Battle Not With Monsters (A Neen Ford Thriller #1) by Overton Scott
Published: 8th March 2014 by Carina Press
Neen Ford is a loner, drifting from town to town, working as a security guard and teaching martial arts. One hot night in Dallas, she witnesses the brutal murder of a Ukranian prostitute and becomes the killer’s next target. Neen’s never backed down from a fight, but she’s never tangled with a human trafficking ring before. Until now.
Naïve young women are being trafficked into the United States by Russian criminals. Someone needs to help them. The police are trying, but they’re not moving fast enough for Neen, who is now being stalked by a man who enjoys inflicting pain.
How far will Neen go to save herself? How far, to save three young women from a life of fear and despair? And what price will she pay for battling the monster? There’s a thin line between hero and vigilante – will she cross it?
Keegan leaned away from her, sitting back in his chair and combing his fingers through his beard. It was a reflexive action, one he must have made many times as he pondered the ethics of a particularly troubling action. He kept his eyes on Neen. After a long silence, he spoke.
“Why do you want to help them?”
“This guy killed a woman. He tried to kill me. I think he should be someplace where the only company he keeps is male.”
“Why not let the police handle this?”
“I would, if I thought they’d find the guy and put him away and send his girls back to wherever they came from. But I don’t get a sense that they’re going to do that quickly enough. Every day of delay means another day innocent victims are abused, maybe even killed. And every day is another day I have to keep looking over my shoulder.”
Keegan steepled his fingers and rested his chin on them. “Let’s say there is a woman. What do you expect to gain from talking to her?”
“If she has been trafficked into this country, then she’ll know something. Where she worked. Where other girls like her work. Where the girls were kept. That would be enough to start.”
“You know that there’s more than one of these outfits in operation in our country. The woman-” He paused. “The theoretical woman might have been brought to the U.S. by someone else. Not the guy who’s after you.”
“Would it be a terrible thing if this other guy got caught?”
“Of course not. I’m just pointing out that you may still have a murderer on your trail when all is said and done.”
Neen shrugged. “I’ll find him eventually. I’m not letting this thing go until he’s out of business. He shouldn’t have messed with me. Now he’s going to pay the price.”
“Is that what this is about? Some kind of revenge thing?”
“I want him off the street.”
Keegan put his clasped hands on the desk and studied them thoughtfully. “Will you give me a minute, Justine?”
“If you’d just wait outside, I’d be obliged.”
She went out into the hallway. The priest shut the door of his office behind her. Neen studied the pictures on the wall. They all had a religious theme. She recognized many of them. Her dad had been a stickler for church every Sunday, even if he didn’t always abide by the rules Monday through Saturday. On the wall before her, the Good Samaritan placed a cool hand on the traveler’s brow. A king forgave the ten thousand talent debt owed by his servant. A woman with an alabaster jar knelt over Jesus’s feet, washing them tenderly. A faint susurration from the air conditioning vents whispered around Neen. It was cool and quiet here, like a refuge. From behind the closed door, she thought she heard a voice, faint and imploring. She walked further down the hall. Looked at more pictures. Had a drink of water in the kitchen. Rinsed her glass and put it in the dishwasher. Wandered back down the hall.
The door to the priest’s office opened. Keegan did not meet her gaze. He retreated behind his desk and stood facing her, his hands folded at his waist.
“I’ve been praying,” he said.
“Did you get an answer?”
“Yeah. You’re it.”
Author Bio - Overton Scott
Overton Scott is the pseudonym of a national bestselling author. Overton is interested in a lot of themes covered in the Neen Ford stories: martial arts, the warrior ethos, personal responsibility, and the concept of justice. Like Neen, Overton doesn’t think that the guilty should escape punishment on this earth. Unlike Neen, Overton prefers to write stories rather than take the law into his own hands. It’s just as morally satisfying, but less dangerous.
As you are reading this, Overton should be working on the next Neen Ford adventure. But he’s probably at the gym, shooting or wasting time looking at funny pictures on the internet. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’d like to discuss any aspect of the Neen Ford stories.
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