Today I'm participating in the Dead in a Week Blog Tour. In this post you will find book and author information along with my review.
About the book . . .
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 1682320294 (ISBN13: 9781682320297)
Series: Forensic Instincts, Zermatt Group
Synopsis . . . What would you do if your daughter was kidnapped and given only a week to live?
Lauren Pennington is celebrating her junior year
abroad when life comes to a screeching halt. At Munich’s Hofbräuhaus, she
engages in an innocent flirtation with a charming stranger for the length of a
drink. Drink finished, Lauren leaves—only to be snatched from the streets and
thrown into an unmarked van.
Officially, Aidan Deveraux is a communications expert
for one of the largest financial firms in the world. In his secret life, the
former Marine heads the Zermatt Group, a covert team of military and spy agency
operatives that search the data stream for troubling events in an increasingly
troubled world. When his artificial intelligence system detects Lauren’s
kidnapping, Aidan immediately sees the bigger picture.
Silicon Valley: Lauren’s father, Vance Pennington, is
about to launch a ground-breaking technology with his company NanoUSA—a
technology that the Chinese are desperate for. No sooner does Aidan arrive on
Vance’s doorstep to explain the situation than the father receives a chilling
text message: hand over the technology or Lauren will be dead in a week.
In a globe-spanning chase, from the beer halls of
Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and
finally the farmlands of Croatia, Aidan’s team cracks levels of high-tech
security and complex human mystery with a dogged determination. Drawing in
teammates from the Forensic Instincts team (introduced in The Girl Who
Disappeared Twice), the Zermatt Group will uncover the Chinese businessmen
responsible, find the traitors within NanoUSA who are helping them, and save
Lauren from a brutal death.
My review . . . College exchange student Lauren Pennington’s disappearance while studying in Munich is a parent’s worst nightmare. And Vance Pennington’s worst fears are confirmed when he receives a demand from kidnappers to turn over his company’s revolutionary new technology program in exchange for his daughter’s safe return. With a deadline of one week to meet the kidnappers’ terms, Vance turns to former Marine captain Aidan Deveraux and his highly-skilled yet secretive Zermatt Group to secure Lauren’s safe return.
Thus begins a race against the clock to rescue Lauren from ruthless criminals who will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. The Zermatt Group, in collaboration with select colleagues from the Forensic Instincts Investigation Agency, undertakes a high stakes pursuit across the globe to identify the group responsible for Lauren’s abduction, track them to the hidden location where she is being held, and uncover the corporate players focused on committing a heinous act of industrial espionage that will destroy technology giant NanoUSA as Vance is about to take its top leadership position.
Can Aidan and his team deliver on their promise to return Lauren unharmed despite dangerous odds? One thing is certain, this determined group of experts is prepared to pull out all the stops necessary to succeed.
In Dead in a Week author Andrea Kane deftly crafts an intricate, fast-paced plot designed to keep readers on the edge of their seats. The characters are smart and resourceful, and their interactions are both professional and personal. Their romantic encounters are as engaging as their working relationships, demonstrating Kane’s expertise in the romantic suspense/thriller genre.
Dead in a Week is part of the Forensic Insights series, but it is also a self-contained stand-alone novel. It was my entry point into the series, and it felt like a natural place to start because it combines continuing characters while introducing new characters into the mix. The story captured my attention from the very first page, and kept me in its grip until its final twist and satisfying conclusion. I am now eagerly awaiting the next installment, but in the meantime, I will have the pleasure of reading books one through six.
Excerpt from Dead in a Week . . .
Tuesday, 4:00 p.m.
Pennington loved the sound of her combat boots clomping across the cobblestone
apron. But right now, all she could think about was the growling of her empty
stomach, urging her to move faster. She was oblivious to everything else—the
couple on the corner sharing a passionate, open-mouthed kiss, the guy puking up
his over-consumption of beer into the storm sewer grating, and the man watching
her every move as he talked into his cell phone in a language that Lauren
wouldn’t have recognized had she been paying attention.
She walked into
Hofbräuhaus’ main hall, took a seat at one of the wooden tables, and placed her
order. Minutes later, the waitress came over and brought Lauren’s food and
drink. Barely uttering a perfunctory “Danke,” Lauren bit into a pretzel the
size of her head and took a healthy gulp of Hofbräu.
The semester had
ended, and she was entitled to some carbs and a dose of people-watching at the
historic Munich brewery. Pretzels and beer were addicting, but people-watching
had always fascinated her. Despite a whole winter semester of her junior year
abroad studying art history at the Ludwig Maximilian University at Munich, she
still enjoyed playing the tourist. Not at school, but every time she strolled
the streets, studied the architecture, chatted with the locals.
less than a mile from campus, but the brewery’s main hall had a reputation all
its own. With its old-world atmosphere of wooden tables, terra cotta floors,
painted arches, and hanging lanterns, how could anyone not feel a sense of
history just being within these walls?
Maybe that’s why
Europe called out to her, not just here, but from a million different places.
Museums. Theaters. Cathedrals. She wanted to experience them all, and then
some. She’d be going home to San Francisco in July, and she hadn’t been to
Paris or London or Brussels. She’d gotten a mere taste of Munich and had yet to
When would she get
another chance to do all that?
Not for ages. And
certainly not with the sense of freedom she had as a college student, with
little or no responsibilities outside her schoolwork to claim her attention. On
the flip side, she felt terribly guilty. Every February, her entire family
traveled to Lake Tahoe together. It was a ritual and a very big deal, since her
father rarely got a day, much less a week, off as a high-powered executive. Her
mother usually began making arrangements for the trip right after the holidays.
In her mind, it was like a second Christmas, with the whole family reuniting
and sharing time and laughter together.
This year was no
different. Lauren’s brother, Andrew, and her sister, Jessica, were both taking
time off from their busy careers to join their parents at Tahoe—no easy feat
considering Andrew was an intellectual property attorney in Atlanta, and Jess
was a corporate buyer for Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Lauren was the only holdout.
Lauren. The college kid. The baby. The free spirit who always came home from
Pomona College to nest, especially for family gatherings and rituals.
Her parents had
been very quiet when she’d told them about her plans. Lauren knew what that
silence meant. After the phone call ended, her mother would have cried that she
was losing her baby, and her father would have scowled and written off her decision
as college rebellion. Neither was true. But no matter how she explained it, her
parents didn’t understand. They’d traveled extensively in Europe, and to them,
it was no big deal. But it was Lauren’s first time here, and to her, it was
like discovering a whole new world—a world she felt an instant rapport with. It
was like discovering a part of her soul she’d never known existed. And she had
to immerse herself in it.
the idea of flying to Lake Tahoe for the week and then returning to fulfill her
dream. Her parents would definitely pay for that. But given the long
international travel, the flight changes, the time differences, and the jet
lag, Tahoe would put too much of a crimp in the many plans she had for her
break between semesters. She’d had invitations from school friends who said she
could stay with them during her travels—friends from Germany and so many other
The world was at
No, despite how
much she loved her family, she had to do things her way this time. There’d be
other Februarys, other trips to Tahoe. But this was a once-in-a-lifetime
She was still
drinking her beer and lamenting her situation when a masculine voice from
behind her said, “Hallo. Kann ich mitmachen?”
saw a handsome, rugged-featured guy, gazing at her with raised brows. He was
asking if he could join her.
“Sind Sie allein?”
he asked, glancing to her right and to her left.
“Yes, I’m alone,”
she answered in German. “And, yes, please join me.”
The man came
around and slid onto the bench seat. He propped his elbow on the table,
signalling to the waitress that he’d have the same as the lady. The waitress
nodded, hurrying off to get his refreshment.
He turned his gaze
back to Lauren. “You’re American,” he noted, speaking English that was heavily
charged,” she responded in English. “Is it that obvious?” She gave him a rueful
He smiled, idly
playing with the gold chain around his neck. “Your German is quite good. But I
picked up the American…what’s the word you use? Twang.”
Lauren had to
laugh. “It’s my turn to take a stab at it, then. You’re French? Slavic? A
combination of both?”
“The last.“ His
smile widened. “You have a good ear, as well.”
“Your German and
your English are excellent. I guess I just got lucky.”
getting lucky, what’s your name?” he asked.
His boldness took
her aback, but she answered anyway. “Lauren. What’s yours?”
“Marko.” He held
out his hand, which Lauren shook. “I’m in Munich on business. And you?”
“I’m an exchange
student. I’m on break, and I’m looking forward to enjoying some time exploring
intrigued. “I can give you a few tips.” A mischievous glint lit his eyes. “Or I
could travel with you for a few days and give you the best taste of Munich
you’ll ever have.”
flushed. She was twenty years old. She knew very well what Marko meant by “the
best taste.” She should be offended. But she couldn’t help being flattered. He
was older, good-looking, and charming.
wasn’t stupid. And she wasn’t in the market for a hookup.
“Thanks, but I’m
tackling this trip on my own,” she replied. “I’m meeting up with friends later,
but I’m good as planned.”
“Pity.” The glint
in his eyes faded with regret. “Then at least let me give you some pointers
about the best sights to see and the best restaurants and places to visit.”
“That would be
fantastic.” Lauren rummaged in her purse for a pen and paper. Having found
them, she set her bag on the floor between them.
She spent the next
twenty mesmerizing minutes listening to Marko detail the highlights of Munich
and other parts of Bavaria, as she simultaneously scribbled down what he was
“Thank you so
much,” she said when he was finished. “This is like a guided tour.”
“Once again, I
could do it in person.”
“And once again,
I’m flattered, but no thank you.” Lauren signaled for her check, reaching into
her bag and retrieving a twenty euro bill when the waitress approached the
table. “The rest is for you,” she told her.
“I’ll take care of
that,” Marko offered, stopping Lauren by catching her wrist and simultaneously
fishing for his wallet. Evidently, he was still holding out hope that she would
change her mind.
“That’s okay. I’ve
got it.” Lauren wriggled out of his grasp, leaned forward, and completed the
“You’ve been a
tremendous help,” she said to Marko as she rose. “I’m glad we met.”
This time it was
she who extended her hand.
shook it. “I hope we meet again, Lauren. I’ll look for you the next time I’m in
Lauren left the café and walked through the wide cobblestone apron outside.
There were little tables with umbrellas scattered about, with patrons chatting
and eating. Sated by the beer and pretzel, she inhaled happily, and then,
walking over to the sidewalk, began what she expected to be a thoughtful
stroll. Maybe she’d text her parents this time, try explaining her position
without all the drama of a phone call.
She was halfway
down the street when she heard a male voice call after her, “Lauren!”
She turned to see
Marko hurrying in her direction. “Here.” He extended his arm, a familiar iPhone
in his hand. “You left this on the table.”
“Oh, thank you.”
How could she have been so careless? She protected her cell phone like a small
child. “I’d be lost without that—“
As she spoke, a
Mercedes van tore around the corner and came screeching up to them.
The near doors
were flung open, and a stocky man jumped out, his face concealed by a black
hood. Before Lauren could so much as blink, he grabbed her, yanking a burlap
sack over her head and tossing her over his shoulder.
makinë,” he said in a language Lauren didn’t understand.
By this time,
Lauren had recovered enough to struggle for her freedom. Her legs flailed in
the air, kicking furiously, and she pounded on the man’s back as he carried her
and flung her into the back of the van.
Marko jumped in
behind her, slamming the doors shut and barking out something in the same
dialect as the other man—neither French nor Slavic—as the stocky barbarian held
her voice, Lauren let out a scream, which was quickly muffled by the pressure
of Marko’s hand over her mouth. She could taste the wool of the sack, and she
inclined her head so she could breathe through her nose.
around, then shoved a handkerchief under the sack, covering her nose and mouth.
Lauren thrashed her head from side to side, struggling to avoid it. The odor
was sickeningly sweet and citrusy.
behind her eyes. Shock waves pulsed through her body.
Oh God, she didn’t
want to die.
Marko clamped his
other hand on the back of her head, holding it in place while he forced the
handkerchief flush against her nose and mouth, making it impossible for her to
Black specks. Nothing.
ordered his accomplice, shoving him toward the driver’s seat.
The van screeched
off, headed to hell.
About the author . . .
Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA
Today bestselling author of twenty-nine novels, including fifteen psychological
thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature
style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with
life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into
exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping
her readers up all night.
Kane’s first contemporary suspense
thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She
followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including No Way
Out, Twisted, and Drawn in Blood.
Her latest in the highly successful
Forensic Instincts series, Dead in a Week, adds the Zermatt Group into the
mix—a covert team of former military and spy agency operatives. With a week to
save a young woman from ruthless kidnappers, this globe-spanning chase, from
the beerhalls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers
of China, and finally the farmlands of Croatia will keep readers guessing until
the very end. The first showcase of Forensic Instincts’ talents came with the
New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, followed by The Line
Between Here and Gone, The Stranger You Know, The Silence that Speaks, The
Murder That Never Was, and A Face to Die For.
Kane’s beloved historical romantic
suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, Echoes in the Mist, and
Wishes in the Wind.
With a worldwide following of passionate
readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.
Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband
and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan.
Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who
does his best to keep her from writing.
Author Hometown – Warren, New Jersey
Author Links . . .
Giveaway . . . Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for
Andrea Kane is hosting a rafflecopter giveaway that you can enter here. There will be 6 winners. One winner will
receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Five (5) winners will receive an eBook
copy of Dead In A Week. The giveaway begins on March 18, 2019 and runs through
April 21, 2019. Void where prohibited.
Tour Participants . . .
Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Dead in a Week from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Virtual Book Tour/Review post was originally composed and/or compiled and
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