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Devil's Moon Teaser #1

I’ve been wanting to take my creativity in a new direction and thought I’d give making short films a go. Filming is only about half done, but I wanted to give you a small taste of what I’m going for. Here’s a short teaser. Let me know what you think.


Kindle version released

You can buy a Kindle version of Devil's Moon from Amazon by clicking here.

Devil's Moon

Secrets shrouded in a tourist town

An FBI agent tortured by his past

A murder the local police don’t want solved

Sedona, Arizona: A young woman is found mutilated in a police officer’s basement, his confession scrawled on the wall above his lifeless body. The local police rule the case a murder-suicide, but the dead officer’s sister isn’t convinced. She persuades rundown FBI Agent Stuart Ransom to conduct an off-the-books investigation. With her help, Ransom realizes that the police appear to be hiding the truth behind the gruesome murder. Now he must question everything—from the case to his own beliefs—before his past becomes the killer’s next target.

Some small town secrets are best left alone

Accolades for Devil's Moon

"Matt Marine has written a terrific thriller.  A sexual psychopath draws a troubled FBI agent into a series of murders.  The search for truth brings the agent horrifyingly close to his own worst nightmare… and it will keep readers on edge right up to the finish. Memorable characters and skillful plotting in some of Arizona's most intriguing settings."

- James C. Mitchell, Shamus Award-nominated author of the forthcoming OUR LADY OF THE NORTH

"Fast-paced yet beautifully evocative, DEVIL'S MOON is a thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end."

- J Carson Black, Author of The Shop

"Matt Marine has crafted a page-turning suspense in Devil's Moon that immediately envelops the reader and sucks them into the seedier side of the touristy/upscale environs of Sedona. Strong but flawed characters battle more than the crime scene and keep you involved to the very last page."

- Jude Johnson, Author of Dragon & Hawk

"What appears to be an open and shut case dissolves into an emotionally charged investigation by an FBI Agent trying to conquer his own demons. Complex characters in a compelling story hold you captive from the first page to its stunning conclusion."

- Carol Costa, Author of The Dana Sloan Mysteries

Devil's Moon: Chapter One

Amanda Pearce scrambled up the dark earthen embankment, the shine of fresh blood following in her wake. Cresting the rise, the surface beneath her feet was level, less rocky.

A road. Thank God.

She looked down at her bare feet. Blood oozed from a dozen wounds and she doubted she could continue much farther across the harsh desert floor.

Pushing back a tangled strand of hair, she looked to her right. The moon’s pewter glow fused with the shadows of juniper trees, making them appear as demonic skeletons. Above them, iron-black peaks blotted out the stars. Her eyes followed the winding dirt road until it disappeared into an abyss of empty desert.

Not good. She swiveled her head in the opposite direction. A few lights twinkled in the distance. Sedona. Just a few miles away. The road aimed straight for them. She was close this time.

So close.

She shivered in the cool night air, then began limping toward the lights. He wouldn’t find her. Not again.

She remembered his words when he caught her the last time. “I trusted you,” he’d said, his face red and sweaty in the lantern’s glow.

Trust? He doesn’t know a damn thing about trust.

Then his eyes became dark pinpoints and the pipe crashed down. She’d bitten down on the filthy rag he’d stuffed in her mouth, her scream smothered in her throat.

“Don’t ever try to leave me again,” he’d said, the pipe’s onslaught continuing until her mind darkened into unconsciousness.

That was a week ago. Maybe two. Locked in a cinder-block basement, she only marked time by his frequent visits. When he brought her food, or came to … came to …

Tears threatened.

She bit down on her lip, forcing them back. She wouldn’t let him do that to her again. Subconsciously, her hand went to her neck, searching for the angel that had hung there for eight years. She needed its comfort. Now more than ever. But it was gone. It had disappeared the day he abducted her.

Keep moving. That’s what was important. She willed her legs to move her farther into the quiet night.

A coyote’s howl broke the silence. Her head spun toward the sound. Another answered the call. Then another, and another, until a chorus of voices echoed off the ethereal mountains behind her. Rather than terrifying her, she welcomed the coyotes’ presence. It meant she was no longer alone.

She’d been alone for so long.

And the coyotes’ calls seemed to be beckoning her. Summoning her forward. Showing her the way … or … or …

Warning her.

A faint musty odor drifted on the breeze.

She froze. Sniffed the air. She knew that smell.

Then the coyotes’ cries went silent.

A shiver raced through her. He was out there. Looking for her.

She stood in the middle of the road, knowing if he caught her again, he would kill her. That assurance had been in his eyes the last time he’d swung the pipe. Eyes that could be full of caring one second, enraged the next.

Amanda shook off the memory, took a deep breath. She wasn’t going back. Ever.

Her eyes searched the desert behind her. A gust of wind stirred a copse of trees, their shadows dancing to some silent chant. She watched in horror as one seemed to break away from the others. A dark apparition flowing onto the road.

 She held her breath. Nothing. Maybe it was just her tired eyes. Seeing things. Then she spotted the glint of metal in the moonlight.

The pipe.

Her chest tightened as terror flooded her mind.

“I told you not to run away,” the shadow said.

She stumbled, tendrils of panic making her legs weak.

 “What do you want from me?” she said, but knew his answer before she finished the question.

“Lauren, please, all I want—”

“Go fuck yourself!”

She wasn’t going to beg. She’d done two weeks of that. It hadn’t helped. And she wasn’t going back to that awful room.

The shadow edged forward.

“You’re a freak! A monster!”

He paused his advance, as if her words had a physical impact.

“And fuck your precious Lauren too,” she continued, knowing what her insolence would bring. She hoped he’d make it quick. Use the gun, not the pipe. Hearing the heavy thud of steel striking the palm of his hand, she knew she wasn’t going to be that lucky.

“You aren’t any different,” he said, his voice now hard with rage.

She took a few steps backward.

“No different. Just like the others.”

She stopped. Others—?

Then the pipe came up and she didn’t have time to think about it.

She turned to run, but he was already on her.