Montreal homicide detective Sophie Gillette, still mourning the death of her brother during covert ops in Afghanistan, investigates a fatal hit-and-run, uncovering a terrorist plot to assassinate an American governor, disable New England’s electrical grid, and kill 10,000 hockey fans.
Montreal, Quebec. Homicide detective Sophie Gillette, still mourning the death of her brother during covert military ops in Afghanistan, is dispatched to the scene of a fatal hit-and run during a January snowstorm. Defying easy resolution, the case launches her on a collision course with biker wars, arms smuggling by First Nations warriors and, unexpectedly, a deadly terrorist plot.
For years the CIA has warned Canada’s Security Intelligence Service that Montreal, where almost one in four residents has ties to Muslim homelands, is a hot-bed of Al-Qaeda sleeper cells awaiting the call to jihad.
Gillette, a talented young investigator on the fast track, carries a load of emotional baggage – father and brother both dead of unnatural causes, mother on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Despite her supportive relationship with an RCMP officer, Gillette suffers anxiety, self-doubt and fear of emotional commitments. Meanwhile, her desire to provide justice and closure for a young widow drives her to resolve the hit-and-run case.
In the course of their investigation, Gillette and her partner uncover a cadre of militant student activists, drug financiers, gun-runners and a rogue professor with a PhD in chemical toxicology, all with vague links to a shadowy figure known only as Al-Quebeca. Dispatched from Paris to strike America and its ally Canada, terrorist Mustafa Nadir is on a bold mission to assassinate an American governor, disable New England’s electrical grid, and kill 10,000 hockey fans. Even as his love for a woman is swept aside by his fanaticism, Gillette pursues him to a brutal confrontation.
A criminal profiler using astrology and palmistry investigates the killing of a New York City heiress, only to discover that her death is linked to two other murders on the same day: a dot-com millionaire in San Francisco, and the team leader of a CIA counter- terrorist project in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
In the space of one hour, three strangers die violent deaths. A hit-and-run vehicle kills a dot-com millionaire jogging in San Francisco. A car bomb obliterates the team leader of a CIA counter-terrorism project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. An assailant ambushes a New York heiress walking home from Broadway and forces her own pepper spray down her throat.
In all three cases, investigators reach an immediate impasse. Each victim leaves an estate of millions, but their beneficiaries all have perfect out-of-town alibis. Theories swirl around the victims like flies on a corpse – a contract killing for financial gain, a lover’s quarrel spiraled out of control, a domestic al-Qaeda strike…? The police are stymied and the FBI is worried.
Axel Crowe, criminal psychologist, is summoned to New York by the brother of the woman who was murdered. Crowe is a man with an obscure past but a brilliant reputation. Occasionally he consults as a profiler for the police. More commonly, he is a finder of wayward people and stolen possessions. Despite initial stonewalling from the NYPD, Crowe profiles the killer in his own unique way – using astrology, palmistry and other unconventional techniques.
His investigation follows a tangled trail of illicit relationships – from one suspect to another and, eventually, yet another. Ultimately, he learns that all three victims were killed in the space of one hour. But is it coincidence or conspiracy?
Facts are gross, but the truth is subtle, Crowe’s guru used to tell him. And although the truth lies buried in the past, Crowe is relentless until he uncovers it.
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Profiler Axel Crowe investigates the murder of a reporter at a Vermont ashram. His esoteric sleuthing reveals a series of Manhattan rape-murders dating back 12 years, with connections to sex trafficking, drug smuggling and the theft of an ancient golden Buddha.
A reporter is found dead on a Vermont ashram. Summoned by an old friend who runs the retreat, astrologer Axel Crowe barely has time to assess the situation before the police arrest his friend for murder.
Believing him innocent, Crowe suspects instead a mysterious devotee who may be ex-CIA, and the beautiful Thai woman who accompanied him to the retreat. But when Crowe follows them to New York, the woman disappears and the man threatens to make Crowe disappear.
In exchange for NYPD help, Crowe agrees to take a look at a cold case file – the Riverside Rapist – who killed eight Asian women over 12 years. The timing of the murders intrigues Crowe, who sees in it an astrological signature of the killer.
Coincidence or not, the cold case overlaps some of the stories the reporter was working on – sex trafficking, heroin smuggling and the theft of religious antiquities – all from Southeast Asia. None of it hangs together until Crowe goes to Thailand, and then it all makes perfect, horrible, sense.
The NEW AGE NOIR series #3
Profiler Axel Crowe searches for a missing person in wine country and discovers a little man with big eyes, and a hand in the black market for body parts. When Crowe follows a trail of evidence to an ashram in India, he discovers the fruit of karma is often bittersweet.
When a beautiful woman dies at a California vineyard, astrologer Axel Crowe divines this was no accident. Although the police at first assume a tainted pinot noir, Crowe suspects an exotic poison.
With her best friend dead and her vineyard’s reputation in jeopardy, Crowe’s client urges him to ferret out the guilty from among a cast of immigrant workers, competing vintners and old Napa money with criminal connections.
The nexus of intrigue is a developer bent on turning the Napa Valley into a bedroom community of San Francisco. Megawati is a little person who’s surrounded himself with bodyguards, female wrestlers and fighting dogs, all attack-trained and larger than life.
In search of the vineyard’s missing foreman, Crowe teams up with a Bay Area activist who suspects kidney harvesting lies behind a local epidemic of missing persons. But the black market in body parts is international, and when Crowe follows a trail of evidence to an ashram in India, he discovers the fruit of karma is often bittersweet.
Hide In Plain Sight
A man assumes his twin brother’s identity in order to alibi his own wife who’s accidentally killed his brother in an argument. But when he finds himself sharing a bed with his beautiful sister-in-law, he faces bigger challenges and harder choices.
Alex Carson is in mid-life freefall. He owes a quarter million in back taxes, his bipolar wife Connie keeps going off her meds, and his dog’s just died. When his estranged twin brother Dave, a multi-millionaire with a disease that’s reduced him to crutches, invites him for a weekend visit, Alex is so eager to escape his own reality that he accepts, even though his wife decides at the last minute to tag along.
Over drinks that evening, Dave tells them he suspects his wife Kristina of having an affair. Uninterested in Dave’s marital problems, Connie seeks sympathy for Alex’s tax debt and asks for a loan, which Dave refuses. In a fit of anger, Connie knocks Dave down a flight of stairs and accidentally kills him.
Given their motive and opportunity, Alex and Connie fear a murder charge if they inform the police, so he decides to take Dave’s place long enough for her to go home and establish an alibi. In a few days, he’ll engineer Dave’s “death” all over again, and escape to rejoin her. Although she suspects he wants to sleep with Dave’s wife Kristina, she’s forced to go along with the plan.
It’s supposed to be simple but it gets very complicated. Kristina is drop-dead gorgeous, and lying next to her at night gives Alex a libidinous fever. Ironically, when it also comes to light that Dave appears to have been having an affair with their hot-blooded domestic, Alex finds himself trapped in a ménage-a-trois from hell.
And now someone is trying to kill him…
A private investigator searches for the runaway daughter of an aspiring politician only to find that, on or off the campaign trail, honesty is the rarest commodity. As mystery descends into mayhem and murder, he confronts an unsettling truth – the innocents are always the first victims.
Lee Harms, investigator-for-hire, is on the cusp of an on-and-off-again love affair with confidante and astrologer Celeste when fate serves up a witch’s brew of trouble.
Start with a broth of sexual intrigue, toss in a troubled redhead, stir in two kilos of cocaine, dissolve a few pages from a psychiatrist’s notebook, and bring to a boil the fury of a crime family whose son dies in a midnight bacchanal. Money ignites the fire under this cauldron, but sex, violence and the darker forces of human nature keep it bubbling.
Political hopeful Dr Reynolds has already paid $50K to suppress a videotape of his daughter Liz in a lesbian porn flick; now there’s a second blackmail demand for $250K and promise of worse revelations to come. He wants her found and put on the next plane to England where she’ll go into rehab and put her life back together before she ruins his.
As Harms learns, she’s been living quite a life already – shoplifting, drug abuse, pornography, and maybe even prostitution. Everywhere he looks, he encounters the human archetypes of moral depravity, and every one of them warns him to drop the case before it gets too hot for him to handle. As dangerous as it gets, Harms must rely on his own wits to out-maneuver crack-crazed thugs, libidinous porn stars, and a deranged young woman with a troubled past. But when criminals kidnap his own ten-year-old daughter, he plunges into their underworld to rescue her from harm’s way.
New York, 2026. In the aftermath of a terrorist A-bomb, private investigator Keith Savage searches for the missing daughter of a crime-busting politician. Tracking her down leads him to a place where her fascination with insects collides with his fears.
Ever since the Brooklyn Blast in 2021, the human bedbugs and cockroaches of a traumatized society have crawled out of the woodwork. Cash-strapped and struggling with his own PTSD, New York investigator and exterminator-for-hire Keith Savage suddenly catches a case.
A beautiful LA journalist wants him to retrieve a younger sister who’s vanished from their Long Island home. Runaway or kidnapped, there’s a huge find-and-return fee to get Marielle back home before the weekend when her father, who’s running for mayor, returns from a strategy retreat to launch his anti-corruption campaign.
But it’s complicated. Marielle is paraplegic, a reclusive artist whose in-demand paintings feature insects. The housekeepers on whose watch she disappeared are an odd couple with a hidden agenda. Her only online friends are an astrologer and an angry young chess devotee — a paraplegic who recently underwent experimental limb replacement.
New York in 2026 is nasty and brutish. Between the toxic environment, turf wars between corrupt police and Russian mobsters, and a semi-deranged populace swinging from shakedown to breakdown, Savage is bitten and stung everywhere he turns. Within a day, he stirs up a wasp’s nest of trouble. From poisonous jumping spiders to a swarm of giant Asian hornets, the trail of insects leads to a clinic where a radical entomologist is pushing the frontiers of science and ethics by using 3D printing to build human limbs with insect tissue.
Savage’s mission: extract Marielle from the web that binds her before she submits to a metamorphosis of no return.
Specimen & Other Stories
A six-pack sampler of short fiction by Alan Annand: humor, crime and WW2 adventure.
Bananarama: Reformed meat-eater embarks on a 15-day bananas-and-orange-juice diet, with surprising side effects.
The Date Square Killer: Mild-mannered hit man finds love, social justice and the meaning of life in non-random acts of murder.
River Girl: Middle-aged bureaucrat takes a detour on his morning jog that leads him to an unexpected rendezvous with Fate.
Specimen: A wealthy butterfly collector visits his twin brother, warden of a penal colony, who is building his own unique collection.
The Bassman Cometh: My night with Margaret Atwood: Hapless university graduate student in 1975 ruins famous Canadian author’s poetry reading.
The Naskapi & the U-Boat: A German U-Boat in WW2 visits northern Quebec to install a weather station, but a native family compromises their secret mission.
Lee Harms, free spirit and investigator-for-hire, is on the cusp of an on-again, off-again love affair with longtime confidante and astrologer Celeste when fate serves him a witch’s brew of trouble.
Start with a broth of sexual intrigue, toss in one kidnapped redhead named Liz Reynolds, stir in two kilos of pure cocaine, dissolve a few pages from a psychiatrist’s notebook, and bring to a boil the fury of an underworld gang whose favorite son has died in an all-night bacchanal. Money ignites the fire under this cauldron, but the fuels that keep it bubbling are sex, violence and the darker forces of human nature.
Although Harms has the advantage of Celeste’s astrological insights to guide him, he must rely increasingly on his own wits to out-maneuver crack-crazed thugs, libidinous porn stars, and a deranged young woman with a dark secret. It’s dangerous enough for Harms, but when his own ten-year-old daughter is taken hostage by the underworld, he must pull out all the stops to rescue her from harm’s way.
TUNGSTEN. Nazi Germany is running desperately low on tungsten, a metal essential to the production of their superior anti-tank artillery, the only thing that’s holding back the Allies and the Soviets on two embattled fronts. So when new deposits are discovered in Yugoslavia — enough to hold their advantage and possibly win the war — the SS seize a town and German engineers sink a hasty mine.
COMMANDO RAID. In a bold sabotage plan, four daring Allied soldiers are sent to destroy the newly-built Nazi mine in Dravograd, regardless of whether it is protected by an entire SS regiment. They risk discovery and death — but if they succeed they could defeat Hitler’s armies and save the free world.
YELLOWKNIFE. Put 5,000 men into a shit-hole mining town a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle. Dangle the promise of striking gold on payday, but work them like dogs for it. Stir in a few hookers, add a card shark or two, garnish with liquor and nose candy.
BLOOD BROTHERHOOD. Nick Bowman is as tough as they come, a miner from the wilds of northern Canada, handy with his fists, a knife or a gun. But he’s a good guy, and when he defends a native girl from sexual assault by some drunken rednecks, he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s mistaken by the police for a member of the Bearknife Brotherhood, a militant tribe who’ve just robbed Yellowknife Mine of $10M in gold. But when the Brotherhood forces him into service, Bowman decides he’d like to be paid in gold — their gold.
Writing as Alan Marks, published by Tower Publications (now out of print)
D-DAY MINUS TWO. On the night of June 4, 1944, two days before the Normandy invasion, a small and select group of paratroopers sets out on a vital and dangerous mission. Their objective — to knock out a squadron of Messerschmitt 110 night fighters stationed in the Normandy peninsula.
THE SKYRAIDERS. They are the elite of the paratroop battalions whose main assault is scheduled to jump into the war on June 5, 1944 — D-Day minus one. They are hardened fighters who will stop at nothing to achieve their objective — because the fate of the entire Allied airborne assault hangs in the balance.
The Antenna Syndrome
SPACE-AGE SNOOPER. Keith Savage is a private investigator on what seems to be a fairly routine assignment — to find a kidnapped girl. Except it soon develops that someone aside from the kidnapper is determined to prevent her from being found.
ROACH MOTEL. Among the clues Savage discovers are paintings of giant insects done by the missing girl, a swarm of bees the size of beer cans, and several dead bodies with the heads neatly removed. The situation becomes increasingly bizarre, not to mention dangerous, as Savage finds himself pitted against an adversary as indestructible as it is incredible.