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A Killer's Return

A Killer's Return

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Main Tropes

  • FBI
  • Obsessed Journalist
  • The Double Life
  • The Moral Conundrum
  • The Exposition of Evil
  • The Showdown


When past and present collide, can he outwit a killer and save a fugitive before time runs out?

FBI Special Agent Aidan O'Reilly stands at a crossroads: accept a teaching role at Quantico or remain in the perilous field. His decision is complicated by The I-75 Killer's spree in Atlanta, leaving young women's bodies in his wake. O'Reilly's drawn into the case, but his focus splits as investigative reporter Jordan Blake pursues the elusive Carnations Killer from O'Reilly's past.

The risks escalate when Jordan goes on the run for the murder of a key informant. Bound by duty to his current case, O'Reilly is torn between helping Jordan and staying on the trail of the I-75 Killer. With the reporter’s life on the line and two deadly serial killers eluding capture, O'Reilly must navigate a labyrinth of loyalty and justice.

Aidan O'Reilly's sixth adventure is a heart-racing blend of action, suspense, and intrigue, testing the limits of loyalty and courage. If you crave high-stakes thrillers with complex characters and twisty plots, A Killer's Return will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Grab your copy today to join Agent O'Reilly in his most challenging and personal case yet as the series comes full circle.

Intro to Ch. 1

Jordan Blake stood beside the payphone, feeling the thick and heavy Charleston air against his skin. He kept his gaze fixed on the silent phone, each passing minute stretching longer than the last. He was late—Rivers always was, playing a game to fray Jordan’s nerves. He tried to appear nonchalant, hands in pockets, but his foot tapped an uncontrollable rhythm on the cracked pavement.

Jordan shivered as he ran a hand several times over his face.

Despite knowing the killer for years, Jordan realized he truly didn’t know him at all. He didn’t know his deadly hobbies. He didn’t even know his real name. Jordan’s friendship with him had now become a distant memory. One that would forever haunt his nightmares.

Rivers had been toying with the idea of hurting Jordan and anyone else he cared about. The reporter spent late nights staring out the motel windows, watching the darkness, looking to see if something lurked in the depths of the night.

Images of blood-stained carnations and Eva’s photograph in his car’s trunk flashed through Jordan’s mind, sending a surge of anger through him. His hand twitched toward his cell phone, a deep-seated need to hear Eva’s voice battling the harsh reality of their situation. But he held back, knowing the risk was too great. Jordan didn’t want to fall into that trap again. He never expected to fall in love with the detective, but he did.

And he hated himself for it.

He longed to tell her how he felt, but something kept him at a distance.

It was better for him that way. Safer. Anyone he cared about left him in the end. His dad. His mother. Everyone.

Seeing the photo of Eva in the trunk of his car, he became worried for his ex-girlfriend. Would Rivers go after her? The first time he spoke to the serial killer, Jordan had asked if that was his plan. But all Rivers did was laugh, then he told Jordan how much he had looked forward to talking to his old friend again.

A lump formed in the reporter’s throat. For so many years, he’d trusted his “old friend,” never suspecting that he was the one on the most wanted list, the one who had killed more than eighty women.

A part of him wanted to call Aidan O’Reilly and let him know he was in contact with Rivers. He knew he should. It would be the right thing to do, even though the killer had warned him to keep it a secret.

And still, Jordan was desperate to see Grant Rivers face to face. The memory of Duke, Jordan’s golden retriever that Rivers murdered, embedded in his mind and wouldn’t let go. The death of his dog tore away a major chunk of Jordan’s heart, more than anyone knew. And Grant Rivers was counting on that.

Jordan reached behind his back to ensure the gun he’d purchased last week was still tucked away. The cool metal burned against his skin, and though the gun wasn’t heavy, it seemed to weigh him down.

“Calm yourself, Blake.” He groaned to himself, raking his fingers through his bleached blonde hair. His palms instantly became clammy from the sweat on his scalp.

He looked around the city of Charleston.

Traffic was thick and shoppers walked around the shopping center, where he waited for the call.

Everyone went about their business.

People talked on the phone.

Friends laughed with each other.

Car horns honked.

Life was moving at a normal pace, but Jordan felt trapped inside a bubble where time didn’t move.

He sat on a bench next to the phone booth so he didn’t seem conspicuous loitering around a payphone.

With shaky hands, Jordan pulled out his cell phone, staring at the device.

Should he call Eva?

If he did, and she answered, what would he say to her?

They hadn’t spoken since the night they broke up. Since the night they had that fight right before the party his infuriating uncle insisted he attend.

I can’t do this. O’Reilly’s been right all along. You’re going to get yourself killed one day. Jordan, I don’t want to be around when that happens.

Even after all this time, Eva’s parting words shredded what was left of his heart.

For most of his adulthood, Jordan had grown into a reckless man, desperate to get the groundbreaking stories so he’d reach the top. He’d been told that it was lonely at the top. Jordan had to admit it was true. But now, the top meant nothing to him. He intended to find Grant Rivers and put a bullet in his head once and for all. That was all he cared about these days, and that was why he chose to not call the FBI.

As the thought flitted through his mind, the shrill of the ringing payphone stole his attention.

Jordan jumped from the bench, snatching the receiver.


“Hiya, buddy of mine.”

“I’m not your buddy, Rivers.”

“My mistake. How are you? What are you thinking about, old friend? You seemed lost in thought gazing out on the parking lot there.”

Jordan spun around, looking at each person—their faces, the way they walked, the way they looked—trying to catch a glimpse of Grant Rivers.

He was a master of disguise, Jordan knew. Rivers could be any one of those people walking around on their cell phones, and he’d never know.

“I want you to get a message to our mutual friend.”

“What’s that? You’ve decided to end your life? I’m sure O’Reilly would be as thrilled as I’d be. Though I must admit I’d regret not ending you myself.”

Rivers chuckled. “Sorry to disappoint you, buddy. But I have my daughter to think about. Her mom’s dead and so she only has me. So, suicide isn’t an option.”

“Too bad. It’s also a shame you’ll never see Jamie again. O’Reilly will make sure of that.”

“I’m on my way to get her, actually,” Rivers said. “But before I do, I’m going to finish what I’ve started. Tell O’Reilly I’m eager to see him again, face to face. I can’t wait for it. I plan on retiring, but I wanted to give him and you a parting gift before I go.”

Jordan gripped the phone tightly in his hand. Rivers’ nonchalant way of speaking made him sick. So sick, he felt like he’d lose the little bit of the lunch he’d forced down an hour ago. He closed his eyes, forcing himself to release the hold he had on the phone receiver. He couldn’t let Rivers get to him. He needed to focus.

“What’s that?” Jordan asked.

“I’ve got to get going, my friend.” Rivers’ chuckle made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. “Time’s a-wastin, buddy.”

Jordan leaned closer into the phone booth, hoping to steady himself. Rivers planned on returning to Augusta to get his daughter and probably kill O’Reilly and him. He wanted to ask again about Eva, but his voice seemed to have been stolen away, just like much of his life.

“Oh, and Jordan?” On the other end of the phone, Rivers chuckled again before lowering his voice. “Careful where you wave that gun of yours. Don’t want to shoot an innocent person, do you?”

With that, the phone clicked, ending the call.

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