Creating an entertaining novel is a thrill and a mystery: who are these characters fighting for their lives and fighting to save lives?
Book 5 in the Tom Stone Detective Series is unnamed as of this writing, but we’re discovering what happened on this ill-fated voyage of a narcotics submarine, known as a narco-sub.
These self-propelled craft sail just below the ocean’s surface and the number of them is expected to grow steadily as drug cartels from Mexico and South America transport cocaine, fetanyl and other narcotics to markets in the United States and Western Europe.
We write more in-depth in the post Chasing the Drug Smuggling Narco-subs.
In this upcoming thriller novel we look closely at a man from a village in Baja California who, with his son, was given a deal he couldn’t refuse to set sail on this sub. Luis Delgado and his son, Eddie, were fishermen and they struggled to make a living. They’re given a deal they can’t refuse and are told to board the sub and help on one trip, but tragedy and mayhem strike during a battle between rival cartels.
Luis Delgado survives gunfire and an explosion in the Channel Islands off Ventura County. He swims and floats exhausted to Malibu’s El Matador Beach. As he’s recovering in the hospital he finds himself under the watchful eye of Detective Tom Stone, Jake and other characters you’ll recognize from the earlier stories. Delgado knows very little but he’s the only surviving member of this drug smuggling operation.
How it all will play out, we’re still discovering and we’ll definitely keep you updated.
Stay on top of this crazy world in our Tom Stone Reading Group then scroll below our book covers to read an excerpt from novel 5.
EXCERPT NOVEL 5 in the DETECTIVE TOM STONE SERIES
The only survivor was clinging to consciousness when he was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center in West LA and kept under close supervision. Stone and Jake waited for the doctor’s okay to question the man. The next day, they battled traffic and made it to the facility. The man only spoke Spanish and the Department provided an interpreter. When Stone and Jake entered his room, the bed was propped up part way and his eyes fluttered closed and then open. A nasal cannula allowed him to breathe easily while he was attached to an IV drip line. The blood pressure and pulse meters showed a normal range.
He looked up at the ceiling. Stone noticed how the man’s mustache accentuated the lines that were etched into his face. Another man sat in a chair by the bed and Stone showed his badge. “Detective Tom Stone.”
Jake flashed his badge. “Detective Jake Sharpe.”
“I’m Rafael Gueverra, the interpreter.”
Stone settled near the head of the bed. He and Jake knew nothing about the man except for his name. Luis Delgado. They had to take his word since he had no identification. No money. Nothing. He had slept for hours after arriving at the room and hadn’t given an official account to anyone. Doctors sutured a gash along his ribs, made sure he was hydrated, and kept him stable.
The vulnerability of his situation touched Stone who was tempted to brand him as a drug runner since the containers tested positive for cocaine. But he wanted to let the man speak for himself and slowly bring all the pieces of the puzzle together.
“Mr. Delgado,” Stone began, “I’m Detective Tom Stone and I work with the Los Angeles Police Department. Looks like you had some trouble in the ocean. Can you tell me what happened?”
` The translator relayed the message as Luis Delgado listened and then turned to face Stone and nodded. His face was somber.
“We’d like your help,” said Stone.
Delgado’s eyes were vacant while he mumbled in Spanish, still very weak.
The interpreter told Stone and Jake, “He says he is nothing. Nobody.”
Jake addressed the man softly. “What do you mean that you’re nobody?”
The interpreter relayed the question and Mr. Delgado looked at the ceiling. “I’m cursed.”
“Tell us about the boat you were on,” said Stone.
“I didn’t want to be on it,” came the reply.
“Then why were you on it?”
“A gun was pointed in my face and I was told I had to go.”
“Who said you had to go?” Jake perched near the window.
Luis Delgado closed his eyes and took a breath. “I don’t know.” He squinted and put a hand against his head. “They forced me and my son.”
Stone took a respectful pause. “Your son?”
“Yes.” Delgado looked to Stone and Jake with concern. “Do you know where he is?”
Luis Delgado was the only known survivor.
Join in the chase in this detective thriller series. Here are links to each of the Tom Stone novels on Amazon or read about them on our crime fiction books page. Each one is stand-alone.
Book 3 Tom Stone: Day of the Dead