Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Amanda Kyle Williams Strikes Terror Again in Strange in the Room

Stranger in the Room

By Amanda Kyle Williams

Williams does an excellent job in grabbing readers and pulling them in immediately. In this second novel, Keye Street's cousin arrives home, to find a stranger in the house. All she can see is his shadow, and then he raises his hand, puts it in the shape of a gun, pulls the pretend trigger and then turns around and leaves!

Miki and Keye had never really been close, but Keye knew she was family and met with her to find out why she'd call. Miki usually meant trouble, she would drink, do drugs...and more. Keye knew that, with her being sober, it would place an entra burden on herself. But she heard the real fear in her cousin's voice and agreed to meet at Gabe's...

Of course, Miki couldn't begin to talk until Keye had a drink. She explained about somebody being in her house, but that the police had not responded as she thought they should. She needed Keye to help her!

Unfortunately, with her background, there were lots of potential players. And as Keye learned more, there was every likelihood that Miki had a stalker and did need protection...

But in the meantime, Keye had a bond enforcement job...

When Miki was working, she was a top photographer, so Miki grabbed her camera and told Keye she'd go too!

Her objective was one Steven T Wriggles, who had robbed a convenience store... So as Keye tried to cuff him, with Miki circling snapping pictures, Wriggles calmly used his secret weapon... And I know it's not what you think! But let's just say that picture would have gone viral in minutes!

Of course, Keye soon had Rauser involved. Rauser is a cop in Homicide, but is also now in love with Keye, in many ways. One of which is sharing and discussing the various cases that both were assigned. Rauser often called upon Keye's training for psychological profiling, while Keye sometimes needed information only the police could provide. Although that wasn't as much as you might think, because Keye has a very capable partner at her PI agency, and Neil can find just about any information that could be found on computers...

"Larry Quinn said the employee spilled the ashes, replaced
them with cement mix to cover, and accidently got them
mixed in with the chicken feed, I said.
"We could forgive that. As horrible as it is, accidents happen...
When you see the layout of the place you'll understand...
"Joe Ray Kirkpatrick did something to Miss Sheila's remains.
I feel it in my bones and so does Billy. It's not enough to lose
somebody, but then..." She trailed off, her wide eyes filled
with tears.
"I'm sorry. It must have been quite a shock--"
"More than a shock, Ms. Street. It's a downright outrage.
All that chicken feed in Mama's urn. I mean, holy shit."
Billy made the sign of the cross. "Mama hated chickens."
Wouldn't you know it, though, Neil had to accompany Keye out of town on a new case. It started out to seem very simple, having nothing to do with computers. A couple had accidentally discovered that the urn in which a relative's ashes had been placed, clearly had something  different than what should be there... So Neil and Keye go out of town, meeting up with a neighbor close to the Crematorium they were about to visit, and quickly find a willing and funny partner in their investigation. Although the author treated this case lightly and with humor, before it was finished, Keye had witnessed something that she wished she had never seen--and state and federal officials took over...

In the meantime, Rauser has one death after another to investigate...

Keye, in looking over the case files for him, postulates there is a connection...but Rauser is not quite sure her gut feeling is enough to tie everything all together.

Is Keye right? Readers will follow through how each of the murders might have happened, trying to connect and see if they might have a serial killer to capture! I am constantly amazed how writers can weave a web of such intricate design in plotting out mystery and suspense so that we turn page after page willingly to learn more and hopefully solve the case before the ending. Amanda Williams does a wonderful job in doing just that!

Like I mentioned yesterday, when I started reading this novel, I knew I wanted to start at the first book in order to ensure I learned about the lives of Williams' main characters. I've found the combination of Street and Rauser a complete package, enjoying how they complement each other in many more ways than just as lovers. Kudos to Williams for "finding" this couple and bringing them into our lives to meet. I'm already looking forward to the next book, though it will be awhile. In the meantime, I encourage you to consider this series if complex thrillers are on your TBR list! Enjoy this Stranger series! I am...


Amanda Kyle Williams has contributed to short story collections, written small press novels and worked as a a freelance writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She was a house painter, a property manager, a sales rep, a commercial embroiderer, a courier, a VP of manufacturing at a North Georgia textile mill, and owned Latch Key Pets, a pet sitting and dog walking business. She also worked with a PI firm in Atlanta on surveillance operations, and became a court-appointed process server.

“We do what we have to do to keep the lights on while we’re waiting for that big break. Working as a process server and with PI and courier firms in Atlanta was wonderful preparation for developing the Keye Street character. It takes time and work to find that unique voice as a writer, and for that voice to reach pitch. And more time to then develop a character that’s the perfect vehicle for that voice. Keye Street is that character for me. She’s slightly damaged, seriously flawed; a sober alcoholic with a mighty Krispy Kreme doughnut addiction. She makes jokes to avoid intimacy. She’s more afraid of heartbreak than she is of whipping out her ten millimeter Glock. She feels real to me. The series is dedicated to my deeply southern Chinese-American niece, Anna.”

In order to lend authenticity to her Keye Street series, Amanda took courses in criminal profiling and practical homicide investigation, and frequently consults with professionals in law enforcement, bond enforcement, criminal profiling and forensics.

The Stranger You Seek is Amanda’s first mainstream crime novel and the first in the Keye Street series. Bantam will also publish Book Two and Three in the series. Stranger In The Room (August 21, 2012). Don’t Talk To Strangers (Fall 2013).

Amanda Kyle Williams lives in Decatur, Georgia, which produces unending fodder for her fiction. She is currently hard at work on the 3rd Keye Street Thriller, Don’t Talk To Strangers.

Amanda is passionate about animals and has been active in the humane community for many years. She is one of the founding directors at Lifeline Animal Project, a nonprofit, no-kill animal welfare organization. Amanda is also a supporter of The Fugees Family. 

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