Slipping the plastic 'Do Not Disturb' sign between the lock and facing, Jamey closed the door softly. She then dashed to the dresser and searched the drawers. Near the back of the bottom one, her hand closed around an item, which she whipped out and stuffed into her jeans pocket.
Within minutes, the shattering sound of gunshot caused her to bolt toward the entry. Carl staggered into the room, clutching his shoulder as blood soaked through his coat. Her heart pounded as he thrust two small velvet bags and the brass knuckles into her hands. "I'll be all right," he hissed. "Watch the newspapers. If all goes well, I'll meet you at Rusty's Bar in Amarillo in two weeks. Now get the hell out of here. Take the stairs." He gave her a shove toward the hallway before collapsing onto the floor.
Jamey dashed for the fire exit stairwell, raced down three floors, then charged out a side entrance. Frantic with fear, she kept looking behind her as she ran toward the front of the building. Stopping at the corner she caught her breath and glanced both ways, then walked swiftly down the sidewalk in the direction of where they'd parked the Tacoma. Just as she reached the black pick-up, she heard the wailing sirens in the distance. Her stomach tied in knots as she jumped inside the cab and locked the door. Throwing the brass knuckles into the tote, she shoved the two velvet bags into her purse and flipped on the ignition. Making a U-turn and keeping her eye on the mirrors, she bore down on the accelerator and headed toward the rear of the hotel. She held her breath until she knew for sure she hadn't been followed. Reaching one of the main streets, Jamey drove as fast as she dared.
When the apartment came into view, she sighed in relief and parked. She jumped out of the truck, dashed inside and secured the door behind her. Leaning against the wall, she took several deep breaths to regain her composure. "Stay calm," she said aloud. "Everything has gone as planned. Dont fall apart at the first stage."
Jamey went into the kitchen and sat down at the table. Her hands shook as she opened her purse and pulled out the pouches. Peering inside one of the bags, she moved it around until the light caught the glittering jewels. "Gorgeous," she gasped.
Glancing at the wall clock, she jumped up, realizing she couldn't risk staying here much longer. She crammed the small velvet sacks back into her purse, then went into the bedroom, snatched the already packed duffel bag from the closet and plopped it on the bed. Racing into the bathroom, she dampened a washcloth, then ran out to Carl's truck where she fiercely rubbed down the steering wheel, the stick shift, and any other surface she might have touched. Climbing out, she slammed the door shut with her butt.
Back inside the apartment, she picked up the duffel, whipped her purse straps over her shoulder and headed back out toward her own car. She tossed her luggage onto the passenger seat, then slipped behind the steering wheel. Careful of her speed, she made her way to west Interstate Forty. Her eyes narrowed as she stared down the road. "Goodbye sucker," she murmured.REVIEW
Reviewer: Shirley Truax from San Diego, California USA
They may be Dirty Diamonds but everyone wants to get their hands on them. So what is it that makes the diamonds so dirty, yet so desirable? In Oklahoma Carl Hopkins learns that a diamond courier is registered in the same hotel in which he and Jamey Cray are staying. Well, what's a respectable thief to do when he knows all those jewels are so close? Naturally, in order to maintain his reputation he's going to rob the courier, in spite of Jamey's trepidations. But things didn't go quite as smoothly as Carl expected. He knew he had given the courier a good, solid hit on the jaw with his brass knuckles, but the courier had a gun and on his way down from the blow managed to get off a shot that ripped through Carl's shoulder. Carl staggers back to his hotel room, shoves the little velvet bags at Jamey and tells her to get out, that he will be alright and will meet her at Rusty's Bar in Amarillo, Texas, when this all blows over.
Jamey packs up and heads out of Oklahoma. She arrives in Amarillo and checks into a motel with her Visa card. She knows Carl is a computer expert and can track her trip easily on the computer through her use of the card. But wait. The next day she drives through Texas and heads straight for Los Angeles, California, to visit a high-school girl friend, Tina Randolph, with whom she has stayed in touch over the years. Wow, so long Carl, you've been taken, and not for a ride, just left, dropped, with nothing, nada, zilch, and in the hospital with a bullet wound. Jamey is not exactly honest with her lover.
When she arrives at Tina's in Los Angeles, she discovers that things are not all strawberries and cream with Tima either. Tina has a rather nasty tempered boy friend, Nick Albergetti. Jamey didn't stay at Tina's long enough to meet Nick so had no idea what he looked like. But she was there long enough to use his computer to plot out her next travel route. Her next stop is to be Medford, Oregon where she has a little house she inherited from her foster parents, the Schyler's. Mistake one, she should not have planned her route on Nick's computer.
In Medford she quickly becomes Jamey Louise Schyler, a name she knows Carl will not recognize. No one knows about her foster parents, nor does anyone know their name in connection with her. It is not something she talks about, even to her closest friends, nor to her lovers. She finds the house in Medford has been trashed by youths who have left remnants of their pot smoking all over the premises. While she is assessing the damage to the property a man approaches giving his name as Tom Casey, a private investigator who has been keeping an eye on the property. She, of course, informs him in no uncertain terms that he did a lousy job, and shows him all the roach clips and remnants of cigaretter,setc. that the kids had left in the house. Tom is very surprised to hear of the intrusion on her property and gives her his card and tells her to call him if she ever needs help.
After a couple of weeks Jamey is settled in, but is becoming bored, as well as discovering that she need some money. Someone told her about Curly's Bar & Grill. After a talk with Curly she is hired as a waitress, and is happier now that she is becoming acquainted with the town's people. This includes Tom Casey, otherwise known as Hawkman.
Curly has a son named Mark with whom Jamey becomes involved. At least that what Mark thinks.
Jamey is a very clever adversary, and quite adept at using people. And Mark makes a perfect victim and lover for her purposes. But Jamey runs into trouble when she tries to outsmart Nick Albergetti. He is one tough enemy that will not be wooed by her charms.
In this, the fourth Hawkman book of the series, Ms. La Pierre has written a smooth flowing suspense story in which Hawkman meets his cleverest adversary. And to make matters worse for Hawkman's ego it is a woman who seems to be outsmarting everyone. This does not set well with him, but he does hang in there to the end.
This is one of the best thought-out, cleverly-executed plots this reviewer has had the pleasure of reading in a long time. The writing flows perfectly, and the characters are alive and moving. One does associate with them. Ms. La Pierre's talent of coming up with superb plotting is one not to be rivaled. You will miss an excellent suspense story if you pass this one up.
|The Enemy Stalks||Double Trouble||Murder.com||The Deadly Thorn|
|The Silent Scream||Dirty Diamonds||Blackout||Diamonds Aren't Forever|