Book Excerpt- No Way to Live

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Below is an excerpt from my newest novel, No Way to Live. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Former Army Ranger sniper Scotty Smith led the entry team through the parking lot, using parked cars for cover until they were in front of the target location. He glanced around, picking out Gabby and Tex standing behind a parked van, opposite of the NG’s stash house. Smith carried the thirty-pound metal ram and was followed by former MARSOC Marine and McCain’s assistant team leader, Andy Fleming, who carried the ballistic shield. Chuck was next, armed with his suppressed H&K 416 rifle. Rafael “Hollywood” Estrada followed McCain, also carrying an H&K. Hollywood would be the team’s translator and had another former Marine, Jimmy Jones, following him with a Mossberg .12 gauge Taser X12 LLS shotgun. Chloe Wilkerson would be bringing up the rear, armed with her 9mm Glock 17 pistol. Each of the team members wore olive green BDUs with heavy body armor and ballistic helmets containing their night-vision devices.

The former Ranger made eye contact with McCain who motioned towards the front door, where the team quickly lined up to the right of the entrance. They could hear the television playing inside with what sounded like a porn movie. At the end of the stack, Wilkerson visually confirmed that her teammates were in place. She then reached up and gave Jones a squeeze on the shoulder. Jimmy repeated the movement on Hollywood, who squeezed Chuck’s deltoid. McCain kept it going, letting Fleming know it was time. Instead of stretching to reach Smith’s shoulder, Andy squeezed the back of Scotty’s right thigh.

“Stand by,” Chuck whispered to his team. He pushed the transmit button on his radio. “Tac 2 to all units, we’re executing now,” he quietly told the dispatcher and the detectives manning the perimeter.

At that, the tall, muscular bearded man stepped out of line and up to the door, slamming the ram near the handle and deadbolt. Rather than bursting open under Smith’s legendary strength, the door buckled but remained closed. Without hesitation, Scotty brought the heavy metal ram back and drove it into the door again. This time, the frame shattered and the metal door flew inward.

Andy darted into the room, the ballistic shield up, his 9mm Glock 17 aimed around the right edge, the rest of the team following him inside, with Scotty now bringing up the rear, the ram left behind and his H&K 416 up and ready.

“Sheriff’s Department! Search warrant! Everyone get down on the floor!” Hollywood yelled in both English and Spanish.

They had studied the floorplan of the condominiums in the complex and understood the layout. Normally, they would have tossed in a flash bang grenade or two before rushing in. As McCain and the tactical team developed their entry and movement plan earlier, the non-lethal grenades were ruled out. With this being a known drug house, they didn’t know if the suspects were storing chemicals for cooking meth or crack at the location. The last thing the deputies wanted to do was to blow themselves up, along with the entire block.

A staircase was to the right of the front door, with a living room just inside to the left, and a kitchen and dining area on the back side of residence. A New Generation gang member had fallen asleep on the couch with the Playboy Channel showing on the television. The disoriented thug rolled off the couch, trying to fasten his jeans. Chloe quickly moved in, dropping a knee into the gangster’s back, jerking his arms behind him and securing his hands with flex cuffs as Scotty covered her. A 9mm Beretta 92 pistol lay on the end table where the perp had just been lying.

Andy, Chuck, Hollywood, and Jimmy moved up the stairs with Fleming leading them towards the second level, the heavy shield up and ready if needed. The three bedrooms were all to their left when they reached the top of the landing. McCain reached around Fleming and tried the first door they came to. Locked. Without hesitation, he kicked the flimsy door, smashing it open.

A long-haired, shirtless and heavily tatted figure stood at an open window on the other side of the bedroom. He glanced over his shoulder at the deputies and then swung a leg through the opening, trying to make his escape. Chuck charged across the room as Andy covered him. The team leader grabbed a handful of the suspect’s hair and jerked him backwards, slamming the suspect facedown on the floor. The Mexican reacted quickly, pushing himself to his knees before McCain could secure him. As the reserve deputy moved to take the thug’s back, the suspect reached for Chuck’s holstered Glock, trying to rip it from the holster.

During his first law enforcement career in Atlanta, McCain had also enjoyed a part-time career as a professional MMA fighter, compiling a 10-4 record around the Southeast. Even now in his late-forties, he still trained regularly and was able to shift his gun side away as he controlled the perp’s head. He quickly transitioned to a standing guillotine choke, rendering the thug unconscious in seconds and ending the fight. Chuck lowered him to the floor and handcuffed and searched the suspect, instinctively reaching for his own right cargo pocket before stopping himself.

While working with the Special Forces in Afghanistan and in many of the missions he had conducted on behalf of the CIA, suspects’ heads were normally covered with a hood after they were secured. This was to keep them disoriented and to prevent them from identifying those who had snatched them. Hooding suspects, even violent cartel members, however, would be frowned upon in American courtrooms.

Down the hallway, a voice yelled out profanities in English and Spanish as Hollywood told a gang member to get his hands up. He had somehow slept through the tactical team’s tumultuous entry, a television in his room showing a soccer match.

“You gonna to shoot me, pig?”
“If you insist,” Jimmy said calmly.

The pop of his Taser shotgun was followed by a scream as the projectile struck the perp in the abdomen and the electrical charge briefly incapacitated him. Chuck turned his attention back to his own prisoner, taking the time to glance around the room. An AK-47 stood against the wall, next to the bed the perp had been sleeping in. A .40 caliber Smith & Wesson M&P pistol lay on the bedside table. I wonder why he didn’t grab a weapon? He was definitely much more concerned about escaping.
McCain rolled the suspect over to get a good look at his face as he started to come around. Wow! We hit the jackpot, he realized, recognizing Ramon Contreras from the photos they had studied. The two tactical teams had both hoped they would be the ones to capture the cartel lieutenant. We get bragging rights tonight, he thought.

He left the perp on the floor and motioned to Andy, who was still covering him. Chuck pointed at the closet even as he heard Hollywood and Jimmy advising that the rest of the upstairs was clear. Chuck carefully opened the closet door, careful not to silhouette himself in the doorway. He activated the rail mounted flashlight on his rifle, noting the kilo packages stacked inside. Several AR-15s, AKs, and shotguns stood in the corner next to the drugs. The only question was what kind of drugs? That would be for the narcotics detectives to determine when they conducted their search.

“Holy shit!” Jimmy Jones voiced carried from further down the short corridor. “We’re still clear up here but there’s a whole lot of dope and guns in this back room.”

“We still need to go clear downstairs,” Andy reminded everyone. “Jimmy, can you watch the bad guys for a couple?”
“10-4,” he answered, dragging his own restrained suspect to where Contreras was starting to stir after having been out for a little while.

Scotty and Chloe were still in place at the bottom of the stairs, covering the short walkway that led to the rear of the condo, the first perp still facedown where the powerfully built African-American woman had left him. With McCain and Fleming providing security, Smith and Wilkerson quickly checked the rest of the home, declaring it secure.

“Tac 2 to dispatch, residence is secure. We’ve got three in custody.”
“10-4, Tac 2,” the Loudon County dispatcher acknowledged.

Grab your copy of No Way to Live! It is available as an ebook, audiobook, of paperback.

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