Today we have a sneak peek from the mystery by Ed Teja: Under Low Skies.
Martin Billings is in Venezuela to prove that his brother, Tim, didn’t murder a fisherman. He is a freighter Captain, not an investigator. A mysterious and gorgeous woman lawyer is trying to get him to leave the country without stirring things up, but she won’t say why.
When someone brutally murders Tim’s girlfriend, the police have reason to suspect Martin. Even worse, a local crime boss and a vicious gringo called Highball have decided that Martin knows where a missing drug shipment is hidden. It’s a good thing Ugly Bill is on his way to help.
Here is an excerpt from Under Low Skies…
From Chapter Two
“Mr. Billings?” she asked in perfect English.
I felt an electric jolt surge through me. Not only did this woman know my name, and was waiting for me in an airport I had no intention of being in only twenty-four hours before, but now I saw she held a photo of me that even I hadn’t seen in ten years—a picture of a younger and altogether too squeaky clean version of me in uniform, fresh out of U.S. Navy SEAL training school. It was a graduation picture. I’d had it made in one of those liberty clip joints off base that parks you in front of an American flag and snaps the shot—a real assembly line. Of course, not only was the photo old, but that kind of photography makes every twenty year old look identical. No wonder she hadn’t recognized me right off.
Now she waited patiently for me to get over my shock and answer her. I moved on inside the terminal so that the phalanx of blond and burnt windsurfers could pass through the door and on to the taxi stands.
“Yes,” I said finally and hesitantly. “My name is Billings.” I tried very hard—and failed—not to sound surprised. I’m not sure why. Pride, I guess. “Who are you?”
She smiled and it made her face dance some kind of wild and happy step around black eyes. “I’m Victoria. Victoria López.” She said it holding out her hand and acting as if her name explained everything. “Can I buy you a beer?” Her English was clear and lightly accented—elegant English words put to sexy Spanish music.
But no matter how pretty she was, or how musical her speech, she had put me on edge. Here I am, showing up in a strange airport on short notice and a beautiful woman holding a picture of me from my Navy days is waiting there to buy me a drink. That, my friends, is not how life normally happens.
As Ugly Bill always said, “It boggles the mind. It truly does.”
I tried to make my apologies. “I’m afraid that I am meeting someone, Miss López. Maybe some other time.”
She laughed and tucked her arm in mine. “I’m afraid that your lady friend has been unavoidably delayed. We have plenty of time for a tall beer and a short chat.” She seemed to have the entire situation nailed down pretty tight.
“I’m glad someone knows what’s going on. I certainly haven’t a clue. It’s a lovely day for a mystery though. Did you have the weather programmed too?”
She laughed. “Only by picking Venezuela, mi amor. The country gives us the wonderful weather for free.”