BY: DANIELLA BERNETT
A journalist, a jewel thief, and a Russian spy…when their paths cross, it’s murder.
Journalist Emmeline Kirby hasn’t laid eyes on her former lover Gregory Longdon, a jewel thief, in two years. But she literally tumbles into his arms, after she witnesses two men attempt to murder her friend and fellow journalist, Charles Latimer, in Venice.
When Charles is ultimately killed, Emmeline is determined to bring his murderer to justice. But as she and Gregory delve deeper, they become ensnared in a hunt for a Russian spy in the British Foreign Office, who has his sights set on keeping his identity a secret at all costs—as Charles found out too late.
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: In Lead Me into Danger by Daniella Bernett, reporter Emmeline Kirby attends a party in Venice, where she meets an old friend who tells her he’s in danger. When he is later killed in her own flat in London, she is determined to investigate and solve his murder. As she does, dark secrets are uncovered and she finds her own life is in danger
Bernett’s characters are well developed and intriguing. Her plot is strong and well thought out, the action fast-paced and exciting. You’ll have a hard time putting this one down.
REGAN MURPHY SAYS: Lead Me into Danger by Daniella Bernett is a clever mystery involving espionage and spies. Our heroine, journalist Emmeline Kirby, is in Venice when she runs into an old friend. He begins an intriguing conversation with her, but breaks off suddenly when he sees someone across the room. When he is later murdered, Emmy is determine to get justice for him and to find out what it was that he knew that got him killed. As she and her former lover, a jewel thief, follow the clues, she discovers corruption and treachery on a major scale, leaving her unsure of whom she can trust.
Lead Me into Danger is a fast-paced, page-turning mystery that will hook you from the very first paragraph. This one’s a keeper, folks. You will want to have it close to read again and again.
He turned up the collar of his overcoat against the thickening fog. The damp chill seemed to permeate his leather gloves, so he dug his hands deeper into his pockets. His footsteps echoed hollowly as he walked along Kennington Road in Lambeth. He turned into Fitzalan Street, where the bare tree branches cast eerie shadows upon the square, like the ghouls and goblins in a children’s story. He stopped in the middle of the block in front of Number Thirty-Two, one of those nineteenth-century mansions that had long ago been converted into flats. The steps were still slick from the rain earlier in the evening. He searched the names of the tenants listed on the intercom panel beside the door.
He pressed several buttons, hoping that someone would buzz him in.
The intercom crackled as a disembodied female voice broke the silence. “It’s about time you showed up, Derek. I’d nearly given up on you. I’ve been waiting for over an hour.” There was a loud buzz and a click as the door was unlocked.
He smiled to himself as he walked into the hall and silently thanked Derek–whoever he was–for being late. He took the lift up to the fourth floor. Number Five was down the corridor to his right. As luck would have it, there was no one about. His pick slipped easily into the lock, a couple of twists and, within seconds, the door was open. The thin beam from his torch bounced quickly over the living room.
From the layout of the flat he had memorized, he knew that the study was down the short hallway next to the bedroom. Once he found it, he crossed the room and turned on the desk lamp. He sat in the swivel chair and began methodically going through all the drawers. After half an hour without any success, he began riffling through the paperbacks and leather-bound volumes in the two bookcases along the opposite wall. He was beginning to lose his patience. Nothing. Where would he have hidden it? But his thoughts were interrupted, when he heard someone unlocking the front door.
He quickly turned off the desk lamp and waited. “Mr. Latimer, is that you? You’re back early. I thought you’d be in Italy until Monday,” a woman’s voice called out. “Are you hungry, Mr. Latimer? Would you like me to fix you a light supper?”
Damn, he thought. Mrs. Saunders, the old busybody who came in twice a week to cook and clean for Latimer. Maybe she’d go away.
He heard her coming down the hall toward the study. She hesitated. “Mr. Latimer, are you in there?”
She slowly opened the door and flicked on the switch. She saw a heap of books on the floor and papers strewn all over the desk. “Dear, oh dear. What’s been happening here?”
Mrs. Saunders took a step into the room. The last thing she would ever hear before her neck was snapped was the door closing behind her. She crumpled to the ground. One minute alive, the next dead. It had happened so quickly she didn’t have time to struggle or cry out.
His search had yielded nothing, so there was no point for the assassin to hang about any longer. He didn’t have to worry about fingerprints because he was wearing gloves.
He opened the door into the corridor a crack. It was empty. Quietly, he hurried toward the stairs. He didn’t want to wait for the lift and risk being seen. In five minutes, he was outside and was immediately swallowed up by the fog. He retraced his steps up Kennington Road, walking at a steady pace so as not to attract any undue attention. He crossed Lambeth Road and continued along Kennington until it turned into Westminster Bridge Road.
The assassin crossed Westminster Bridge. Once on the other side of the Thames, he pulled out his mobile and called a certain number in the Russian embassy.
He heard the phone ring twice. He hung up and dialed again, allowing it to ring two more times. The signal. This time a male voice with a heavy Russian accent answered. “Yes?”
“It was not in the flat. Latimer must have it with him.”
“I see,” the voice at the other end of the line said.
“The housekeeper came while I was there.”
“I dealt with her.”
“I see. Is there any way to connect it to you?”
“Good. Your job is done. Your money is waiting for you in a locker at Heathrow.”
The assassin heard a click and then silence. He tossed the mobile over the parapet and it disappeared into the murky depths of the Thames with a soft splash. He had stolen it that afternoon from an unsuspecting businessman exiting a taxi on Regent Street. There was no way to trace him to the call to the embassy.
He whistled as he descended the few steps into the Westminster tube station. Within seconds, he was lost amid the crush of commuters hurrying home.
Soon afterward, a call was made on a secure line from the embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens to an apartment on Via Veneto in Rome. “It was not in the flat. Latimer has it.”
“We’ll take over from here.” The line went dead.
© 2014 by Daniella Bernett
Best-Selling Author Tracy Grant:
“Adventure from Venice to London with an engaging cast of characters in this fresh, fast-paced mystery filled with jewel thefts, international intrigue, unexpected twists, and a lovely touch of romance.” ~ Tracy Grant, bestselling author of The Mayfair Affair