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Denise Aragon Series

The Drum Within Compromised The Price of Vengeance
1 2 3

The Price of Vengeance

The Price of Vengeance

Book 3

There is always a price to pay.

Detective Denise Aragon finds herself in the middle of a desperate standoff she may have caused with a single phrase: take him out. On one side is Peter Cervantes, her grieving friend and now a hostage-taker who blames the deaths of his sons on the grand schemes of powerful politicians. On the other side is a United States senator with a dark past whose family is being held at gunpoint by Cervantes.

The FBI targets Aragon as an accomplice to kidnapping and terrorism, and her only way out is to drag the senator's crimes into the light. She can only pray that the price of vengeance won't be paid in blood.

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Midnight Ink, paperback, February 2018, ISBN: 978-0738750675


crime scene

Book 2

Everyone gets compromised. Even the good guys.

Detective Denise Aragon can't trust her witness, the one who hasn't been killed yet. She can't trust Judge Judy Diaz and her sociopathic attorney girlfriend. She can't trust her FBI agent lover, but she's going to take a bullet for him anyway.

While Aragon struggles, the secret patron who rules Santa Fe's south side and his bloodthirsty twin brother are compromising everybody to cash out a fraudulent multimillion-dollar verdict. Blackmail or assassination, it makes no difference. They want their money fast.

Continuing the story that began with The Drum Within—heralded as "a masterpiece" by #1 New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni—Compromised is a tour de force of suspenseful storytelling.

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Midnight Ink, paperback, February 2017, ISBN: 978-0738750408

The Drum Within

crime scene

Book 1

Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pink coyotes, mud houses going for millions of dollars, Indians selling jewelry off ragged blankets by the wheels of Mercedes and Jags.

Roasting chiles, scented woodsmoke and murder in the high, thin air.

From the south, the last stop on the royal road from Mexico. From the east, the end of the Santa Fe Trail. Not far off old Route 66, at the foot of mountains named for spilled blood.

The tourism board calls it The City Different. The kids call it Fanta Se.

Homicide Detective Denise Aragon calls it home.

She knows Santa Fe from the bottom up, from the gang-controlled neighborhoods you don't read about in guide books to the hilltop mansions of Texas oilmen and movie stars commuting from L.A. She knows the art galleries laundering drug money, the businessmen importing Mexican slaves, the judges throwing cases for sexual favors.

In The City Different, its toughest cop must be different, too.

With her partner Rick Lewis she does whatever it takes to get the job done, and keep her promise to the dead boyfriend she couldn't save.

Book one is The Drum Within, published by Midnight Ink. Denise Aragon must outsmart and outrun corrupt lawyers and judges to stop a celebrity artist who kills for his supplies. The latest victim is the wife of a man she hates: the cold-hearted criminal lawyer, Walter Fager. For the first time in his life he wants the police to succeed. But his twisted protege, Marcy Thornton, gleefully defends the killer using maneuvers Fager never imagined. Aragon pits lawyer against lawyer to keep her case on life support and enlists the FBI to bypass a state judge trading rulings for Thornton's sexual favors. The lead FBI agent reminds Aragon too much of the dead boyfriend who haunts her dreams. He wants romance. She can't handle it.

Aragon badly misjudges Fager's grief and Thornton's power. The killing ends. But not the way she planned.

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Midnight Ink, paperback, February 2016, ISBN: 978-0738747743


"Nothing makes me happier than the debut novel of a brilliant new writer, and I was wowed by Jim Scarantino's The Drum Within. An experienced prosecutor, Scarantino imbues his muscular legal thriller with authentic police procedure and legal detail, and drenches it with a canny insider's view of the way things really work in precinct houses and judges' chambers. Best of all, his main character Detective Denise Aragon ranks as one of the most fully-realized, strongest female characters I've read in crime fiction. Aragon powers her way through this twisty plot, racing after one of the most lethal and credible villains you'd ever want to meet, serial killer Cody Geronimo. The Drum Within is a superb novel, and this is a hearty welcome to an insanely talented newcomer, Jim Scarantino."
   —Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author and Past President, Mystery Writers of America

"The Drum Within is a gritty police procedural that will make you rethink everything you know about justice. A tour de force of good guys and bad guys. A masterpiece. I loved it."
   —Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon and New York Times bestselling author of MY SISTER'S GRAVE