Riley Anderson comes to you because she has no other choice. Her fiancé, an investigative journalist, has been kidnapped by the mob and the police will do nothing to find him for twenty-four hours. By then, she's sure Leo will be dead.
Something is seriously wrong, you can sense it. But you're a newbie Private Investigator with little experience and few friends to assist you. Can you save the day, or will your inexperience get both Leo and Riley killed?
You are the only one who can locate the clues hidden in the twelve short stories, plucked from 4 - 5 star romance novels by bestselling authors: Jennie Marts, Bev Pettersen, Marie Treanor, Debora Dennis, Red L Jameson, Dariel Raye, Kayelle Allen, Ann Omasta, Lana Williams, Sydney Jane Baily, Nhys Glover and Tonya Plank.
You are the only one who has any chance of succeeding.
Will you take on the case?
"How long has he been missing, Miss…?" I should have gotten her name first. My bad. But the people side of this business wasn't my strong suit.
"Riley Anderson. And my fiancé is Leo Caravaggio." She fished her phone out of her pocket and thrust it towards me so I could see a series of photos of Leo and her in impromptu selfies.
I frowned. I knew his name, and not just because it belonged to an Old Master.
"What's wrong? Why are you frowning?" she demanded anxiously.
"Nothing. I just recognise your fiancé's name, but I don't know where from." I tried to remain aloof, but I could feel the last of my professional distance slipping through my fingers like sand.
"Oh, is that all? You probably know his blog. He's an investigative journalist and blogger. He specialises in organised crime exposés. That's why I know he's in terrible trouble. Deadly trouble."
She twisted her hands on her lap, and I winced in sympathy. If she kept that up she'd break a finger.
"How do you know he's been kidnapped? I assume that's what you think has happened."
"Yes. I think the mob took him. More specifically, the Donetti syndicate. They were the ones Leo was researching. He wouldn't tell me much about it because he worried I might end up in trouble if I knew too much. But now he's the one in trouble, and I just don't know enough to help him!" Riley wailed the last part as she teetered on the edge.
She was beginning to shatter. If I wanted to stop her, I had to refocus her on what she did know.
"When did he go missing?"
"Two hours ago. It took me that long to get rejected by the police and find you on the net. It says you specialise in missing persons… That's right, isn't it?" Once again, I could see doubt in her eyes.
"How do you know he's not just following a lead? I know from personal experience that I can go off-the-grid for as much as a day when I'm on the trail –"
"Because we were supposed to meet for lunch," she interrupted impatiently. "And he didn't arrive. I'd only spoken to him half an hour before, and he was fine and on his way then.
"Even if he'd received last minute information that required him to take off, he would have let me know. He's considerate like that. And he hasn't checked in with any of his contacts, or the paper, and his phone is dead."
"Do you live together?"
"Yes. For a year now. Why?"
"Because it will make checking out his personal property easier. Does he work from home?"
"Yes. He does freelance work for the Courier, but he works from home. All his files are there."
"What do you do for a living, Miss Anderson?"
"Call me Riley. I'm a buyer for a department store. It's a hectic job and it was a big deal for me to take an extended lunch today – for our anniversary. That's why I knew Leo was in trouble. This was a special date."
I thought quickly. There wasn't a lot to go on. But maybe if I checked out their place, I'd get some ideas. It was a start. And my gut was telling me that Riley was right. Her fiancé was running out of time. I had to find him before the Donettis made mincemeat of him.
Flashpoint Finds was created to meet the needs of both readers and authors struggling to find each other amidst the glut of second-rate fiction clogging the media streams. It is the brainchild of award winning romance author, Nhys Glover, who had become increasingly frustrated, as both as a reader and a writer, by the maze of ebooks hitting the cybershelves. So she decided to do something to shortcut the labyrinthine search for good books. A game player from way back, she set about combining satisfying short-story flashpoints from a collection of best-selling authors with a mystery treasure hunt that could net players prizes. The result was an innovative way for readers to discover new pathways to quality reading material and authors to find new appreciative audiences for their beloved books. More than a novel, more than a game, and more than a research project, Flashpoint Finds is a fun new way to find books you'll love!