Sunday, November 15, 2020

Spotlight: Excerpt of Delayed Justice by Shirley McCoy

Author: Shirley McCoy
Publisher: Harlequin 
On Sale: November 10, 2020
ISBN: 9781335403148
Price: $5.99

A closed case brings a new threat. Detective Bradley McGregor and his K-9 partner, King, come to the rescue when journalist Sasha Eastman’s targeted by a shooter who looks just like her mother’s murderer. But that killer supposedly died years ago in a shootout with the police. Now it’s up to Bradley and King to protect Sasha…but how can they stop a killer who’s already dead?

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Enjoy this excerpt:

Excerpt for DELAYED JUSTICE by Shirlee McCoy

Sasha Eastman had never been afraid to stand on a crowded street corner in Sheepshead Bay, New York. She’d waited at crosswalks hundreds of times, standing amid throngs of people all staring at phones or streetlights and then flowing like lemmings across the roads. She knew the ebb of city life—the busy, noisy, thriving world of people and vehicles and emergency sirens. Since her father’s death two years ago, she found the crowds comforting. Each morning she walked out of her quiet apartment and reminded herself that she wasn’t alone, that there was a city filled with people surrounding her. She didn’t need more than that. She didn’t want more. She liked being free of the emotional entanglement relationships brought—the highs and lows, joys and heartbreaks. She’d lost her mother at fourteen years old, lost her ex-husband to another woman after three years of marriage. She’d lost her father to cancer, and she had no intention of losing anyone ever again. Being alone was fine. It was good. She was happy with her two-bedroom apartment and the silence she returned to after a long day of work. She had always felt safe and content in the life she had created.

And then he’d appeared.

First, just at the edge of her periphery—a quick glimpse that had made her blood run cold. The hooked nose, the hooded eyes, the stature that was just tall enough to make him stand out in a crowd. She’d told herself she was overtired, working too hard, thinking too much about the past. Martin Roker had died in a gun battle with the police eighteen years ago, shortly after he had murdered Sasha’s mother. He was not wandering the streets of New York City. He wasn’t stalking her. He wouldn’t jump out of her closet in the dead of night.

And yet she hadn’t been able to shake the anxiety that settled in the pit of her stomach.

She had seen him again a day later. Full-on face view of a man who should be dead. He’d been standing across the street from the small studio where she taped her show for the local-access cable station, WBKN. She’d walked outside at dusk, ready to return home after a few hours of working on her story. The one she was finally ready to tell: the tragedy of losing a family member to murder and the triumph that could come from it. Her mind had been in the past, her thoughts dwelling on those minutes and hours after she had learned of her mother’s death. She’d been looking at her phone, wondering if she should visit the police precinct to ask for the case file on her mother’s murder. When she looked up, he had been across the street.

And now…

Now she was afraid in a way she couldn’t remember ever being before. Afraid that she would see him again; worried that delving into past heartaches had unhinged her mind and made her vulnerable to imagining things that couldn’t possibly exist.

Like a dead man walking the streets.

She hitched her bag higher on her shoulder, determined to push the fear away. Martin Roker was dead. He had died eighteen years ago—a forty-year-old man who had forced the police to shoot him. He couldn’t possibly be stalking her. Even if he had lived, even if he had decided to hunt her down for some twisted reason, he wouldn’t still look like a forty-year-old man. He would have aged.

Her cell phone rang and she glanced down, dismissing the number as a solicitor’s. When she looked up again, the light had changed and the crowd was moving. She stepped off the curb, scanning the area, her heart jumping as she met cold blue eyes.

He was there! Right in her path, looking into her eyes as if he were daring her to come closer. Hooked nose. Blondish hair. Taller by a couple of inches than the people around him.

She turned away, heart in her throat, pulse racing. She glanced back, sure that he would be gone. He was crossing the street with long, determined strides, his cold gaze focused on Sasha. Hands deep in the pockets of his coat, shoulders squared, he moved through the crowd without breaking eye contact. Terrified, she ran back the way she had come, dodging the throng of people returning home after work. The studio was three blocks away. She’d go there and call for a cab, because she couldn’t call the police and say a dead man was stalking her.

Could she?

She glanced back again, hoping he had been a figment of her imagination and that maybe she was simply exhausted from too many nights thinking about the past and her mother’s murder. 

He was still there! Moving quickly and gaining on her.

This was real!

He was real!

She ducked into a corner bakery, smiling at the man behind the counter as she ran to the display case and pretended to look at the pastries.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

“Just looking,” she murmured, her mouth dry with fear, the smile still pasted on her face. She knew how to fake happiness. She knew how to pretend everything was okay. She’d done it after her mother’s murder because she hadn’t wanted her father to worry. She’d done it after her ex-husband, Michael, had told her he was in love with another woman, packed his bags and walked out of their apartment. She’d put on her smiles and she had faked her happiness. She was ready to be more authentic. She wanted to be.

She wanted to tell her story and share her experiences. She wanted to hunt for the good in New York City’s crowded streets and boroughs and give people something to smile about.

Had her determination to do that caused the past to be resurrected?

About the author

New York Times best-selling author Shirlee McCoy loves books. She loves reading them. She loves writing them. She loves sharing them with family, friends, and total strangers on airplanes and in doctors' offices. It's no surprise that she loves being an author. Her first book was published in 2004. Since then, she's written more than 55 novels. Her books have appeared on the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, and USA Today bestsellers lists. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and volunteering as a member of Chesapeake Search Dogs - a non-profit organization dedicated to finding the lost and missing and bringing closure to their families. A former teacher, she takes pleasure in helping others pursue their writing goals and enjoys sharing her knowledge with aspiring authors. She enjoys hearing from readers and writers. You can email her at or catch up with her life and writing at


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