A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, August 6, 2014



The Eyes Die Last

by Teri Riggs



The Las Vegas Mayoral race is heating up, and the incumbent doesn’t have a prayer. Wealthy real estate speculator Nick Campenelli, who wants to legalize prostitution in Clark County, and former pastor Louis St. Louis, running on a 'clean-up-Vegas-by-getting-rid-of-the-whores' platform, are the front runners.

They’re also front runners on the suspect list for a string of murders. Kennedy O’Brien, four-year detective with cop blood running in her veins, and her partner Wilder “Wild Thing” James, a veteran, are determined to find the man who’s murdering prostitutes who work the wrong side of the street, and they don’t care how important or politically active he is.

The killer is a man with a mission. He stalks the women before he kills them, leaving a “BEFORE” photo on their bodies, and sending an “AFTER” shot to the local news hound. Ed Hershey, an aging newscaster with just the right amount of grey in his hair, is determined to turn this story into a network gig, and his interference, along with the LVTVS legal team, are making Kennedy and Wilder look bad. Campenelli’s good looks and charm, and St. Louis’ vitriolic hatred of prostitutes are muddying the waters too, and now the killer seems to have taken a liking to Kennedy.

So the big question remains. Can she get him before he gets her?



Nick, leaning against a marble pillar with his arms crossed, observed the detective as she took in the view. He tried to figure out what was going on in that beautiful head of hers.

She was stunning. Her hair, a rich sable color, fell just below her shoulders. Long, dark lashes surrounded rare blue-violet eyes. Her lips were full and softly sculpted. She was tall and lithe, and when she moved, he got a glimpse of the soft, womanly curves hidden beneath her jacket. She wrapped her arms around her waist.

Was that a little shiver?

She tilted her head back and took a deep breath, and then let it out with a long sigh.

Are you chilled, Detective? I can get you a wrap.”

She turned and snarled. “I just lost my balance for a second. You shouldn’t sneak up on a person like that. You’re lucky I didn’t shoot you.” She didn’t give him a chance to respond. “Why in the hell would anyone want an office way up here anyway?”

He found the slight Irish cadence that had slipped into her voice, very, very sexy. “For the view of course. I’ve caught you admiring it. Or was the sigh for me?”

Don’t flatter yourself, Slick. Not that it’s any of your business, but that was an attempt to keep my morning coffee down. The ride up could make a bird nauseous.”

Not fond of heights, I take it. Too bad. Being at the top gives a person a much clearer picture of everything.” He stepped forward and stood side by side, shoulder to shoulder with her, enjoying the view himself. “Can you honestly deny how great the view is from here?”

Being this high up makes my heart pound and knees weak. I feel so woozy I could hurl. But strangely enough, I can’t help but look.” Her voice softened. “It’s a really spectacular view.”

Nick could tell the minute Kennedy realized what she’d said. She turned to face him, looking totally mortified. Her eyes narrowed and her body stiffened.

I’m glad you enjoy it, Detective. Give yourself a few minutes and the weak knees and the urge to hurl, as you so delicately put it, will go away. Then you can relax and enjoy the panorama.”

Sorry, I don’t have the time to stand around getting off on scenery. And I sure as hell don’t have time to worry about whether or not I speak delicately. I have a few more questions I need you to answer.” Her voice had regained its hard edge.

No problem, Detective. Let’s move over to my desk, or the couch. Whichever you’d feel more comfortable at.”

Your desk will be fine. This shouldn’t take long, Mr. Campenelli.”

Please, call me Nick.” He led her over to his desk and offered her a chair across from his own.

Mr. Campenelli—”

Nick, please,” he interrupted.

I’m not here to make nice, Mr. Campenelli. I’d like for you to tell me about the photos of prostitutes you have plastered on the break room wall at your campaign headquarters. Can you explain what that’s all about?”

He felt the beginnings of anger snake up his spine, then take root at the base of his skull. “I see you’ve been talking to Ed Hershey. He asked me the same question and I told him to go to hell as it was none of his business. I assume since you’re wearing that nice shiny badge, I wouldn’t get away with giving you the same explanation.”

You assume right.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Teri Riggs was destined to be a writer. As a small girl she didn’t read bedtime stories, she made up her own. Who needed Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs when there were so many great tales bouncing around in her head? When she grew up and became a mother to three little girls, she continued the tradition of making up bedtime stories. On the occasions she chose to tell conventional fairytales, Teri usually gave them a bit of tweaking here and there or added a new ending. Her girls loved it.

After her daughters had the nerve to actually grow up and leave home, Teri discovered she had a passion for writing and jumped right in. It came as no surprise she chose to write mysteries and happily-ever-after’s since that’s the genres she loves to read.

Teri lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, one of her daughters and two dogs that seem to think they rule the world. And some days Teri thinks maybe they do.

Teri still frequently tells herself stories as she falls asleep. The only difference now is she wakes up the next morning and turns her bedtime stories into books.

Twitter: @TeriLRiggs

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The Eyes Die LastThe Eyes Die Last by Teri Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Eyes Die Last by Teri Riggs is a 2011 Amazon Digital Services publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

“ Before turning to leave he took a lingering last look at her body. Her eyes, frozen in death, stared blankly up at him. Could she still see him? Strangely fascinated, he leaned in to closer look, ' I'll be damned', he said. 'The eyes die last'.

Prostitutes get murdered all the time ...who cares? That's pretty much the consensus. But, when one, then two, then three get murdered, well, the not only are the cops interested but the media too.

The hot Las Vegas heat compounds an investigation into the death of a prostitute. Kennedy comes from a long line of cops and her partner Wilder “Wild Thing” James is veteran on the force. This killer is intent on drawing attention to himself by taking “before and after” photos, proving he had planned out the murders by first stalking the victims.
With a heated mayoral race going on and a bitter newspaper journalist thrown into the mix and more victims piling up, Las Vegas has just about reached it's boiling point.

This good old fashioned police procedural puts me in mind of the thrillers I grew up reading and the cop shows I loved to watch in the 1990's. The dialogue is even a little old school and the story is pretty much straight to the point with personal lives of the detectives kept at a low key and the focus squarely on the investigation, not that there isn't just a little romance going on, it's just not the focal point. This is not romantic suspense.
I love these types of no nonsense thrillers that do not rely upon shootouts, explosions and other bells and whistles to capture the readers attention. I felt like I was along for the ride as Kennedy and Wilder search for the killer. Ed Hershey is out for a story that will put him back in the spotlight after he covered a murder investigation a few years back and had really enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame. So, he has decided to insinuate himself into the investigation, much to Kennedy's annoyance.

But, these murders couldn't have come at a worse time, as the legalization of prostitution is a heated debate in the mayoral campaign, with one candidate for it and the other vehemently opposed.
Anytime a prostitute is murdered the list of suspects could be long, but in this case some of the suspects are rather notable citizens of Las Vegas.

While the murders are solved by using old fashioned police work, and healthy dose of luck, there is just the fainted touch of paranormal elements in the really vivid dreams Kennedy has from time to time. These dreams feel like a warning or a premonition is some ways. The banter between Kennedy and Wilder is hilarious and real, which I enjoyed. Real people don't walk around throwing out brilliant, zany, and sarcastic remarks like we see in the movies or on TV. ( if they do, we usually don't find it all that charming and it evokes an eye roll) This made the characters seem more real to me and therefore easier to relate to.
Now, if you read procedural novels you will not be disappointed. There may be some serious crime readers that will find the story formulaic or predictable and they would make a valid point. But, to me there are not enough of these types of stories out there right now.
This one gets four stars.


  1. If I didn't already want to read this book, I would definitely want to after reading your review. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the review!


  3. Great review, thank you.


  4. Thanks for hosting The Eyes Die Last and for the great review! A special thanks to everyone who stopped by and left comments.

  5. What a great review. I love the excerpt. Definitely a must read.


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