Vicki Boyd had a normal, happy childhood until the day her parents died in an airplane accident—one she saw weeks before it happened. Overnight, she and her three siblings—a younger sister and two younger brothers—were orphaned and placed into foster care. And overnight, she received national attention for her premonitions.
Not just the media and fascinated public were watching. The CIA was watching as well; specifically Sam Mazoli, the supervisor of an office working with psychic spies. For the first time, he had an opportunity to take a child and mold her into a psychic operative. So when Vicki arrived home from school one day, she found a strange man waiting for her; a man who had adopted her but brought her to an imposing, secure facility resembling an institution. During her teen years, she didn’t have school and girlfriends, proms and boyfriends, and her thoughts didn’t range from getting the keys to the car to hanging out at the mall.
Her teens and early twenties were spent learning how to be the best psychic spy the CIA had ever employed. With just a simple latitude and longitude, she could travel in her mind to any location on Earth, providing information to operatives on nuclear facilities, threats to governments, blueprints of enemy weapons—or anything the CIA wanted but couldn’t physically reach.
But when she is sent on a mission deep in the Amazon jungles and it results in the deaths of innocent children, she’s had enough. She quits the CIA and is determined to start life over in a small town helping an elderly lady who advertised for summer help. It’s her first chance on her own, but she isn’t alone for long… Between Irishman Dylan Maguire and the CIA, who refuse to let her go, she’s in for the ride of her life.
Dylan Maguire never had a normal childhood. Though his parents were from Ireland, he was born in New York. Unfortunately, he never met his father—he’d abandoned his pregnant wife and simply disappeared. Unable to provide for her son and herself in a strange country, his mother packed them up and brought Dylan back to Ireland when he was just three years old. In and out of bars and with dubious pastimes, his mother wasn’t a mother to him at all.
Dylan was raised by his grandmother, a woman he called Mam. She was the only family he’d ever known—that and the home of his neighbor and best friend, Thomas Rowan.
Dylan has a mysterious past when he arrives on Laurel Maguire’s doorstep the summer that Vicki also arrives to help Laurel with her freshwater angelfish business. He seems to be a jack-of-all-trades, from teaching Vicki the angelfish business to remodeling the old, rambling—and haunted—house, to cooking up traditional Irish meals and looking after Vicki.
He is a hopeless romantic who makes CD’s with all his favorite romantic songs… To taking Vicki on an intimate boat ride down the natural and secluded Lumber River… To picnics in the park and romantic, candlelight dinners.
He is also capable of violence—of defending what is his and of killing when the need arises. He is an opportunist; a former kickboxing champion, a man known as “The Butcher” who channels his anger into his fists and feet.
Brenda Carnegie has a secret… many secrets, as it turns out.
Separated from her older sister Vicki Boyd when their parents were killed in an airplane accident, Brenda grew up in Robeson County, North Carolina. She is equally at home trudging through alligator-infested swamps as she is shooting a gun, tending a bullet wound, evading police—and committing computer crimes.
Brenda is an opportunist, especially when it comes to hacking into websites and secure databases, participating in shell companies and cybercrime, and amassing a fortune that must, for her own preservation, be held in off-shore accounts and out of the reach of the United States government. She’s quick, she’s street savvy, and she’s often sexually charged.
She also doesn’t trust anyone. She prefers the dark side, living life on the edge, moving through her life alone and capable of changing her plans on a moment’s notice. She has a very high tolerance for pain which holds her in good stead on many a gritty occasion.
She made her first appearance in Exit 22 when her partner-in-crime is murdered by a hired assassin—and the hitman comes after her. But her real secrets begin to spill in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman—secrets that reach to the highest levels of government and beyond, and which could very well get her killed.
Christopher Sandige is an anti-hero, a guy who is more at ease behind a desk constructing political strategies for his Congressman boss than he is running for his life through alligator-infested swamps with Brenda Carnegie.
He told himself he didn’t want a woman, a marriage, a typical family life in the suburbs. His hours were long and often began with coffee at his desk and ended with pizza delivery to the office. All that changed when he met Brenda.
The woman awakened in him desires he didn’t think he had—a longing to be with her, a need for romance, a desire for intimacy, an urge to protect her—even when he knew she was quite capable of protecting herself. He’d never really had eyes for anybody other than Brenda and though he knows she is dangerous, he can’t seem to tear himself away from her.
When push comes to shove, it turns out he is quite capable of handling a gun, of fighting off an attacker in hand-to-hand combat, of working in a team that often finds itself at the wrong end of a barrel… and of crossing the line without a look back.
I do not own the pictures on this post. These are just pictures found online to represent each character. If you own any of the pictures here that are not (properly) credited, please let me know.
Title: Vicki’s Key
Series: Black Swamp Mysteries, #2
Author: P.M. Terrell
Genre: Mystery – Suspense
Following a flawed CIA mission, Vicki Boyd leaves the CIA to begin a new life in a new town assisting an elderly woman. But when she arrives, she finds Laurel Maguire has suffered a stroke and her nephew has arrived from Ireland to care for her. Vicki quickly falls in love with the charming Dylan Maguire, but all is not what it seems to be at Aunt Laurel’s house. And when the CIA arrive to recruit Vicki for one last mission, she finds her past and her future are about to collide… In murder.