SKIN IN THE GAME

Skin 1600X2400

From SUSPENSE PUBLISHING

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Raised as siblings by an itinerant “gypsy” family, knife expert Bobby Cain, trained by the US military in the lethal art of covert eliminations, and Harper McCoy, nurtured by the US Navy and the CIA to run black ops and wage psychological warfare, are now civilians. Of a sort. Employing the skills learned from the “family” and their training, they now fix the unfixable. Case in point: Retired General William Kessler hires the duo to track down his missing granddaughter, a Vanderbilt University co-ed. Their search leads them to a small, bucolic, lake-side town in central Tennessee and into a world of prostitution, human trafficking, and serial murder. The question then becomes: Will their considerable skills be enough for Cain and Harper to save the young woman, and themselves, from a sociopath with “home field” advantage, a hunter’s skills, and his own deeply disturbing agenda?

DP Lyle reads an excerpt on his Criminal Mischief Podcast Series:

https://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/08/criminal-mischief-episode-29-skin-in-the-game/


Praise For SKIN IN THE GAME

Terrific—truly sinister, scary, and suspenseful. Lyle never lets you down.—Lee Child, NYT Bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series

SKIN IN THE GAME hums like a tuning fork in perfect thriller pitch. Heroes Bobby Cain and Harper McCoy are skilled with blade and mind, and the villain here sent chills up my spine from page one on. This is further proof that Doug Lyle is at the top of his game.--T. Jefferson Parker author of THE LAST GOOD GUY

D.P. Lyle’s novels are chillingly authentic. An expert technician just keeps getting better. Packed with edge of the seat tension, Skin in the Game takes hunting to an astonishing, and frightening, new level.—Robert Dugoni, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series

From the first line of Skin in the Game, D.P. Lyle grabs your attention and your imagination, and never lets up. This is a masterpiece of suspense that is built upon strong characters, solid plotting, and excellent scene setting. Lyle uses misdirection as expertly as did Raymond Chandler and builds tension that will cause the reader to turn on all the lights and lock the doors. Don’t miss this one.--Joseph Badal, Tony Hillerman Award Winning Author of Natural Causes

Skin in the Game is a bracing and blisteringly original thriller that challenges old genre rules while making up plenty of its own. D. P. Lyle has a fashioned a tale sharply edged enough to leave our fingers bleeding from turning the pages as fast as we can. His intrepid protagonists are among the best drawn and richly realized of any heroes seen in years with echoes of both David Baldacci and C. J. Box, making Skin in the Game is a winner from page one. A smooth and sultry tale that shoots for the moon and hits a literary bulls-eye.--Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of the Caitlin Strong series 

Unputdownable. Bobby Cain wields both his knife and tongue with lethal expertise. Lyle’s seamless prose, gritty voice, and whiplash pacing culminate in an unforgettable climax, showcasing a heartwrenching exposé into the world of human trafficking. And what a wild ride along the way. Ray Donavan meets Deliverance!—K.J. Howe, international bestselling author of SKYJACK 

SKIN IN THE GAME is “The Most Dangerous Game” on steroids. Fast, relentless, and cunning.—David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Murder As A Fine Art

DP Lyle writes wonderfully and with real insight.  He’s a born storyteller.--Peter James, bestselling author of the Roy Grace thriller series

REVIEWS

Book Review Crew 

Bobby Cain and Harper McCoy are “private detectives” with a military background. When a very prominent veteran’s granddaughter goes missing, Cain and McCoy are hired to track her down. Suddenly a leg turns up with a weird tattoo on it. No one knows who it is or where the remains came from. The police are trying to determine whether it is a wild animal attack or something more sinister. As Cain and McCoy dig deeper into the disappearance of the granddaughter, they discover something more disturbing than either of them could have ever imagined. 

This book sent shivers down my spine. It is not for the faint of heart. However, it is also one of the most fascinating thrillers I’ve ever read. With all of the shock and horror it holds, it also holds a terrific story line. Dive into the dark, twisted mind of a killer with this book, but I recommend leaving the lights on. I highly recommend you give this book a read! 

Book Review Crew

Bobby Cain and Harper McCoy, raised as “siblings” by a group of gypsy vagabonds, have a very particular skill set. Bobby, an expert with knives, was trained by the army as a lethal assassin, and Harper worked running black ops for the Navy and the CIA. Now in ‘retirement’, they have partnered up as investigators, running their own operation. One of their acquaintances, now-retired General William Kessler, asks the pair to find his missing granddaughter. Their search brings them to a small town where a depraved killer lurks, but the local folks emphatically tell them it can’t possibly be someone from their town. But it seems that it is. The question is, who could it be? 

This is a very disturbing and intense story. The author delivers an action packed, suspenseful tale that takes the reader on very scary ride, so fasten your seatbelt for this highly recommended, great page turner.

Mickey Moqtaderi NetGalley Review  5 Stars

Bobby Cain and Harper McCoy use the skills from their black ops training and their upbringing in a large itinerant family to act as fixers.  Like the Equalizer or Jack Reacher, they investigate crimes and solve problems that can’t be handled by the police. In this thriller, they have been tasked with finding a missing girl who turns out to be in the clutches of a homicidal tattoo-artist maniac.  I’m squeamish enough that I could have done without the chapters involving the serial killer interacting with the victims. There’s enough of a sense of urgency even without this. The action is compelling, and the special skills exhibited by Cain and McCoy (exceptional knife and shooting expertise) are hard to resist—like watching superheroes save the day.  A propulsive thriller that makes for good summer weekend reading. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital advance review copy.

Laurie T. NetGalley Review  5 Stars 

Just finished this book and I'm not sure what to say, except maybe wow! 

This was gripping, and twisted, and thrilling.  I loved the main characters and will be looking for more books with them as the lead. I loved the writing style, and was totally drawn into the story.

I've read hundreds, maybe thousands of "detective" novels and this ranks right up there. I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for the advance copy.  This didn't affect my review. Lauire T. Reviewer

Doug Yonce NetGalley Review  5 Stars

Excellent start to a new series. Siblings Cain and Harper have an excellent relationship and unique skills to investigate the general’s missing granddaughter. Setting and characters were well-developed and added to an exciting storyline. I am looking forward to the next installment already.

Paul V. NetGalley Review  5 Stars

Great stuff! I can see why the author has had a successful TV writing career. Great action, good dialog, developed characters, and interesting plot. Recommended thriller.

Leah H. NetGalley Review  5 Stars 

Not your typical good guys, Cain and Harper are compelling characters and unique to the genre. There is plenty of action. A gripping mystery. The characters are great. There are twists and surprises that keep you guessing. Everything about this one makes for a great read and an excellent start to a new series. I will definitely read this author again.

BookTrib Review by Lee Pelletier

Imagine a person sick enough to buy kidnapped women, tattoo them like animals and then release them as sporting prey. That’s the basis of D.P. Lyle’s aptly titled new thriller Skin in the Game (Suspense Publishing), and it’s a premise so horrific and disturbing you’ll have to stop at times to take a breath.

You’ll keep reading in large part because you can’t imagine an antagonist who’s more deserving of an unhappy ending, and you’ll want to know if the story turns out that way. 

Ultimately, Skin in the Game is about hunting and pits those who hunt in the garden of good against those who choose the garden of evil. Like rubberneckers at a traffic accident, we follow the killer and his demented friends stalking women forced to run for their lives. However, the hunters become the hunted thanks to the private investigative team of Bobby Cain and Harper McCoy. 

A veteran thriller writer and teacher on the art of writing crime fiction, Lyle uses Skin in the Game to introduce these two new heroes, and the Cain-McCoy pairing offers rich dynamics for future stories. 

Raised by itinerant gypsies as siblings, Cain and McCoy are both seasoned veterans of dark operations who left government service to become private investigative “fixers” who don’t hesitate to use extra-normal procedures to get the results their clients want. Their sibling relationship provides an interesting departure from the usual special-ops buddy pairings or male-female partnerships that mainly focus on sexual tension. Bobby Cain also destroys the cliché about never bringing a knife to a gunfight. His knife-tossing superpower serves him well and sharpens the story (pun intended). 

As the story opens, Cain is enlisted by retired Gen. William Kessler, a legendary figure in military and espionage circles who helped Cain launch his career, to locate his missing granddaughter. Cindy Grant is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University, and Cain and McCoy soon discover alarming details: She was lured into joining several other attractive coeds who work as escorts to rich men. It seemed like a lark; a chance for some thrills and easy money. Instead, Cindy has become a victim of human trafficking, setting off a chain of events that’s far worse than Kessler could ever imagine. 

Once the General learns the brutal details, it reinforces his determination that Cain and McCoy must find the perpetrators and deal with them using suffering at least equal to the pain inflicted. Going back and forth between Nashville and rural Tennessee, they identify possible suspects. Evidence is scant, so they take big risks to get closer to the human trafficking network recruiting the young women. Rural Tennessee settings are important parts of the story. Cain and McCoy find themselves operating on the killer’s home turf. 

Fortunately for them, most of the bad actors in this story aren’t brilliant opponents. Although their actions are profoundly evil, they do things that more sophisticated or thoughtful criminals wouldn’t do. That makes some of the set pieces less plausible and a bit more predictable. But it won’t stop you from reading to the end. 

Cain and McCoy are strong believers in the “ends justify the means” school of moral choices. Although the book is certainly not science fiction, its broad strokes reminded me of the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, a sci-fi series that came of age shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and often had its characters face dilemmas in which they had to decide if extreme measures were justified to combat extreme evil. 

Watching Lyle’s main characters face such choices provides extra dimension and energy to the story. How far will the sibling team go to carry out the demands of Gen. Kessler and their own definitions of justice? In their future adventures, it won’t be surprising if Cain and McCoy again face the issue of whether “revenge” and “justice” can truly be synonyms, or at least live as neighbors on the same street. 

Cathy’s World Review

Excellent introduction to a new series by an author I have never read before but look forward to reading again in the future. This story grabbed my on the first page and kept me quickly turning pages till the very end. The book eventually reminded me of a movie I saw with my father decades ago. One that had Peter Fonda in it – a movie that I have never been able to forget. This book will no doubt linger like that movie did. It was dark and disturbing and I was definitely hoping that Cain and Harper would manage to do the job they set out to accomplish. 

Bad things happen to people in big cities and small towns. Sometimes the expertise of people like Cain and Harper is needed to “fix things” and if I ever needed to have someone on my side I would hope to find someone as accomplished as these two. This book was dark and gritty and made me thankful that I have not run into situations like the ones presented in this story. 

I loved Cain and Harper and look forward to reading more about them in future books in this series. They are strong, capable and willing to do what it takes. I am interested in learning more about both of them and wonder what the next book will be about. 

Cathy Geha

https://cathygeha.tumblr.com/post/188240419476/review-skin-in-the-game-by-dp-lyle-a

© Douglas Lyle 2015