It hadn’t taken them long, once they got him inside; the man who had been separated from the rifle was seated in a chair and immobilized with enough bright yellow polypropylene line to restrain King Kong. He was maybe thirty years old, five-eight, thickset, with matted brown hair and terrified brown eyes that stared at Liam over the bar rag that had been used to gag him.
Standing opposite him was a woman, a woman who towered over Teddy in presence if not in height. The same woman who had rolled over the top of Liam outside, she was about five feet two inches tall and plump as a pigeon, her body a cascading series of rich curves; cheek, chin, breast, belly, hip, thigh, calf, a model of Rubens clad in clean, faded jeans and a gray T-shirt cinched in with a wide leather belt.
The woman turned to look at him, and Liam registered three things immediately. Her eyes were the blue of glacier ice and thickly lashed, her well-filled T-shirt had a picture of a beribboned mask with the words “New Orleans Jazz Fest” written beneath it, and she had one of the firmest jaws he’d ever seen. She spoke, moved, and acted with a vigor that belied the lines on her face and the color of her hair, a thick silver swath combed straight back from her face that fell to a neatly trimmed line just above her shoulders.
“Who in the hell are you?” she said. “Give me that.”
She made as if to snatch the rifle from him. He moved it away and she said irritably, “Oh, don’t bother, you damn fool, I’m the magistrate for this district.”
Excerpt from Fire and Ice, the first Liam Campbell novel. The fifth in the series, Spoils of the Dead, publishes on February 6, 2021. Order a signed hardcover here.
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