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About Dustin Stevens
Dustin Stevens is the author of more than 60 novels, the vast majority having become #1 Amazon bestsellers, including the Reed & Billie and Hawk Tate series. The Boat Man, the first release in the best-selling Reed & Billie series, was named the 2016 Indie Award winner for E-Book fiction. The freestanding work The Debt was named an Independent Author Network action/adventure novel of the year for 2017 and The Exchange was recognized for independent E-Book fiction in 2018.
He also writes thrillers and assorted other stories under the pseudonym T.R. Kohler.
A member of the Mystery Writers of America and Thriller Writers International, he resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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Titles By Dustin Stevens
Detective Roese looked up, a strand of lank hair hanging across her face. Blood staining her bare hands and forearms, she kept her weight pitched forward, pressing down on the sucking chest wound, fighting desperately to prevent another tally on the list of recently deceased.
“You can’t go out there. Best case, you never find him in the middle of all this. Worst, it’s a trap.”
Outcomes Reed had already considered and dismissed, his faith placed in the inky black K-9 partner by his side. “Even a ghost leaves a scent.”
Months into the new hybrid role that was created for Detective Reed Mattox and his K-9 partner Billie, things have returned to some semblance of normalcy. A summer spent working the graveyard shift out of the 8th Precinct with the Columbus Police Department and only the occasional side job for the state Bureau of Criminal Investigations. A stretch allowing them to put the chaos of the spring behind them and to largely avoid any interaction with the governor who selected them for the role.
Their moment of peace ends abruptly with a call to the small town of Piketon in the middle of the night. A request for outside presence to oversee an investigation into the sudden and inexplicable death of seventeen-year-old Bridger Van Cott. The star quarterback of the local high school team was found dead behind the wheel of his Trans Am six days before the season opener, the vehicle festooned in the colors of the team’s rival and first opponent.
For a community still reeling from a tragedy of national proportions just a few years prior, the newest incident has the potential to become volatile. Reed and Billie’s first task is to tamp the simmering tensions and avoid. a collision brewing between neighboring communities,
Their second, to determine what happened to the young man who was already awarded a full scholarship to play major college football next year. Someone with no known enemies or medical conditions and a crime scene containing no signs of a break in or struggle.
A murder so perfect, it was almost as if it was committed by…a ghost.
Saying nothing in return, Reed listened as the phone cut out, the forest returning to relative silence around them.
His hands still cupping the underside of his partner’s face, he tilted his own down to match it, feeling the damp warmth of her fur against his skin.
“This girl just saved my ass,” he whispered. “That’s what the hell happened.”
For the past two months, Detective Reed Mattox and his K-9 partner Billie were in limbo. Victims of their own success, they were plucked from their post on the graveyard shift at the 8th Precinct and thrust into a newly created role working with the governor’s office when a young woman is shot down outside her front door.
Immediately written off by some in the small town as nothing more than a tragic hunting accident, closer examination proves it to not just be a murder but an execution. A very pointed and deliberate killing Reed fears may be the start of things as he and his partner begin unraveling what is behind such a heinous act.
Motivations stretching back several years, pulling them across much of the state and placing them both in harm’s way as they’ve never experience before…
Detective Reed Mattox, just three months removed from the death of his partner, has turned invisibility into an art form.
Switching to the K-9, taking over the graveyard shift, moving to a farmhouse miles outside of Columbus, his every move has become predicated on putting as much distance between himself and the outside world as possible.
That distance is shattered though when bodies begin turning up in The Bottoms, the poverty-stricken section of town he is assigned to patrol. Grisly, horrific scenes start to pop up in the middle of the night and the overburdened precinct has no choice but to put Reed on it.
Now operating far outside of his comfort zone with a Belgian Malinois for a partner that attracts attention wherever they go, Reed is forced to unravel the murders, taking him clear across the city and back years in time, to an event that some very influential people will do anything to keep buried...
On the second story of a low-rent apartment complex, two women are found murdered, the scene awash with blood.
One, a young nun from the local school, seems to have had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other, a local celebrity for all the wrong reasons, someone that was recently ousted from public office and is trying desperately to claw her way back into the spotlight.
Called in to investigate are two people that could not be more different, in their approach or in the organizations they represent. To one side is Detective Reed Mattox and his K-9 partner Billie, a duo that call the place where the crime took place home and are fast building a reputation for tackling the toughest cases in the city. Opposite them, Sydney Rye and her own canine sidekick, Blue, a duo representing a government agency that few have heard about, their style one that operates free from the sphere of public opinion.
The only thing they have in common? A deep-rooted desire to see justice served, no matter what form it eventually takes…
Six months have passed since the first murder investigation Detective Reed Mattox and his K-9 partner worked together, finding them in the throes of a steamy Midwestern summer.
Working in The Bottoms, a notorious neighborhood on the west side of Columbus, they expect the usual increase in low-level crime the hottest months tend to bring but nothing compared to this.
A body is found, and then another, and soon Reed and Billie are on the trail of a potential serial killer whose only pattern for his crimes seems to be no pattern at all.
Bodies begin piling up at an alarming rate. Battling against the heat and the clock, they must sort through the crimes to identify a common thread that ties them all together. If they can, they may be able to stop the murders.
If they can’t, there’s no telling how many more will become victims before the dog days of summer end…
“I know you and I have been through some things,” Reed whispered. “Some crazy, crazy stuff. But we have never - and will never - work a case as important as this one.”
Eighteen months ago, Detective Reed Mattox didn’t just lose his partner, the woman he met on his first day at the police academy and worked with for the entirety of his career thereafter. He lost his confidante. His sounding board. His support system.
His best friend.
Victim to a senseless shooting during a routine traffic stop, the details of that night are still as elusive to Reed as they were more than a year before. Months of scouring every detail, poring through every resource, have revealed nothing, heightening the guilt he still carries for being more than two thousand miles away at the time.
When the phone rings late one evening, Reed hopes it is the brass within the Columbus Police Department calling to let him know he and his new K-9 partner Billie have been reinstated. That the administrative leave they were placed on in the wake of their last major case has been lifted, freeing them from the personal Hell they’ve been stuck in for the last couple of months.
What he hears instead is something much bigger, cleaving straight to his core, and perhaps finally allowing them to close a case nearly a year and a half in the making…
Working in law enforcement imparts certain things in a man. The smell of gunpowder in the air. The sight of blood spatter at a crime scene.
And the amount of trouble a woman is in by the pitch of her scream.
Six weeks prior, on the heels of the most hellish case he could ever remember, Detective Reed Mattox and his K-9 partner, Billie, were placed on administrative leave from the Columbus Police Department. Fearful of what the media might say, the brass decided to put them at arm’s length, allowing the aftermath of that fateful night to settle. Not used to being placed on the sidelines, and no good at sitting still for long, the decision was made to travel west to his native Oklahoma and help his parents begin the long process of unpacking their new home.
A process that lasted but a single afternoon before the duo found themselves within earshot of a scream too pointed to ignore.
Acting on pure instinct, the two give chase, unknowingly pulling themselves into something much bigger happening across the plains for the better part of a decade. Young women with seemingly nothing in common disappear, held for months or years before turning up, while some are never found at all.
Pulled in against their better judgment, but unable to ignore their true natures, Reed and Billie join with local law enforcement in search of a killer the likes of which they have never encountered…
What do you do when somebody targets one of your own?
Alone on the couch one night, Reed and his partner are both summoned to the hospital to find two of their colleagues have been viciously attacked, left for dead on the side of the road with very little evidence to go on. With emotions high and the entire department vowing revenge, Captain Grimes assigns the case to Reed and Billie, offering them any resources available in finding the culprit.
What was at first seems just an isolated incident soon begins to spiral as more bodies are found, strewn across the greater Columbus area from Grove City to New Albany. Each victim appears to be somehow linked to the law enforcement community, though how or why they have been chosen continues to elude Reed as he is joined on the case by Cassidy Glenn from the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Together they work their way from one scene to the next, piecing together what seems to be driving this perpetrator in their vendetta, hoping to bring things together enough to get out ahead of them before anybody else falls victim.
Knife fights are never what they look like in the movies. They aren’t a match between two men both lowered into crouches, each jabbing tentatively at the other.
In an actual confrontation, people get cut. There was no way to avoid it. A war of attrition predicated on trading shots. Calculated real-time risk assessment.
A maxim I learned many times over the years, bearing more than a few scars to prove as much. One I was all too happy to embrace again now.
For the past year, Hawk Tate lived in a perpetual state of dread over when the phone might ring. A call stemming from his actions just north of the border many months before, resulting in a marker owed to a certain government agency. An organization that will not be refused, and always comes to collect their debts.
A message from an unknown sender arrives on his work answering machine one Sunday morning. An individual with shared history needing help of a vastly different nature, and Hawk can’t say no.
Not to Lake Pawlak, someone he first met when he was tasked with protecting her from an international cartel three years prior. Certainly not to Savanah Vinson, Lake’s friend and neighbor, and the reason Lake comes to seek Hawk’s help. Savanah, while fighting to provide for her and her young sister after the death of their parents, went missing two nights prior with nothing but a fraudulent text message to explain her sudden disappearance.
Despite a litany of concerns, Hawk agrees to return to Los Angeles with his friend, embarking on a hunt that plunges him into a world he barely knew existed. Full immersion into social media influencing and launch parties. Southern California nightlife, online message boards, and international politics.
A growing web far surpassing anything he understands, forcing him to rely on contacts and acquaintances new and old—including the very people he fought to avoid for so long...
“Those guys might have been brutal, but they built this place from the ground up by implementing a code. Rules for the rest of us to follow.”
Retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Detective Solomon Hill hasn’t heard the name in years. A man he hasn’t thought about since sending him away more than two decades prior for attempted murder. One of the biggest arrests of his entire career, a person the world is better off without.
Or so it was for the last twenty-one years in the time prior to his sudden inclusion on a list of governor’s pardons. A free pass undoing all that occurred, releasing a man with a short fuse and a long list of people he holds responsible for what happened.
People that Hill still feels responsible for, even if his current physical condition will no longer allow him to make good on it.
Low on time and options, Hill does the only thing he can think of, calling in an old marker—a favor owed from his early days on the force, extended from one of the last vestiges of the original Las Vegas. Someone accustomed to handling issues in a way Hill isn’t accustomed to.
Three hundred miles to the south, Ham muddles her way through the final months of a slow winter. Endless hours spent training for an unknown opponent, each day without the phone ringing heightening her desire for action. The need to be moving again, unable to feel fully alive without the adrenaline of the job after years spent relegated to the sidelines.
A craving that sends her hurtling up out of the desert the instant she hears what happened in Las Vegas...
Right into a head-on collision with a deadly opponent.
Less than a week before Christmas, Columbus Detective Reed Mattox and his K-9 partner receive a call from dispatch.
The body of a young woman has been found floating in the Olentangy River, her teeth forcibly removed, her fingerprints obliterated, any chance at a positive identification residing only within the string of inexplicable tattoos inked across the bottom of her feet.
Across town, an organization has taken hold in the North End, capitalizing on the recent gentrification in the area by introducing an entirely new and exotic service that the people of Central Ohio have never seen before. Preying on a captive market, they have developed a small empire in just a short amount of time, bringing with it far more than anybody could have foreseen.
Reed is forced to uncover how these things might all tie together, working far beyond the usual scope of his jurisdiction, perhaps even much further than he’s ever gone before…
I don’t even know if the call is real. All I know is there is some girl on the line saying her name is Della Snow and that she is trapped inside a box right now.
It started as a quiet night, a much needed reprieve for the overworked team of Detective Reed Mattox and his K-9 partner Billie. With just a single phone call from dispatch, both are plunged into a nightmare they could have never imagined.
Somewhere in the greater Columbus area, a young twenty-something is sealed away inside a coffin. With no recollection of how she got there or who might have put her there, she is desperate. Armed only with a dying cellphone and a waning oxygen supply, her hours on earth are limited.
Calling on every resource imaginable, Reed and Billie sprint headlong into the search, embarking on a twisted path that proves to be so much larger than they could have ever imagined.