Tag Archives: Biker gangs

Stephanie Tyler. Vipers Run. New York: Signet Eclipse, 2014.

vipersrunCalla Benson works in the office of a private investigator named Bernie. When Calla’s grandmother died last year, Calla was supposed to inherit her grandmother’s money and the bar that she owned. However, Calla’s half-brother, Ned, got to the money and the bar first. Ned used their grandmother’s debit card to get to her money and forged Calla’s signature on the bar deed in order to sell it. After turning to Bernie for help finding her brother, Calla ended up working in the PI’s office. Calla may handle the office for Bernie, but his cell phone is where the most important calls come in and it is usually with him. When Bernie’s cell is left in the office and won’t stop ringing, Calla can’t help but answer – not knowing that this one call will change her life forever.

Christian Cage Owens is a former Army Ranger and also a member of the Vipers Motorcycle Club in the fictitious town of Skulls Creek, North Carolina. Cage was born into the motorcycle club life, but he was born into the Heathens Motorcycle Club. Escaping as a teenager from this corrupt club, Cage didn’t know anything but MC life and so he turned to Preacher, the leader of the Vipers. The Heathens have had it out for the Vipers ever since Cage turned on them. To protect his brother Vipers, Cage has searched out the Heathens’ secrets. Cage gathered evidence that can bring down the Heathens MC, but they found him before he had the chance to pass on the information. Cage uses his dying breath to call his Army-buddy- turned-PI, Bernie, who will know what to do with the information. Cage is surprised when Calla answers but gives her the information, ultimately endangering her life. Nevertheless, Calla provides Cage with a reason to fight for his life.

Left with Cage’s promise to find her, Calla goes on the run and ends up in the house of another friend of Cage and Bernie’s. Calla is mourning the death of a man that she never even met face-to-face, when that same man appears ready to make good on his promise. Neither can deny the connection that was forged between them, nor the passion that they share for one another.

Vipers Run is the first novel in the new Skull Creek series. This book is a romantic suspense in which the two characters will have to face the demons in their past. Calla may not be as naïve as she appears, but is she ready for the MC world? Cage has kept his promise so far, but will he look at Calla the same after learning the details of a fun college night turned nightmare?

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship, Suspense/Thriller, Van Loon, Elizabeth

C. J. Lyons. Black Sheep. New York: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2013.

Black SheepCaitlyn Tierney likes to keep her enemies closer than her friends. In fact, she doesn’t like to be close to her friends at all. A skilled FBI agent, Tierney is a loner by choice. She pushes away well-meaning coworkers trying to bond and casual boyfriends interested in getting serious. Caitlyn isn’t much of a rule-follower. Sometimes her unorthodox approach ruffles the attitudes of more rigid agents. She suspects they would like to goad her into quitting. Tierney doesn’t have total contempt for standard regulations and textbook procedures though. She just recognizes that bad guys don’t play by the rules, so occasionally the good guys can’t either, not if they want to win.

Without friendships, Tierney’s life is her work, and she feels no regrets for committing herself fully to her job, even though it has nearly killed her twice. She is dedicated to her career despite recent difficulty that has left her scarred, literally and figuratively. However, Caitlyn is no stranger to trauma. And regardless of the physical danger and the strict protocol, she loves teaching fledgling officers. Also, her work fulfills her beloved, deceased father’s unrealized aspiration of joining the FBI.

Caitlyn grew up in the fictional mountain town of Evergreen, North Carolina. Her father, Sean, dreamed of joining the FBI, but once he met Caitlyn’s mother, Jessalyn, he abandoned his goals and became a sheriff’s deputy instead. Love overruled his ambitions. Although Sean found contentment in a future different from his initial life plan, Jessalyn never seemed satisfied with their lives. The Tierney family’s farmhouse and their small-town disappointed Jessalyn. She juggled two jobs and strove to improve their standing. When Caitlyn decided to join the FBI, Jessalyn did not approve of her only child’s career choice. Rather, Jessalyn considered it a waste of all her effort to improve the family’s stature. Needless to say, Caitlyn and Jessalyn’s relationship is strained.

But mysterious circumstances surrounding Caitlyn’s father, Sean, and her childhood friend Vonnie’s father, Eli Hale is the major source of strain within the Tierney family. After Eli was accused of murdering a Cherokee tribal elder, Sean was forced to arrest him. Like Caitlyn and Vonnie, Sean and Eli were close friends, so the arrest disturbed Sean. He argued in defense of Eli and believed firmly in his friend’s innocence. Sean’s persistence came close to costing him his job. More unfortunately however, it cost him his life. After the toll of sticking up for Eli, Sean committed suicide. Eli was convicted. And Caitlyn carried indelible scars into her future.

Now, twenty-six years later, the man Tierney holds responsible for her father’s death attempts to contact her. Eli’s youngest daughter Lena has gone missing and he begs Caitlyn to help look for her. At first, Caitlyn refuses to listen to Eli’s desperate request. Strong, unsettled memories of the past draw her into the case. Before she went missing, Lena was rooting around for evidence to verify her father’s innocence. During the unofficial manhunt, Tierney runs across a distinctive collection of clues–zoo animals, a casino, and a motorcycle club–that relate to Lena’s disappearance and her father’s strange suicide.

Before she started writing, novelist C.J. Lyons was a pediatric ER doctor. This is her second novel focused on FBI agent Caitlyn Tierney, yet it could be read easily as a stand-alone story. Lyons’ first Caitlyn Tierney novel was Hollow Bones. Black Sheep packs a surprising ending that might hoodwink even the best armchair mystery detectives.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Granville, Jackson, Lyons, C. J., Mountains, Piedmont

Katy Munger. Better Off Dead. New York: Avon Books, 2001.

Casey Jones, Triangle-based Private Investigator and (contrarily) ex-convict, is enjoying a quiet evening at home watching NC State trounce Duke at basketball. That is, until her boyfriend Burly starts haranguing the disconsolate Blue Devils fans from their Durham apartment window. With all the ruckus, Casey almost misses the knock on her door- and may come to wish she had. Her visitor is a terrified cleaning lady, who isn’t worried for herself, but for her employer- the infamous Helen Pugh McInnes. Casey knows a little about Helen: a graduate student who accused a well-respected Duke professor of rape, she lost her case and became a community pariah. Casey comes to learn that the gentle Helen has spent the year since her day in court too afraid to leave her quiet country home, terrorized by perverse phone calls and letters from her rapist, who is clearly still at large. Even venturing onto her front porch leaves her in the throes of a major panic attack. Casey knows right away that she has to help Helen, but since Helen is viewed as a liar and a loose woman, Detective Jones must tread carefully.

Her first move is to protect Helen: Casey’s boyfriend Burly, her lovable yet flabby boss, Bobby, and Bobby’s voluptuous girlfriend and paragon of Southern charm, Fanny, as well as a host of others all take up residence in Helen’s spacious, self-induced prison. Meanwhile, the thirty-something Casey applies a liberal amount of concealer and eyeshadow in order to infiltrate Duke University itself, going undercover as a non-traditional coed. But she isn’t entirely prepared for what she finds. As usual, the case is complicated by unforeseen circumstances: a wide-eyed college boy develops a crush on the gruff Casey, and for some reason it’s more difficult than usual to determine who the rapist really is. But Casey Jones always gets her man…unless this time, he gets to her first.

Readers will be glad to know that this tightly wound narrative deals sensitively with a difficult topic while still maintaining the series’ usual sense of humor. Katy Munger’s cast of misfits, cops, and strange birds is back, with some entertaining new additions. The Duke community will be pleased to note that the author issues a strong statement in the beginning as to the very fictional content of this novel. The UNC and NC State communities will be more satisfied with Duke’s (inevitable?) loss in the opening game.

Check the availability of this title in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library’s catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2001, Durham, Munger, Katy, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont

Richard Helms. Thunder Moon. Detroit, MI: Five Star, 2011.

Police Chief Judd Wheeler is a man’s man. He would like nothing better than to have a cold beer while grilling some juicy steaks, spend quality time with his smart and sassy girlfriend, and run the small town of Prosperity in Bliss County, North Carolina with a firm yet fair hand. But during the hot summers, when the air lies like a humid weight on the wilting farmland, folks get as unpredictable as heat lightning. Teenagers have idle hands, tempers shorten, and air conditioners quit at the worst possible moments. It’s nothing Chief Wheeler can’t deal with…usually.

But this summer is different. A star football player named Steve Samples is brutally hacked to death in a home he’s renting from the mayor, who happens to be Judd’s closest friend. A convicted sex offender wants to settle down and build a home, making his neighbors uneasy. Two biker gangs, the Outlaws and the Vandals, start a turf war. Alvin Cross, an itinerant preacher, blows into town and starts riling up Prosperity’s residents over all the sin in their midst, with possibly violent consequences. Worst of all, Chief Wheeler suspects that these events are somehow related, but can’t quite see how. He knows things might get clearer if he could get his hands on the good-for-nothing Ricky Chasen, a murderous young man whose name keeps coming up in ominous ways, but Chasen is as elusive as a shadow.

Will Chief Wheeler be able to keep Prosperity from dissolving into a hotbed of crime and murder? Who killed Steve Samples? What is the preacher’s  true agenda? As the summer wears on and Judd gets closer to the truth, he finds himself living in the cross hairs of a killer…or several. Find out what happens in Richard Helms’ second Judd Wheeler mystery, the explosively named and natured Thunder Moon.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Helms, Richard, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

Richard Helms. Six Mile Creek. Detroit: Five Star, 2010.

Things are changing in Prosperity, North Carolina.  Farm land is being bought up to create upscale suburban developments, and longtime residents are uneasily adjusting to new neighbors who “aren’t from around here.”  Yes, there is tension in the air.  Still, police chief Judd Wheeler and everyone else is shocked when Prosperity has its first murder in almost a decade.

When the body of a young Latina is found at Six Mile Creek, Chief Wheeler’s investigation uncovers painful things about his community.  He’s known for some time that there are racial tensions at the school, but he is dismayed to learn from his son and his girlfriend, who is a high school teacher, the ugly way that racism mixes with drug use, snobbery, and teenage sexuality.  The town fathers want the murder solved, and solved in a way that places the blame on the victim and her community.  Wheeler won’t do that, but as he investigates the girl’s relationship with some star high school athletes, more violence happens–fights in the school, a horrific assault on a Latino boy, and the beating of an Anglo football player in a high school restroom.  Are all these crimes related?  Are they all the work of high school students, or are the students pawns in games played by others in the community?  And why does the Department of Homeland Security come to town?  The multiple strands of this dark mystery come together in a satisfying conclusion.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Helms, Richard, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

John F. Saunders. The Last Spartan. Superior, WI: Savage Press, 2008.

Frank Kane is living a quiet life near Greensboro, working in a motorcycle shop, but Frank is a dangerous man. A near-death experience and time in prison put an end to his career as the chief enforcer for the Spartans motorcycle gang, but he retains the instincts and skills that made him so effective in that role. When the granddaughter of an old friend is lured into the sex trade, Frank goes to rescue her. Most of the action takes place in Atlanta, but flashbacks that fill out Frank’s character are set in North Carolina. This is the first novel in what will be a series of Frank Kane thrillers.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Guilford, Piedmont, Saunders, John F., Suspense/Thriller

Kathy Reichs. Deadly Decisions. New York: Scribner, 2000.

Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is caught in the middle of an outlaw biker gang-war in Deadly Decisions, the fourth book in Reich’s series of mysteries. While investigating the deaths of both bikers and innocents caught in their crossfire, Tempe finds a connection to a North Carolina teenager’s death in 1984. In the midst of her investigation she also has to deal with three very different men: a sleazy TV reporter who keeps hanging around, her cop boyfriend who has been arrested for dealing in drugs and stolen property, and her 19-year-old nephew who is fascinated by all things motorcycle-related.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000, 2000-2009, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Reichs, Kathy, Suspense/Thriller, Wake

J. D. Rhoades. Breaking Cover. New York: St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008.

Author J. D. Rhoades has taken a break from his Jack Keller series to create a thriller about undercover FBI agent Tony Wolf. Wolf has been on the lam (or deeply undercover) in rural North Carolina for four years. When he intervenes to rescue two boys from a kidnapper, his cover is blown. For Wolf, it becomes a case of “no good deed goes unpunished” as a biker gang he double-crossed and his old colleagues come after him to get some answers and to settle scores.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Rhoades, J.D., Suspense/Thriller