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The Devils Racket

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Four people brutally murdered in a Manson-style slaying. A name written in blood on the TV screen. It’s a scene straight out of a gruesome horror movie. Only it isn’t a movie—it’s very real. It’s also unlike anything Kentucky homicide detective Jack Dantzler has ever encountered.

The Devil’s Racket plunges Dantzler into a nightmarish world where he will have to uncover acts of unspeakable evil. To avoid becoming the next victim, Dantzler must use all of his skill and cunning to stop the powers of darkness that have been unleashed in this normally quiet city.

Reviews:

BRAVO!! By far the best book ever. Jack Dantzler is a complicated man and a unique detective with a long shelf life, reminiscent of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. The Devil’s Racket grabbed me from the beginning and it held me to the end. This is a book that you will want to read and pass on to your friends and family. What we have here is a winner.
-MyShelf.com

Central Kentucky’s stunningly beautiful horse farms are the picture of serenity and refinement, but who knows what evil lurks beyond those four-board fences? Tom Wallace takes readers down a tree-lined lane not even the most avid horse-hater would have imagined. Wallace’s settings and characters are Bluegrass believable. Enjoy the ride, although it’s bumpy and bloody. It just might give you a shiver as you drive past the next pretty horse farm—so pretty, it’s, well, scary.
-Lexington Herald-Leader

The Devil’s Racket is a chilling thriller, packed with breath-taking suspense. The gritty, fast-paced plot holds the reader’s interest from the first page to the last.

-Midwest Book Review

EXCERPT: 

PROLOGUE

“Stop it, Chad,” Ellen Warner said, gently pulling his hand away from her breast. “You know we can’t do this.”

“You’re killing me, Ellen.”

“You’ll live.”

“Don’t you know how much I want you?”

“I want you, too, Chad. But not here, not in the front seat of a car.

That’s just so . . . not romantic.

When we do make love, I want it to be special. Perfect.”

“I don’t care about perfection,” Chad mumbled. “I just want you. You get me all worked up, on the verge of losing it, and then you put the stop sign up. That’s not fair.”

“You’ll live—trust me.”

Ellen kissed him tenderly on the lips, then scooted over in her seat, twisted the rear-view mirror so that she could see herself, and began straightening her hair. Satisfied, she re-adjusted the mirror, gave Chad a quick peck on the cheek and opened the car door. “Come on, I need to get inside. If I’m much later, Mom will really be steamed.”

Chad reluctantly got out of the car and walked around to Ellen’s side. He tried to kiss her on the lips but she pushed him away, this time with more purpose. “Don’t—Mom can see us,” Ellen said.

“So what? Like she didn’t know what we’ve been doing for the past half-hour?”

“That’s different.”

“Oh, yeah? How so?”

“It just is, that’s all. Come on.”

Hand in hand, they walked a few steps toward the house. Suddenly, Ellen stopped and turned toward Chad. “You know it really turns me on that you want me so much. It’s very exciting.”

“Yeah, well, then let’s do something about it.”

“We will, I promise. But I just want everything to be—”

“Perfect. Yeah, I know. I’ve heard that before.”

She playfully kissed him on the lips. “That’s right. Perfect.”

“You’re such a prick teaser. You know that?”

“Of course. And you love it.”

“That’s your opinion.”

Ellen again took his hand and pulled him toward the house. He was pouting, she knew, but he would get over it. He always did. He wasn’t pushy, not at all like most of the other guys she’d dated, and that was one of the reasons why she cared so much for him. Despite his desire for her, he always treated her with respect. Always stopped when she said no.

She slowed, released his hand and gave him a playful shove. He shoved her back, then draped his arm around her shoulder.

“I am nuts about you,” Chad said as they stepped up onto the porch. “Even though you keep me horny as hell.”

Ellen broke away from his embrace, folded her arms across her breasts and backed away.

“What’s the matter?” Chad asked.

“Something’s wrong.”

Chad looked both ways, then turned and looked behind him. “What?” he said, turning back toward her. “I don’t see anything wrong.”

“The porch light isn’t on.”

“So, you’re just now noticing that?”

“Mom always leaves the porch light on until everybody is home. Always. It’s like a ritual with her.”

“Maybe she went to bed early. Or maybe she told Cindy to turn it on and she forgot. You know how scatterbrained Cindy is.”

“No, something’s wrong.”

“What could be wrong?”

“I don’t know—something.”

“You’re just being dramatic. Nothing’s wrong.”

Chad reached out to open the door, then noticed that it was slightly ajar. He also saw several dark, wet stains on the doorknob. “Wait here,” he said, touching her arm. “Don’t come in until I say it’s okay.”

“Maybe we should call nine-one-one,” Ellen said, digging into her purse for her cell phone.

“Nah, it’s probably nothing,” he said, his voice trembling. “Just wait here.”

Chad pushed the door open and went inside. The first thing he noticed was that virtually every downstairs light was on, creating such a bright glare that he had to cover his eyes. Now, that was odd, he thought. There are never this many lights on. Normally, Marsha only left the front hallway light on. And maybe one more in the den or the kitchen. But not every light in the house.

He walked slowly down the hall, turned left and went into the den.

And stopped dead in his tracks.

The first thing he saw was the man’s head sitting on the mantel above the fireplace. The man’s eyes were open, a look of fear captured in them, and his mouth, which had blood dripping from both corners, was closed and twisted, giving it the appearance of a crooked piece of red string.

Lying on the floor at the foot of the couch was the body of Marsha Warner. Her throat had been slashed with such ferocity that her head, which rested in a large pool of blood, seemed to dangle independently from her body. Next to her lay the headless body of the man whose glassy eyes now stared down from the fireplace.

Chad stumbled back, bent over and vomited. When he straightened up, he used his sleeve to wipe the tears from his eyes. It was then that he saw the word “Sam” written on the TV screen.

It had been written in blood.

Chad turned to leave, only to find Ellen standing behind him. Her face was a silent mask of horror.

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