The Perfect Murder
The Maximum Security Series, Book 4
Date Published: Jun 22, 2021
The eldest of the three wealthy Garrett brothers, Reese Garrett is in the middle of a major purchase for his multimillion-dollar oil and gas company, Garrett Resources. The Poseidon offshore drilling platform venture will greatly enhance the company’s value.
But when Reese is on a trip out to see the rig, his helicopter crashes, leaving him hospitalized and two men dead. It’s discovered the chopper was sabotaged, and Reese is determined to find out who’s behind the crash—and whether he was the intended target. Then, when his lover, Kenzie, is accused of her ex-husband’s murder—a man with a vested interest in the Poseidon deal—clues start pointing to a connection that puts Reese, Kenzie and her young son in the sights of a killer.
From the Texas heat to the Louisiana bayous, Reese and his brothers must track down the truth before the body count gets any higher.
Last Day of July
Seconds after the chopper lifted off the pad, Reese felt the odd vibration. Along with the pilot and co-pilot and five members of the crew, the Eurocopter EC135 was headed for the Poseidon offshore drilling platform.
For a moment, the ride leveled out and Reese relaxed against his seat. As CEO of Garrett Resources, the billion-dollar oil and gas company he owned with his brothers, he was always searching for the right investment to expand company holdings, the reason he was flying out to the platform.
For months he’d been working with Sea Titan Drilling, the owner of the offshore rig, to complete the five-hundred-million-dollar purchase, an extremely good value when the average price of a similar rig was around six-fifty.
The vibration returned and with it came a grinding noise that put Reese on alert. The men in the cabin began to glance back and forth and shift nervously in their seats. A sharp jolt, then the chopper seemed to fall out of the sky. It climbed again, began to dip and sway, dropped then climbed as the pilot fought for control.
The pilot’s deep voice rumbled through the headset. “We’ve got a problem. I don’t want you to panic, but we need to find a place to set down.”
There was definitely a problem, Reese thought, as the vibration continued to worsen. The chopper was out of control and the whole cabin was shaking as if it would break apart any minute. His pulse was hammering, his adrenalin pumping.
Along with the men in the crew who rode back and forth from the rig every few weeks, he stared out the window toward the ground. They were no longer above the heliport. Clearly the pilot was looking for an open space big enough to handle the thirty-six-foot blade span. All Reese could see were the rooftops of warehouses and metal commercial buildings.
The chopper kept shaking. The crew was grim-faced but resigned. The pilot did something to take the pitch out of the rotors and the chopper started falling.
“No need to worry,” the pilot said. “We’ll auto-rotate down. I’ve done it a dozen times.”
Auto rotate down. Reese knew the concept, the technique helicopter pilots used to land when the engine failed. The trick was to find a safe place to hit the ground.
Both engines went silent. The blades were flat now, the wind whistling through them, tying his stomach into a knot.
“Brace for impact,” the pilot said. Below them, Reese spotted an open flat slab of asphalt in the yard of a small trucking firm--the only possible landing site anywhere around. Trouble was it didn’t look wide enough to handle the blades.
At the last second, the pilot flared the helicopter in an effort to slow the descent, then the ground rushed up and the chopper hit with a jolt that wracked Reese’s whole body.
For an instant, he thought they were going to make it. Then one of the spinning rotor blades hit the corner of a building and tore free. The Plexiglas bubble shattered as the long metal blades exploded into a hundred deadly pieces, careening like knives through the air, slicing into buildings and the cabin of the helicopter.
Reese didn’t feel the impact. One moment he was conscious, then the world suddenly went black.
Four weeks later
For McKenzie Haines, her day as Executive Assistant to Reese Garrett, CEO of Garrett Resources, started as usual. After a few minutes spent with her assistant, Kenzie began her early morning briefing with Reese to go over his daily schedule and discuss what he needed her to do.
Seated across the desk from him in his spacious office, she waited as he finished an unexpected phone call. With his wavy jet black hair and amazing blue eyes, Reese was one of the best-looking men Kenzie had ever seen. Keenly intelligent and highly successful, he was a combination of virile masculinity and brooding reserve that attracted women of every age, shape, and size.
She could still see the faint scar on the side of his head near his temple from the helicopter crash that had killed two men and put Reese in the hospital.
At the time of the accident, Kenzie had worked for the company only five months, but in that time, she had come to admire and respect her employer. She could still recall her sharp stab of fear when his brother, Chase, had phoned to inform her of the accident.
Three days later, Reese was back at his desk, running the company with the iron control he was known for. Unfortunately, even now, four weeks after the incident, NTSB investigators remained unable to pinpoint the cause of the crash.
Reese’s phone call ended and his dark head came up, his intense blue eyes swinging toward her, locking on her face. No matter how she worked to ignore it, Kenzie always felt the impact.
“Where were we?” he asked.
“You wanted me to reschedule your visit to the offshore platform.”
“Yes. I’ve put it off too long already.”
“I probably shouldn’t say this, but after what happened, I don’t blame you.”
The corner of his mouth kicked up. “Maybe not, but I want this deal done. We’ve been working on it for months. We need to finish our due-diligence and make it end.”
“Yes, sir. Would you like me to go with you?” Traveling with Reese when he needed her assistance was part of her job, though he hadn’t asked her to go with him the day of the crash, thank God.
One of his rare smiles appeared. “You want to hold my hand in case I get scared in the chopper?”
Kenzie laughed, a little embarrassed he had hit so close to the truth. She liked him, admired him. He could have died that day. “I just thought you might need me.”
“Not this time,” Reese said.
But Kenzie had watched him these past few weeks. The helicopter crash still weighed heavily on his mind. The authorities were investigating and so was Reese.
Kenzie was certain Reese wouldn’t stop until he knew exactly what had happened that day--and why two good men were dead.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.