February 19th, 2020
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Sweet Romance + Thrilling Intrigue = February Best Reads

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Night time can be frightening, especially when you’re all alone.


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He wanted revenge but found love instead.


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Some promises are meant to be broken, Some vows are forever…


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Can the course that they’ve set for the future handle a slight detour...?


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The famous bells are ringing a hero’s welcome when a former army captain returns home...


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"A cracker of a read—her best yet!"—B. A. Paris


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Trading favors, battling wills, and winning love


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Bound by love. . .torn apart by secrets.


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Will a blackout change everything for these unlikely lovers?


Excerpt of Oliver Quick by Ditter Kellen

Purchase


The Quick Chronicles #1
Author Self-Published
June 2019
On Sale: May 31, 2019
Featuring: Oliver Quick
ISBN: 0156502488
EAN: 2940156508433
Kindle: B07QX1L514
e-Book
Add to Wish List

Romance Suspense, Thriller Psychological

Also by Ditter Kellen:

Oliver Quick, June 2019
e-Book
Zaureth Awakened, April 2019
e-Book
Torn, February 2019
e-Book
Bayou Heat, August 2018
e-Book
Brant, August 2018
Paperback
Lydia's Secret, June 2018
Paperback
Bitten, May 2018
Hardcover
The Boy in the Window, April 2018
Paperback
The Boy in the Window, March 2018
e-Book
Midnight Secrets, February 2018
Paperback
Enigma: The Beginning, February 2018
e-Book
The Seeker Trilogy, January 2018
e-Book
Zyen, November 2017
Paperback
Taboo, October 2017
e-Book
Thrasher, September 2017
Paperback
The Billionaire's Baby, July 2017
e-Book
Beautiful Haunting, July 2017
e-Book
Rykaur, June 2017
Paperback
Ruby and the Beast, April 2017
e-Book
Braum, February 2017
Paperback
Gryke, December 2016
Paperback
Oz, November 2016
Paperback
Zaureth, October 2016
Paperback
Vaulcron, July 2016
Paperback
The Rise of Vlad, July 2016
Paperback
Shon, June 2016
Paperback
Naura, May 2016
Paperback
Enigma, March 2016
Paperback
Turn the Page, June 2015
Paperback
Ember, April 2015
Paperback
Finding Carly, August 2014
e-Book

Excerpt of Oliver Quick by Ditter Kellen

Chapter One

Oliver Quick rubbed at his bloodshot eyes and glanced at the blinking phone on his desk.

He wondered how long the caller would hold before growing impatient and hanging up altogether.

The door to his office abruptly opened and his secretary, Joyce Meeks poked her head inside.

She stared at him with a disapproving look before marching across the room to snatch up the phone. "I apologize for the wait, Mr. Williams, Oliver is on another line. I'd be happy to take a message if you'd rather not continue to hold."

Oliver listened to Joyce repeat his brother-n-law, Aaron Williams's words back to him, understanding full well she did it for Oliver's benefit.

Joyce Meeks had been with Oliver since he'd opened Quick Investigations a little more than five years ago. Though she spoke with the voice of a seasoned general and wore her hair in a similar fashion, she had kind, blue eyes. And she thought of Oliver as the son she never had.

She returned the phone receiver to its home with a little more force than was probably necessary, and pierced Oliver with an accessing stare. "Too much scotch last night?"

Oliver leaned back in his chair, propping his feet on the corner of his desk and ignored Joyce's reference to his late-night drinking. "What did Aaron want?"

"Besides calling to invite you to the children's' birthday party next weekend? I have no idea. Why don't you call him back and find out?"

Oliver inwardly cringed. Spending his weekend with a bunch of screaming kids didn't bode well with his hangover.

He opened his mouth to announce that very thing, when the trill of the phone once again echoed from his desk, sending an unwelcome pain shooting through his skull.

"Serves you right," Joyce snapped, striding toward the open door. "That drinking is going to be the death of you." The door clicked shut behind her.

"Quick Investigations," Oliver nearly growled, answering the incoming call.

A brief pause ensued. "Hello Oliver, it's Richard Hollman."

Oliver's stomach tightened. There would be only one reason the supervisor of the local FBI field office would be calling him. They needed his help.

"SSA Hollman," Quick acknowledged. "It's been a minute." Nearly six years to be exact.

Richard cleared his throat. "That, it has. Look Quick, I could use your help."

"My help? With what?" But Oliver knew. He'd already heard about the dismembered body discovered under the pier two mornings ago in Panama City Beach. It was all over the news. "I'm not a profiler any longer, Richard. I haven't been for years."

"A profiler isn't something you do, Quick, it's who you are."

Oliver refrained from pointing out the obvious. The last serial killer he profiled, had not only killed his wife, but he'd gone on to kill six more women shortly afterward.

"I'm headed to Panama City Beach," Richard was saying, pulling Oliver out of his unwanted thoughts. "Can you meet me for lunch?"

The last thing Oliver needed was the smell of greasy food invading his hung-over, consistently throbbing head. But the profiler in him couldn't resist meeting with the leader of the local FBI unit in Fort Walton Beach. "Salty Sue's in half an hour."

"I'll be there." The line went dead.

Oliver replaced the phone receiver and stood. He wandered over to his large office window to stare out at the busy Destin traffic of back beach road.

His hands sank into the pockets of his navy blue, Armani slacks. He watched the cars move bumper to bumper in an impatient line of horn blowing maniacs.

April had loved this place, Oliver thought, his gaze moving to the beach beyond. She'd wanted to raise their children there…children they would never have.

The old familiar ache that always began in his heart with thoughts of April, traveled through his chest to settle in his gut.

Nausea was instant.

Oliver locked his teeth together, his eyes sliding closed to shut out the view before him.

He groaned deep in his throat, allowing the memories of his beautiful April to wash through him.

Her laughter, the always present twinkle in her pretty green eyes, flashed behind his closed lids in haunting clarity.

His mind instantly rebelled against what he knew would come next, but he could no longer block it out than he could stop the waves from crashing onto the shore of the beach in front of him.

April lying in that morgue. A perfectly straight incision on her bruised and battered throat. Her larynx had been removed with the precision of a surgeon and then the wound sewn closed.

Oliver shuddered, unable to push the images from his mind. His wife, his precious April had been repeatedly raped, violated in the vilest of ways. Her breasts had been burned in numerous places, along with her genitals.

She'd been bound for days, unable to speak or scream while her killer endlessly tortured her to death. He'd then painted her fingernails and toenails a blood red color… postmortem.

April had been his third victim in less than a month, categorizing him as a serial killer. He'd been dubbed The Silencer by the media for removing his victim's voice boxes days before he ended their lives.

"Oliver?"

Somewhere in the far recesses of his mind, Oliver knew Joyce spoke to him, but he couldn't seem to pull back from the grief swimming inside him. He hadn't caught April's killer. His profile had been off.

The Silencer had vanished almost six years ago, leaving no evidence behind to his identity.

Oliver had worked day and night to profile the sick bastard, only to come up empty. He'd been too close to the case, making him less than objective.

His emotions, grief and helpless rage over the loss of his wife had stood between him and his ability to be openminded and detached.

The Silencer had slipped through his fingers.

A hand rested against Quick's back, and his secretary's voice finally penetrated his guilt filled mind. "Oliver, are you all right?"

He swallowed with more than a little difficulty. "I'm fine, Joyce. Thank you."

"There's a woman here to see you."

He answered without turning away from the window. "Have her make an appointment. I'm meeting someone in ten minutes for lunch."

"But—"

"Please, Joyce. I can't do this right now."

Something in his voice must have clued her in on his current mental status. Her hand fell away and the sound of her shoes slapping on the tile floor could be heard over the horns blowing from the streets beyond.

Oliver waited until the door closed behind her, then trailed to his desk, plucked up his suit jacket and left by way of the back.

Chapter Two

Richard Holland waited until the waitress moved away before extending his hand across the table to Oliver. "Thank you for coming on such short notice."

Oliver accepted his outstretched palm and took a seat. "It's good to see you, Richard. So, tell me what you've got."

Holland nodded, pushing a yellow folder toward Oliver. "You always did get right to the point."

Opening the folder, Oliver took in the sight before him.

Dozens of photos were inside; images of the dismembered body of the female found beneath the pier in Panama City Beach.

He hardened himself against his emotions. "I understand the heinousness of the crime, but why has the FBI been called in on this?"

Richard set his water glass down and wiped his mouth with a cloth napkin. "Because there were two similar cases last month, less than an hour from here over the Alabama line. The Collier County Sheriff's Office called us in to assist."

Oliver's jaw tightened. "Similar cases?"

"There's enough similarities for us to ascertain it's the same guy."

"A serial killer," Oliver stated in a deadly soft tone.

Richard nodded. "The Bay County Police Department notified us of the body found beneath the pier two mornings ago. They called in the local Sheriff's Department and the FBI to help with the investigation. My team is there now."

April's cold, pale body flashed behind Oliver's eyes. "Why are you coming to me with this? You have an efficient team working with you, and a dozen more at the Quantico office at your disposal."

"Because you're a profiler, Quick. One of the best I've ever seen, and I'd like your help with this."

Oliver closed the folder and got to his feet. "I'm a private investigator now. I no longer hunt serial killers, Richard. I haven't since—"

"Since April died," Richard muttered softly, catching Oliver off guard.

"I understand your reluctance, Quick." Richard leaned across the table and flipped the folder back open. "But this woman had a family. A husband…and a child on the way. She can't tell us who did this to her, but I'm willing to bet that you can."

Richard lifted a picture of the woman's decapitated head and held it up for Oliver to see. "Her husband needs closure. As do her parents."

Oliver stared down into the lifeless eyes of the woman in the picture for long moments. She'd been pregnant…just as April had.

Swallowing back the bile that rose in his throat, Oliver tore his gaze from the sickening photo, shut down his emotions and returned to his seat.

As badly as he wanted to, he simply couldn't bring himself to walk away. "What's the victim's name?"

"Clayton. Irma Clayton."

"I'll need to see the scene where the body parts were found."

Richard placed the picture back in the folder and tucked it inside his briefcase. "I'll take you there right after you get some food in you. From the looks of your eyes, you could use it."

Oliver wasn't hungry, but he would order anyway. He needed something to soak up the over abundance of alcohol from the night before. And he needed strength for what he knew lay ahead.

* * * *

After driving to his condo to change into jeans and running shoes, Oliver donned his Oakley sunglasses and followed Hollman to the normally busy beach in Panama City.

The expected yellow tape and police presence surrounded the massive pier to keep onlookers from contaminating what was left of the crime scene.

The rising tide from the previous two nights had no doubt destroyed what evidence that had been left behind. Which Oliver doubted would be any.

But it wasn't evidence Oliver looked for. Most serial killers were meticulous, they didn't leave behind incriminating evidence. No, he needed to see what the killer saw, hear what he heard…and figure out why he chose that particular place to dispose of the body.

Oliver trailed along behind Holland, his gaze touching on everything around him. From the mobs of onlookers to the surrounding storefronts and restaurants in close proximity to the pier.

His gaze then swung to the dunes behind him, coming to rest on the taped off markings embedded in the sand. Drag marks, most likely from a body.

How had the killer dragged a bag of body parts down to the pier without being noticed by anyone?

Oliver ducked beneath the yellow tape, Holland lifted for him and then held up a hand, indicating he wanted to go down alone.

Holland didn't speak, nor did Oliver expect him to. He'd worked with the man long enough in the past to know that Richard understood his particular profiling methods.

Oliver didn't bother to search the sugary white beach sand around the pier. He wouldn't find anything there. Besides, the local police department had most assuredly crawled through the scene with the precision of ants erecting a mound.

Shutting out everything around him, Oliver's mind slipped into profiler mode. His vision grew tunneled and his senses became heightened. Sounds from the crashing waves of the Gulf faded to the background, along with the murmuring of voices surrounding the crime scene.

The bright noonday sun turned into a silvery moon in Oliver's mind, casting shadows along the dunes and sending the long, giant pier plummeting into darkness.

Oliver's head swiveled to the right, imagining the lights along the rails of the pier coming on at sunset.

His gaze traveled to the local restaurant, sitting a short distance up the beach. Music spilled out from the open deck to be swept away on the warm moonlit breeze.

The lights shone brightly through the fog hovering over the Gulf, illuminating the dunes between the deck and the pier.

Smiling faces of tourists moved through his mind, their laughter and friendly banter growing in volume in order to be heard over the music thumping in the background.

No one from that deck would likely notice a lone figure making their way beneath the pier.

His gaze swept to the left, to a souvenir shop that probably closed their doors at five o'clock sharp on the weekdays. No danger of being seen from there.

On it went, with Oliver studying his surroundings, an imaginary garbage bag in his hand, growing heavier with each passing second.

He imaged himself pulling in to the parking lot up the hill, waiting for his opportunity to move.

But why the busy pier area? There are literally hundreds of miles of beach front to dump a body. Yet he chose this particular spot. Why…?

Because he's a narcissist. Torture isn't enough for him. He garners some kind of rush from the threat of exposure. He believes the women are beneath him. He thinks himself superior…

The face of the decapitated woman appeared in Oliver's mind, pulling him back from the abyss, back to the dozens of eyes watching him expectantly.

He sought out Holland, who promptly moved to his side.

"What are you thinking, Quick?"

Oliver held the shorter man's gaze. "I'd need to see the autopsy results to be sure, but I'm willing to bet that the unsub drown the victim before cutting her up."

"What makes you think that?"

Oliver shrugged. "He's grandstanding by bringing her out here and leaving her to be found. But the water, the water is significant to him somehow."

"Then why cut her up?"

"I don't know yet," Oliver stated in a matter of fact tone. "But I'd like to see the body, now."

Excerpt from Oliver Quick by Ditter Kellen
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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