HILL COUNTRY SIREN: A JOE ROBBINS FINANCIAL THRILLER (BOOK 3) EPISODE 4

Read episode 4

In episode 4 Joe escorts Sophie Tyler as she tours the Austin City Limits festival incognito. When a fan sees through Sophie’s disguise she is mobbed by autograph-seekers, and Joe must hustle her from the park. They escape to Joe’s condo to freshen up and discuss Sophie’s future.

We don’t wish to give anything away, but it looks like things are heating up between Joe and his teen idol.

Fallen behind?  Catch up with episodes 1 through 3.

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Sophie Tyler plays ACL in Hill Country Siren

Joe escorts Sophie Tyler as she tours the festival incognito.

Excerpt from episode 4.

Sweat poured down my back.

During the hot walk back to the condo my energy waned, and Sophie wilted, with the pink wig sagging and the makeup melting. Once inside the condo I invited her to use the guest bath to freshen up. I showered in the master and then took a Diet Coke out to the balcony.

As I walked past the guest room I heard the shower. I imagined the water running from her face, over her breasts, past her waist, and down her bronzed legs to her feet, carrying the white powder to the drain.

On the balcony I relaxed in a chair, my pulse settling, and tried to think of something other than the image of a naked Sophie. A punk band’s music floated over from Zilker Park, nearly drowning the calls from a mourning dove in a nearby tree. The pool and patio below were empty.

After a couple minutes my cell phone rang.

“Johnson Sagebrush doesn’t exist,” said Rico.

“What’s that?” I sat up straight, my heart racing again.

“At least, he didn’t exist before 1993. Sagebrush received no wages under his social security number before he worked for Sophie Tyler. There’s no previous address with that name in the L.A. area, no phone number.”

I closed my eyes and tried to think. The words echoed through my head—Johnson Sagebrush doesn’t exist. No wages. No address. A man from nowhere bashed in the skull of Bryan Slater.

“What else do you know about him?” said Rico.

“Not much. As Sophie’s agent he makes ten percent of everything she earns, so last year he made about a hundred and eighty thousand. He’s worked as her manager for ten years and lives in the guesthouse of her mansion.”

“The IRS income also shows interest from a Wells Fargo account in Houston. The account is with the same branch as the Second Chances account. He and Slater must have schemed to commit the fraud and then had a falling-out.”

“But who is he?”

“We don’t know. The L.A. police did some local work for us and found a phone registered in his name for an apartment in 1992. The complex is close to the bad section of Sunset Boulevard. The police out there will show Johnson’s picture around, but eleven years is a lifetime in that neighborhood.”

Sophie appeared in the doorway wrapped in a towel.

My breathing stopped.

Her hair curled inside of a second towel on top of her head. My eyes scanned her carefully, capturing every inch. Her skin had a healthy glow, a warm welcome from the pale disguise. Drops of water clung to her calves. I imagined her without the towel, and my face grew warm. Would she notice? She leaned casually against the doorframe. I inhaled slowly and pressed the mute button on my phone.

“Can I rummage through your stuff for something to wear?”

“Rummage away.”

She turned and walked toward the master bedroom.

Read all of episode 4.

Episode 5 will appear on April 28, 2016.