Book Spotlight: Colder Than Sin by Toni Anderson
Colder Than Sin
(Cold Justice: Crossfire #2)
by Toni Anderson
Date Released: October 22, 2019
About Colder Than Sin
Hostage Negotiators can talk themselves out of anything—except falling in love.
Top FBI negotiator Quentin Savage is hurled into his worst nightmare when a terrorist attack on a luxury hotel propels him from esteemed keynote speaker to powerless captive.
Haley Cramer is co-owner of a private security firm and prides herself on her independence, but she is shaken to the core when gunmen attack a conference she is attending. She survives, but only because Quentin Savage pretends she’s his wife.
Together Savage and Haley plot their escape from a ragtag army of brutal but efficient thugs while struggling to figure out exactly who the enemy is. Why was the conference attacked, and why was Quentin a specific target?
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An Excerpt from Colder Than Sin
Saturday August 8th. Nabat Island in the Flores Sea, Indonesia.
Chief of the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit, Quentin Savage, leaned against the bar near the exit, wondering how long before he could reasonably escape. Unfortunately, not only was he meeting an old Army friend for a quick drink but, having delivered the keynote speech at the closing banquet of this symposium, he was duty-bound to stick around for a while in case people had questions.
People always had questions.
They always wanted to talk to negotiators. They assumed negotiators possessed some secret spiel that enabled them to get their own way and influence others.
It wasn’t true—if it were, he wouldn’t be here. It did take some special qualities to be a good negotiator. Patience was definitely a virtue, as was the ability to think on your feet and not get emotionally invested. And, sure, there were specific techniques to influencing the actions of others, but the single biggest factor to being a great negotiator was the ability to listen. To hear what people said, verbally and non-verbally.
Being a negotiator was like being a therapist, except the other person was almost always in crisis by the time the Bureau arrived on the scene.
Quentin glanced at his watch impatiently. He wanted to check on the latest updates regarding a female volcanologist who’d been abducted off a remote volcanic island in the Banda Sea a few days ago. He was so close to the location where she’d last been seen, he itched to fly out to examine the area for clues. But if this was a straight kidnap for ransom and the kidnappers heard about the FBI’s interest, they’d either jack up the price, or kill her to eliminate any larger potential problems.
He pushed her out of his mind. He had to retain some professional detachment, else he’d compromise his ability to rescue anyone. Burnout wasn’t something he courted, even if he didn’t have much of a life outside the Bureau. Not anymore.
He wasn’t exactly roughing it here in Indonesia. The hotel, a large old Dutch colonial that had been tastefully modernized, was pure colonial splendor, complete with that indolent atmosphere that catered to the supremely wealthy. But even in the cooler evening, with the trade winds blowing, the air conditioning units and ceiling fans struggled to keep up with a room this large and this full of people. Delegates lounged on rattan furniture, drinking and eating complimentary finger food served on silver trays by uniformed staff.
Quentin made a face into the contents of his glass.
The setup reminded him of when he’d been a waiter at a country club many years ago. He’d grown up in SoCal, one of five brothers, and they’d all pulled their weight to support their mom after their dad left them for a younger woman. Quentin found it hard not to notice the people who were supposed to disappear into the background, probably as he identified with them more than he identified with the rich elite, or with the politicians or powerful CEOs.
He received a government paycheck and the sort of responsibility that would make most of them choke. He knew his own worth, and it wasn’t measured in dollars or cents. It was measured in the lives of the people he saved and the prison terms of the criminals who failed to beat the system.
Quentin paid for two beers, adding a decent tip. He didn’t like crowds. Didn’t like taking time out of his busy schedule to give presentations, even though it might ultimately save lives. He really didn’t like being the center of attention.
Unlike some people.
An elegant blonde goddess came in from the gardens. The woman wore a gold dress with a plunging neckline and spiked heels that had her towering over the locals and most of the delegates. She made her way to a group near the bar, catching his gaze as she glanced around. He’d seen her a few times over the last two days, although he hadn’t been introduced. Pity. He was pretty sure she was staying in the room next to his.
When she didn’t look away, he raised his beer in salute, and she raised her champagne flute in response.
“That’s Haley Cramer, in case you didn’t know.”
Toni Anderson is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, RITA® finalist, science nerd, professional tourist, dog lover, gardener, mom. Originally from a small town in England, Toni studied Marine Biology at University of Liverpool (B.Sc.) and University of St. Andrews (Ph.D.) with the intention she’d never be far from the ocean. Well, that plan backfired and she ended up in the Canadian prairies with her biology professor husband, two kids, a rescue dog, and a laid-back leopard gecko.
Toni started writing while pregnant with her first child and never stopped. Her greatest achievements are mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving fourteen Winnipeg winters (fingers crossed). She loves to travel for research purposes and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2016, and she also got to shove another car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy in Wisconsin. Watch out world!
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