Friendly Fire begins with a phone call in the middle of the night. Seth’s father figure and personal Lucifer is acting crazy. A day later, Seth learns that his mother wants him to find something that his biological father left at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital.
Standing in the lobby of the place that had restored him after two tours through the blood and muck of tunnels of Vietnam, Seth is drawn into a mystery that will take him through the meltdown of Reactor Four at Chernobyl to meet Russian Olympic marksmen and discover that a familiar demon is covering its tracks.
In the end, Seth learns the most important kind of friendly fire from a man who had suffered horrific trauma and a woman who’d lived through the worst life can dish out.
If you like Seth O’Malley, Friendly Fire is the book for you.
Friendly Fire is filled with memorable characters, romance, and intrigue readers have come to expect from Claudia Hall Christian. Friendly Fire is the third in the Seth and Ava Mystery series.
Seth felt a small hand touch his shoulder. Curled up on his right side, Seth opened his eyes and saw no one. Sleep tugged at him, and he closed his eyes again.
“Dad? It’s Lizzie.”
Seth sat up in bed. Lizzie was his eldest daughter, from his crazy first marriage. She reentered Seth’s life when she was six months pregnant with her stepfather’s child. Seth blinked. Even in the dim light, he could tell that she was well. He smiled at her.
“What?” Lizzie asked.
“In this light . . .,” Seth said. “You look like my mother.”
“Is that a good thing?” Lizzie asked. Self-conscious, she tucked a piece of perfectly coifed blond hair behind her ear.
“A very good thing,” Seth said. He realized he was naked. “I’m sorry, Lizzie. Would you mind . . .”
Lizzie nodded and turned around. Seth went to the closet and pulled on jeans.
“Okay,” Seth said.
He pulled a white undershirt over his head. She helped him get the shirt over his bandaged arm.
“What’s going on?” Seth asked.
“It’s Julie Ann,” Lizzie said. Tears appeared in her eyes.
“What’s Julie Ann?” Seth asked about his second daughter from his crazy first marriage.
Julie Ann was on active duty with the US Marine Corps. Seth grabbed a collared shirt. With Lizzie’s help, he put it on over the T-shirt.
“Her team was overcome by the Taliban,” Lizzie said. “They’ve taken heavy casualties. She’s been injured. According to the phone call, she’s expected to reach Kabul by nightfall. She’ll be evacuated to Germany.”
“Did they say how bad it was?” Seth asked as he threaded a belt through the loops in his jeans.
“They don’t know,” Lizzie said. “Bad, I guess. I tried to look it up online but . . .”
“Who called you?” Seth asked.
“Oh, Dad, I don’t know,” Lizzie said. “I can never keep track of that stuff — some military something or another — and when he told me about Jules, I . . . He said that he couldn’t find you, so he called me. Schmidty and I took the first plane to Denver to be here to tell you in person. The man said it would be a miracle if Julie Ann survived. I thought you’d want to go there.”
Lizzie came to him, and he put his arms around her. Over her shoulder, he tried to work it out. He felt moisture from her tears through his shirt.
“Where’s your husband?” Seth asked. “Where’s Schmidty?”
“He had some business with that R and B guy,” Lizzie said. “He dropped me off here so we could have some time alone.”
Lizzie looked at him with hurt eyes.
“Don’t you want to share this with me?” Lizzie asked. “Julie Ann . . .”
Lizzie’s eyes traveled over Seth’s face.
“What is it?” Lizzie asked. Her soft, sad voice shifted to steel. “What did I do?”
“Nothing,” Seth said, with a shake of his head.
“Dad?” Lizzie asked.
“Julie Ann isn’t in Afghanistan,” Seth said. “I talked to her last weekend. She’s learning to fly UAVs at a base in North Dakota. Grand Rapids, I think, but she wasn’t able to tell me.”
“Why didn’t she tell me?” Lizzie asked.
“It’s classified,” Seth said.
“What the fuck is going on?” Lizzie asked, and then she gasped. “They wanted to know where you were!”
|The Tax Assassin ✯ The Carving Knife|
Claudia Hall Christian is a consummate storyteller. Whether she’s writing the long running Denver Cereal or a short blurb for her neighborhood newsletter, she tells heartwarming stories that leaves people longing for more. These skills make writing traditional serial fiction — long-form stories that are published as they are written — a natural for Claudia. Her lifelong writing goal is to write a serial fiction set in every state in the United States. So far, she’s brought her brand of addictive, heartwarming fiction to Fort Worth, Texas, in the Queen of Cool, to Denver for the Denver Cereal, and now to Boston for Suffer a Witch. Last year, Claudia released the first of the Jornada del Muerto novellas set in Santa Fe.
A prolific author, Claudia also writes the Amazon bestselling the Alex the Fey thrillers, as well as the Seth and Ava Mysteries. She currently has 22 published works. In order to keep up with her storytelling capacity, she co-founded a publishing house, Cook Street Publishing, with a group of friends.