Home :: Mystery/Thriller :: Falcon's Bend Series, Book 3: The Fifteenth Letter (ebook and print) by Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler (Mystery: Police Procedural)

Falcon's Bend Series, Book 3: The Fifteenth Letter (ebook and print) by Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler (Mystery: Police Procedural)

Falcon's Bend Series, Book 3: The Fifteenth Letter (ebook and print) by Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler (Mystery: Police Procedural)
 
(13 reviews)  

For the past fifteen years, on the anniversary of his arrest for armed robbery, Zeke Carfi has received a threatening letter signed by the wife of his deceased partner in crime.

Zeke's daughter Amber, Falcon's Bend Police Department's newest patrol officer, has spent fifteen years holding onto a secret that could further condemn the father she'd worshiped as a child. When Zeke is released on parole, Amber finds herself questioning everything she's ever believed. Is Zeke the good man she once knew? How could the father who'd made her the center of his world for the first seven years of her life be a criminal? Is it possible to turn from a life a crime, or is it true that once a criminal always a criminal?

Their reconciliation is cut short when Amber discovers the fifteenth letter...and the key to a fifteen-year mystery that could lead to murder.

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Falcon's Bend Series, Book 3: The Fifteenth Letter (ebook and print) by Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler (Mystery: Police Procedural)
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(13 reviews)  

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5 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Readers' Favorite https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-fifteenth-letter
Jan 22, 2016
5 Stars!
Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler weave a mystery that keeps the reader on edge throughout THE FIFTEENTH LETTER. Without a doubt the authors write with an intensity that kept me immersed. I felt I was with Amber Carfi at every turn in her search for the truth. At the same time their characters' personalities and quirks demonstrated both their best and unscrupulous sides which adds to entertainment for the reader. Descriptions easily allowed me to imagine the lives as well as scenes throughout the novel. The authors fulfilled the promise of a good read while creating an easy flow of action from page to page. I look forward to reading other books in the Falcon Bend Series.
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Dark Angel Reviews
Feb 15, 2013
5 pixies!
The FIFTEENTH LETTER evoked, for me, Dell Shannon's Luis Mendoza and McBain's 87th Precinct. This is small town USA, however, not the big city. This doesn't mean the crimes are small though. I didn't read the first two books in this series and that's often a handicap. As a general rule, I like to start with the first one. The authors of THE FIFTEENTH LETTER did such an exceptional job of bringing me up to date on the relationships without it feeling like that's what they were doing. I in no way felt that I was missing something, as so often happens when you read a series out of order. The camaraderie between the characters flows easily. They really care about each other and it shows. Amber isn't made to feel like a token, being the only woman officer. Then again, she was the only female player on the football team. That's where she met her partner, Jensen. I really enjoy her. She's not real girlie but deep down she's feminine. She has a soft side; she just doesn't know how to show it. I especially like the evolution of her relationship with Jensen. It all rings true. I appreciate the characters interactions, not only at work but in their personal lives as well. The mystery/crime is excellent. The past does come back to haunt you and karma is brutal, especially when it comes in the form of Kiah Roberts and Roman Salim. That people like that really exist is scary enough, but when they get together it's truly frightening. Toward the end of the book, I found myself leaning into my screen and so tense my neck hurt. That's how intense the action got. If you're a fan of Shannon, McBain or just excellently executed procedurals, I highly recommend THE FIFTEENTH LETTER. I know I'll be reading the prior books and the fourth installment.
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The Romance Studio
Feb 15, 2013
5 hearts!

Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler continue this well done series of mysteries with another great one. Amber Carfi and Warren Jensen take center stage this time. Their fledgling romance can't seem to get off the ground. Not many of us would want to have a criminal element adding life and death struggles that help goad us along in our relationships. For Amber and Warren it seems like that's what it takes before they can admit their feelings for one another. Part of the draw of this great series is that the characters go through some of the same upheavals in their lives as the reader. Like regular human being everywhere they compartmentalize their own problems into a private space to deal with when the needs of others isn't at the forefront of their lives. This series is as addictive as your favorite TV show! The officers of the police force and the town has grown on me more with each story. I sincerely hope Mss. Wiesner and Spindler will continue to dream up more villains for these characters to handle so the books can continue for a long time.
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Huntress Reviews
Feb 15, 2013
5 stars!

An excellent story with a lot of mystery, drama, and excitement. It is obvious to me that the authors, Wiesner and Spindler, compliment each other's writing styles. Every single character is well developed and the emotions seem real. Totally fascinating!
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Coffee Time Romance and More
Feb 15, 2013
5 cups!

THE FIFTEENTH LETTER is the third book in the Falcon’s Bend Series. While it is a standalone read, it has enough hints at the past that you will soon find yourself wanting to read the previous books. The authors worked well together and created characters that are strong and complement each other while remaining independent. Along with a totally original twist on the ‘sins of the father’ theme that is the base of this story. I hope to find both Amber and Warren happy in the next installment of this police series.
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Sample Chapter

"His sights were always fixed on unmade discoveries, unfinished initiatives, imperfect gains, and frustrated crusades."
~from Columbus byFilipe Fernández-Armesto

"A professional thief is a man who wakes up every morning thinking about committing a crime the same way any other man gets up and goes to his job."
~Willie Sutton in Where the Money Was: The Memoirs of a Bank Robber written by Willie Sutton with Edward Linn

Prologue

November 23, 1989

Serena Salim barely noticed when a third nail tore under her anxious gnawing.

"How much longer?" young Roman whispered.

Though her mothering instincts kicked in infrequently, she recognized the fear in her boy's voice. She could say or do nothing beyond reach for his hand. Without hesitation, he pulled away and put his face against the passenger window.

Nels and Zeke had been inside for so long now. Had something gone wrong? Or had Nels gotten greedy again? He was a man who would go back for just one more penny--the proverbial cherry atop a mountain of decadent cake.

This one couldn't go wrong, not with all Zeke's planning. On and on, Nels had raved about how brilliant Zeke Carfi was; he'd thought of everything. Nothing could possibly go awry.

But they should have been back a long time ago.

Serena swore under her breath in Korean. This would have solved all their problems. No more hand-to-mouth. No more of Nelson's crazy schemes to "make ends meet", most involving his shop of rare books, Antique Books, Ltd., that was never profitable on its own. When Nels met Zeke a year ago, Zeke'd taught him how to make money the easy way. This one final heist would set them all up for life.

Where are they?

She leaned forward near her son and looked down the block to the front of the bank across the street set far back from the road. Eisner Bank & Trust looked calm and peaceful this day, though people no longer milled in and out.

She shook her head. Something had happened.

"We should get out of here," she murmured.

Roman turned to her, his dark gaze confused. "But Dad's not out yet. We can't leave him."

"They should have been out--" she started when the sound of sirens broke through the menacingly still autumn air.

Roman dove out the door of the van just as fast. Serena swore again, plunging out after him down the street. She caught him only inches from the sidewalk in front of the bank. With every bit of her strength, she dragged him kicking and screaming to the van. At fifteen, the boy was no longer as small and weak as he'd been, but her desperation allowed her to do what she had to.

"We can't leave him!" he cried as they reached the sliding van door.

"We won't." She knew she had to give him the promise to make him calm. "But we must watch from here."

He allowed her to hold him. Behind him, Serena forgot how to breathe while police cars and an ambulance surrounded the bank. She and Roman waited. Minutes ticked by, minutes that felt like hours. Like vultures, reporters descended on the place in helicopters and trucks.

She and Roman were too close, but she knew Roman would fight her and call attention to them if she insisted they get back in the van or leave. Until he'd seen his father, he wouldn't budge.

Her mind raced as she tried to imagine what had taken place, what had gone wrong. She barely noticed how ragged her son's breathing had become.

Nels screwed up. He always does. Roman may worship his father and believe he can do no wrong, but I know better. I know exactly what he is: a thief from start to finish. But I didn't care; I would have done anything to escape my father. Anything. And I won't go back. What a fool I was to trust Nels.

Finally, the police swarmed out amid the reporters. For a moment, Serena noticed nothing in the throng. Then wheels appeared. Atop the gurney was a long and narrow black bag.

"Dad..." Roman began, lurching suddenly out of her shocked embrace.

A crowd of interested citizens had gathered. Serena knew they were safe within it, but she caught her son once more, holding him back. "Where's Dad? Where's my dad?" he murmured, his tone frantic.

Serena felt Roman go rigid. She glanced at him, then followed the direction of his gaze. Zeke emerged, hands bound, surrounded with police officers on all sides. His eyes lifted for only a moment as if he sensed her presence. Regret and sadness overwhelmed his expression. Serena knew. In that moment, she knew. Nels was dead. Zeke had betrayed her husband. The heist had gone bad because Zeke turned on Nelson. What else could explain a death they'd never figured into their careful plans?

"We have to find my dad!"

Serena shook her head. "We must go. Now. Don't fight me. We must be at the shop when the police come."

The urgency in her voice must have convinced him. He allowed her to rush him back across the street and into the van.

By the time they arrived at their apartment over the small bookstore, Serena's heart had turned to stone within her. She sat while Roman turned on the television, looking for news. Mutely, she watched the reporter talk about the robbery at Eisner.

Nelson had been about to shoot the bank manager for refusing to cooperate, and Zeke had stopped him. Zeke had killed his own partner to prevent the death of an innocent. She watched Zeke defend himself, meek as a mouse, his handsome face lined with regret. "I tried to talk to Nelson, tried to get him to reconsider. I only meant to stop him by putting a bullet in his shooting arm...but he shifted." The shot had caught Nelson right in the heart. He'd died before they wheeled him out of the bank.

Serena's eyes narrowed as the reporter went on to interview the bank manager who praised Zeke for "coming to his senses" and standing up against a murderous, greedy thug.

I have nothing. The b@#d left me with nothing. How will I take care of myself?

The sound of her father's hated voice filled her memory, as did the feeling of his fist slamming into the small of her back. Serena choked on a sob, not daring to close her eyes to dark memories she'd spent so many years hiding from.

Can't go back there...rather die. No one can make me.

"He killed my dad," Roman spat, interrupting her thoughts, "and the public decides he's a hero for it. A damn hero."

Serena glanced at her boy, recognizing the rage building in him. She couldn't move as he picked up a baseball bat and sank it into the TV screen with all his strength. He screamed in fury at the injustice of losing the father he'd idolized.

Cringing, Serena covered her head when he flew around the room, destroying everything in his path. Tears leaked from her eyes in terror. Once more, she was the little girl huddling in fear, willing herself to become invisible to the tirade around her.

"Stop. Stop, Roman, please," she whimpered.

For a long time he seemed not to hear her pleas. Then silence came, and she still didn't move, especially when she felt him standing before her. Sobs overwhelmed her. Protective gentle arms came around her, and she lifted her head. Her gaze met her son's unexpectedly tender one.

"We have nothing. He's left us with nothing," she told him bitterly. "I can't take care of you, Roman. I can't go back home."

"I'll take care of you, Mom. I promise. We have the maps. Dad told me about the maps he and Zeke stole--the ones Dad kept in the safe, away from Zeke. They're worth a fortune. You won't have to go back home, Mom. We'll make this right."

Zeke had betrayed them all. He would pay. How could anything ever be right again?

It wouldn't, not until she had her revenge.

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