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Blue Smoke


By Michael J. McClure

Published: December 2022

ISBN: 979-8-218-11853-2

In the gothic depths of New Orleans, where darkness entwines with sweltering heat, lies a city teeming with secrets...


When a gruesome massacre rocks the city, Boomer Bailey, a cunning criminal psychologist, stumbles upon a man named Toby, a lone survivor with no memory of the event. As Boomer digs deeper into the case, an irresistible attraction binds him to the enigmatic man, even as the veil of innocence surrounding Toby grows more elusive, hinting at a darkness that threatens to consume them both.


Pursued by otherworldly assailants, Boomer must rely on his intellect and instinct to outmaneuver an elusive adversary unlike any he has ever faced—a creature less than human, driven by malevolence and a hunger for chaos. As the line between friend and foe blurs, Boomer must forge a path toward the ultimate showdown that will determine the fate of the world.


   Other than that faint arc in the distance, the trees obscured any view of the run-down amusement park Boomer said was there. To Lucy, what lay ahead seemed only a dark, foreboding forest, the last place anyone should go at night. 

   More frightening than the woods, however, were the thoughts pilfering the sanctuary of her reality. They had already infiltrated her defenses and were laying destruction upon her psyche. They centered on the existential threat that magic was real.

   When Lucy was five years old, she’d believed in Santa Claus. But not really. Oh, the myth of elves at the North Pole had been engaging, but deep down, she knew that if she’d seen a fat man squeezing his way out of her fireplace, she would have run for the hills screaming. To hell with presents and family!

   Now she was twenty-five. Knowing that holiday tales were only nonsense had enabled her to sleep at night. The security of science was an unquestioned sanctuary from gruesome fairy tales and frightening religions. Safely in the realm of science, she could ignore fables of dudes walking on water or bringing people back from the dead. She could rest knowing that a hypocritical God wouldn’t ravage humanity, punishing his created races and sexual orientations for stepping out of line. But now, coming to terms with the fact that fairy tales had been real all along was a terrifying revelation. The fat man was oozing out of the wood stove and she wanted nothing more than to run forever, never looking back.

   “Stop shining your flashlight all over the place,” Boomer told her. “This isn’t a dance floor. Keep it pointed to where we’re walking and just let your vision stay wide.”

   “That’s easy for you to say. You’ve got the gun. If an alligator attacks me, my only defense is my annoying voice.” 

   “I think that would work.” Boomer turned and handed her his gun. “Just don’t shoot me.”

   “No, really, you don’t have to,” she said as she grabbed the gun without delay and pointed it into the shadows...

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