– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Santa Fe Psychosis’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Max DeVoe Talley is a writer and artist from New York City who lives in Southern California. He began writing in 1997 and contributed entertainment, food, and humor columns to two California weekly newspapers.
His near future thriller, Yesterday We Forget Tomorrow, was published by Damnation Books in 2014. Since then, his crime fiction has appeared in two Hardboiled anthologies from Dead Guns Press and in Dames & Doppelgangers from Borda Books, while his short stories have appeared in fifty journals, including Vol.1 Brooklyn, Atticus Review, Entropy, Bridge Eight, Santa Fe Literary Review, and Litro.
Talley’s curated surreal anthology, Delirium Corridor, debuted in December 2020.
Jackson Bardo, an out-of-work Private Investigator, is summoned to New Mexico by his ex-girlfriend. Her life is being threatened and she needs money. But he doesn’t have enough when he arrives. And days later, she disappears.
Joining forces with his friend, Police Detective Diego Juarez, the pair set out to find her.
During their search, Juarez is given the job of locating a missing teenager. But the discovery of another girl – dead – leads them to uncover a child trafficking operation.
Detective Juarez found the outbuilding’s door unlocked, but its warped bottom edge stuck to the ground so he shouldered it open. Nets and more fishing gear within, along with two shotguns. Neither loaded. He sniffed them but neither had been shot recently, and an angry spider crawled out of one barrel. His flashlight started to dim and the darkness inside became overwhelming. A clicking noise came from the second room ahead and Juarez lunged into a windowless, airless gloom. His foot went forward but didn’t connect with floor. Off balance, he plunged into an open trapdoor leading downward. “Ravello!” he shouted to his partner, then tumbled down steps. Juarez landed in a moist, muddy basement and startled to his feet. It smelled dank and like death. His own.
Above, heavy scraping sounds: the trapdoor being closed. Juarez rushed up the rickety set of stairs and fought the human weight trying to seal him below. He climbed back out. Disoriented, with the flashlight lost below, he peered in every direction.
A fishing rod cracked him over the head. Fighting to keep his balance, Juarez pulled his pistol and shot the burly figure in a cloth mask. The man groaned but kept moving and toppled a barrel to slow pursuit. “Hands up, freeze,” Juarez shouted. “Estas bajo arresto.” The assailant scuttled out the door. Juarez staggered after in pursuit, feeling a wet thin line of blood seeping at the back of his head.
For an instant he got blinded by the sunlight, before a fat hand swung a 2 x 4 at his forehead. Juarez went down. He heard Detective Ravello yell, “Stop or I’ll shoot,” followed by gunshots, and then an unmuffled engine ratcheted to life, but its loud, churning hum soon faded. After that, nothing.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds