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Five Knives by D.F. Bailey Book Tour and Giveaway :)
Will Finch Mystery Thriller Prequel
KNIVES welds the intensity of Jack Bauer’s “24” to the
scorching heat of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST.
author is a great talent.” — Aaron C. Brown, Amazon Top 1000
a man plummets to his death from an apartment tower, Will Finch’s
shock soon becomes a nightmare. As he studies the open windows above
the corpse, Finch notices a lamp blinking erratically behind a drawn
curtain on the eleventh floor.
he investigates the distress signal, Finch discovers a woman
handcuffed to a bedpost. Over the following week, he uncovers a
conspiracy that ties the murder to a series of bombshells. The
victim’s bankruptcy. A global stock fraud. A murder spree that
began in Baghdad and is now haunting the citizens of San Francisco.
Is this the work of a serial killer, a copycat — or both?
before he can file his report for The San Francisco Post, Finch’s
leads evaporate. Within days, three victims are dead. Does a pattern
of five knife wounds provide a clue? Can he unravel the mystery
before he — and his fiancée — are caught up in the web of
Knives is the prequel thriller in the Will Finch crime series — a
novel that opens on the first day of Will Finch’s journalism
career. Everything that Finch learns about crime reporting begins
with Five Knives.
Finch saw the corpse less than a minute after he heard the horrible
noise. He never imagined that death could sound so leaden. And yet,
so wet. The punch of a heavy body splatting onto flat concrete. A
splash punctuated by a gasp. Then a faint wheeze as the lungs
released a final breath into the city night. At
first, he couldn’t see the body. Four people stood on the sidewalk
blocking his view. Their heads tipped down at an angle as they
absorbed the catastrophe that sprawled next to their feet. “What
happened?” Finch pushed forward and stepped around the blonde girl.
She held a hand to her mouth and let out a cry. “I
don’t know.” The boy next to her glanced at the building above
them. “He fell,” he offered with a stony expression. Finch
studied them a moment. Two couples in their midteens, white, vibrant,
all well-bred and dressed for dinner at an upscale restaurant in
nearby Jackson Square. Probably making their way down to the
Embarcadero where they could catch a street car or train back to
their suburban homes. He checked his watch. 11:18. These kids were
probably trying to beat their midnight curfews.
now he observed the change coming over them. The reality seeping in.
One by one, the cold hand of death caressed their faces and forced
them to look again at the bloody pulp on the ground. Turn
and watch. This is what I can do. “Did
you see him fall?” Finch studied their shocked expressions. Two
girls and two boys, standing stock-still. They all shrugged and
glanced away from the corpse. One of the boys lurched to the sidewalk
curb and vomited into the gutter. “Yeah.
I did.” The blonde rubbed a hand over her mouth, her trance now
broken. “Just in the last second.” “Do
you have a phone?” “What?”
She glanced at him for the first time. Her eyes swept over his face
as if she were memorizing the features of his eyes, nose, mouth. “To
call 9-1-1.” Her
look suggested some uncertainty. Then she rummaged through a small
purse that hung from her shoulder by a chain strap. “Here.”
She offered Finch her Nokia. He
made a mental note of her number on the flash screen, then placed the
call. The dispatcher advised him that a response team would be by as
soon as possible. Meanwhile, he should remain on the line and not
leave the scene. As he waited, he leaned his buttocks on the door of
a parked car, pressed his ear to
the cellphone and stared at the building. He counted fourteen stories
which rose above the Bank of America outlet on the corner of Stockton
and Washington Streets. He tried to determine how many apartments had
open windows. Maybe six. His eyes swept from room to room, scanned
for fluttering curtains or someone above who might be peering back at
him. Nothing. Then
he detected something unusual. Behind the curtains in an apartment on
the eleventh floor a lamp clicked on, then off. On and off. As the
pattern continued Finch tried to time the periods of each interval.
Five seconds, seven, ten. Then the apartment blinked into darkness.
And lit up again. Finch
made another calculation: the intermittent flashes came from the
sixth window along the left side of the building. He guessed that
each apartment had two windows facing the street. The third apartment
in from the north side on the eleventh floor had one window open, one
closed. The room behind the closed window was the source of the
took the phone from his ear and passed it to the blonde. “What’s
“Alice.” “Alice?” “Winkler,”
she added. “All
right, Alice. My name’s Will Finch. The 9-1-1 dispatch said someone
should be here soon. They want you to stay here and stay on the
line.” He gave her a serious look. “Now I think I saw something
up there, so I'm going to see what happened.” “Okay.”
She said this as if she were making a polite concession and then held
the phone to her ear and nodded. She turned to her friends. Both were
tending to the boy who’d lost his dinner. Will
walked along Washington Street past the bank and approached the glass
doors that led into the apartment building. He tugged on the handles.
Both doors were locked. He stepped to the curb and turned his
attention back to Alice and her friends. Three pedestrians had come
to their aid, and then an
couple coaxing a Shiatsu on a leash paused to provide more support.
Another minute passed, and Finch saw a couple approaching the
apartment doorway from the interior elevator bay. He stepped up to
the door. When it opened, he smiled at the two women strolling past
him and said, “Thanks. I don’t seem
to have a key.” He
rode the elevator alone up to the eleventh floor and wondered if he’d
counted everything correctly. The car door opened onto a hallway
illuminated by covered fluorescent ceiling lights. The carpets bore a
floral pattern of braided roses that stretched from one end of the
empty corridor to the other. As he eased toward the north side of the
tower, he detected the flat odors of fried food. Years of fried
chicken and beef dinners had added their heavy flavors to the stale
air. He guessed that the building was about thirty years old. Perhaps
it had once been an impressive residential tower, but years of wear
and disrepair had tarnished its pedigree. He
stepped along the passageway counting off the numbers on the
street-side apartments. 1110, 1108, 1106. He approached 1104, the
third door from the end of the hallway. Like all the others, it was
closed. He knocked once, twice — and again.
He pressed an ear to the wood panel. From the apartment’s interior,
he could make out a quiet mewling. The sound of a puppy whimpering?
In the distance, he heard the wail of approaching sirens. He
hesitated for a moment and wondered what he was doing. What business
is it of yours? Good question, he decided and made a bargain with
himself. He would try the door handle, and if it were locked, he’d
go back to the street and tell the emergency responders what he’d
discovered. On the other
if the door were unlocked, he’d go in. He turned the handle. The
stepped onto the beige carpet and closed the door behind him. He
paused a moment to assure himself that he was making the right move.
Who could know? The apartment appeared to have a standard one-bedroom
layout. To his right stood a galley kitchen with an eating nook that
faced into the living room. On the left, a bathroom. Adjacent to the
bathroom a closed door — which Finch assumed led into the bedroom. Directly
in front of him, he could see the living room window had been pulled
open. The sheer drapes, drawn tight to the side window frames, lofted
slightly in the breeze coming off the bay. Finch sniffed the air. It
smelled fresh, full of life. He heard the emergency vehicles stop on
the street as the blare from
their sirens wound down. The whimpering noise he’d heard from the
corridor was detectable again. He
walked to the open window and stood to the left of the window frame.
From there he peered onto the street. Directly below him lay the
corpse, which from eleven floors up, appeared to be little more than
a sack of flattened pulp leaking a dark stream of blood that slipped
toward the curb. A crowd of fifteen
or twenty people made way for the ambulance crew. A fire truck
pulled up behind the ambulance. One of the attendants approached
Alice, who still held the phone to her ear.
began to talk and she slipped the phone into a pocket. Her friends
moved to the corner across the street. One of the boys waved to her,
a gesture to let her know they were still present, if not at her
trucks left their flashers on alert. The silence surprised Finch, and
for a moment he tried to grasp the conversation of the ambulance
crew as they attended to the body. He could make out a few words,
some standard commands, he guessed, but no complete sentences. Then
he heard the mewling again. He turned from the window and approached
the bedroom door. “Hello?”
He tapped the door panel with a knuckle and said, “There’s been
an accident. I’m here to check on you.”
whimpering now turned into something more human. A
gasp of surprise. “What?
See-See, is that you?” A woman’s voice, rigid with fear. Finch
eased the door open. The bedroom was half the size of the living
room. The curtains were pulled tight across the window. With her left
hand, the woman clutched the bedpost opposite the door. Her left leg
was poised on the floor as if she was about to stand. The right calf
was curled under her thigh and
resting on the bed. She wore a bra and panties. Nothing else. Her
almond-blonde hair was disheveled. It appeared as if she’d just
showered but hadn’t had time to dry and brush her hair. From where
he stood Will thought that she could be leaning on the post to
support herself. “Jeez.
Who are you?” Her
question came out with another whimper. Finch felt confident she was
the source of the cries he’d heard from the hall.
you need some help?” “Help?”
A startled frown crossed her face, then a rising awareness that
something had changed. “Get me that key,” she demanded and shook
her wrist against the bedpost. She flicked her free hand toward the
bureau in the corner.
now saw the handcuff that clamped her left wrist to the post. He
moved to the bureau and examined a standard handcuff key that sat in
a glass ashtray on top of the bureau. Will almost picked up the key,
then thought again. He turned to face her.
busted you?” “Busted
me?” A flash of panic gripped her face. “No one busted me. This
is all a setup for some psycho with a rape fantasy.” A
stick lamp stood on the bedside table next to her. He assumed that
she’d been able to reach the light with her free hand.
that you clicking the lamp on and off?” “Yes,
damn it!” Her panic shifted to exasperation. “Now get the key so
we can both get out of here before it’s too late.”
tipped her head back toward the bureau. “Before
we both get thrown out the fucking window!” The
panic in her voice sent a chill through him and he knew he had to
take her seriously. At the same time, his doubts and uncertainties
multiplied. He didn’t understand what was going on. Not half of it.
But he had to make a decision. Will grabbed the key from the ashtray
and approached the woman. “What’s
She shifted her right leg off the bed. “Jojo
look — I don’t need the attitude.” He examined the key and the
handcuff fastened to the bedpost. It took a moment to determine how
they fit together.
right. Just unlock me,” she pleaded with another gasp of
unlocked the cuff from the post and took it in his left hand. “What
are you doing?”
noticed that she had two script tattoos on her forearms. One read
The other, Love
Now. “Where are your clothes?” “In
the bathroom.” He
locked the free cuff around his right wrist and slipped the key into
the half pocket in his jeans. “Okay, let’s get you dressed.” “What
the fu—” “Come
on.” He yanked on the cuff and pulled her toward the bathroom.
“Let’s get going before it’s too late.”
Amazon bestselling author, D.F. Bailey is a W.H. Smith First Novel
Award and a Whistler Independent Book Award finalist.
2015 D.F. Bailey published The Finch Trilogy — Bone Maker, Stone
Eater, and Lone Hunter — three novels narrated from the
point-of-view of a crime reporter in San Francisco. Second Life
(2017) is the first in a series of stand-alone books that follows the
characters established in the trilogy. The series prequel, Five
Knives, came out in 2018.
first novel, Fire Eyes, was optioned for film. His second novel,
Healing the Dead, was translated into German as Todliche Ahnungen.
The Good Lie, another psychological thriller, was recorded as an
audiobook. A fourth novel, Exit from America, made its debut as an
e-book in 2013.
his birth in Montreal, D.F. Bailey's family moved around North
America from rural Ontario to New York City to McComb, Mississippi to
Cape May, New Jersey. He finally "landed on his feet" on
Vancouver Island — where he lives next to the Salish Sea in the
city of Victoria.
twenty-two years D.F. Bailey worked at the University of Victoria
where he taught creative writing and journalism and coordinated the
Professional Writing Cooperative Education Program — which he
co-founded. From time to time he also freelanced as a business writer
and journalist. In the fall of 2010 he left the university so that he
could turn "his pre-occupation with writing into a full-blown
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