"A thrilling new series from a master storyteller!"
Reviewed by Viki Ferrell
Posted August 23, 2016
Romance Suspense | Inspirational Mystery
Her two volunteer partners couldn't make it, so Dr. Stacy
Broussard rode the airport perimeter alone. What she found
changed her life forever: a dead body, a stolen and
Army drone and an injured yellow lab. Stacy is a
veterinarian who volunteers with the Airport Rangers, a
group that ride the perimeter trails looking for drugs or
teens that shouldn't be there. Her 911 call not only
brought the Houston Police, but also the FBI and Special
Agent Alex LeBlanc.
Alex questions Stacy relentlessly, suspecting her to be
involved. The two instantly lock horns and continue to
tangle, but are also drawn to each other in a strange way.
Perhaps it's the fact that they both have Cajun roots,
Alex has a well-developed Cajun charm about him. As the
investigation unfolds, Alex begins to change his mind
Stacy's involvement in the crime. A series of unusual
occurrences in her neighborhood points toward Stacy being
target, rather than a suspect. She and Alex team up to
the truth about the things that are happening to her that
all appear related to the dead body she found in the
DEADLY ENCOUNTER is an amazing inspirational thriller
relationships, forgiveness and trust. DiAnn Mills has
created and developed several extraordinary characters
are strong, stubborn and determined. The storyline
incorporates domestic terrorism, infectious diseases,
corporations and sinister plots, winding its way to an
intense conclusion. Ms. Mills also explores the thought
that only God can heal our deepest hurts. Her characters'
faith sustains them through the worst of events, and
there's a little romance added in for spice. Both Stacy
Alex have experienced hurt in their past and are trying to
move forward with their lives. DEADLY ENCOUNTER is the
first book in a new series by Ms. Mills entitled FBI
Force. If you enjoyed any of her FBI
Houston series, this
one far surpasses those stories in suspense, storyline and
plot. DEADLY ENCOUNTER is a winner!
Airport Ranger volunteer Stacy Broussard expected a
peaceful Saturday morning ride around the perimeter of
Houston’s airport. What she encounters instead is a
homicide and a baffling mystery. Next to the body is an
injured dog, the dead man’s motorcycle, and a drone armed
with a laser capable of taking down a 747.
Though FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc sees a clear-cut
of terrorism, his past has taught him to be suspicious of
everyone, even witnesses. Even bleeding-heart
like Stacy. But when her gruesome discovery is only the
first in a string of incidences that throw her life into
tailspin, Alex begins to wonder if Stacy was targeted. As
health emergency endangers Stacy’s community, and the
force pulls in leads from all directions, Alex and Stacy
must work together to prevent another deadly encounter.
ExcerptSATURDAY MORNINGS were Stacy Broussard’s escape,
life slapped her with stress. No better way to unwind
week than to ride her quarter horse on Houston’s airport
enjoy nature. This morning promised to be the perfect
from a truckload of problems, from the anniversary of the
her sister to seeking custody of a twelve-year-old boy.
forward to a lift in her spirit.
She pulled her truck into the Aldine Westfield Stables.
she was the first one of the airport rangers to arrive.
wasn’t parked beneath the moss-draped oak, and he
arrived before dawn. Strange since he took his
stable manager seriously.
Finishing her latte, she grabbed her wallet and keys and
outside her truck to admire an incredible purple-and-gold
Not even an early morning aircraft landing disturbed her.
She walked slowly to the stables, taking in the singing
the familiar humidity. The smell of horseflesh and straw
“Good morning, boys and girls,” she said. “Your friendly
is on the scene.”
If anyone heard her, they’d declare her insane. Maybe so
she reflected on how much she preferred an animal’s
a human’s. Except Whitt . . . the most fascinating
on the planet.
Stacy ambled past each stall until she reached Ginger’s,
the horses by name, touching velvety soft noses, and
to ensure they were okay. Her pets looked healthy.
few extra moments with Ginger eased the knots in her
that no massage could ever eliminate.
She led Ginger into the stable area and grabbed a
tidy up her stall. A strong horse smell and a little
manure on her
boots never hurt anyone. Being prissy was not one of her
When finished, she retrieved her mare’s blanket and
bridle from her
tack box. Her cell phone alerted her to a text.
Sorry, Stacy. Got a sick baby. Won’t b there.
No problem. Take care of her and give a hug 4 me.
She’d miss her friend this morning. The idea of a sick
a pang of loss and melancholy through her—and not just
she didn’t have. Who was she fooling? Reaching the age of
five without a husband and children hadn’t been her idea
future. A quote sailed into her mind: “Want to make God
Him your plans.” Not going there. Not today.
Checking her watch, she pondered the whereabouts of her
partner and Chet. She saddled Ginger, adjusting the cinch
Another text landed in her phone.
Stacy, my in-laws arrived late last night. 4got 2 call.
After a soft sigh, she typed, Enjoy the visit.
Airport ranger guidelines stated volunteers were to ride
or threes. This kept the rider safe if a situation arose
on the trail, like
in the event a rider fell or encountered a difficult
But what choice did she have? Chet hadn’t made an
either. Who would ever know she made a solo ride? She
Ginger’s stall door and hoisted herself into the saddle.
in abandoning this beautiful morning because of a single
“Let’s go, Miss Ginger. We’ll see if we can shake up a
She crossed the road and made her way to the entrance of
wooded area where the north trail around IAH began. An
broke the sound of chirping birds and the peacefulness
settled upon her. Right on time. The moment she turned
into the brush area, another aircraft announced its
much for the quiet.
She rode the inside perimeter of the fenced area. Nothing
to report—not even a piece of trash. As she made her way
a clearing, a squirrel scampered across her path. A ray
light filtered through the trees.
Ginger reared, catching Stacy by surprise. She pulled
fast on the
reins. “Easy, Ginger.”
Her mare crow-hopped and reared again.
What had startled her? A snake?
Then she saw it.
A pair of legs stuck out from a bush approximately
to her right.
Her heart hammered, and Ginger had to feel it. She
to control her own fear and the horse beneath her while
were glued to the man’s lower extremities.
“Hello, are you okay?” When only the quiet met her, she
and moved closer to where the man lay. Eyes open and
vacant. Stacy had seen scowls like this before, but not
on a dead
man. He appeared to have defied his attacker in one last
fit of anger
before surrendering to death.
Blood pooled on his chest and trickled over his abdomen
left side. One—no, two horrible holes. The wounds looked
perhaps within the last hour or so.
Terror rose, and she thought she’d be physically sick.
her attention in every direction, expecting someone to
from the tangled green terrain along the north section of
Intercontinental Airport. She yanked her only permissible
from her jeans—a pocketknife—and opened it as if it would
off a killer.
Why had she chosen to ride alone?
A yellow Lab snuggled near the body, her head resting on
dead man’s chest. A leather leash from the dog was
the man’s fingers. Five feet to the right, a blood-
stood at attention. Securing the pocketknife in her palm,
lifted her phone from inside her jeans pocket and pressed
while she continued to look over her shoulder.
“What is your emergency?” the operator said.
Stacy swallowed the acid rising in her stomach. The
heat didn’t help. “I’ve found a dead body on the north
runs along the FM 1960 side of IAH. The nearest entrance
Farrell where a sign designates the Houston Airport
security trail. My name is Stacy Broussard, and I’m an
“You’re sure he’s not alive?”
She bent beside the body and felt the side of his neck
for a pulse.
Nothing. “Very much so. He’s lost a tremendous amount of
from his chest and abdomen. I’m assuming gunshots.”
“Do you know the man?”
“Are you all right?”
“Shaken. I’m alone except for a dog lying next to the
animal’s right front paw is bleeding, and I’m a
not protective or aggressive.” Stacy drew in a ragged
breath. The dog
rose from the body and limped to her side, while the
fixed in the man’s hand. She rested her head on Stacy’s
“You’re doing fine,” the operator said. “I’ll keep
the police arrive and I’m assured you’re safe. How did
upon the body?”
Keep your head. You can get through this. “I’m a
volunteer for the
airport rangers. We ride horseback to patrol the outer
IAH and report any problems to the Houston Police
The man is in a clearing. I checked for a pulse, and I’m
sure of his
condition.” She removed the leash from his hand and
dog’s bleeding paw, a wound that would require a few
man wasn’t as fortunate. “How long until officers
“Only a few more minutes. You’re a brave woman.”
“I don’t feel brave. How awful for this poor man.” The
eyes would haunt her for a long time, maybe forever.
“Tell me more about the airport rangers,” the operator
wasn’t aware Houston had such a service.”
She’s trying to calm me, divert my attention from the
body. “We’re not highly publicized. Normally we find
drugs or kids’ inappropriate behavior. Never anything
like this. And
we aren’t supposed to ride alone, but the other two
at the last minute. Our stables are close by.” Stacy
staring at the body and instead concentrated on the
Her collar didn’t have an ID. Had the animal been hurt
“Are there any signs of a struggle?”
She peered around for what seemed like the hundredth
“There’s a motorcycle, a Kawasaki. I suppose the plates
hard to trace.” A strange object captured her attention
in the shadow
of the bushes. Boots? Shoes? “I see something unusual,
but I can’t
make out what it is.”
“Be careful. The police can investigate it.”
No need to caution her. She was already frightened out of
wits. Sirens grew closer. “I hear them.”
“Stay where you are until the officers arrive. They’ll
“I’m sorry, but it might be another body or someone hurt.
have to see if someone needs help.” She bolstered her
moved toward the questionable object. The dog followed
her to the
edge of the clearing, where a type of drone with four
lodged in a fallen tree branch and bushes. A churning
through her. Had the dead man stopped a potential crime
a pilot? “What happened here?” she whispered, more to
than the 911 operator.
“Talk to me, Stacy.”
“I’ve found a drone. A clear dome is attached underneath,
it’s pointed toward the northwest end of the runway.”
What do you think about this review?
1 comment posted.
Re: A thrilling new series from a master storyteller!
(DiAnn Mills 6:11pm August 23, 2016)
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