Fever Tree: Exclusive Excerpt

Summertime is a time when many adults (and children) catch up on their reading. If you're over the popular post-apocalyptic, romantic, or comedic fiction, and are craving a darker, more gritty read, Fever Tree by Tim Applegate is everything you could ever want. There's love, jealousy, murder, and mystery. When a handsome and mysterious stranger arrives in Crooked River, the town is consumed by rumors. Who is this mysterious young man, and what is he running from? Here's a juicy excerpt to wet your palate:

 

Chapter 20, page 125

The next day he crossed the bridge to Islamorada around noon. The sun was high in the sky, its fierce light glancing off the bonefish boats anchored in the marina. Just past the marina he turned into a gravel lane that wound back through a copse of palms. At the end of the lane he saw the former dive shop Teddy had described to him. Knee-high weeds growing wild around the perimeter of the abandoned building camouflaged a For Sale sign stabbed into the ground: Harmon Properties.

He slid out of the car and leaned against the chassis, waiting for the buyer to arrive. The shade helped temper the intense noon heat but there was no breeze here and the air was thick with mosquitoes.

A few minutes later a cherry-red Oldsmobile nosed up the drive and parked behind Colt’s rental. Wheezing from the effort, a large, florid man uncoiled his flabby body from the driver’s seat and offered Colt a beefy hand.

Harmon, he said.

Dieter, Colt thought. And now Harmon. The fuck happened to first names? Taylor, Colt Taylor.

Well grab your stuff, Colt Taylor, and come on in.

Sure thing, um . . .

Dub. Harmon opened his mouth in amusement, exposing a row of perfect teeth. The name’s D.B. but you can call me Dub. Everyone does.

Sure thing, Dub.

Once inside, Colt took note of the front counter that ran the length of the room. Behind the counter a few dive posters were still tacked to the wall; otherwise the shop was empty.

Colt set the duffel bag on the top of the counter and stepped away, careful not to take his eyes off the realtor. He had muled dope down to the Keys a dozen times before, but Dub Harmon was a new customer, and with anyone new you had to be careful.

The realtor pointed at the duffel.

You mind?

No sir.

As the big man unzipped the bag, Colt’s gaze flitted out the window. His nerves were shot. On every run this was the worst time, the actual exchange. His fear bubbled to the surface, making his palms sweat. What if a curious cop happened to cruise down the lane and see their cars and step inside to investigate? Where would they hide the duffel? Six kilos. Enough weight to lock you away for good. Colt had an inordinate fear of prison. With his movie star face and well toned body he knew he’d be an easy target for every pervert lurking like a phantom behind those iron bars. He’d heard the horror stories, and they’d made him cringe.

He refocused on Harmon, who had opened the duffel and was examining the contents now, taking his sweet time. This—the realtor’s laid back, unhurried manner—was exactly why Colt didn’t like dealing with people he didn’t know. Too many things could go wrong. What if Harmon had been tailed? Or what if, God forbid, he was undercover?

This last suspicion, paranoid or not, was particularly nerve wracking. He reminded himself that this was nothing more or less than a simple business transaction. Deals like this went down every day. Besides, Teddy Mink might be a grade-A prick but he was too smart for a setup. In all the years Colt had known him, Teddy hadn’t been burned once, and he wasn’t going to be now. For one thing, on this particular run, the real danger—a ripoff— had already been taken out of the equation when Harmon transferred the payment into Teddy’s offshore account a week before Colt left town. All he was this time, Teddy had assured his mule, was a courier. But Colt’s mind remained uneasy. Why, if the deal was so cut and dry, was the big man dicking around in that duffel? Why didn’t he hurry the fuck up?

Fever Tree is available August 2, 2016, but you can pre-order now on Amazon IndieBound, and Barnes and Noble.