Title: Phoenix by Elle King
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Voodoo Lilly Press
New York City homicide detectives Rachel Wayland and Artemis Gregory are first on the murder scene of a beautiful young gay man, the third victim of a serial killer dubbed the Moon Killer by the department. Their investigation leads them to Talis Kehk, charismatic lead singer of the rock group Phoenix Rising.
As the next full moon approaches, Rachel and her partner uncover clues that lead straight to Talis, even as Talis, exhibiting behavior Rachel finds strange indeed, considering the circumstances, uses every means possible to keep her close. Innocent or not, Talis has a secret, and discovering what it is will change Rachel’s world forever.
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“It bugs me that there’s no obvious motive,” Rachel said. “Why kill these young people? Thrill seeker? Lunatic? Someone who’s taking revenge because of some slight, real or imagined? Except they all appear to have died peacefully. No trauma, so it couldn’t be revenge, could it?” She stared hard at her picture of the tattoo, as if it might whisper something to her. “What do you know about Phoenix Rising?”
“Played all over Europe before coming here—did you see that asshole cut me off? I oughta give him a ticket.” Artemis laid on the horn. “He wouldn’t have done that if we’d been in a squad car.”
“Phoenix Rising,” she reminded him, hiding a smile. He was all about road rage. She shouldn’t let him drive, but she enjoyed the frequent adrenalin rushes it provided her.
“Yeah. They’re huge right now, very popular. Lead singer is hot as hell.”
“Do you really have tickets to their concert, or were you bullshitting Creed?”
“I really have tickets.” He shot her a suspicious look. “Why?”
“When is it?”
It was Thursday. “I suppose you’re going with Steve.”
“I suppose I am,” he said, eyes narrowing. “Don’t you dare.”
“Don’t give me that innocent look. You want me to dump him and take you.”
“I think I should experience them firsthand, considering they’re on the periphery of our cases.”
“That is such shit.” He raced through an intersection on yellow. “A couple of bodies have bird tats and right away, you’re making a connection? I would guess that general design is in demand right now, given how popular the band is, and exclusive flash or not, plenty of shops are offering something similar. And let me remind you, the second victim didn’t have one. I am not dumping Steve in favor of you.”
Rachel grinned. “Where is this band staying? Let’s check them out.”
“How the hell are you going to justify that?”
“Call it a hunch, and I’m a detective doing legwork for a series of murders. They won’t say no.” She called the number Creed had provided, introduced herself, spoke briefly, and hung up. “That was too easy; the guy was über cooperative. They’re at the Waldorf Towers.”
“Do you know how much that place costs? A goddamn fortune, that’s what it costs.”
“I guess they have one then.” She tapped an index finger against her knee. “It’s on our way. Let’s drop by and welcome them to the neighborhood.”
“It’s not on our way, and you are not getting Steve’s ticket.” But he obediently turned right at the next light, headed for the Waldorf-Astoria.