The Last Deception by DV Berkom

What is The Last Deception about?

The Last Deception is the latest Leine Basso crime thriller, which pits the former assassin against a Russian general in the GRU, with help from a billionaire arms dealer. As with the other books in the series, the settings are international with scenes in Moscow, Athens, and Washington, DC. This time, though, instead of working a case for the anti-trafficking organization, SHEN, Leine learns of a deception that could lead to nuclear war, and must try to convince the powers that be to take her warning seriously. Here’s the blurb:

Lies. Deception. A nation on the brink of war.

In the Cold War, you knew who your friends and enemies were. In war today, there’s no difference. Just when Leine Basso thinks she’s free from the business of murder and deception, a desperate call from a friend drags her back into the dark world of espionage and arms dealers.

Leine uncovers information that implicates a well-known Russian businessman in a horrendous deception that affects national security and could have global repercussions. It’s up to the former assassin to persuade the powers that be to ignore the obvious and trust her, or disregard the information and bring the world to the brink of a devastating war. Can she make it in time to stop The Last Deception?

 

Why did you choose The Last Deception for the title?

 

I was looking for something that communicated how dire the choices in the novel would be, and also give a hint to its espionage component. Readers who have followed Leine through the series have come to expect a certain kind of thriller (e.g., anti-trafficking, smuggling, organized crime, etc.) but I wanted to take her in a different direction and bring back some recurring characters from her early life. Since she used to work as a black ops assassin and has been attempting to cut all ties from her former life, I thought it was time for her former bosses to return and try to drag her back into that world.

 

Why an espionage novel?

 

Why not? Ever since I discovered spy novels at the age of nine, I’ve devoured as many as I can get my hands on. Maybe it’s the heart-in-your-throat, mortal danger of a double-cross, or maybe it’s the twisted logic of the end justifying the means that accompanies so many of the operations I’ve studied and read about—agents, double agents, lies, deception, tricks, and games, many of them deadly, all to achieve some end. It’s endlessly fascinating, and way too much fun to write.

 

You mention a terrorist organization called Izz Al-Din in the book. Are they real? And what do they have to do with Russia?

 

No, Izz Al-Din is entirely fictional, but certainly based on terrorist groups operating in the world today. Bringing Russia into the mix was a natural, especially when you consider both the US and Russia have fought proxy wars against each other using various warring factions. It’s certainly not a stretch to imagine the events that happen in the book.

 

How do you research this stuff? Have you ever worked as an assassin?

 

I’m sorry but if I told you, I’d have to kill you…

 

Seriously, though, when I first started writing about organized crime and assassins, I’d traveled a lot and had some understanding of how things worked, but certainly not enough. So, I quickly began my search for people who would be able to fill in the blanks for me. In the course of writing these books, I’ve met some amazing people, many of whom I never would have had the opportunity to know if it wasn’t for the wonders of social media and networking with other authors. I’m lucky in that I find people fascinating—what drives them? what makes them who they are? and I believe I communicate that when I approach folks for information. I love to put myself into another person’s shoes, especially someone with an entirely different worldview than my own. I’ve been fortunate to have interviewed and worked with some amazing folks, many of whom were generous in sharing detailed aspects of their lives. Serendipity has played a role in my research, too. The perfect contact always seems to appear just when I need them.

 

What’s next for Leine?

 

Currently I’m working on the as-yet unnamed Leine Basso thriller #7. I’ve got a new antagonist for this book, one who is unlike any of Leine’s previous nemeses. It’s sure to be a page-turner, and quite explosive, if I do say so myself.

 

When will The Last Deception be available?

 

The Last Deception is available for pre-order right now across all platforms for $2.99 (USD), with a publication date of September 20. (The price will increase at that time.) Go to http://www.dvberkom.com/tld/ to find out more.

 

To connect with me online:

 

Website: http://www.dvberkom.com

 

Blog: http://dvberkom.blogspot.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DvBerkomAuthor

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dvberkom

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dvberkom/

 

Google+: google.com/+DVBerkom

 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/dvberkom/

 

Amazon Author Page:

US: http://amzn.to/oMUb1Z

 

UK: http://amzn.to/pBwClD

 

Smashwords Profile: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dvberkom

 

 

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New release: Mistletoe and Murder by S.L. Smith

A lifelong resident of Minnesota, S.L. Smith was born in Saint Cloud and attended Saint Catherine University in Saint Paul. During her thirty-two years with the state department of public safety, she worked with law enforcement and fire officials at the state, county and municipal levels. Those interactions assisted her with writing mysteries, but were just the starting point. Without the help of a friend who spent thirty-five years as a cop, she might never have ventured into writing police procedurals. He contributed to her understanding of the perspectives of her two protagonists, Pete Culnane and Martin Tierney. Thankfully, this friend is still a resource. He proofreads each manuscript and performs a reality check on the law enforcement aspects.

All three of her previous books include a social issue. In Blinded by the Sight, it’s homelessness. For book two, Running Scared, it’s the impacts of a failing marriage on the kids. Book three, Murder on a Stick, addresses a plight faced by many of the elderly. Smith is a member of Sisters in Crime (an organization that supports mystery writers). She divides her time between Minnesota and Florida, to care for her mother.

http://slsmithbooks.com

Book trailer

 

Buy link for Mistletoe and Murder:

https://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-Murder-Culnane-Mystery-Mysteries/dp/0996464050/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1501614151&sr=8-2

 

Auld Lang Syne with a Twist

As Collette Hammond orchestrates an elaborate New Year’s Eve wedding reception for her brother in St. Paul’s historic Union Depot, she never anticipates the evening might end in her own mysterious death. She collapses just before midnight. A fresh needle mark suggests narcotics. St. Paul police detectives Pete Culnane and Martin Tierney are called away from their holiday celebrations to investigate, launching a trip through a labyrinth of intrigue and deception.

 

“Like its title, Mistletoe and Murder is a story that combines elements which might, at first, seem at odds. But S.L. Smith delivers a tale that interweaves both the bright promise of this iconic season and the dark reality of what it can deliver, especially where police work is involved. Smith understands the territory and mines it to good effect. For those who know the Twin Cities, there’s extra delight in tracking the action across familiar terrain. Don’t wait until Christmas to open this one.”

William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author

Walking on my Grave by Carolyn Hart

Series: A Death on Demand Mysteries (Book 26)

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: Berkley (May 2, 2017)

ISBN-10: 0451488539

ISBN-13: 978-0451488534

 

In the latest Death on Demand Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Go Home, book seller Annie Darling learns murder and money go hand in hand…

Annie’s friend and fellow shop owner Ves Roundtree is a very wealthy woman. Her rich brother entrusted her with his estate, and upon her death, his fortune is to be divided. Several cash-strapped islanders are in line to collect life-changing inheritances. The problem is, Ves is very much alive.

Ves hosts a dinner for the prospective beneficiaries and feels a chill in the air that has nothing to do with the wintry season. Not long after, she suffers a bad fall that was no accident. Everyone at the table had a motive but not a shred of evidence was left behind.

When one of the suspects is found floating in the harbor and Ves disappears, Annie and her husband Max spring into action to catch a calculating killer before greed takes another life.

A Frying Shame by Linda Reilly

Series: Deep Fried Mystery, A (Book 3)

Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Berkley (April 4, 2017)

ISBN-10: 0425274152

ISBN-13: 978-0425274156

 

 

A cooking contest becomes a fry to the finish in the new Deep Fried Mystery from the author of Out of the Dying Pan.

Fry another day.

The town of Wrensdale is abuzz with excitement when Steeltop Foods sponsors a cooking contest to promote its new product, the Flavor Dial. With a $25,000 prize at stake, all the contestants are on edge, including Talia Marby, owner of Fry Me A Sliver. She hopes her mini deep-fried apple pies will win her the money to pay off the renovations on her restaurant. But when Norma Ferguson wins with her flaky-top chicken stew, the tensions dial up even more.

After Norma is found dead at her cooking station, the police suspect a losing contestant got a little too hot under the collar. Now it’s crunch time as Talia works to catch the killer and clear her name before another cook gets burned.

The Last Chance Olive Ranch (China Bayles Mystery) by Susan Wittig Albert

Series: China Bayles Mystery (Book 25)

Hardcover: 304 pages

Publisher: Berkley (April 4, 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0425280039

ISBN-13: 978-0425280034

In this exciting new mystery from New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert, China Bayles fears for her husband’s life as an escaped convict targets him…
 
Max Mantel, the killer McQuaid put away years ago, has busted out of the Huntsville prison and appears to be headed for Pecan Springs. McQuaid knows there’s only one way to stop the vengeful convict—set a trap with himself as bait.

China wants to stay by her husband’s side and keep him from harm. But McQuaid  insists that she get out of town and go to the Last Chance Olive Ranch, where she’s agreed to teach a workshop on herbs.

When China and her best friend arrive at the ranch, she learns the owner, Maddie Haskell, has her own troubles. She inherited the ranch and olive oil business from the late matriarch, Eliza Butler, but Eliza’s nephew is contesting the will.

While China throws herself into helping Maddie, McQuaid’s plan backfires when Mantel executes a counter move he never saw coming. Now McQuaid’s life is not the only one at stake—and this time may really be his last chance…

Mission Impawsible by Krista Davis

missionimpawsibleFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Murder Most Howl comes the fourth Paws & Claws mystery…

In the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia, there’s no love lost when Holly Miller meets her match in a murderer…
 
Holly and her grandmother, Oma, are working their tails off to prepare the Sugar Maple Inn for an upcoming matchmaking event for pet owners. While Holly has no interest in pairing up, Oma plans on playing Cupid and finding someone to warm her reluctant granddaughter’s heart.

Unfortunately, one man Holly does meet is cold—dead cold—and he has a personal letter from Oma in his pocket. As suspicion is cast over the inn’s guests, Holly—with the help of her furry friends, Trixie the Jack Russell and Twinkletoes the cat—must fetch the real killer, or she may soon have a date in court.

Delicious recipes for owners and pets included!  

Writer, Know Thyself by Betty Webb

betty2015.4This may come as a surprise to some readers, but authors don’t always understand their own interior conflicts until they’ve already written about them. Such was my experience when writing “Desert Vengeance,” the new Lena Jones mystery.

Upon beginning the first draft of the book, I was under the impression that I believed in strict enforcement of the law in any and every case. That was before Lena Jones took over the book, over-ruling everything I thought I believed. Lena had a different take on the law and wasn’t afraid to act on it.

Maybe I’d better back up here. Lena Jones is a Scottsdale-based P.I. who always seems to find herself working on controversial cases. In “Desert Wives” and “Desert Lost,” she explored the sins of polygamy; in “Desert Cut” exposed the horrors of female genital mutilation; in “Desert Wind” she found herself immersed in a decades-old series of crimes committed by the U.S. government.

In each book, Lena may have explored the idea that “law” isn’t always the same as “justice,” but her conclusions never varied from my own.

Then came “Desert Vengeance.”

A little background on Lena. She was found at the age of four lying in a Phoenix, AZ street, with a bullet in her head. After spending months in a coma, she regained consciousness but no longer knew her name, who her parents were, or who had shot her. Unclaimed and considered unadoptable, she made her way through foster homes until she aged out of the CPS system and eventually became a Scottsdale PD detective. Rough childhood, right? But I’ve left out the roughest part: in one of her foster homes, a nine-year-old Lena was repeatedly raped by foster father “Papa” Brian Wycoff until she retaliated by stabbing him with a kitchen knife. The ensuing police investigation uncovered “Papa” Brian’s crimes against other children, and after a brief trial, he was sentenced to 25-years-to-life.

When I began “Desert Vengeance,” it was to explore the issue of Lena Jone’s own planned vengeance against the now-freed vengeancecover-finishedchild rapist. Here’s the entire first chapter.

I was waiting for him when he stepped out of the prison van. The man who had raped me when I was nine years old squinted against the savage August sun and took a hesitant step towards the beat-up Honda Civic. The driver’s side door opened.

“Get in here quick!” the rapist’s wife yelled. “She’s here, too!”

And so I was. Instead of parking my tricked-out 1945 Jeep at the far side of the prison lot to escape notice, I had parked right behind the Civic. I wanted them both to see me, to take note, to realize that after almost thirty years I still remembered.

As the rapist shuffled towards his wife I stepped out of my Jeep. Smiled. Waved. Flashed my Vindicator. Made certain the rapist noticed the gleam of the sun along the knife’s ten-inch-long, tempered steel blade. Made certain the rapist knew it was nothing like the cheap kitchen knife I had defended myself with the last day I’d spent under his roof.

My Vindicator wouldn’t break.

Neither had I.

See what I mean? Lena, who had devoted her entire life to enforcing the law, was now planning to break it. To commit murder. To capitalize the word “law” by turning it “Law,” as in “The Law of the Jungle.”

It was only when I typed the last page of “Desert Vengeance” I realized, that all along, I had always been conflicted about the difference between the two.

And why.

 

Learn more about the Lena Jones mysteries by visiting http://www.bettywebb-mystery.com

BIO: Before writing full time, Betty Webb worked as a journalist, interviewing everyone from U.S. presidents, astronauts who walked on the moon, Nobel Prize-winners, and polygamy runaways. She is a member of the National Federation of Press Women, Authors Guild, and Mystery Writers of America.