Posted by authorcamilson
About the Book
Title: Duke City Desperado
Author: Max Austin
For fans of Breaking Bad and the bestselling fiction of Don Winslow and George Pelecanos comes Max Austin’s latest fast-paced, rollicking “Lawbreakers Thriller” of criminals and lovers, malcontents and madmen–all within the treacherous city limits of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Under a sky full of stars, Dylan James lies sleeping on the roof of a pueblo-style house. Everyone in Albuquerque seems to be looking for him. A murderous Mafia prince wants to kill him. Two FBI agents want to cuff him. A Goth girl wants to make love to him. And a fierce, sexy Chicana just wants to clean up the mess Dylan made. The trouble started with a drug-addled career criminal named Doc, and a bank robbery staged with a garage-door opener. And it all goes off the rails after a little misunderstanding with Dylan’s ex-girlfriend and her jealous, gun-toting new beau. When the sun comes up, this sleepy, scrawny desperado is going to show the world what he is made of–all for a one-in-a-million shot at walking out of Duke City alive.
Max Austin is the pseudonym of writer Steve Brewer. He lives in Duke City (Albuquerque), New Mexico.
It took FBI Agent Hector Aragon less than a minute to turn up a mug shot of Dylan James on his iPad. He and Pam Willis stood shoulder to shoulder in the hall outside the interrogation room, looking at the squinting face on the screen.
Dylan James had the glassy eyes and indoor pallor of a pothead. The kid looked soft, like so many young people today, gradually turning into the sofas they occupy. To Hector, who did push-ups and sit-ups before he allowed himself his morning coffee, such sloth seemed a disgrace.
“Six feet tall, one-seventy,” Pam said, reading the description below the photo. “That fits the physical description and the videos. Bet we find his prints in the van.”
“Check his priors,” he said. “Two B-and-E’s. One public drunk. Hardly a career criminal.”
“He’s twenty-four. He’s just getting started.”
“So he hitches his wagon to a weasel like Doc Burnett?”
“Nobody said he was a genius,” she said.
“Sure doesn’t look like one.”
“He was smart enough to flee the scene at that bank.”
“Yeah, but he’s not smart enough to stay fled.”
That made her smile. Hector spent much of his workday trying to make Pam smile. It wasn’t an easy task. She took her work seriously and kept up a cool professional demeanor. She had ambitions, more than Hector, who was happy to be the hometown boy who made good, working at the FBI’s Albuquerque office.
“We’ll put his face on TV,” he said. “We’ll have him by dawn.”
“I hope you’re right. We make quick work of this laugher of a case, and it’ll help rebuild our reputations.”
“There you go again. There’s nothing wrong with our reputations.”
“Believe that if you want,” she said, “but we’re still suffering from that shoot-out. Everybody knows we had Wyman right in our sights, in broad daylight, but he still managed to nail both of us.”
Hector sighed. Couldn’t a single day pass without her bringing it up? The day at the casino hotel still plagued his dreams, forcing him to relive the shoot-out with the mustachioed bank robber, Mick Wyman, beside the blue swimming pool. Hector often snapped awake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. He didn’t need her constant reminders.
“Come on, Pam. It’s been over a year. We’re all healed up. We’re back on the job. Everybody’s forgotten about it.”
“I haven’t. His partner’s still out there somewhere, and he got away with a million dollars.”
“So far,” Hector said. “But he’ll turn up one of these days. He’ll make a mistake.”
“You keep saying that, but it hasn’t happened so far.”
“All in good time,” he said. “For now, let’s keep the focus on Dylan James.”
“You’re right.” She looked at the dopey face on the screen. “We’ll pull out all the stops. APD, county sheriffs, state troopers, the media. Plaster his face everywhere.”
“This kid won’t know what hit him,” Hector said, and he swiped the photo from the screen.
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