Word Count: 124,000
They left her for dead. They should have made sure.
Audrey had thirty-six hours of surgery and died twice on the table but she survived. Coming back to consciousness was like being born again, but not in that wholesome Jesus Loves You way. She had no idea where she was. Or who. Or why every part of her hurt like a motherfucker.
Whoever she was before, the world didn’t give a damn. No one cared enough to report her missing. Her fingerprints, her DNA, and what little was left of her teeth all came back blank.
Her bones said she was sixteen. Her accent made her a California girl. There was no way to explain how she got to Texas.
Audrey needs to know. Someone has to pay.
Fast forward eighteen months. As Audrey pulls at threads, people start to disappear and die. Someone wants her story to stay buried.
Immovable object, meet irresistible force.
PUTA is a standalone thriller with series potential complete at 124,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Lisbeth Salander, Beatrix Kiddo, and Burke.
Monday morning. Eleven o’clock. The Galleria. I'm listening to old school disco on my phone, checking out the window at Abercrombie, and watching the reflection of a skinny blonde with fake boobs outside Victoria’s Secret.
She's holding a large pink and purple shopping bag and making out with the pretty boy who paid for her new underwear. And the dress from Betsey Johnson. And whatever she got at Armani. If this shopping spree is an incentive, it seems to be working. If it's a reward, he clearly got value for money.
Either way, his name is José Aguilar Guzman and you'd be making a huge mistake if you judged him by his boy-band good looks because José is as nasty as they come. Not so much a wolf in sheep's clothing as a rabid wolverine with a rocket launcher and gang tattoos, he's a senior member of MS-13 in Houston. Los Mareros. La Mara Salvatrucha.
José's companion in face-sucking is Mallory Carpenter. The daughter of a local sporting legend, she has to know she's slumming - it must be part of the appeal - but she doesn’t understand she's swimming with sharks.
Ignorance may be bliss but being clueless can be fatal.
When they come up for air, the happy couple set off towards Neiman Marcus, the luxury department store that anchors this limb of the mall. Mallory struts in outrageous heels with unerring confidence. José prowls by her side.