blue Mustang. The son-of-a-gun was whistling as he slid behind the wheel. That smug face, seemingly right in front of him, thanks to the magnified lens, made his breath catch and stomach acid bubble up and burn his throat. He squeezed the binoculars until his fingers ached. Breathing hard, he imagined his hands around Jace’s neck, squeezing, squeezing, until that cocky smile disappeared, replaced by terror.
He wasn’t worried about being seen. Chances were Jace wouldn’t remember him, especially dressed as a civilian in a dark ball cap and a Black Sabbath logo t-shirt.
His old squad leader hadn’t changed a bit. Still slim, buff and full of himself. Still the lady’s man.
He shut his eyes as his nostrils filled with the old-penny scent of blood. The car, the heat, the sleazy motel faded away. Instead, he imagined his wife on the operating table, her belly clamped open, blood filling the cavity faster than the nurses could suction it out. He could just make out the tiny body of Baby Emily, still attached inside, while the surgeon worked frantically to get the baby out and save mother. As he watched, the still form disappeared, the face submerged in blood.
“No. No. No.” He trembled as terror seared his guts and the flashback engulfed him. His arms, of their own volition, reached out to touch his wife, to help lift his baby daughter’s head above the blood, to clean out her nose and throat and force her to breathe. Please, Emmy. Breathe.
The rumbling of Jace’s turbo-charged Mustang brought the stranger back to the motel. He unclamped his cramped hands from the steering wheel and gingerly massaged his chest. Just my luck to have a heart attack in this dusty, shit hole parking lot. His face was wet with tears. They ran down his chin to soak the neck of his tee shirt.
I should have been there. I could have kept her healthier. Stronger. At least I could have held her hand at…at the end.
Anger scorched away his tears, as he thought about Jace Merrick, the self-involved asshole who made him miss his wife’s delivery. She lost her life. He lost his career. And Jace? Nothing. A night in the stockade for starting a bar fight. That’s all.
Soon after Barb and Em’s death, he’d suffered a psychotic breakdown during a night patrol. He was convinced people were trying to kill him.
“Of course they are, you jackass,” Jace told him. “We’re in the middle of a war zone.” He slapped him on the helmet and sent him back out on patrol the next night.
But who wants a marksman with the shakes? He looked down at his trembling hands in disgust.
His CO had no choice but to remove him from active duty. He recommended a medical discharge. “His sense of reality is fragile in the extreme,” the officer said in his report. “For his own sake, and for the safety of his squad mates, he needs rest and psychiatric care.”
Sandy Wright resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, a rescued Australian Shepherd named Teak, and a black panther cat born during a full eclipse and named Shadow Moon.
She fell in love with the southwest desert, including its Native American influences, when she relocated from the Midwest.
CRESCENT MOON CROSSING, released August 2022, features a murder that could be ripped from today’s tension-laden border conflict headlines.
Staff Sergeant Jace Merrick has two short-term goals–join the Army Intelligence unit, and kill his wife. He hatches a scheme to make her death look like a Mexican cartel smuggling operation gone wrong. But before he can carry out his plan, she is shot, and he becomes the prime murder suspect.
SONG OF THE ANCIENTS, the first novel in the Ancient Magic paranormal suspense series, introduces readers to witchcraft and shamanism, seen through the eyes of an ordinary woman.
Readers interested in witchcraft—or just a dark, spooky tale—will enjoy this paranormal suspense, written by a real-life Wiccan High Priestess.