• Amy Shannon

Book Showcase: Wired Hard by Toby Neal

Toby Neal's title "Wired Hard" came in at number 2 in the Best Indie Books Title of 2017.

Book link: https://tobyneal.net/book/wired-hard/

Synopsis : Paradise has nowhere to hide from a thief with an obsession. Third in the award-winning Paradise Crime Series, Wired Hard reunites Tech Agent Sophie Ang with Detective Lei Texeira (from the Lei Crime Series) from Maui Homicide in a suspenseful mystery. Security specialist Sophie Ang has a new case: someone is looting artifacts from a royal Hawaiian archaeological site on Maui. Things get deadly fast, and Sophie’s friend, Lei Texeira, Maui homicide detective, takes the case. The women track a killer whose tangled motives extend high into the world of Hawaiian cultural affairs, and deep into the darkest of human motivations—and all the while, Sophie walks a tightrope between new love and heartbreak.

Excerpt: Surveillance work was nine parts boredom and one part terror, Sophie had heard. The boredom part was certainly true. Security specialist Sophie Ang sat back in the creaky office chair and swiveled a bit, working a hand exerciser as she watched three video monitors, each covering a corner of the roughly rectangular former baseball field that hid the buried royal Hawaiian archeological site of Moku`ula on Maui.

The grainy video feed, exposure turned up as much as possible to address the darkness, revealed nothing much of interest. The flat expanse of field, still dimpled with the markings of its years as a baseball diamond, was surrounded by eight foot, low-budget chain link fence. The only illumination came from the tired amber glow of a nearby street light. After only three hours in front of the monitors, Sophie wished that the Hui to Restore Moku`ula, the nonprofit that owned the site, had just hired a night watchman instead of Security Solutions’ expensive services. Sophie put her feet up on the desk and leaned back to stretch, abruptly losing her balance as the old chair tipped. That woke her up. Too bad the Hui had decided that her partner Jake Dunn was too expensive to afford; she could have used the company—it wasn’t easy to fall asleep near Jake. Glancing one more time at the monitors, Sophie picked up her phone, texting Connor Remarkian. "This Maui job is very boring. They told me thieves were after priceless artifacts concealed on a buried royal island. It sounded so exciting at the planning meeting on Oahu, but so far, all the job has been is putting in a surveillance system and watching an old baseball field. A lot of unnecessary sitting around." Sophie hit send. She was rationing her communication with the man she was seeing, her natural caution balancing the increasing chemistry between them. They’d had their first official date only a week ago, a trip to the Bishop Museum to study up on Hawaiian relics in preparation for this job. Connor was still recovering from a gunshot wound that had happened during her last case, but had been more than willing to lean on her as they navigated the Bishop’s floors of beautifully displayed, well organized artifact exhibits. Discovering more about how intelligent and well-read he was, not to mention his quick sense of humor, continued to attract Sophie. She wasn’t just a person of the body…though his was stellar. She smiled, remembering photos he’d sent her of him working out—they shared that interest, too. Connor texted back. "I was wondering how it was. What did you set up to catch the thieves?" "I have movement activated lights set up, video surveillance, and a big flask of tea to keep me going." She unscrewed the thermos and took a sip, glancing at the monitors again. Still nothing.

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