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Britney King LLC

Ringman: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

Ringman: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

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The bestselling author of HER and The Social Affair returns with a suspenseful tale of crime and passion about a charming sociopath and the criminologist hired to find his killer.

About The Book

Jason McClure is one of the world’s most skilled womanizers. A charming sociopath with a penchant for luxury, Jason is found naked in a dumpster, the only clue to his murder a crumpled photograph stuffed in his mouth. 

Camile Brennan is a criminologist hired to consult with the Dallas Police Department on a single task: to find the person—or persons—responsible for McClure’s death. 

Camile, who is equal parts beauty, brains, and narcissist, throws herself into the investigation, which takes a lascivious turn when she discovers photos of multiple women on Jason’s laptop, each wearing one of the distinctive rings in the photo from Jason’s mouth.

And just like that, she’s thrust front and center into Jason McClure’s debauched past, which is actually a relief, considering Camile’s own life is about to take a rocky turn. 

Ringman is a sleek, fast-paced thriller guaranteed to leave even the most seasoned suspense reader breathless. 

Read a sample

Prologue

He senses it before he sees it. Something’s wrong. Matthew Hannah has fifteen minutes until the end of his shift and two hours of work still to do. But he can't think about that now. He needs to check the kennels for blankets and empty the trash bins. Tonight will require at least two trips—the shelter is over capacity.

In the office, another employee is leaving for the day. His coworker heads out the door and down the stairs just as Matthew finishes cleaning the last litter box. He locks the door and jogs to the back of the shelter to grab the trash. Outside, a damp trace of rain is building in the air. It speaks of an imminent storm.

Matthew hurries to load the bags onto a cart. He pushes it through the kennels to the side door, ignoring vicious barks from the shelter dogs. He rolls the cart out into the parking lot, sprinting toward the dumpsters. A chill runs up his spine, and his hair stands on end. Then he looks up—the sky is black, and the orange moon has been snuffed out. Something feels off, and not just the weather. He pricks his ears. Something or someone else is here. Matthew takes a deep breath, reminding himself not to panic—the shelter has always been a little creepy at night.

Stillness blankets the city. Streets are deserted because of the weather. An ice storm is coming, but the temperature has already nosedived. He didn't plan to be on the road, but here he is. Something about the best laid plans, he muses, as his cart slams into the dumpster, halting abruptly. Bags of trash spill onto the pavement. One by one, he retrieves them, hoisting the bags over the side of the bin. He doesn't mean to look, but he does. That's when he sees it. The possibility seems so distant. He's sure he's wrong.

There’s a foot. A human foot.

Surely, it’s not real. Matthew is almost certain his coworkers are messing with him. He tosses the rest of the bags in the bin and hauls the cart inside, half-expecting Chris or Ian, and possibly even Sarah, to be standing inside the door waiting to see the look on his face. But they’re not. Everyone else has gone home for the day.

Matthew knows what he needs to do, even though he doesn't want to. He can still be wrong. He strides back to the front of the shelter and flips on the floodlights, bathing the entire building in light. It gives him a momentary respite from the panic.

The rest of the trash can wait. Matthew fills food bowls, dishes out medication, and checks that the dogs haven't dragged their blankets into their water bowls. He keeps busy, trying to stay calm. He hopes he's just imagining that foot. But if he's not, he'll have to call the police and risk being stuck at the shelter overnight due to ice. Worse, his record is not exactly squeaky clean, and jail is not an option.

He has to get home. His father is bedridden, and his mother is down with the flu. He hasn’t seen her eat in days. She needs a doctor, but Matthew needs his job. He kicks himself for not calling in sick today.

Matthew grabs the remaining trash bags and loads them onto the cart, then takes a flashlight from the office and stuffs it into his jacket. He has to hurry—he's needed at work, but he’s needed more at home.

Outside, a low fog has crept its way across the abandoned train tracks. He can't see the lights on the highway anymore; there’s just a black void.

He’s never liked this part of the city. Lived here his whole life, but the area around the abandoned train tracks has always made him feel uneasy.

The neighborhood is in the midst of being gentrified, but it is still run down. The local churches tried to help the few homeless people who refuse to leave, but some people still feel like they have a home here.

The train tracks are a relic of the local industrial past, long since abandoned. Now it’s just a pathway for vagrants and the homeless who refuse to go into the shelters at night. But tonight is different. Tonight they’d freeze to death, and it occurs to him the foot he saw in the dumpster is simply a man seeking shelter. If Matthew leaves him, the elements will kill him, if something else hasn’t already.

He calls out and shines his flashlight over the dumpster, pausing where he saw a foot. Something isn't right. He senses danger but can't move.

Then he feels movement behind him and freezes. He doesn't want to turn and see what's there, but he doesn't want to die either.

He whirls around.

There’s nothing there.

Shivering, he turns back to the dumpster. He looks down at the pile, shining his light into the depths, and at first he sees nothing.

Then he sees them: two eyes peering from the top of the mound, like two lifeless marbles in a forgotten toy box.

His stomach drops as he stares at the glassy, soulless eyes. Matthew realizes that whatever has happened to this man, he’s too late to do anything about it.

What he could not see, nor have predicted, was just how much this discovery was going to irrevocably and inconceivably change the course of his life.

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