Please welcome Cordelia Kingsbridge with
A Chip And A Chair
Seven Of Spades #5
Thanks for checking out the blog tour for A Chip and a Chair, the conclusion to the Seven of Spades series! Just as the Seven of Spades investigation is closing in, an act of terror devastates Las Vegas. In order to save the city they love, Levi and Dominic may need the help of the very killer they’ve been hunting…
It's time to lay all the cards on the table.
Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo are reunited and more committed to each other than ever, but they can’t truly move forward with their lives until the serial killer who’s been tormenting them is behind bars. When a secret burial site is discovered in the desert with the remains of the Seven of Spades’s earliest victims, that goal finally seems within reach.
But just as the net is tightening, the neo-Nazi militia Utopia launches their master plan with a devastating act of terror that changes the landscape of Las Vegas forever. As Levi and Dominic scramble to prevent the city’s destruction, they’re opposed by treacherous forces that propel them toward catastrophe. In the end, Levi’s fate may rest in the hands of the very killer he’s been hunting.
The race to save Sin City is on, and these players are going for broke. No matter how hopeless things seem, as long as they’re together and they’ve got a chip to play and a chair to sit in, they’re still in the game.
They took separate cars to Dominic’s childhood home, as they were headed for different destinations after brunch. Levi did seem to relax during the leisurely meal, plied with rich comfort foot by Dominic’s mother and grandmother and quality wine by his sisters. Dominic was less concerned about him when they went their separate ways-Levi to Counterstrike to train with Adriana, Dominic and Rebel to follow Miranda Cassidy’s ex-husband.
Dominic had spent a good chunk of last week thoroughly researching Conrad Bishop’s background, learning every detail about the man that he could obtain through legal means. He’d even arranged to run into Bishop’s assistant and babysitter-the former at her gym, the latter at a bar-and cozy up to them for insider info.
Which was how he knew that, on the weekends Bishop had his kids, he took them to the same park every Sunday afternoon.
It was a gorgeous spring day, hot but not unbearably so, and the park was packed. Kids and dogs chased each other across the wide-open lawns; bicyclists zipped down the paths around couples pushing strollers. There was a birthday party in progress at a cluster of picnic tables, and a mouthwatering smell wafted from their grill.
Dominic and Rebel ambled through the park until he spotted Bishop kicking a soccer ball around with his two kids. They continued walking until Dominic judged they were at the right distance for him to observe Bishop without raising suspicions.
He unclipped Rebel’s leash, then pulled a tennis ball from the pocket of the windbreaker he had to wear to conceal his shoulder holster. Rebel snapped to attention, her body quivering with the intensity of her focus. She raced after the ball the second he let it fly.
Their game of fetch provided the perfect way to keep an eye on Bishop. The information Dominic had gathered so far confirmed Miranda Cassidy’s claims that Bishop’s behavior had been erratic recently, but he saw no evidence of that in the current moment. Bishop appeared physically healthy, tanned and fit, and he was clearly enjoying himself as he laughed and ran around with his kids.
Still, Dominic knew from personal experience how easy it could be to hide an addiction-at least at first-so he would reserve judgment for now.
As he tossed the ball for Rebel, he planned how he would continue his surveillance once Bishop left the park. He’d follow, though he’d need to be cautious. If Bishop was restraining himself from getting high around his kids, then he’d probably go straight for a fix as soon as he dropped them off at their mom’s house tonight. Dominic might be able to catch him in the act and wrap this case up in record time.
All of a sudden, Bishop stiffened, missing the ball his daughter had kicked to him as he jerked around to his left. He gestured to his kids, spoke a few words to them, and then jogged over to an ice cream cart on the footpath nearby.
There was a young white guy standing to the side of the line, average height and build for someone barely out of their teens. More interesting than the guy himself was the change to Bishop’s body language as the two of them began talking.
In a complete reversal from his earlier behavior, Bishop became twitchy, darting glances from side to side. His hands were in constant motion: smoothing through his hair, rubbing over his face, tugging at his clothing. The young guy, by contrast, was as relaxed as everyone else in the park.
Pulling out his small digital camera, Dominic angled himself and Rebel so he could pretend to take pictures of her while photographing Bishop and his friend. He used the high-quality zoom to get a closer look.
The two men conducted a short, whispered conversation before Bishop withdrew what was clearly an envelope full of cash from his jacket pocket and handed it over.
Dominic almost dropped the camera in his shock. Did Bishop have the balls to engage in a drug deal in a public park, fifty feet from his own children?
The young guy didn’t give Bishop anything in return, though. He just shoved the envelope into his own pocket, nonchalantly bumped his fist into Bishop’s shoulder, and sauntered away.
Still flustered, Bishop joined the line for the ice cream cart. By the time he returned to his kids with ice cream sandwiches, he was back to normal.
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About the series:
Las Vegas has never seen a serial killer like the Seven of Spades.
The self-styled vigilante is on a mission to cut down the wicked and treacherous, and Sin City has no shortage of targets for their bloody wrath. What happens in Vegas . . . ends with the Seven of Spades’s calling card on a grisly corpse.
Standing against the killer are Levi Abrams, a dedicated homicide detective locked in a constant struggle to restrain his own dark side, and bounty hunter Dominic Russo, a charming rogue with a heavy secret weighing on his shoulders.
The hunt for the Seven of Spades sends Levi and Dominic on a collision course, igniting a passionate relationship forged in conflict and sealed with blood. Together they’re stronger than the sum of their parts, but a wily, elusive serial killer isn’t the only threat that will strain their bond to the breaking point.
Ante up, because the Seven of Spades is all in. Are you?
Meet the author:
Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.
Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!
Connect with Cordelia:
To celebrate the release of A Chip and a Chair one lucky person will win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 16, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.