Book Title: Falling Awake IV: Retribution
Cover Artist: Kris
Release Day: June 19, 2021
Genre/s: M/M Suspense, Thriller
Trope/s: The hunt begins now.
Themes: Loyalty, friendship, sacrifice, love
Heat Rating: 1
Length: 74 000 words
There are three prior books,
Falling Awake, Falling Awake II: Revenant, and Falling Awake III: Requiem which need to be
“Some people are so
low, they gotta look up to see Hell.”
“Some people are so low, they gotta look up to see Hell.”
The death of Thomas Reis continues to ripple through the
lives of those connected to his case fourteen years later. Andrew O’Donnell and Lawrence
Boggs have already fallen, but three more pick up where the others left off, and each for his
One believes in justice, the second loyalty, and the third
desperately seeks a reason to live. All three, however, share the same final end game;
The hunt begins.
“I’m glad I caught you before you left then. I’m truly sorry.”
He bowed his head. “I held your husband in the highest regards.”
“He respected you, too. Can I get you something to drink?
I’m afraid I don’t have much. I’ll be leaving in the next day or two, but I think I have some
orange juice, and I just made a fresh pot of coffee.”
“No, thank you.”
Norrma led him into the kitchen and sat down at the table,
one of the few pieces of furniture left behind until the day she left. Various paperwork lay in
little piles on the table, some it from the landlord, and others from the movers, bank, and
relatives who’d sent cards.
“Lawrence’s funeral was this past weekend, then I insisted
the kids head back to school. I know they wanted to stay with me and help out here, and
maybe it was cruel to send them away, but I think staying busy and being around their
friends will help them more than being here right now.” She sniffed. “Lawrence would have
insisted they get on with their lives as soon as they could. ‘Death,’ he told us many times, ‘is
a natural part of things. Living is for the now. Mourning can always be done later.’ He always
made sure we knew exactly how he felt. None of us had to guess whether or not he loved
Joe nodded. “His directness is something I appreciated
She took a sip of coffee. “The police came, had a look at his
case files, and couldn’t really make heads or tails out of them.” Norma chuckled. “Lawrence
always had a unique way of organizing things in life that sometimes only he understood. I
packed up what they didn’t take. Honestly, I think they confiscated a few things here and
there just so it looked good in their report. I don’t believe they’ll ever find anything, though.
Nobody really understood what Lawrence worked on, not in the big picture way.”
Joe grinned. “I know the type. Law enforcement through
and through. Takes one to know one, I guess.”
“That’s what I was thinking.” She peered down at her cup.
“Do you know what might have happened to him?”
“Maybe.” Joe leaned in. “I sent somebody down here from
Iowa, a young man named Andrew, who was looking for a case file I’d loaned Lawrence.
Honestly, I figured things would go one way, and Lawrence would swat the boy on the ass
and send him back home. Turns out the kid had a way about him, and I think they started
working together. This tells me Lawrence was already working on a case and they somehow
connected, or he found a use for Andrew.
“The problem is, I don’t have a lot to go on. Something isn’t
feeling quite right. The parts aren’t adding up, only I’m not getting a big enough glimpse of
the picture.” Joe leaned back in his chair. “I need a bit more.”
“Would these help?” She reached under the stack of
folders and paperwork, pulled out two large envelopes, and handed them over.
Anybody who knew Lawrence would recognize his
handwriting in a heartbeat. Same perfectly shaped letters. Same size. Unmistakable. And the
words written on the front? JOE MURPHY.
Joe’s head cocked to the side. Curiosity? Disbelief? Both?
And then she saw something else, a tensing in the man’s posture and narrowing of the
The predator senses prey?
Joe hefted the two envelopes in his hand. “Lawrence left
these for me?”
The lump in her throat returned. “That’s why I was hoping
you’d come. I think he knew what he was working on might not end well, and he once told
me if anything ever happened to him, you’re the only one he trusted to look into it.”
She watched the man run his fingers across the surface of
the envelopes, across his name.
“You didn’t give these to the locals?” he asked. “Or show
She shook her head. “Lawrence trusted you. I’ll put my
trust in you before them, too.”
“I don’t know what’s in these.” Joe patted the top
envelope. “I can’t promise anything.”
“Don’t expect you to.” Norma sat up straight. Strength.
Maybe a little pride. “Maybe one promise. Someone took away my husband, my children’s
father. Someone took our love, my happiness, and future. Whoever it is ain’t no better than
a roaming, rabid dog, and those kinds of dogs get put down.”
He stared at her. He stared long and hard. “Yes. Yes, they
About the Author
Kristoffer Gair grew up in
Fraser, MI and is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He is the author of 8
novels—some written under the pseudonum Kage Alan—been a part of 6 anthologies, and
currently lives in a suburb of Detroit.