CypherGhost

DS Kane

1548-DS-Kane-ebook-CYPHERGHOST_L

 

CHAPTER 1

February 25, 6:56 a.m. First Basement, Lubyanka Prison, Moscow, Russia

 

Ann Silbey Sashakovich sat on the ice-cold gray concrete shelf in the prison cell the guards had tossed her into. She had landed as if she were a rag doll, hitting the concrete floor and bouncing against the wall. She rubbed the spot on her left shoulder that had taken the brunt of the landing. The damage was just one big black-and-blue mark, but she was otherwise okay. She was soon shivering, staring into the single bulb’s light, too dim to make it possible to examine the spartan features of the cell.

She could tell that there was no real mattress. She saw only a piece of olive-drab threadbare cloth, draped over what would serve as a cot if she lived long enough to need sleep. The teenager rubbed her shoulder again. She felt a twinge as she remembered how a guard had dragged her body from the lobby down the stone staircase to the first basement. She had bounced off each slab of chipped concrete, and the snorkel parka she had worn was now ripped to shreds where the guard had grabbed her. Ann was five-feet-four inches tall and weighed less than one hundred and twenty pounds.

That wasn’t a fair fight, she thought. And this wasn’t even the worst that had happened to her.

Beyond the Red Carpet

Debbra Lynn

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Chapter 1

July 20, 2015 – And So It Begins

 

As she sat and stared out the window of her immaculately kept bedroom, Sophia Donovan studied each raindrop sliding down the glass against a dark sky. The silence around her was overwhelming, but at the same time it was a sound she welcomed more now, more today, than ever in her life. Vivid memories of the last eleven years were etched wildly in every corner of her mind as if a movie projector was going through reels of the story unfolding on a screen. Every flash of desire, happiness, sadness, anger, fear, hope, doubt and realization resurfaced, and she replayed every decision she’d ever made, every motive she’d had for her choices, and she wondered: Am I doing the right thing?

“It’s really quite strange,” she thought silently to herself. “Should I be scared? Or should I feel guilty?” She thought the answers should be obvious, but, oddly, she felt neither of these emotions. What she did feel, looking around the room at the perfectly made bed, the impeccable closet filled with designer shoes, clothes and jewelry, and the beautifully hung art clinging to the walls, was calm. Relieved, even. None of it made sense, but all she could think was: there’s no turning back now. What’s done is done. Sophia wondered suddenly if something was wrong with her. Perhaps she was in shock?

The once-silence that surrounded her suddenly seemed to become loud voices echoing in the darkness, and the giant walls of the luxurious Master seemed to be all of a sudden closing in around her, making it somewhat hard to catch her breath. Sophia stood up quickly from the bench seat overlooking the garden. As she paced back and forth, still gasping for breath, Sophia wondered if she was, in fact, having a nightmare.

She ran to the bathroom and leaned over the sink and started splashing her now-sweaty face with ice-cold water, in hopes that it would somehow wake her. To no avail. She stepped back into the bedroom and frantically circled, like a dog trying to find a comfortable position to sleep. “I’m doing the right thing, I’m doing the right thing,” she repeated over and over. Her pacing brought her to her husband’s side of the bed. As quickly as the panic had come, it was gone again. Calmly, she softly kissed her fingers and placed them on the cold, blood-splattered forehead of the man who, only a half hour earlier, laid peacefully sleeping, unaware that his wife was standing over him, pointing a gun directly at his face.

“I am so sorry, my love, “she whispered softly. “I had no choice.”

The Thing Speaks for Itself

A.S.A. Durphy

The-Thing-Speaks-For-Itself-B-Ebook-Small1

 

Special Agent Gracie Stratis sat up straight in the passenger seat, her hands cold and damp. Her right fingers slowly worked the beads between thumb and pointer. The smooth orbs radiated warmth from the trip in her pocket. She was careful to keep them out of the driver’s line of sight, hidden behind her right leg. Special Agent Charles Davis drove the Ford Crown Vic, and she wanted to keep this little crutch to herself.

“What do you have in your right hand?” Charles said.

Damn, he was observant. “Keepsake.” She held them up for Charles to see. A loop of black woven cotton strung with round beads; one was ornate silver and the rest were glossy olive wood. Dots of red paint still clung to the smooth wood in places.
Charles glanced at her from under his gold-rimmed aviators. “Ah, komboloi. I was in Greece for a while. They love those things there. You Greek?”

Gracie shook her head, watching the road ahead. “No. My dad brought them back with him from Rhodes when I was a girl.”

“Your dad in the foreign service?” Charles said.

Gracie turned her attention to the world outside the passenger window. She watched the strip malls pass by. These had never been things of beauty. After years of use, they were now a refuge for struggling businesses. Peeling paint, signs with missing letters, and a good sprinkling of rust. These were the up-and-comers, wannabes, never-beens, and has-beens. And plenty of parking. The lectric Was land had seen better days. The Pump N Munch got right down to it. Fred’s elf Storage probably couldn’t fulfill on its promise. In big letters, Capital Buffet boasted Always Open, and just below hung a sign that read Closed.

“No, he wasn’t in the service,” Gracie said. She turned back to Charles. “What should we expect when we get to the house?” Gracie’s skin tingled and the dampness on her palms persisted. She flexed her hands. First the left then the right. Grateful for the strength of what was only a fractionally faded youth. Thirty still felt young. She leaned her head back against the headrest, projecting outward calm. A rookie in complete control. Ready to bust some serious trouble right in the mouth.

The Screaming

David Graham

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The day was gonna be piss-awful. As soon as Brandon P Marshall woke up, he could tell. For an eighteen-year-old male with hormones running rampant, that wasn’t exactly new, but this time, the forewarning had seemed a whole order of magnitude different. The headache hadn’t helped either. It had centred on his left temple with the combined tenacity of a thundercloud and a nest of angry bees.

Whichever way he moved, the cloud blackened and the buzzing intensified. An attempted tug on his morning woody had made the bees fucking angry. It was also a Monday, which meant boring classes and jerk teachers who treated him like shit. Even the sunlight hurt. The sound of the Marshall family in the kitchen rattled him, too.

At times like these, he contemplated revenge for being brought into the frigging awful world. He’d devised a wide repertoire to choose from, ranging from the teasingly psychological to the daringly physical. To go downstairs naked with his woody exposed wasn’t something that could be done often, but it was worth it for the look on his mom’s face.

His dad threatened him with a beating but he’d chickened out at the last moment. Such a fucking wimp. And Brandon had a bigger dick than his dad anyway. Another favourite included emptying a box of roaches on the kitchen floor. A plague of locusts was also on his list but that was a tad too biblical.

Higher up the scale, it got seriously messy and terminal. To be brutally honest—as opposed to honestly brutal (hah!)—he still preferred shock and awe rather than shots and gore. After all, with dead people, there was no turning back. Somewhere towards the top was cyanide gas, but getting potassium cyanide out of the chem lab would take a lot of planning. And then there was the hazard of crime labs and toxicology, which would screw his chances once and for all.

But, something about that particular morning made him think a final solution was required. Perhaps it had to do with the noise that came from downstairs; Dwayne, Debra and Rebekah, all aged one, were doing their best to out-screech each other, with the occasional random, futile interjection from his mom. Why the hell had she wanted more kids after so many years? Then, to add insult to injury, out had popped three. And three times loud is FUCKING LOUD. Somehow, his dad just sat through it, as if he’d gone deaf overnight. As usual, he’d be reading the Kansas City Star over his breakfast cereal and pretending it was The New York Times. He was such a fucking jackoff.

Brandon’s cell phone rang with its irritating wake-up call. It wasn’t just your usual cell phone, but a 4G quad core with 2×2 MIMO to ensure maximum coverage. He’d bought that after months as a part-time cook at KFC, during which he’d put on thirty pounds. The phone was said to be ‘state of the art’. Great, he thought, except when he tried saying that out aloud just then, he heard it as ‘fake of the fart’, which wasn’t what he meant at all.

Shit, my brain is getting rambled … no, no, scrambled. What the fuck is going on? Brain humour… tumour… Shit! I’m dying! Nothing to lose, then.

Ahriman: The Spirit of Destruction

Puja Guha

AHRIMAN

 

Tehran, Iran – May 28, 2018

“Is this Kasem Ismaili?”

“Yes,” he said as he groggily rubbed his eyes. “Who is this?”

“It’s Nurah Bahar. Do you remember me?”

Kasem sat up abruptly and frowned. “Yes, of course. You’re that friend of Lila’s. Is everything all right?”

“I have a message from her.”

Kasem’s heart started to race. “What is it?”

“We can’t talk about this over the phone. Can you meet me in an hour?”

He reached over to his bedside table to grab his digital alarm clock. He blinked twice in astonishment at the bright red numerals that read 2:04. “In an hour? You mean meet you at three in the morning? Are you crazy?”

“You’re both in danger. Do you want to hear the message or not?”

“Yes, of course! But I have to get to work in a few hours.”

“I’m already breaking the rules by trying to get this message to you. It will all be irrelevant in twenty-four hours.”

“Oh, come on! You have to give me more than that to go on. How do I even know that you’ve spoken to Lila?”

“I have the locket that Lila wore. Will it be proof enough?”

“The locket?” he said and took a deep breath. Lila said that would be the signal. His thoughts began to run toward dark places. “I guess another sleepless night won’t do me any harm,” he finally conceded. “Where should I meet you?”

“The place where we first met. I’ll see you in an hour. Don’t be late.”

The line went dead. Where we first met? It’ll take almost an entire hour to drive there. Kasem groaned as he fumbled around the room to get dressed.

He was en route to his car when he remembered that his friend Jamal was huddled on the couch after locking himself out of his apartment down the hall. He just had to forget his keys tonight. He pulled out his cell phone and typed a hurried text message while stopped at a traffic light.

“Running urgent errand for L on other side of town. See you in few hours.”

Forty minutes later, Kasem pulled up in front of the empty lot where he and Lila had parked the last time they visited this flat on the other side of the city. Choosing the safety of the garage next door instead, he parked his car and walked over to the building.

It was eerily quiet at close to three in the morning. Cars passing by on the nearby highway were few and far between. Kasem shuddered. This had better be an emergency. His thoughts drifted back to Lila and he could feel his stomach tying in knots. He tried to push his mind away from the worst-case scenario to no avail and shuddered once again.

Kasem entered the lobby quietly and walked toward the elevator, which still had a large worn-out sign on it written in Farsi that read, “Elevator out of order.” He pushed open the door to the stairwell and rushed up to the third floor.
He knocked softly when he reached the apartment door. A few moments later, Nurah opened the door a crack.

“Did you come alone?”

“Are you fucking kidding me? Who would I bring with me? It’s three in the morning!”

“I had to be sure. Come in,” she said while opening the door to let him inside the dimly lit apartment.

He stepped past her into the living room and felt something sharp jab him in the neck. “What the h—?” he cried out.

Kasem’s eyes widened as he fought to maintain his vision. In his peripheral vision, he could see two burly men appear from the shadows of the dark room and grab his arms. He tried to lash out, but his muscles refused to respond. His legs started to sway and the room grew even hazier. “Nurah, what are you doing? Who are these men?” He tried to shout, but he could barely hear the whisper that escaped from his throat.

His legs buckled and he fell, first to his knees and then over onto his right side, landing hard on the side of the small couch near the entryway. Without realizing it, his phone slipped out of his pocket.

“I’m so sorry, Kasem. They already knew everything. I have to protect my family.”

In the back of his mind, he could hear the echo of Nurah’s voice.

The room faded as they thrust a dark sack over his head. “Where are you taking me? What do you want with me?” he tried once again to shout.

Then everything went black.

**********

13 Great Books To Sink Your Fangs Into This Halloween

BooksGoSocial

13-books

Halloween is here and there’s a bite in the air.

At BooksGoSocial we have carefully selected a list of 13 excellent books that will keep you spellbound until the last page. So light some candles, curl up, and give yourself the creeps… It’s time to bite back.

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Killer’s Countdown by Wendy H. Jones

“Twists and Turns to the Very Last Page!” Mandy baker Johnson

Dead Women. A Ruthless Killer. A Detective with something to prove. Newly promoted Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie struggles to cope with her new job, the respect of her colleagues, and the need to solve the hardest case of her life. Will she succeed?

A killer stalks the streets of Dundee, Scotland. Shona,having recently returned to Scotland, relies on the local knowledge of Sgt Peter Johnston and the rest of her team to help her track down the killer. However, this is no ordinary killer. Shona needs to use every trick in and out of the book to bring them to justice. The final revelation will shock you to the core.

Available on Amazon here


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Masquerade of Lies by Wendy Hinbest

Captivating and suspenseful young adult fiction that captures a slice of high school life.

Hanna Clark desperately wants to escape her dark past of self-mutilation and psychosis, but after she moves with her mother to a new city, she soon becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation.

Hanna races against time to prove her innocence, but if she doesn’t find the killer in time she’ll end up behind bars, while her mother is left to pick up the pieces of her life.

Available on Amazon here.

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Onyx Webb by Andrea Waltz, Richard Fenton

Delectably Creepy. Gripping. Fascinating. Get Entangled in Onyx Webb: An Addictive New Paranormal Suspense Series. Onyx Webb is a multi-genre mash-up that combines supernatural suspense, crime, horror, and a touch of romance.

Onyx Webb is a ghost. Billionaire playboy Koda Mulvaney becomes obsessed with a girl he sees inside a mirror. Juniper Cole is on her way to the prom and… well, we don’t want to spoil anything – we’ve probably told you too much already.

Available on Amazon here

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Dead of Night by William Todd

Dead of Night is a compilation of turn of the century era horror stories with a Victorian flare and traditional horror story plots with unexpected endings. If you like ghosts and ghouls and demons and werewolves, these stories are for you.

“I couldn’t stop reading to find out how each story ended and loved the twist and turns in each story. I love the Whitaker House Curse and felt like I was transported back in time. I highly recommend this book to everyone” – Amazon Review.

Available on Amazon here

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Deeply Flawed: The Zombie Apocalypse by Ro Ruffalo

What would you do for 6 seconds of perfect bliss?

In Deeply Flawed: The Zombie Apocalypse, a new synthetic drug called Primal is giving users the ultimate rush. There’s just one teensy side effect – a mad craving for human flesh. The creator of this drug is the sinister Prospero. An evil chemist gone Breaking Bad, Prospero seems determined to send the entire city into a feeding frenzy.

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Available on Amazon here

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The Spirit of Grace by Terry Lynn Thomas

Sarah Bennett doesn’t remember the night her mother tumbled down the stairs at Bennett House, despite allegedly witnessing the fatal fall. There was talk of foul play, dark whispers, and sidelong glances, all aimed at Sarah, prompting her family to send her to The Laurels, an exclusive asylum in San Francisco, under a cloud of suspicion.

In order to clear her name, Sarah must remember what happened the fateful night her mother died. But as she works to regain her memory, the real murderer watches, ready to kill again to protect a dark family secret.

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Available on Amazon here

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An Unbidden Visitor by Dianne Ascroft

An Unbidden Visitor is a Short Read – reading time approximately half an hour. Inspired by the story of the famous Irish poltergeist, the Cooneen ghost.

A tale of family, friends, and fear…
And the unnatural force that threatens to ruin everything…

When an unnatural and terrifying force invades their house, threatening their family, Bridget is surprised to see so many backs turning on her. Will Bridget find a way to save her home and her family before there’s nowhere left to turn?

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Available on Amazon here

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Crossing The Whitewash by Nick Rippington

An act of violence brought them together… now an act of violence has driven them apart.

Football prodigy Gary Marshall and troubled teen Arnie Dolan are inseparable. As members of the notorious Boxer Boys they tackle challenges head on, both out on the streets and closer to home. Then a rival football fan dies after a match, and their lives change forever. Now Arnie wants a reunion. He needs answers, and has a shattering secret to impart.

But where is Gary? And why is he so desperate not to be found?

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Available on Amazon here

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Truly Disturbed by Ro Ruffalo

The first corpse, decomposed and mutilated, is discovered in a small bungalow on a quiet street. It’s everybody’s worst nightmare as a serial killer descends on this peaceful bedroom community. The Shadow Man’s victims are like lambs to the slaughter.

But are these victims truly blameless, or did they somehow bring this horror upon themselves?

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Available on Amazon here

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SEVEN-X by Mike Wech

SEVEN-X is a bone-chilling exploration into the root of evil within us.
Freelance Investigative Reporter Eddie Hansen gets a tip on a missing death row prisoner, Annette Dobson, known as “The SIDS Killer.”

Pregnant at the time of her execution, Eddie adamantly believes it was staged and Dobson was secretly shipped to a Behavioral Health Center in a remote location outside the small town of Dell City, Texas.

But as Eddie dives deeper into his investigation, he is forced to confront his own demons, becoming an unwilling participant in the asylum’s paranormal rehabilitation experiment.

 

Available on Amazon here

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The Cicada Prophecy: A Medical Thriller by J.R. McLeay


FOR A SMALL PRICE, ANYONE CAN BE IMMORTAL.
WELCOME TO THE BRAVE NEW WORLD.

Dr. Richard Ross has discovered a miracle cure for aging. But it comes at a price. Everyone who wants eternal youth must undergo an operation before passing into adulthood that locks their body in the form of a preadolescent youth. When seniors die off, immortal juveniles rise to power and take over the world.

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Available on Amazon here

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Five Uneasy Pieces by Debbi Mack

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The New York Times bestselling author of Identity Crisis brings you five short stories of gritty and dark crime fiction. If you enjoy stories of psychological suspense, sometimes with a twist of dark humor, these five are sure to satisfy.

“FIVE UNEASY PIECES packs a nasty punch that will keep mystery fans enthralled.” —Simon Wood, author of TERMINATED

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Available on Amazon here

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One Night in Tehran by Luana Ehrlich

CIA operative, Titus Ray, is searching for answers. Meanwhile, an assassin searches for him.

In Tehran, while hiding out from the Iranian secret police, CIA officer, Titus Ray, finds shelter with a group of Iranian Christians. Compelled by their unwavering faith, the battle-hardened agent becomes a believer shortly before they smuggle him out of Iran to freedom in Turkey.

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Available on Amazon here

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