Twisted, p.1
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       Twisted, p.1

         Part #1 of Burbank and Parker series by Andrea Kane
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  Andrea Kane


  For Rascal, with all my love.

  And to Rhonda, with thanks for being there

  during a time of insurmountable grief,

  for offering me a unique depth of understanding,

  honesty, and compassion, and for being a kindred spirit—

  one I’m proud to call my friend.


  Definitions of Acronyms and Terms

  Chapter One

  She was a true warrior.

  Chapter Two

  Finally. She’s awake.

  Chapter Three

  Where am I?

  Chapter Four

  I crave my time in this room.

  Chapter Five

  I enjoyed my customary cup of Earl Grey tea and…

  Chapter Six

  He’s crazy.

  Chapter Seven

  Four-ten. It was 4:10.

  Chapter Eight

  I saw her today. She’s a true goddess, the epitome…

  Chapter Nine

  Peace. After last night, I deserve it.

  Chapter Ten

  I’m losing.

  Chapter Eleven

  I had to leave work and come home to check…

  Chapter Twelve

  My plan would make the gods proud.

  Chapter Thirteen

  I was elated with the breakthrough Hera had made with…

  Chapter Fourteen

  There she was. The goddess of fortune, prosperity, and luck.

  Chapter Fifteen

  Spring. The season of birth and new beginnings.

  Chapter Sixteen

  How fitting that my most coveted prize is turning out…

  Chapter Seventeen

  She’s rounding the southern corner of Lake Ceva. I can…

  Chapter Eighteen

  The demons have been howling all night.

  Chapter Nineteen

  I thought I had Gaia under control. I don’t.

  Chapter Twenty

  Nightmares. Sweat. Flashes of Tyche, dying by my hand. Glimpses…

  Chapter Twenty-One

  She walked right by me, eyes glazed, pupils as wide…

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  I wasn’t going to make the same mistake as last…

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  At last. Her bedroom.

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  I’d made a fine selection. The right goddess to replace…

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  The weekend was a total success. I was brilliant. The…

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  The anointment room has been scoured and readied.

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  This drive never ceases to take my breath away.

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  I have to admit I admire Artemis’s hounds. They wanted…

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  She looks so peaceful on that bed, so utterly right…

  Chapter Thirty

  Consciousness returned in painful waves as she averted her face…

  Chapter Thirty-One

  They were out of time.

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  I’m so very proud of Artemis.

  Chapter Thirty-Three

  I thought Artemis might enjoy having dinner with me. Not…


  About the Author

  Other Books by Andrea Kane



  About the Publisher


  Please refer to the accompanying chart for information on how groups and resources mentioned in this book interrelate.

  ADIC Assistant Director in Charge: Of the fifty-six FBI field offices nationwide, only the three largest are headed up by ADICs. Those are the New York, Los Angeles, and Washington field offices. Each of the remaining field offices is headed up by a SAC (Special Agent in Charge).

  BAU Behavioral Analysis Unit: One of the three components of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes (NCAVC), the BAU provides behavioral-based investigative and operational support through case experience, research, and training to complex and time-sensitive crimes, usually involving acts or threats of violence.

  CE Criminal Enterprise: A group of individuals with an identified hierarchy, or comparable structure, engaged in criminal activity similar to the infamous organized-crime groups. The New York field office squad that deals with Asian Criminal Enterprise is designated C-6. C-6 is, in fact, a task force, including members both of the FBI and of the NYPD.

  CCTV Closed Circuit Television: utilized for surveillance.

  CIRG Critical Incident Response Group: facilitates the FBI’s rapid response to, and the management of, crisis situations. Contains three main branches: (1) Operations Support Branch, (2) Tactical Support Branch (Hostage Rescue Team, or HRT, and Crisis Negotiation Unit, or CNU, are components of this CIRG branch), and (3) National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (BAU is a component of this CIRG branch).

  CNT Crisis Negotiation Team: the specific team members, trained by the CNU, and located at individual field offices, who handle crisis negotiations in their respective territories.

  CNU Crisis Negotiation Unit: an integral part of the Operations Support Branch of CIRG. The CNU is responsible for the Crisis (Hostage) Negotiation Program, including operations, training, research, and program management.

  CODIS Combined DNA Index System: allows federal, state, and local crime labs to exchange, share, and compare DNA profiles electronically, linking crimes to one another and to convicted offenders.

  Dai Lo “Elder Brother”: a Cantonese term referring to the gang leader. The term is accepted by all Asian gangs, regardless of which dialect is spoken by their members.

  Enhanced SWAT: Of the fifty-six FBI field offices, nine have enhanced SWAT teams. Those enhanced teams are larger in number than the regular SWAT teams, and have more extensive tactical equipment. They are also the immediate backup to HRT (Hostage Rescue Team—the third branch of CIRG [the Tactical Support Branch]—which is the full-time national-level tactical team based in Quantico, Virginia).

  ERT Evidence Response Team: special agents who collect, identify, manage, and preserve crime-scene evidence. (Note: ERT is the federal counterpart of [and sometimes coordinates their efforts with] local Crime Scene Investigation [CSI] Units.) There are ERT members in each of the FBI’s fifty-six field offices.

  ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

  M.E. Medical Examiner.

  NCAVC National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes: This branch of CIRG combines investigative and operational support functions, research, and training to assist federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies investigating unusual or repetitive violent crimes.

  NSA National Security Agency.

  OPA Office of Public Affairs: Located at FBI headquarters, OPA is the office that supplies the media with up-to-the-minute access to breaking news, vital information, latest press releases, stories, congressional testimony and speeches, etc.

  RA Resident Agencies: Smaller satellite branches of each field office, responsible for a portion of the field office’s territory. For example, the Newark Field Office (in New Jersey) has five RAs in its jurisdiction: Atlantic City, Franklin Township, Garret Mountain, Trenton, and Red Bank.

  ROTC Reserve Officer Training Corps: college-based, officer commissioning program for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces (with the exception of the Coast Guard).

  RTCC Real Time Crime Center (NYPD): conducts rapid analysis of citywide crime to provide a real-time assessment of emerging crime, crime patterns, and emerging criminal suspects citywide. Originally just for homicides and shootings, now expanded to include
other major crimes.

  SA Special Agent: Trainees who complete the intensive twenty-one-week training program at the FBI Academy in Quantico graduate and become Special Agents.

  SABT Special Agent Bomb Technicians: special agents who go through additional training to become specialists in finding, assessing, and disrupting incendiary and explosive devices.

  SSA Supervisory Special Agent: Special agents who are promoted and have a managerial role in a squad or at FBI headquarters.

  SWAT Special Weapons and Tactics: Special agents specifically trained in extended weaponry and tactical expertise in order to be able to intervene in high-risk events such as arrests, search warrants, barricades, and hostage situations.

  Unsub Unknown Subject: Just as perp is police lingo for perpetrator, subject or offender is FBI lingo for the same. If the identity of the subject is not known, he/she is referred to as the Unsub.

  VICAP Violent Criminal Apprehension Center: Another of the three components of NCAVC, VICAP is a nationwide data information center to collect, collate, and analyze violent crimes, particularly murder.

  One final note: The fictitious artificial-intelligence software program created by Dr. Elliot Lyman in Twisted, along with its crime analysis capabilities, were inspired by some cutting-edge law enforcement research, the Classification System for Serial Criminal Patterns (CSSCP). CSSCP was developed by Professor Thomas Muscarello at DePaul University, working with detectives from the Chicago Police Department.



  DATE: 19 March

  TIME: 2100 hours


  She was a true warrior.

  Subduing her had required all my skill and training. Even the weapon hadn’t been enough to make her submit. Not like the others. Not until she’d felt the prick of the blade, sensed drops of her own blood trickling down her neck. At that point she’d quivered, then gone still. She was too smart not to. She wanted to fight. I could see it in her eyes. But she didn’t. In the end, I’d won. I injected her with the Nembutal, and in five minutes her eyes went dull and her body went limp.

  I had her.

  Her warm, drugged body slumped against my shoulder. It felt good. My timing and execution had been perfect. It was spring break. She wouldn’t be missed for days.

  By then it would be too late.

  John Jay College of Criminal Justice

  New York City

  March 20, 4 P.M.

  The auditorium crackled with anticipation.

  It was the final seminar of the two-day “Crimes Against Women: How Not to Become Another Statistic” conference. The panel of experts included Jimmy O’Donnelly, an NYPD detective from the Special Victims Unit; Sharon McNally, a psychologist who specialized in counseling victims of violent crimes; Dr. Charles Hewitt, a professor of statistics and mathematics right here at John Jay; Dr. Lillian Doyle, also a John Jay professor but in the sociology department; Lawrence Clark, a retired supervisory special agent from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, a component of the NCAVC—the investigative branch of the Bureau’s Critical Incident Response Group.

  And Sloane Burbank, the final name on this impressive list of experts.

  All of them had spoken. Now it was her turn.

  The moderator ran through Sloane’s impressive credentials, which included a year in the Manhattan D.A.’s Office before joining the FBI full-time, where she was trained as a crisis negotiator by the CNU, the operational branch of the FBI’s CIRG division. Currently, she was an independent consultant who worked with law enforcement, corporations, and educational institutions, training them in crisis management and resolution. She was also a certified Krav Maga instructor. And all at thirty years old.

  With an admiring nod in her direction, the moderator stepped away from the mike and turned the room over to Sloane.

  Amid enthusiastic applause, Sloane rose from behind the speaker table, thinking for the dozenth time how good she sounded on paper. And she was good—just not as good as she’d been a year ago. Then again, perception outweighed reality. She was the only one who’d know the difference.

  Exuding her usual energy and self-assurance, Sloane unbuttoned her blazer and tossed it over the back of her chair. She wasn’t surprised by the skepticism she saw on some of the faces in the audience. Their reaction was nothing new. And it was something she’d used to her advantage more times than not.

  Despite her impressive résumé, she was a fine-boned woman with a delicate frame and the fresh-scrubbed features of a college student. That made people doubt her abilities—enough so that many of them wrote her off.

  Let them. It gave her the advantage. And having the advantage gave her power.

  As Sloane knew, power came in many forms.

  She pulled on her protective gloves and walked to the front of the room, dead center, with the aisle stretching before her, and the two sections of the auditorium split on either side of her.

  “So far tonight, you’ve heard about coping with the aftermath of a physical attack, ways to avoid one, and some profiles of typical victims and assailants,” she began. “Every bit of what you learned is true. But there’s another truth. We can’t always control the circumstances in which we find ourselves. So what happens when you wind up in a parking lot alone at night, your car is ten rows back, and a creepy guy who’s built like a Hummer is lying in wait?”

  She held out her gloved hands, palms up, to show she was unarmed, then pointed at her pocketless and holsterless black turtleneck and slacks. “I’m dressed just like you would be. No weapon. No handy object to act as one. And no purse, although if I had one, I wouldn’t have time to grab for my cell phone or, even better, for a can of pepper spray. That’s why I learned Krav Maga.”

  A spark of interest flickered in the audience’s eyes—even those who’d been Doubting Thomases.

  “Brief background,” she began. “Krav Maga is a whole different breed of self-defense. Its roots trace back to Czechoslovakia during the rise of Nazi terrorism. It was founded by Imi Lichtenfeld, who refined his street-fighting skills protecting his and other Jewish families from attack. Lichtenfeld later emigrated to Israel, further developed those techniques, and then taught them as chief instructor for the Israeli Defense Forces. In Hebrew, Krav Maga means ‘contact combat’—training designed for the unpredictable nature of street fighting. There are no rules. No trophies for good form. Only survival.”

  As Sloane spoke, a brawny man wearing a ski mask crept out from behind the curtains at the front of the room, visible to the audience, but not to Sloane.

  He whipped a knife out of his pocket and charged forward, leaving Sloane no time to prepare and the audience no time to react.

  Grabbing Sloane’s left shoulder, he pressed the knife to her back. “Get in my car,” he ordered in a gravelly voice.

  It was like someone flipped a switch.

  Sloane whipped around in a quick body turn. Her left forearm shot forward, locking against his right wrist to deflect the knife attack, and propelling her into the offensive strike of delivering a forward horizontal punch to his throat with her right elbow. As he gasped for air and recoiled from the simulated blow to his throat, her left hand snapped up, pinching his knife-wielding arm in a vise grip between her upper arm, forearm, and chest. The nut-cracking pressure caused the knife to fall from his hand.

  Threat obliterated.

  Sloane then trapped her assailant’s head with her right forearm, grabbed his shoulder with her left hand, and yanked his upper torso down, jerking her knee upward in a lighting strike to his groin.

  She stifled a smile as she felt him inadvertently tense and arch away from her, even as he responded on cue, doubling up and crying out as if he’d been castrated. She finished him off with a downward elbow strike to the back of his neck, then pushed him away as he collapsed on the floor, writhing in mock agony.

  It was all over in ten seconds.

  “I’m crushed by your lack of faith,” Sloane mur
mured as she helped him up, applause filling the auditorium. “I barely tapped your windpipe. Did you really think I’d kick your balls through your nose?”

  “Never crossed my mind.” His reply was drowned out by the applause. “I know you’re a pro. Pure reflex on my part.”

  “I’ll try not to take it personally.” Sobering, Sloane turned to address the room. “That was just one example of using Krav Maga in self-defense,” she explained. “There are dozens of moves, for whatever threatening situation you may find yourself in. Read the tip sheet I passed out. In it you’ll find contact information on local Krav Maga programs. I can’t stress training enough. It’s empowering, it’s practical, and it works.” She turned to her attacker, gesturing for him to remove his ski mask. “How about a round of applause for John Jay’s own Dr. Elliot Lyman. He was a great demo partner and a good sport.”

  More applause as Elliot complied.

  “Even if you are still a chicken,” Sloane added under her breath. “Back in high school, you ducked every time I slammed one of your lobs back at you, even though you had seven inches and two years on me. Nothing’s changed.”

  “Then I was a computer geek,” he reminded her. “Now I’m a computer-science professor. A nerd who plays with algorithms. Not a kick-ass FBI agent like you.”

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