Malicious Intent: A Sam Parker Mystery is a fast-paced detective mystery set in Temecula, California.
Samantha Parker is not a cop or a private investigator. She's a nosy paralegal with a talent for snooping, so when a handsome stranger walks into her office and gives her twenty-five thousand dollars to have her find out who is following him, she can't resist taking his case, even if she doesn't believe him.
The background check on Ronald Gregory proves that he has been in trouble with the law before. Upon discovering this, Sam seriously considers telling him to take his money and get lost, but she has two problems. The first is that she's broke and on the verge of eviction by her cranky old landlord, Mrs. Bennett. The second reason, which is equally important, is that she is extremely attracted to this hunk.
On the other hand, she also finds it all very suspicious that he came to her when he could have easily gone to a professional investigator. That thought alone won't release itself from her brain, but she wants answers and is determined to get them.
In order to get a handle on Ronald, Sam decides to follow him for a while. It is during this time that she observes that he hangs out with some pretty shady characters. When Sam asks him about them, he tells her that they are like family and have always been there for each other, until now.
He explains to her that his "friends" are involved in drug dealing, money laundering, robbery and murder. Although he is not happy about the arrangement, they are still his friends so he continues to allow them to use his business to hide their criminal activities. They know he no longer wants to be involved in their dealings, and their relationship has become strained to say the least.
As time goes on, Ronald senses he is being ousted. He knows what they are capable of and becomes convinced they are plotting a way to kill him and take over his business. But he is determined to take them down before they have a chance, and wants Sam to help.
When Sam doesn't hear from him again, she can't understand why and decides to take things into her own hands and goes out looking. That's when the search takes a turn from finding out who is following Ronald, to finding Ronald himself. She just never imagined it would lead her to the mob, murder and into the arms of the crime boss himself.
5.0 out of 5 stars - A page turner
Once you start you won't stop. A great mystery with all the angles and twists. Just when you think you have it figured out something new pops up. Intelligently written with all loose ends wrapped up. A must read.
- G Molstre, Dragnet Crime Sleuth
5.0 out of 5 stars - Cute and sassy mystery--very enjoyable
Samantha (Sam) Parker works as a freelance paralegal, but she stretches the definition pretty hard, so when a man walks into her office and pays her twenty-five thousand dollars to find out who's following him, she is quick to agree. Twenty-five thousand dollars is real money. Too much money, in fact. There's something wrong with the story and something wrong with the whole setup.
Calling in help from local private detectives and eventually the FBI, Sam learns that her client may not be the nice guy he pretended to be--and might be involved with an organized crime group. Worse, when Sam is checking out the home her client claimed as his own, she meets a sexy guy--who just happens to be the head of that crime family. Sam can't deny the attraction, but can she really be falling for a gangster? And is that nice-guy act the real Matt, or does is he hiding secrets?
When the FBI asks her to carry a wire and continue her relationship with Matt, Sam feels trapped--and in danger. If Matt finds her with a bug, she really could be in trouble.
Author Maria Pease writes with a breezy style that involves the reader in Sam's life, makes us care about her boyfrend dilemmas, concerned about the way her friend's marriage is self-destructing, and really want her to discover that Matt, the gangster leader, really is a knight behind his tarnished armor.
I would have liked to see a bit more of a bang out of the bug in Sam's phone, and Sam's relationship with private detective Frank was weird enough that I wanted either more or less of it, but these are minor quibbles. With plenty of plot twists, MALICIOUS INTENT is sure to please.
5.0 out of 5 stars -Fabulous fast-paced murder mystery!
I was hooked and entertained from page one. I loved the character of Samantha Parker and am anxiously awaiting her next novel. Malicious Intent is funny, exciting and a must read to all. I loved it, you will too!
- C. Teskoski
5.0 out of 5 stars - Malicious Intent is an Exciting Ride!
This book got my attention from the first page and I could hardly put it down! Sam Parker is a character that will remind you of either yourself or someone you know and love!
The characters are all so interesting and seem so real. But it's the plot that keeps you turning pages. If you like a good mystery, with a couple of laughs included, you will love Maria Pease's Malicious Intent too! I loved it!
- Susan Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars - GREAT BOOK
I REALLY liked this book!! I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a really good story that keeps you turning the pages. I could never put down the book once I started reading it.
If you haven't read this book yet, its a MUST!
4.0 out of 5 stars - Summer Time Read, June 13, 2012
I enjoyed this fast past mystery, I did not want to put it down, that's my kind of book to read, not boring!
- Pam Casper (San Antonio) -
4.0 out of 5 stars - Malicious Intent, June 2, 2012
It is a fun, fast paced story set in Temecula/San Diego area. I enjoy the sense of humor that runs throughout the book and the mystery of it all.
- J. Kilambi
Maria Pease is a writer originally from Setauket, on Long Island, N.Y. She lives in Temecula, California with her husband, Scott, and her children, Steven and Ali.
Malicious Intent is the first of the Samantha Parker Mystery Series. You can visit Maria's Author website to get in touch with her and for additional information.
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