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Witness Betrayed by Linda Ladd (A Will Novak Novel #3) is on virtual book tour. The mystery thriller stops at the blog with an excerpt.

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a $20 Amazon GC and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).




Witness Betrayed


A Will Novak Novel #3

by Linda Ladd


Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Pub Date: 10/2/18



No Friends
Mardi Gras whips New Orleans’ French Quarter into a whirlpool of excess, color, booze, noise, motion. So the woman in the sights of Will Novak’s binoculars stands out. She’s bruised, barefoot, wearing a man’s raincoat. And she’s looking right at him.

No Faith
In a moment she’s fleeing into the crowd, but Novak knows she’s not gone for good. When she comes back, it’s with a gun to his head—and a story about crony politics, a crooked judge, a kidnapped whistleblower, and children in deadly danger. Novak can’t let this one slide.

No Fury
Through the grit of Houston’s underbelly to the grime below Beverly Hills’ glamor, a trickle of rot connects the powerful to the desperate and corrupts the men and women who are supposed to stand against it. Deceit is everywhere. If he’s going to do right, Novak is going to have to do it alone . . .




Say Your Goodbyes
A Will Novak Novel #2


SAY YOU’RE DREAMING
When a scream wakes Will Novak in the middle of the night, at first he puts it down to the nightmares. He's alone on a sailboat in the Caribbean, miles from land. And his demons never leave him.

SAY YOUR PRAYERS
The screams are real, though, coming from another boat just a rifle’s night scope away. It only takes seconds for Novak to witness one murder and stop another. But with the killer on the run and a beautiful stranger dripping on his deck, Novak has gotten himself into a new kind of deep water.

BUT DON’T SAY YOUR NAME
The young woman he saved says she doesn't know who she is. But someone does, and they're burning fuel and cash to chase Novak and his new acquaintance from one island to the next, across dangerous seas and right into the wilds of the Yucatan jungle. If either of them is going to live, Novak is going to need answers, fast—and he's guessing he won't like what he finds out . . .





Bad Road to Nowhere
A Will Novak Novel #1


BAD MEMORIES
Not many people know their way through the bayous well enough to find Will Novak’s crumbling mansion outside New Orleans. Not that Novak wants to talk to anyone. He keeps his guns close and his guard always up.
 
BAD SISTER
Mariah Murray is one selfish, reckless, manipulative woman, the kind Novak would never want to get tangled up with. But he can’t say no to his dead’s wife sister.
 
BAD VIBES
When Mariah tells him she wants to rescue a childhood friend, another Aussie girl gone conveniently missing in north Georgia, Novak can’t turn her down. She’s hiding something. But the pretty little town she’s targeted screams trouble, too. Novak knows there’s a trap waiting. But until he springs it, there’s no telling who to trust . . . 




Linda Ladd is the bestselling author of over a dozen novels, including the Claire Morgan thrillers. She makes her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband and old beagle named Banjo. She loves traveling and spending time with her two adult children,two grandsons, and granddaughter. In addition to writing, Linda enjoys target shooting and is a good markswoman with a Glock 19 similar to her fictional detectives. She loves to read good books, play tennis and board games, and watch fast-paced action movies. She is currently at work on her next novel.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!






Chapter 1

Below Will Novak’s balcony, the final day of Mardi Gras was in full swing. Crowds walked along the narrow width of Bourbon Street, laughing and talking and enjoying the famous New Orleans celebration. The French Quarter was alive with excitement and good cheer, which put police on alert for inevitable drunken altercations. That’s why Novak was watching. From where he sat in a chair drawn close to the wrought-iron rail, he could see several drunks stumbling around inside the crowd and others who looked well on their way to inebriation. His apartment was at the top end of Bourbon Street, so the riotous mass moved down the street in one direction like ants headed to a piece of pecan pie. Across the street, a jazz band was playing, filling the late night with the sounds of saxophone, piano, and bass fiddle.

Novak enjoyed the music, thinking the band was pretty good, as he swept his binoculars over the boisterous crowd as it moved along the ancient street with its old-fashioned lampposts and multitude of bars and novelty shops. The New Orleans Police Department had hired him on a temporary basis to spot probable troublemakers and report their locations to street cops. He’d been at it for a long time. Glancing at his watch, he found it was almost midnight. Eventually all the fun going on now would wane and the people would gradually disperse, but not yet. Maybe in another hour or two. He hoped so. He was dead tired.

Late February in south Louisiana was sometimes chilly; he had put on a leather jacket because of the nip in the air. The cold was not bothering anybody else, who kept warm by drinking beer and the sheer exhilaration of the moment. Unfortunately, nobody was calling it a night yet. Pushing, shoving, and hair-trigger, testosterone-fueled fistfights had been a regular occurrence all week long. At such occasions, Novak always watched first for the glint of steel. Knives were easily hidden under coats. This late hour was when either guns or knives were apt to be whipped out and innocent passersby hurt. Novak wasn’t the only observer on the street. There were many others just like him with bird’s-eye views of the action. He leaned back in his chair and adjusted his earpiece and microphone headset.

Loud shouts caught his attention, and he swung the glasses to a commotion starting up right across the street. A young woman stood high on a second-floor balcony opposite him. She looked as if she was smashed but didn’t know it yet. She was having a good old time, giggling and waving at the men below her on the street. A crowd had already gathered, mainly because she kept pulling up her sweatshirt and showing her bare breasts. The guys below hooted and clapped and sent forth all manner of encouragement. She obliged their fervor by whipping the sweatshirt off over her head and shimmying for anybody inclined to take a look.

Skin shows were not unusual during Mardi Gras week. The guy standing on the balcony with her didn’t appear to mind much, flinging off his own shirt in a show of support. His hairy chest didn’t garner as much interest. Both leaned over the railing, blowing kisses and tossing strings of colorful beads to their drunken admirers, which immediately caused fights for possession. People were just damn stupid sometimes, but no real harm was done with something like that. He called in the incident. A two-team unit was dispatched to break up the crowd below, and then they’d have to climb the narrow interior stairs to the woman’s apartment and order her to cover herself or go to jail. They had already warned the same woman earlier that evening. They might arrest her this time. Novak didn’t care much, one way or the other. He riveted his attention back on the street. Many people carried red Solo cups so they could guzzle beer while they walked. Mardi Gras had always been a big drunken party and a giant headache for the NOPD. Tonight was no exception.

Novak was working solo. He hadn’t been on a gig by himself in a while, not since he’d signed up with Claire Morgan’s private investigation firm. His partner was unavailable, off to Italy with her husband, Nicholas Black. They had been tied up in Rome for days now, fighting Italian government red tape as they tried to adopt a ten-year-old boy named Rico. His parents had been murdered during a particularly bad case that Novak had been involved in, and since it had wrapped up, Claire and Black had given the kid a good home. They wanted him to stay there.

They were due back soon, though, and Novak was glad. He missed Claire. She was quite a woman, all things considered: tall, natural blond, athletic, good-looking, and sexy without knowing it. More important, she was a damn good detective and a damn good friend. He could count on her when things got sticky. Compared to most of their cases, tonight’s gig was a breeze. Sitting in his own apartment watching people having fun was something he didn’t usually mind.

About Mayor Sonni

Reader extraordinaire. Mayor of Readeropolis. Lover of books, lists, sweet tea, and vacations. Well, not necessarily in that order.
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