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Excerpt from COLD BLOODED by Toni Anderson

A journalist searching for the truth about her best friend's death—and the FBI agent who needs her to stop.


A journalist searching for the truth about her best friend's death—and the FBI agent who needs her to stop.

Disgraced investigative journalist Pip West is devastated when she discovers her best friend's body face-down in a tranquil lake. When cops and federal agents determine that her friend overdosed then drowned, Pip knows they're mistaken and intends to prove it.

Special Agent Hunt Kincaid doesn't trust journalists and has no patience for Pip's delusions, especially since her meddling could reveal why the FBI is interested in her friend's last days. The dead scientist worked at the cutting edge of vaccine research and might have a connection to a new, weaponized, vaccine-resistant anthrax strain that just hit the black market.

Pip is thrown off her game by grief and her unexpected attraction to the handsome federal agent. Hunt battles the same unwelcome pull, determined to resist the heat that threatens to consume them both. But the more Pip digs, the closer she gets to both the sexy FBI agent, and to a bioweapons terrorist who's more than capable of cold-bloodedly sacrificing anyone who gets in his way.

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In the author's words . . .

One of the things I both love and hate about this story is that it feels like it could happen. It terrifies me!

Enjoy a sneak peek from COLD BLOODED

by Toni Anderson

A COP IN PLAINCLOTHES came over and introduced himself. Detective Lance Howell. They shook hands. Hunt had spoken to him on the phone.

“What do you have?” asked Hunt.

“Twenty-eight-year-old female, name of Cindy Resnick, found dead in the water. Suspected drug overdose. Friend,” Howell nodded to the dark-haired woman down by the water, “Pippa West, claims she arrived from out of town and found the vic lying face down in the water at 9:05 AM when she immediately called 911. Paramedics found West doing CPR when they arrived an hour later. Vic was already dead.”

It was now noon and these people had been waiting all morning for him to arrive, which would make him the least popular man at the party.

“Vic was naked?” Hunt eyed the pale body against the dark earth.

The detective nodded. “Some minor bruising on the arms but not enough to clearly indicate trauma.” The detective’s eyes held no sympathy, only annoyance this was taking up so much of his time.

“Next of kin been informed?”

“According to Ms. West the vic didn’t have any living family. We’re looking into it.” Howell rested his hands on his belt. He wore a denim shirt and faded jeans and made Hunt feel stuffy and overdressed.

“Photographer’s in the cottage, she already took shots of the body. Frankly, we don’t usually put much effort into cases like this but when the FBI said they wanted to get involved…”

The man wanted to know what was going on. Hunt wished he could tell him.

The heat was stifling in the midday sun so Hunt took off his jacket. He opened the car door and hung it over the back of the seat. Felt eyeballs on him and turned to find the woman who’d discovered the body, watching him intently, clearly trying to overhear what he and the detective said.

She didn’t look away when he caught her staring. Oval face with brown-black eyes and hair the deep, blue-black of a clear night sky. Her eyes were intelligent—weighing and measuring everything from his badge to the detective’s sour expression.

Another scientist?

The ME rolled the vic onto her side and the woman’s gaze darted back to her friend, looking anguished. “What makes you so sure she ODed?” asked Hunt.

The detective grunted. “Found traces of white powder on the glass table inside.”

White powder… Ah, crap.

The detective would have run a color test that indicated the possible presence of cocaine. That didn’t mean it was cocaine. And even if it was cocaine, it didn’t mean it was just cocaine.

“Looks like someone had a few drinks and did a few lines. She might not have ODed,” the detective conceded with his exaggerated Georgia twang. “She might have gotten high and decided it was a good idea to go skinny-dipping and drowned. But it’s still drug related, and it still frustrates the hell outta me.” His shoulders pulled back, high and tight.

But it might be more than just a drug thing. Cindy Resnick’s death might be connected to the attempted sale of a bioweapon to international terrorists.

A light breeze rustled the leaves on the nearby trees. Thoughts of anthrax spores floating invisible on the air had Hunt glancing uneasily in the direction of the cottage. The ache in his arm from the vaccination he’d been given at the CDC earlier suddenly didn’t hurt so bad.

Each person who’d attended the scene was gonna need to be vaccinated as a precaution, including the civilian—although if McKenzie and Frazer were to be believed, the current vaccine might not work on this particular strain of the deadly bacteria.

Hunt eyed the friend. Something told him she was going to be trouble. She reached up and touched the deputy’s hand and the guy practically preened under her attention. Yep. Serious trouble.

End of Excerpt

Copyright © by Toni Anderson

COLD BLOODED released June 12, 2018.

Meet the Author

TONI ANDERSON is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, RITA® nominee, science nerd, professional tourist, dog lover, gardener, mom. Originally from a small town in England, Toni studied Marine Biology at University of Liverpool (B.Sc.) and University of St. Andrews (Ph.D.) with the intention she’d never be far from the ocean. Well, that plan backfired and she ended up in the Canadian prairies with her biology professor husband, two kids, a rescue dog, and two laid-back leopard geckos. Toni's greatest achievements are mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving fourteen Winnipeg winters. She loves to travel for research purposes and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2016, and she also got to shove another car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy in Wisconsin. Watch out world!

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Cold Blooded by Toni Anderson

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Type: Novel

Heat Level: 5

Language Level: 4

Violence Level: 3

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