“Gripping, engaging, and atmospheric… Arnold brings depravity, action, and pulse-pounding moments to a gripping crime thriller and police procedural.” ~ Mystery & Suspense Magazine
Every time I set out to write a Brandon Fisher FBI thriller, I ask myself how I can make this creepy as hell. I used to try to surpass the one before, but stopped giving myself that challenge! Rather I focus on the book I’m working on at the time.
If you haven’t yet started the Brandon Fisher FBI series, I recommend starting at the beginning with Eleven. You’ll meet Brandon when he’s just a rookie with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit and watch him grow as the series progresses.
At the time of this post, there are nine installments in the series. Now fans have been asking if there will be more, and I’m here to tell you Brandon Fisher will be back in December of 2023. As soon as I have more information to provide, I will do so. But since the release is several months off, newcomers to the series will have plenty of time to read all the books before then!
Today, I’d like to share an excerpt for book nine, One More Kill. This is from Chapter Five.
Wishing you a thrill a minute!
This case was definitely eating away at Jack, but I wasn’t the person to get him to open up. Trying to start conversations with him, at the best of times, was painful. But I couldn’t fault him for being affected by this one—not considering that he’d faced this killer before and had failed to stop him. If I were in his shoes, I’d be berating myself too. And while I couldn’t get him to talk about his feelings—not that I really wanted to anyhow—I would do whatever possible to contribute to catching the Leopard.
From everything I read in the file—all eight murders, including the Durans—the killer had shown no signs of remorse. And despite having been dormant for fifteen years, I didn’t view that as a sign he wanted to stop, or that he had. I had a strong suspicion that Nadia’s searches would turn up something, even if it wasn’t in strict adherence to his previous MO or signature. I thought back to the killer’s original MO—the one we were aware of. Part of it involved ingratiating himself with the town and its people. Had he done that again in the case of the Durans and we just hadn’t discovered that yet? Surely he had to have been around a while if he had targeted them based on secrets they were harboring. But maybe that wasn’t part of his criteria anymore. Also, he usually killed on farm property he’d rented, but not this time—the Durans were killed on their own land. How had he gained access to the property and lured the Durans from their home? Did he use a ruse, or something more direct? I didn’t remember reading their estimated time of death, and that might be helpful in determining the killer’s approach. “Has the time of death window been determined?”
Shaw opened a folder in front of her and riffled through the enclosed paperwork. She pulled out one page, traced her finger down the sheet, and nodded. “The local coroner is putting time of death between three and five in the morning this past Monday.”
Three days ago, and essentially during the wee hours. Before the Durans found themselves running for their lives, they likely would have been asleep in bed. Had the killer knocked on the door, possibly claiming to have car trouble or something similar? Maybe he even told him that he had no bars on his cell phone and asked to use their phone. Then there was a darker, chillier option that occurred to me. “Was there any sign of a break-in?”
Shaw shook her head. “Not that we’ve found.”
“So did he have a key or—”
Shaw frowned. “Probably wouldn’t even need one. Lots of people in the rural areas don’t even lock their doors.”
Right. I should have thought of that. “That just makes it too easy for killers to slip in and rouse people from bed.”
Shaw mocked exaggerated shivers running through her—or maybe they weren’t mocked. “That could explain their cooperation, as there was no sign of a struggle inside the home. I was having a hard time understanding why they would comply with this little game of his, but now I can a little more. They had to have been out of it somehow.”
“Oh, that part made sense to me from the beginning,” Kelly said. “It comes down to the basic fight-or-flight instinct. It’s also another way in which the killer could toy with his victims. In a way, he dangles hope in front of them. They would’ve run because they saw an opportunity to escape.”
Shaw nodded. “Suppose I can see that actually.”
The women had really added vivid color to the ugly picture I had in my head. Talk about a horrible nightmare. Waking up to find a stranger in your bedroom standing over you, holding an archery bow and telling you to run.*
Continue reading One More Kill! This book is available in various formats from popular retailers. See links below.
*Excerpt provided with permission from publisher and author. Protected by Copyright.