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Archive for April 23rd, 2018

 

 

As the judge in a complicated case involving an oil-bunkering gang, Sir Carter Braxton finds himself totally under the security provided by a mysterious figure, Sidi el-Hassam, a wealthy Arab who commands a volunteer group that specializes in preventing crude oil theft. The isolation under which he now lives causes him to miss his best friend’s funeral in 1993 for reasons that must remain inexplicable to his friends, the Falconer family, who live in the Forest of Dean, where they grow restoration oak. Finding herself in London, the widow, Valerie Falconer, an American from Texas, slips into one of Carter’s trials as a spectator, after which she discovers the conditions under which her old friend has been living for over three years. However, a third element also mixes into the situation in that both Carter and the Sidi, separately, have volunteered to participate in the refining of the GSP satellite system now being tested by NASA. This tracking system allows Carter to move temporarily to Texas to draw one of his assassins out. Not only is this the story of a man under physical stress and emotional stress; it is also a record of his spiritual journey led by his friend and later wife, Valerie, as well as the spiritual journey of the Sidi, which has been generated by an apparition of Mary in Zeitoun, Egypt.

Lanayre Liggera holds an MA from Tufts University and another from Cambridge-Goddard Graduate School, where she became interested in the history of woman as portrayed by music, which led to the formation of the New Harmony Sisterhood Band, with Lanayre on banjo. The students’ research produced the book All Our Lives, which was used on college campuses until radicals blew up the publisher, Diana Press. Sometime later, she began to pursue a long-held interest in early aviation. Inevitably, this led studying World War I, spending several tours of the Western Front sponsored by our parent organization, the Western Front Association, US branch. Lanayre was named chairman of the New England–New York chapter, a post which she held for fourteen years, which held a yearly conference at a different location in our region. She and her husband were involved as volunteers in prison ministry for eighteen years as well as in nursing homes, soup kitchens, and the VA. They live in Hudson Valley, where they try to keep up with the comings and goings of their global grandchildren. She is the author of The Life of Robert Loraine: The Stage, the Sky, and George Bernard Shaw.

 

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WHITE WITCH by Larry D. Thompson, Thriller, 291 pp., $14.95 (Paperback) $5.95
(Kindle edition)

 

Title: WHITE WITCH

Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Pages: 291
Genre: Thriller

Jamaica is a place where the surreal is simply everyday reality. When a ruthless American aluminum company plans to strip mine the Jamaican rainforest, they send former Navy SEAL Will Taylor to Montego Bay to deal with local resistance on their behalf. But he’s unaware that the British had signed a treaty deeding the rainforest to the Jamaican Maroons, descendants of escaped slaves, over 300 years ago. The Maroons fought and died for their land then, and are more than willing to do so now, whether it’s the British or the Americans who threaten them this
time around.Upon Will’s arrival, a series of inexplicable murders begin, some carried out with deadly snake daggers that were owned and used by Annie Palmer, a voodoo priestess better known as the White Witch. She was killed 200 years prior, but is said to still haunt the island at night, and the local Jamaicans are certain she’s responsible for the gruesome murders, her form of retaliation against the new turmoil taking place in the rainforest.

And Will has been forced directly into the middle of it. After a few close calls, he’s finally convinced to leave his company and join forces with the Maroons, headed by Vertise Broderick, a Maroon who resigned from her position at the New York Times to return to Jamaica to stop the mining. Together they hire a Jamaican attorney to prove that
the Maroon/British treaty is still valid to stop the mining, and they take it upon themselves to solve the White Witch murders, because the legend of the White Witch can’t possibly be true…

Order Your Copy!

https://www.amazon.com/Mistress-Suffragette-Diana-Forbes-ebook/dp/B06XG3G2TF

Will returned to his room, too wound up to sleep. He stripped to his

underwear and flipped channels on a large screen HD television until he ran

across First Blood with Sylvester Stallone. Having lived that life for a few years,

he never passed up the opportunity to watch it again. He settled back and had

drifted off to sleep when his cell chimed. He glanced at the television to make

sure it was not coming from there and found Fred Astaire waltzing Ginger

Rogers around a ballroom. He turned off the television and reached for his

phone.

 

“Taylor.”

 

“Will, Alexa here.” It was nearly three in the morning and Alexa was still at

her desk. Smoke drifted from a cigarette in her ash tray while she sucked on a

Tootsie Pop. She was on the speaker phone. When Will answered, she walked to

her window and stared at the lights of Baltimore.

 

Will turned on the nightstand light, glanced at the clock, and swung his feet

into a sitting position on the side of the bed. “Yes, ma’am. Little late for a booty

call.”

“Cut the crap. Kaven was just found at Rose Hall. He’s dead.”

 

“What? Are you sure? I just saw him a few hours ago.” Will got to his feet

and began pacing the room. “Shit.”

 

“Must be those goddamn Maroons. He called me last night once he got

back from Accompong. He told me about what happened up there. By the way,

they let the pilot go. They said they had no beef with him.”

 

“So I heard. What was Kaven doing at Rose Hall? When I saw him, he was

going to his room.”

 

“How the hell should I know? I got a call from some local detective. They

found his employee identification in his wallet. When the detective called here,

the operator knew I was still in my office and put the call through to me. You need to get to Rose Hall now.

“Yes, ma’am,” Will agreed.

“And I’m flying down there tomorrow before this gets any more out of

hand. See if you can keep anybody else from being killed until I get there.”

 

Will’s cell went dead. He put it on the nightstand and picked up the hotel

phone. Pleased to find it working, he punched the key for valet parking.

 

“Good evening, Mr. Taylor. How can I be of assistance?”

 

“Bring my company Land Rover to the front as quickly as possible.”

 

Getting assurance that it would be there when he got downstairs, Will hung

up and walked to the bathroom. Five minutes later he was met at the hotel

entrance by a valet.

 

“Can I give you directions, Mr. Taylor? It’s a little late at night.”

 

“No thanks. I know exactly where I’m going.” Will got in the car, fastened

his seat belt, and left the hotel.

When Will got to Rose Hall, he turned onto the road they had just come

down the evening before. At the top of the hill he could see the mansion, now

well lighted. He dodged tree limbs and utility wires and parked among several

other vehicles. Police cars were positioned so that their headlights focused on the

steps of the mansion where Will could see the yellow police crime scene tape. He

walked up a path from the parking lot between the police cars that faced the

mansion to the yellow tape where an officer stood watch. The officer came to

attention as Will approached.

 

“Sorry, mon. I can’t let you past here. We’re investigating a murder.”

 

Will kept his voice even but controlling. “I know, officer. That’s why I’m

here. Name’s William Taylor. I’m head of security for Global American Metals.

Here’s my identification.” Will tried to hand him an ID. The officer just shook

his head. “Officer, the dead man is one of Global’s employees. Can you get

someone in authority to let me up there?”

 

Before the officer could reply, Miles Harper, the St. James Parish Chief of

Detectives, approached. Harper was a lean, fit man with a shaved head and a no

nonsense manner. He was dressed in a brown suit, yellow shirt, and matching

tie. He looked like he just stepped out of GQ Magazine, even at three in the

morning.

 

“Mr. Taylor, I’m Miles Harper, Chief of Detectives in this parish. I was

told by your company to expect you.”

 

Will extended his right hand. Harper ignored it. Instead, he nodded at the

officer and motioned for Will to follow him. Harper went up a dozen steps and

turned to Will as he stood beside Kaven’s body, sprawled on his back with dagger in his chest. Will bent over for a closer look and found that the handle of

the dagger was in the shape of a snake. At the top of the handle was the snake’s

head. The snake’s eyes were two bright rubies.

 

“Shit,” Will muttered, “He was almost killed because of one snake on the

road today and now someone finished the job with a, what would you call this, a

snake dagger?”

 

“That’s as good a name as any, Mr. Taylor. My officers reported what went

on up in Accompong and the incident with the boa.”

Will continued to study the body. “Looks like he’s been dead a couple of

hours. I last saw him about ten last night. Who found him?”

 

“The hotel has a security guard that roams the mansion grounds and up to

the club house in a golf cart. He spotted the body.”

 

“Where’s your coroner?”

 

“He’s a local Justice of the Peace, not a medical doctor. He won’t set foot on

these steps until morning. My men here won’t go past the tape either. They

believe the White Witch did it.”

 

Will shook his head in disbelief. “Come on, Chief, this is the twenty-first

century.”

 

“Old beliefs die hard, Mr. Taylor. Come on. Let me show you something.”

 

Harper stepped around the body and climbed the steps with Will behind

him. Entering the ballroom, Will said, “I was just in this room yesterday evening during the storm.”

Harper turned to study Will. “Would you care to explain?”

 

Will covered the details of the previous day and their time in the mansion

while they waited out the storm. “You know a woman named Vertise?”

 

Harper nodded his head. “She’s a local. Works for the paper and tends bar

for the hotel. Since you were in this room a few hours ago, come over here.”

Harper led Will to a glass display against one wall with pictures of two snake

daggers above it along with the history of the daggers. The glass had been

broken and the daggers were gone.

 

“You see this case when you were up here?”

 

Will studied it and thought back to the day before. “Can’t say I did, Chief.

It was pretty dark in here, lit only by candles since the storm knocked out

power. I wandered around the room but never glanced toward this case. And I

don’t believe anyone else mentioned it. Now that I think about it, Vertise told

us the legend of Annie Palmer and her using a snake dagger to kill an overseer.

evening during the storm.”

 

Harper turned to study Will. “Would you care to explain?”

Will covered the details of the previous day and their time in the mansion

while they waited out the storm. “You know a woman named Vertise?”

Harper nodded his head. “She’s a local. Works for the paper and tends bar

for the hotel. Since you were in this room a few hours ago, come over here.”

Harper led Will to a glass display against one wall with pictures of two snake

daggers above it along with the history of the daggers. The glass had been

broken and the daggers were gone.

 

“You see this case when you were up here?”

 

Will studied it and thought back to the day before. “Can’t say I did, Chief.

It was pretty dark in here, lit only by candles since the storm knocked out

power. I wandered around the room but never glanced toward this case. And I

don’t believe anyone else mentioned it. Now that I think about it, Vertise told

us the legend of Annie Palmer and her using a snake dagger to kill an overseer. Surprising that she didn’t show us these daggers when she was telling the story.”

 

“Interesting,” mused Harper. “You have any idea why your man would

come up here in the middle of the night?”

 

“Not a clue. Have you checked his cell phone? He always carried it.”

 

“Yeah. The last calls were with you yesterday afternoon and one with Ms.

Pritchard later in the evening.”

 

Will nodded. “He called me from Accompong, warning me of trouble up

there. I should have gone with him.”

 

Harper shook his head. “Whether you were there or not wouldn’t have

made any difference. Just would have been one more person that was in my

police car that rolled, assuming, of course, you didn’t take a bullet up on the

mountain.”

 

“Understood.”

 

“How did you get in the mansion?”

 

“Vertise said she knew where a key was hidden and let us in.”

 

“Strange that she could get into the locked mansion. It was my

understanding that only the manager of Rose Hall had a key. He locked it and

left when the storm was hitting. The hotel spent a fortune on period pieces to

recreate how it looked two hundred years ago. One of his jobs is to make sure

they are not stolen.”

 

“Any signs of a break-in?” Will asked.

 

“This is not for publication, you understand, but when I got here the

mansion was locked and the lights were off.”

 

“So, you’re saying that someone got into the mansion, stole two daggers, let

themselves back out, killed Kaven, and left no trace.” Will paused to absorb all

that he had just said. “Wait a minute. If someone wanted to kill Kaven, why not

just use a gun? Why go to all the trouble of getting that dagger to do it?”

 

“I’ve been wrestling with that very question,” Harper said. “It’s illegal for a

private citizen to own a gun in Jamaica, but that doesn’t mean they are not

available if you know the right people. My working hypothesis is that the killer

or killers wanted the public to think voodoo was involved, or maybe even the

White Witch. The only other possibility that comes to mind is that the Maroons

are trying to send a message to Global. They tried to kill Tillman in Accompong

and failed. Maybe the message is that they finish what they start. Either way,

someone is trying to make trouble for your company. I have another problem

that may not be apparent.”

 

Will looked quizzically at the detective.

 

“As you can see, there were two snake daggers in this case. One’s accounted

for out on the steps. The other is gone. Nearly everyone around here thinks that

they are voodoo daggers with magical powers. They were found in an overseer’s

grave during the restoration of the mansion thirty years ago.”

 

“Does ‘everyone’ include you? Looks to me like the killer or killers are just

trying to mess with the minds of my co-workers, maybe keep some locals from

hiring on with us.”

 

Harper stuck his hands in his pockets. “Not up to me to decide if they’re

magic or not. I’ve got a murder with one of those daggers. My job is to solve the

murder and along the way, find that other dagger before someone uses it.”

Will’s eyes searched the room in a futile effort to see any clues to the crime.

 

Then he focused on the chief. “Look, I’m going to need a gun. My company is

obviously under attack. I’m licensed to carry back home.”

 

“No way, Mr. Taylor,” Harper exploded. “Foreigners are not permitted to

have guns in Jamaica. For that matter, as I just told you, neither are Jamaicans.

And I want you to stay the hell out of my investigation. We don’t need your

help. Understand?”

 

“Yeah, I understand. You know that each of our mines on this island is

permitted a certain number of guns for our guards. I’ll just get one of those.”

 

“The hell you will. Don’t you dare go behind my back. Those guns never

leave mine property. I have an officer that inventories them. If one turns up

missing, I’ll confiscate every damn weapon that Global has and put you under

house arrest. Clear, Mr. Taylor?”

 

Will clinched his fists and tried to hold back the anger that was apparent in

his face. Without another word, he turned and stormed out of the mansion,

pausing only to gaze at Kaven and say a prayer for him and his family. At the

bottom of the steps, he got in his car and glanced toward the mansion. The

lights from his car somehow caught the ruby eyes of the snake, making them

appear briefly to be alive. Will shook his head, put the car in reverse, and

returned to the hotel.

Book Trailer:


After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Larry spent the first half of his professional life as a trial lawyer. He tried well over 300 cases and won more than 95% of them. Although he had not taken a writing class since freshman English (back when they wrote on stone tablets), he figured that he had read enough novels and knew enough about trials, lawyers, judges, and courtrooms that he could do it. Besides, his late, older brother, Thomas Thompson, was one of the best true crime writers to ever set a pen to paper; so, just maybe, there was something in the T hompson gene pool that would be guide him into this new career.  He started writing his first novel about a dozen years ago and published it a couple of years thereafter. He has now written five highly acclaimed legal thrillers. White Witch is number six with many more to come.Larry is married to his wife, Vicki. He has three children scattered from Colorado to Austin to Boca Raton, and four grandchildren. He has been trying to retire from the law practice to devote full time to writing. Hopefully, that will occur by the end of 2018. He still lives in Houston, but spends his summers in Vail CO, high on a mountain where
he is inspired by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

His latest book is the captivating thriller, WHITE WITCH.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

 

 

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