Read Deadly Dreams Online

Authors: Kylie Brant

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Suspense, #General

Deadly Dreams

Table of Contents
“Kylie Brant has a winning series with the Mindhunters! I can hardly wait for the next installment. A complex, page-turning mystery plus a heartfelt romance blends into a fast-paced story that kept me reading until the wee hours.
Deadly Dreams
has everything a great romantic thriller needs.”
—Allison Brennan,
New York Times
bestselling author
“Get ready for lots of twists and turns with an abundance of suspense in this thrilling romance.”

Fresh Fiction
“Once again Kylie Brant kept me awake until three in the morning to finish her book . . . A really impressive series. She reminds me of a few great writers. If you love Kay Hooper’s writing, you will love Ms. Brant’s writing, too.”

A Romance Review
“If you have been reading this Mindhunters series, you will not want to miss out on this next installment . . . I recommend reading them all from the beginning!”

Fallen Angel Reviews
“An electrifying and infinitely gripping novel . . . Kylie writes excellent dialogue [and] creates engaging characters [and] vividly detailed investigation and action scenes. The smooth process in which she moves the story along keeps the pages turning, allowing [readers] to immerse themselves in the novel from start to finish.”

The Romance Studio
“Enjoyable . . . A superb police procedural . . . enhanced by the supernatural and the romance.”

Midwest Book Review
“Wonderful characters and mystery . . . Brant does a great job with pacing and tension!”

Errant Dreams Reviews
“[An] exceedingly suspenseful series . . . The exceptional writing of Kylie Brant will keep you reading way into the night. From first-rate suspense to engaging characters to a moving romance, Ms. Brant will leave you anticipating every compelling scene with much eagerness . . . While the dangerous scenarios of
Waking Evil
draw you into the novel, the tender love story is just as compelling.”

Single Titles
“Intense paranormal elements, gripping suspense, and graphic descriptions make for a realistic read.”

Fresh Fiction
“Intelligent, gripping suspense with both chill and sizzle.
Waking Nightmare
will leave you awake in the night . . . and wanting more.”
—Cindy Gerard,
New York Times
bestselling author
“The writing is vivid and strong . . . Suspense fans will love the unexpected twist and pulse-pounding climax.”

Publishers Weekly
“Wonderful psych material, great characters, interesting mystery . . . There’s plenty of tension and great pacing to the suspense.”

Errant Dreams Reviews
“The first sentence will intrigue you and the next one causes chills. By the third sentence, you will be completely hooked on
Waking Nightmare

Single Titles
“Thrilling . . . A great opening act.”

Midwest Book Review
Berkley Sensation Titles by Kylie Brant
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
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Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / April 2011
Copyright © 2011 by Kim Bahnsen.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-47764-9
Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
SENSATION and the “B” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

For my new baby granddaughter, Kinley Nicole,
who already holds the key to my heart.
When it comes to imaginative ways to off people ☺, I’m never short on creativity but lack the factual expertise when it comes to the pesky details. I’m always grateful to those who fill in the gaps in my knowledge to help me stage my scenes realistically. A big thank-you goes out to Joe Collins, Paramedic/Firefighter, who assisted with all things fire related and helped ensure my villain didn’t burn down entire cities enacting his evil acts. Your infinite patience with my endless questions is much appreciated!
Thank-yous are owed to Jennifer Gaston, Marketing Manager, and Matthew Scott, Director of Data Services, LWG Consulting, for answers regarding data recovery and analysis of videotapes and recordings; to Piper Rome and Sgt. Gary Vineyard, DEA Dallas Task Force, Rtd., for providing the necessary expertise when it came to questions about firearms. The details regarding Internal Affairs investigations were generously provided by Sergeant Michael Hervey of the Charlotte-Mecklinburg Police Department. And Elizabeth A. Peacock, MD, Bexar County Medical Examiner Office, San Antonio, Texas, weighed in with insight regarding pathology and the medical examiner’s domain—I appreciate all your help! As always, any errors were mine alone.
And finally, thank you to Ali, Ryan, and Kat for the brainstorming session at Boltini’s. My heroine never would have made it out alive without you guys!
Chapter 1
The figure did a macabre dance as flames leapt to engulf it. Screams knifed through the night shadows, hideous and agonizing. The smell of gasoline lingered strong and heavy in the air, mingling with the stomach-turning stench of seared flesh and hair. Garbled pleas for mercy interspersed the screams.
But there would be no mercy from the watcher.
Nude, he stood just close enough to feel the searing heat on his bare skin. The flames beckoned madly, enticing him to join them. Just a step closer, they seemed to hiss. Feel it. Share it. Make us one.
He withstood the furnace-like blast as long as he could before moving farther away, his gaze transfixed by the writhing human torch. Fire was endlessly fascinating. Unstopped, it would gild the body, melt skin, and singe bone until it was sated. By that time, the figure would be little more than charred fragments of teeth and bone. Flames purified, cleansed the act of evil until only the motivation mattered.
And no one had better motivation than him.
He flung out his arms like a preacher inciting the heavens, his form silhouetted against the brilliant glow. Justice had been a long time coming. And it couldn’t be evaded any longer.
Marisa Chandler fought through the weight of sleep in a desperate bid for consciousness. Rolling from the bed, she immediately dropped to the floor, her limbs unresponsive.
But the jolt yanked her firmly from dream to waking, and for that alone she was grateful.
A bit painfully, she pushed herself to sit upright, leaning against the side of the bed. Sweat slicked her body, as if the flames in her nightmares had emitted real heat.
It had felt real. They always did.
She took a moment to will away the shudders that still racked her body. It hadn’t been the same nightmare that had plagued her for four long months. She could give thanks for that, even as she fought to shrug off her fear of what the vision might portend.
Resting her head against the mattress, she closed her eyes. Dreams like this one didn’t mean anything. Not anymore.
The recognition brought both relief and despair.
The peal of the doorbell shrilled through her thoughts. Risa opened her eyes. Thought about ignoring it. But there was faint light edging the shades over the window, heralding dawn’s approach. Her mother would have just gotten off her cleaning shift a few hours ago. She deserved the sleep.
The bell rang again insistently. Heaving herself to her feet, she padded barefoot to the door, checked the judas hole. The image of the stranger on the front porch was tiny, but she didn’t need a larger image to identify him as a plainclothes cop. Faintly intrigued, she pulled the door open, leaving the screen door latched in case she was wrong.
Her instincts hadn’t been exactly foolproof recently.
“Marisa Chandler?”
She took her time answering, scanning first the detective shield he held up for her perusal, then, more slowly, him. Caucasian, six feet, about one eighty, all of it muscle. Black hair and eyes. Hard jaw, uncompromising chin. Only visible identifying mark was the small crescent-shaped scar above one eyebrow. And despite his lack of expression, impatience was all but bouncing off him.
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