Dangerous, authentic, and gripping — the latest police thriller in the Rage Mystery series A predator is stalking the streets of downtown Toronto. Haunted by a tortured past, he preys upon sex workers, leaving carnage in his wake. Officer Jack Warren and his partner, Jenny Alton, join with the Major Crime division to hunt down this dangerous madman. But when Jenny is targeted as the next victim, the chase becomes personal for Jack. A violent confrontation reveals horrifying secrets and Jack’s own bloody link to ...
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Dangerous, authentic, and gripping — the latest police thriller in the Rage Mystery series A predator is stalking the streets of downtown Toronto. Haunted by a tortured past, he preys upon sex workers, leaving carnage in his wake. Officer Jack Warren and his partner, Jenny Alton, join with the Major Crime division to hunt down this dangerous madman. But when Jenny is targeted as the next victim, the chase becomes personal for Jack. A violent confrontation reveals horrifying secrets and Jack’s own bloody link to the monster.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Canadian police officer Pilkey's third gritty Rage novel (following Lethal Rage and Savage Rage) finds Toronto officer Jack Warren, nicknamed "The Reaper" due to his penchant for killing criminals, paired with sexy cop Jennifer Alton as they try to stop a series of vicious assaults on prostitutes in Division 51, aka Toronto's toilet. Alton and Warren deal with the dregs of the city, from bulked up bill-jumpers and alcoholics to battered wives and children, as they piece together the threads of the case. With his wife Karen haranguing him to leave the force, Warren and Alton find their fledgling attraction more and more tempting as they get closer to their suspect. Using Alton as bait, the cops hope to corner the steroid-fueled rage of a very sick Taylor Furlington. This dark trip into the streets of Toronto packs a few surprises, plus a tantalizingly ambiguous ending; Pilkey's heroes take a lot of punishment but mete out even more.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"Pilkey's extensive knowledge of police and policing makes this series a winner."  —Globe and Mail

"A masterful piece about street crime and the psyche of the men and women who work for the Toronto Police Department, Savage Rage offers up a skillful portrait. . . . Mr. Pilkey is quite adept at writing about police procedures and daily goings-on in that environment, creating highly believable characters with interesting personal lives in the process. Readers who are fascinated with the realities of the inner workings of a police division will greatly enjoy Savage Rage."  —New York Journal of Books on Savage Rage

"This dark trip into the streets of Toronto packs a few surprises, plus a tantalizingly ambiguous ending; Pilkey's heroes take a lot of punishment but mete out even more." —Publishers Weekly (January 14, 2013)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550229653
  • Publisher: ECW Press
  • Publication date: 9/26/2012
  • Series: The Rage Series
  • Pages: 265
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Brent Pilkey is the author of the Rage series and a member of Toronto's police force who previously worked on their crisis intervention team in 51 Division. He lives in Toronto.
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Read an Excerpt

Secret Rage

By Brent Pilkey


Copyright © 2012 Brent Pilkey
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-55022-965-3


Wednesday, 18 July

2332 hours

The heat hung lifeless in the night air, a soggy mass refusing to relinquish its oppressive grip on the city. Star Logan stood on her usual corner at Church Street and Gerrard Street East, praying for a cool breeze. The passing cars left the air oily with exhaust fumes and she stared enviously at the people comfortable in their air-conditioned havens.

She glanced at her watch. Not even midnight. Too early and too slow a night to call it quits. But damn, it was hot. Even in a halter and miniskirt, it was hot.

"Hey, Star. How you doing, girl?"

Star looked up and smiled. "I'm doing okay, Casey, but not much business tonight."

Casey Joanes, a veteran of the downtown Toronto streets, smiled back. "I hear that, sweetness. Hang in there a little longer. The bars'll be closing soon and there's always some poor white boy who needs to get laid."

Star laughed. Casey could always cheer her up, was always there to help. Star had met her almost a year ago, after taking her first working steps on the streets. The tall black working girl had taken the young blonde runaway under her wing and taught her how to survive. They worked the corner together, watching each other's back, enduring a life neither of them had chosen.

Star was checking the cars coming north on Church and spotted the cop car. "Casey, cops on the way. Better take off."

"Thanks, sweetness." Casey sauntered away, never glancing over her shoulder at the approaching cruiser. Star admired her nerve, doubting she herself could be so cool under the same circumstances, but Casey had taught her early on about the cops. If there was a warrant out for you or if you were breaking bail conditions, the last thing you wanted to do when the cops were around was give them the old nervous glance, no matter how casually you walked away. Might as well hold up a sign saying, "Wanted. Come and Arrest Me."

Star kept an eye on the cop car. The street lights kept reflecting off the windshield, stopping her from getting a look at the cops inside. It didn't take long to learn faces, to know which cops were only passing by for a free look and which ones were apt to check you out. She was clean right now, no wants, no bail conditions, so she didn't have to hide.

As the cop car drew closer, she turned and slowly walked up the sidewalk, swaying her hips provocatively. She had a good ass and knew it. The longer she could keep the cops' attention on her ass, the more time it gave Casey to duck out of sight.

From the corner of her eye she saw the cruiser slide up to the curb and stop. Oh well, time for name, date of birth and address.

"Excuse me, miss. Could I talk to you for a moment?"

The cop in the passenger seat had to be a rookie. He wasyoung, probably not much older than Star herself, and she couldn't remember the last time a cop had said "Excuse me, miss" to her.

She took her time walking over to the car, a bemused smile on her lips as she watched the rookie try not to look at her legs below her short — very short — miniskirt. She squatted by the door and let her eyes slide shut as she luxuriated in the cold air spilling out of the open window.

"Hey, Star, how's business?"

Oh, shit. She forcibly fixed the smile on her face before opening her eyes.

The driver slouched in his seat, a hungry leer on his fat face. He was a slob in uniform whose gut had grown out to touch the steering wheel. He was a regular in the area, always cruising by the girls, asking for free flashes, and he could be quite the shit if he didn't get what he wanted. It was hard to do business with a police car sitting at your corner.

It could be worse, though. Star had never heard of him demanding free hand or blow jobs. She figured he had a small dick and didn't want the girls laughing at him behind his back. At least, no more than they did already.

"Business ain't too good, Sean." That was another thing. He insisted on the girls calling him by name. Star had asked Casey about that once and the older sex worker had laughed and replied, "So he knows what it's like to have a woman say his name, sweetness."

"You gotta show more skin, baby doll, if you want the tricks."

"I'm not likely to get any business with you sitting here." The clammy heat was making her irritable and she almost added Boris but pulled it back in time. Other, less lecherous cops had told the girls in the area that Boris was Sean's nickname but warned them against using it to his face; he hated it and was likely to go apeshit all over them.

Boris brayed an ugly laugh. "Hey, Star, show the rookie why you're called Star."

"That's all right, miss. You don't have to." The young cop shifted uncomfortably in his seat, his eyes darting nervously between her face and his hands entwined in his lap. She felt sorry for him, having to ride with a pig like Boris, but also wondered how he figured he was going to make it as a cop if he didn't have the balls to look a prostitute in the eyes.

Boris whacked the rookie in the shoulder. "Of course she has to. You ain't a fag, are you, Artie?" He hawked and spat on the car floor between his legs — Star was amazed he could still hit the floor past his belly — then wiped the spittle from his lips with a meaty hand. He glared at Star. "C'mon, Star. Show him. Or I might have to drink my coffee here. And every night after — I'm working in 52 now, baby doll, so you're in my division. You're going to be seeing a lot more of me." He had ugly little eyes. The kind of eyes that told Star if he was a trick he could be cruel.

She glanced at the rookie once more to see if he had the backbone to speak up, but he sat silently, a small boy playing at being a policeman. Disgusted by the pair of them, she stood up and turned her back to them. She obediently hiked her skirt up to her waist to reveal the shooting star tattooed on her left cheek.

"Now that's an ass! Nice thong! See ya, Star." Boris peeled away from the curb.

"Asshole." She adjusted her skirt and watched as the police car made a fast right without stopping for the red. She imagined she could hear the fat slob braying like a donkey as cars braked to avoid the cruiser.

That's it. I'm going home.

She slung her small purse over her shoulder and, cursing the fool who had made stiletto heels — it had to be a man — headed home. She and Casey shared an apartment up on Maitland, a quick walk from their corner. She wondered if Casey had seen Boris's cruiser as a warning and decided to pack it in for the night. If she was home they could share some wine and the weed Star had taken as payment for a quick hand job.

She had made it less than a block when an old Honda eased up beside her. She glanced at the car and thought about ignoring the open passenger window but decided against it. It had been a slow night and she could use the cash one more trick would bring. She fluffed her shoulder-length blond hair and strolled over.

"Hi. Looking for a date?" Leaning into the open window, she gave the driver an eyeful of cleavage while she checked him out.

The first rule of survival Casey had taught Star was never — never! — get into a john's car without examining the situation first. Look for weapons, look for people hiding in the back seat, learn to read people and if anything didn't feel right, walk away. Fuck the money and walk away. Tricks are like streetcars, Casey said. Another one will be along in a few minutes.

Star had gotten good at reading johns and had only a few bad dates in her time. Nothing serious. One look at this guy and she knew his story. He was young, her age, and he wore a shapeless T-shirt, but his forearms were thick with muscle. His hair was a dull brown and it looked like he had cut it himself, hacked short and uneven. Not bad looking but his jaw was too heavy for her liking. Not that it mattered; she wasn't going to be jerking off his chin.

She figured him for a jock, maybe a university kid who couldn't get a date for the night or had one but she didn't put out. Young and with a bad case of blue balls. She'd be on her way home in five minutes.

The guy opened his mouth to answer her but choked on his words. Star smiled. Probably his first time with a working girl. She opened the door and slid into the passenger seat.

"How much you got, honey?"

"A hundred," he managed, his voice barely above a whisper. He glanced at her and then away. His hands anxiously gripped the steering wheel.

"Well, hon, a hundred'll get you the best blow job you've ever had." She put a hand on his thigh and he jumped. "Relax, hon. You interested?" He swallowed and jerked his head in a frantic nod. "Then turn up the AC, hon, and let's get going."

Star had a hotel room where she normally took her tricks but this one looked like he'd come before she got his zipper down so she opted to stay in the car. Rolling up the window to take full advantage of the AC, she directed him to a laneway off Gerrard and had him park close to the street but out of sight.

"Business before pleasure, hon. You'll enjoy it more if we get the money out of the way first."

Rule number two: always get the money first.

He reached into his jeans with a trembling hand and pulled out two crumpled fifties. The bills disappeared professionally into Star's purse. He was back to gripping the wheel and staring out the windshield. Poor guy. Some cocktease of a bitch had probably stuck him for dinner and a movie and left him hanging.

"What's your name?" She hardly ever asked a john his name but this one was so pathetically nervous she felt sorry for him.

"T — ah, Tim. Why?" He looked startled she had asked but at least he was looking at her.

Star smiled. If he didn't want to use his real name, Tim was fine by her. "I like you, Tim. I want to give you a little extra." Whether it was the long, slow night or a bad feeling left over from Boris's visit, she couldn't say, but she wanted this john to really enjoy himself and maybe she could have a bit of fun herself.

She popped the clasp on her halter and let it slip down her arms. Her nipples puckered in the car's cold air. She shook her breasts at him and smiled. "Do you like them?"

He could only stare and nod. Despite the cold air blowing through the vents, sweat beaded his brow.

Star snuggled into him. She could feel the muscles in his arm where her breasts pressed up against it. She slid her hand across his chest and he flinched. Hard muscle, not huge like a bodybuilder but definitely a jock. Her hand slid lower. She could feel his stomach muscles quivering under her touch.

"Relax, hon. Lie back and let Star take care of you." Her fingers expertly popped the button on his jeans and inched the zipper down. "You got something in there for me, Tim? Something big and hard?"

His elbow smashed into her jaw, rocking her back in the seat. Pain exploded in her mouth and she tasted blood. The thought that Casey would be very disappointed in her judgement flashed through her mind before the john rammed his fist into her nose. She felt and heard her nose break. All thoughts of Casey vanished in a wild surge of panic.

Oh my God, he's going to kill me!

She opened her mouth to scream but he was on her, a powerful hand clamping shut her throat, cutting off her voice and air. He dragged her close, close enough to kiss.

"You're a fucking whore," he snarled at her and she could hear the hate in his words as he spat his anger in her face.

She went for his eyes, gouging flesh. He roared and shoved her away. Her head smacked against the passenger window, shattering stars across her vision. Dazed, half-blinded by pain, she groped for the door handle. If she could get out she could run, reach the street and people. Safety was there. All she had to do was open the door.

Her fingers found the handle. Pulled. The door jerked open just as strong fingers dug into her hair, dragging her back. She tried to turn, to go for his eyes again, but he smashed her head against the dash. Again. And again.

He flung her back into the seat, her consciousness all but gone.

"Fucking whore."

She barely heard his words through the drumming in her ears. And the pain, so much pain. Better yet to just let go, sink into the darkness, away from the pain. Escape. But a part of her wouldn't let her escape, the part that stayed free while johns used her body, distanced her from the daily filth, forced her to stay awake. To survive.

She knew if she continued to fight back she would die so she sagged in the seat, feigning an unconsciousness that was so tantalizingly close. She lay there as rough hands pushed at her skirt. She did nothing as they ripped her underwear. She survived as fresh pain tore through her.

Dimly, she heard someone crying.


Thursday, 19 July

1200 hours

The tennis ball hit the ground with a loud thwump and rebounded high into the air. The young German shepherd leapt and deftly snatched the ball on the fly before landing as nimbly as a cat. A seventy-pound cat.

"Good catch, Justice! Bring the ball here."

Justice darted across the freshly mown grass of the hydro field, apparently oblivious to the heat. Jack Warren watched his dog sprinting beneath the cloudless sky and shook his head in quiet disbelief.

That dog would stay in a sauna if it meant playing with tennis balls.

"Good boy," Jack praised as Justice skidded to a halt in front of him. "Drop the ball."

Justice obediently spat the ball out and backed up a few steps, tail wagging ferociously. He barked impatiently as if to say, Well, hit the damn thing already!

It was Jack's turn to obey and he let the ball fly, putting as much muscle into the swing of the tennis racket as he could. Justice was off like a bullet, unerringly chasing down the arc of the ball. For a second Jack thought the dog would overshoot, but Justice knew what he was doing and neatly snagged the ball before it hit the ground, like a talented receiver plucking a perfectly placed football over his shoulder.

"That's a good idea, using the tennis racket."

Jack found an older gentleman standing next to him with an equally elderly and rather pot-bellied beagle sitting patiently in the man's shadow.

"Had no choice," Jack admitted. "My arm got tired from throwing the balls before he did. Case in point." Justice was back and eager to fly. Jack fired off another high-arcing lob.

"My Jasper could only dream of ever running that fast." The man bent down and gave Jasper an affectionate pat as if to forgive him for his lack of speed. "How old is your dog?"

"Eighteen months, two years. Somewhere around there. Not really sure. I only got him a few months ago and he was so malnourished and dehydrated that my vet had a hard time estimating his age."

"Well, he seems to have recovered splendidly."

"He sure has." Jack knelt to retrieve the ball Justice had just dropped and paused to run his hand over the glossy black and tan coat. It was almost impossible to believe that this was the same dog he had pulled off the streets back in March. Malnourished was an understatement. Justice had been emaciated, every rib showing painfully through his matted, filthy fur. Now, not quite four months later, he was a tennis-ball- and squirrel-chasing speed demon. And Jack's best friend.

"I sincerely hope whoever had him prior to you was appropriately reprimanded for mistreating him," Jasper's owner stated as he watched Justice snag the ball again. Jasper himself was less than impressed and had gone to sleep in his master's shade.

"I believe he was," Jack assured the man, thinking back to the beating he and Justice had laid on Joey Horner down in Moss Park. "I doubt he'll ever own a dog again." If he values his life, he won't.

"Well, it's time for Jasper and I to seek shelter from this heat. Come on, old man, wake up."

Jack watched Jasper waddle away with his owner, a happy grin playing about his lips. The close bond between them was evident as the man automatically shortened his steps to accommodate Jasper's squat legs and swaying belly. Jack smiled down at Justice who, despite heavy panting and a drooling tongue, was eager to keep playing.

"C'mon, buddy. Time for your dad to go to work."

Connor Lee was bored.

"Bored, boring, all fucking a-bored."

At least he had a scout car to sit in, although the labouring air conditioner was barely keeping ahead of the sauna effect the summer sun was having on the car. He had the dial cranked to Max and the output was cool at best.

"Fuck, I've gotten better chills from ex-girlfriends."


Excerpted from Secret Rage by Brent Pilkey. Copyright © 2012 Brent Pilkey. Excerpted by permission of ECW PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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