Feb 26 2018

Excerpt Tour: A Dangerous Game by Heather Graham

Posted by Jennifer in Book Spotlight, Excerpt, Mystery / 1 Comment


Wrapping up a normal day at the office, criminal psychologist Kieran Finnegan is accosted by a desperate woman who shoves an infant into her arms and then flees, only to be murdered minutes later on a busy Manhattan street.

Who was the woman? Where did the baby come from? Kieran can’t stop thinking about the child and the victim, so her boyfriend, Craig Frasier, does what any good special agent boyfriend would do—he gets the FBI involved. And asks Kieran to keep out of it.

But the Finnegans have a knack for getting into trouble, and Kieran won’t sit idle when a lead surfaces through her family’s pub. Investigating on her own, she uncovers a dangerous group that plays fast and loose with human lives and will stop at nothing to keep their secrets—and they plan to silence Kieran before she can expose their deadly enterprise.




FINNEGAN’S ON BROADWAY HAD BEEN A TAVERN, INN OR den of Irish hospitality since before the Civil War. It was just after the war that the Finnegan family had taken over. Some of the family members were Americans; some were cousins who arrived from Ireland at various times in the pub’s history. Whoever wound up in charge knew that they were always purveyors of camaraderie. It was a true center of community, where you brought friends, and if you had none, you found some. To many in the neighborhood it had become a personal place, and they felt as comfortable and welcome there as in their own living room. The taps were extensive and kept spotlessly clean; the kitchen created a flow of Irish, American, and Irish American food that could be rivaled by few pubs—even in a city like New York.
While all of the four Finnegan siblings—Declan, Kieran, Kevin and Daniel—had inherited the pub, it was run by Declan. Kieran had her work, and Kevin was an actor. Danny—after a few false starts due to the death of their mother—had become an exceptional tour guide. Then again, though they all loved their dad, each sibling had acted out in a way when they had lost their mom. Not one member of the family had the least problem waiting tables or tending bar when help was needed, and Kieran still did a lot of the bookkeeping while her brothers kept up with stock and repairs.
Craig and Kieran were greeted by serving staff as soon as they walked in. At the bar—which had a clear view of the front door—Declan saw them enter, and he nodded and raised a hand and looked curiously at Craig.
Kieran had called Declan a few hours ago, to fill him in, but they hadn’t really believed at the time they would miss the entire evening. But they had, of course. The band was no longer playing.
It was quiet; the last of the crowd seemed to be paying their tabs, ready to head out.
“Kieran, dear, are you all right?”
Mary Kathleen—Declan’s fiancée, who was from Dublin but had been in the States for a few years—rushed up to Kieran.
“Yes, I’m fine, thank you,” Kieran said.
“I’m going to say hi to Declan,” Craig murmured, sliding past the two women. He reached the bar and leaned against it. Declan wiped his hands on a bar rag, shaking his head as he looked at Craig.
“You’re a wee bit late. You missed the Danny Boys,” Declan said. “They were great.”
“Yeah, we missed them. Thanks.”
“Ouch. Sorry,” Declan said. “That was really rude of me.” His jaw was set at an awkward angle. “Kieran is all right? I’m glad she called—knowing we’d freak out if we saw something that close to her place of business and we didn’t hear from her. It’s been on the news, you know. This time, the media hasn’t been using her name—they don’t have it, apparently.”
“Yes. The police kept pretty good control of the crime scene in the street and got Kieran out of the limelight before the reporters honed in. They know a woman was murdered. They know she gave a child to someone else, and Child Services will be caring for the baby, who will also be under police protection,” Craig said. “I guess they want a warning out there that no one should come for the child—unless, of course, they’re the rightful parents or guardians. Hopefully, they’d be searching for their baby through the police.”
“And here I thought you had the night off. Like it was one of those kinds of normal days for you when you were only going to work ten or twelve hours.”
“This one had nothing to do with me.”
“Hmm. If they don’t have some sick scum of the earth for you to be finding, Kieran will come up with something.” He was silent for a minute. “Actually, come to think about it, with what you’ve got on your hands already, you probably shouldn’t have gotten involved with a crazy Irish lass like my sister.”
“Yeah. Probably not,” Craig agreed.
“A bit too late.”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“So someone shoved a baby into her arms, and then ran out and got stabbed. That the gist of it?”
“That’s the gist of it.”
“And it’s your case?”
“Not at the moment.”
“I know you,” Declan said, “and so I also know that I don’t really need to be saying this, but…watch out for my sister, huh? Even if she’s quiet and acts tough, you know she’s got to be really shaken tonight.”
“I do. And,” he added softly, “you know I love your sister.”
“I do,” Declan said with a slight smile. “I’ll go back and see the cook.”
“Sounds great.”
“Shepherd’s pie?”
“Always good.”
Declan started to head to the back. “Oh, sorry—you guys want something to drink?”
“I’ll get it,” Craig said, leaning over the bar for a couple of glasses. As he did so, Kieran came to his side.
“Shepherd’s pie. And—”
“Soda water, please,” Kieran said softly.
“You okay?”
“I’m fine. Honestly,” she assured him.
They sat at the bar. Declan came back with dinner for the two of them; Finnegan’s was famous for its shepherd’s pie. It was a standard, almost always available.
Declan and Mary Kathleen both came behind the bar as the place began to wind down in earnest. Only a few patrons, just finishing up and paying their checks, remained.
“Anything new?” Mary Kathleen asked Craig.
He arched a brow. “Not since I walked in here.”
“Sorry,” she murmured. She looked at Kieran. “What was this woman like? Did she say anything at all that would give you a clue about who she was, where she came from—or about why she would leave a baby?”
Kieran frowned. “No. She didn’t speak that much. She said my name, and not much more.”
“She knew your name?”
“Well, surely no one would choose a random person in any old office and just toss them a baby!” Kieran said.
“But, she didn’t ask for Dr. Fuller or Miro, right? She asked for you?” Declan asked, frowning. He glanced at Craig.
Inwardly, Craig groaned.
Now everyone was worried about Kieran.
Naturally, he was worried, too.
“Did you let the doctors know what happened?” Declan asked.
“Of course,” Kieran said. “I called them…they had to know. The woman came to their office.”
“The whole city knows by now, I’m sure,” Craig said. “The street was crawling with reporters by the time we headed here. Hopefully, that will be a good thing. Someone out there might know who the woman was—and where to find the baby’s mother.”
“I hope so,” Mary Kathleen whispered.
“Okay, let’s clean up and call it a night,” Kieran said. She stood and started picking plates up from recently vacated tables.
Declan looked at Craig with a shrug.
Craig knew all the Finnegan siblings well—he was pretty sure that he knew what they all might be thinking: better get involved; make it your case. This is haunting Kieran, and therefore, she will definitely be haunting you!

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels. She’s a winner of the RWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For more information on Heather and her work, check out her websites:


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