13 Under the Wire: A Layla Remington Novel

13 Under the Wire: A Layla Remington Novel

by Gil Reavill

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553395075
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/24/2016
Series: Layla Remington , #3
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 267
Sales rank: 46,284
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Gil Reavill is a journalist, screenwriter, and playwright. His crime writing widely featured in magazines, Reavill is the author of two previous Layla Remington mysteries, 13 Hollywood Apes and 13 Stolen Girls, as well as Mafia Summit: J. Edgar Hoover, the Kennedy Brothers, and the Meeting That Unmasked the Mob, and Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home. He also co-wrote the screenplay that became the film Dirty, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. He lives in New York with his wife, the author Jean Zimmerman, and their daughter.

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Present day

L.A. was on fire.

On the second day of the riots, after she had been on keep-the-peace duty for thirty-six hours straight, Detective Layla Remington of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department watched an overweight figure wearing a police flak jacket take off running. He peeled away from the flaming chaos along San Fernando Road and hit an unlit alleyway a half block to Remington’s left. The reflective lettering on his body armor read “LAPD.” Thinking the officer could use some help, she took a step in that direction.

“Don’t,” Deputy Johnny Velske said. Just the single word, with the sound of a random far-off gunshot putting a period after it.

Stick together was the cardinal rule of the crisis. Backed off fifty yards from the main drag, Remington’s small contingent of sheriff’s department personnel were outgunned and outnumbered, but they hadn’t yet lost anyone.
Torched businesses illuminated the night along the major commercial strip in San Fernando, a heavily Hispanic community in the Valley. Looters raced to do their work before arsonists completed theirs. Pharmacies and gun shops got hit first, then liquor stores. A spectacular series of explosions in a sales lot of brand-new cars had mostly quieted, but every once in a while the air shook as another gas tank blew.

Whenever and wherever police or fire units showed, the rioters routed them with barrages of bricks, rocks and salvos of gunfire. Plumes of coal-colored smoke choked the skies over the neighborhood. The infamous Los Angeles smog, so much better of late, returned with a vengeance as a sooty gray cloud.

The unrest had erupted in the early evening two days before. That afternoon, an LAPD anti-gang task force shot up the wrong house. The raid was a disaster, with police killing six innocent residents, including a pregnant teenager. All the cops were white. The dead were Hispanic. In a heartbeat, the incident went wide on social media.

With no sleep and thirty-six hours of constant, grinding tension, Remington couldn’t judge whether her brain was working right. Everyone was exhausted, everyone was on edge. Despite her best instincts, she loped off toward a residential driveway that would give her access to the alley where the cop had disappeared.

Deputy Velske shouted after her, trying to call her back. Remington hurdled a pair of waist-high chain-links and cut across a small yard leading to the darkened alleyway. As soon as her boots cleared a last fence and crunched down on gravel, she propelled herself into the middle of a confrontation.

Seeing a cop in an all-out sprint, she had naturally concluded that he was running down some offender, a looter or an arsonist. Now Remington realized that she had made a serious error. The overweight cop wasn’t chasing anyone. He was fleeing for his life. A gaunt stickman dressed all in black pounded down the alley after him.

The husky cop tripped and sprawled forward. He turned back toward his pursuer, raising his arms in a defensive posture.

“Police!” Remington’s shouted warning was drowned out by gunshots to the immediate east. They resembled a string of firecrackers going off.

The stickman raised his right hand and pointed at the cop. In the smoky gloom, Remington couldn’t be sure the guy held a weapon until she saw the muzzle flash. She heard the snap of the round as it took the downed cop in the neck. She leveled her own sidearm, a seven-shot Ruger that was down to three loads because she had been firing warning shots into the air all day.

The cop in the LAPD flak jacket clutched his throat. At ten yards, Remington could hear him choking on his own blood. Stickman fired again. Remington had had enough. She put the rioter in her sights.

A citizen with a shotgun stepped out of the shadows of the yard across the alley. He aimed and fired. The blast twisted the stickman a half-turn around. With an odd buckling movement, as if he were merely settling in for a nap, the rioter lay down beside the wounded cop. He stayed where he fell, not moving.

“Drop your weapon!” Remington shouted, shifting her Ruger onto the newcomer. The citizen wore a dumbfounded expression, as if he couldn’t believe what happened when you pulled the trigger on a twelve-gauge that was aimed in the general direction of a flesh-and-blood human being.

For a split second in the dim light, Remington thought she recognized the guy as a vile criminal she had encountered before. She reacted immediately, reflexively, advancing with her pistol leveled and firing until her magazine emptied. The citizen was breathing when she ran up on him. Then he sighed and went quiet.

With a sick drop to her stomach, Remington realized she had been wrong. The dead man did not even faintly resemble the perp she had mistaken him for. Her extreme exhaustion, her frayed nerves, the confusion of the alleyway had betrayed her.

In the midst of a riot triggered by a police killing of Hispanic citizens, Detective Layla Remington had herself shot and killed a Hispanic citizen. She braced herself for all the trouble that was about to crash down on her.
Remington checked the others. The cop had bled out. She approached the stickman guy and felt for a pulse. He was gone, too.

Velske and a rookie deputy named Billy Horace—predictably nicknamed Horse within the department—came flying through the backyard into the alley, weapons drawn.

“What the hell!” Velske pointed his pistol in frantic stabs up the alley toward San Fernando Road, down the alley toward a gulf of smoldering black nothingness, then into the backyards on both sides. Scoping the dead guy in the LAPD flak jacket, Velske swore loudly.

“Eleven-ninety-nine!” he shouted into his two-way. “Nine-nine-nine!”

Officer down. Officer needs help.

“Forget it, Johnny,” Remington said. Sheriff’s Department dispatch had been overwhelmed all night. No one was going to be answering their calls.

Another round of gunshots exploded up on the commercial strip. From the dark alleyway they could see crowds of looters streaming southeast.

“We’ve got to move!” Deputy Velske was pumped up and breathing hard. “All they have to do is make a turn down this way and we’ll get run over.”

Remington didn’t think that was going to happen. The rioters weren’t interested in residential neighborhoods. They liked storefronts, the more plate glass the better.

“What the hell happened?” Velske asked her. “Never leave the unit! Never leave the goddamn unit!”

Technically, as a sergeant Velske should have been officer in charge. But chain of command had gone funky during the riot. Comms were spotty. Fatigue had taken its toll. They were like a platoon caught behind the lines, taking a stand with their backs to the freeway. The six-lane interstate was clogged with the hulks of a half-dozen burned-out vehicles. Remington had come to look upon Los Angeles as an abused spouse, repeatedly battered by disasters both natural and human-sourced.

“We’ve got a deceased officer over here,” Horse called out, stating the obvious. He tried for an official tone but couldn’t keep the shock and awe out of his voice. “Are we in trouble?”

Remington had an urge to laugh in the rookie’s face. We’re under siege, we have three DOAs at our feet, one of them a cop, we’ve been out on riot patrol for thirty-six hours straight—and Horse is asking if we’re in trouble?

“What a clusterf***,” Velske muttered.

“No, no, clusterf*** is down the road a piece,” Remington said. “This here is more on the order of reamed, steamed and dry-cleaned.”

She was wrong about the rioters sticking to the main drag. A group of them drained off San Fernando Road and came toward her, lofting rocks, bricks, garbage cans, anything that could be thrown.

“Get out!” Velske yelled. “Go, go, go!”

An angry, throaty rumbling rose from the mob. Remington stood her ground, a lone figure at the mouth of the dark alley, facing off the rioters. Stones whizzed past her face, ricocheting like bullets. She would have fired into the air but she had just emptied her sidearm into the fallen citizen who lay dead behind her.

Remington singled out a long-haired teenager in a black Gap T-shirt and a purple bandanna hiked up around his mouth. He and his comrades skidded to a halt, like a gang of kids in a cartoon. Moving as one, the group scrambled backward, retreating in a rush. She was about to congratulate herself on her command presence when a squad of a dozen military personnel in full combat battle dress double-timed forward and took up support positions around her.

The cavalry had finally showed.

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13 Under the Wire: A Layla Remington Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Injoy-Life More than 1 year ago
13 Under the Wire, A Layla Remington Novel by Gil Reavill is a page turner. It has lots of twists & turns that kept me guessing. I gave it five stars. Layla works as a Detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She's on peace-keeping duty during riots. The story has flashbacks from ten years prior. "Whenever & wherever police or fire units showed, the rioters routed them with barrages of bricks, rocks & salvos of gunfire. Gouts of coal-colored smoke choked the skies over the neighborhood." "With no sleep & thirty-six hours of constant, grinding tension, Remington couldn't judge whether her brain was working right. Everyone was exhausted, everyone was on edge. Despite her best instincts, she loped off toward a residential driveway that would give her access to the alley where the cop had disappeared." Layla's life is intertwined with the Loushane family. They were considered the West Coast version of the Kennedy family, including the curse that brought multiple tragedies & deaths to young members. There are some brutal scenes that were disturbing, especially with Fausto & the creation of his 'zombie' hitmen. I would have liked to have resolution to what happened to some of the characters referenced but where no conclusion was written. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher Alibi & NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.
Bev_Ash More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure what to say about this book. I didn't like the way the main character, Layla, was depicted in this book. To me, she was made to appear too wishy washy. Some times she was weak and in the next chapter she would be strong. I liked the villains better. At least they were consistent in their wickedness. The book did keep me reading to find out what would happen next and the plot was well written. Although this book was not my favorite, I liked the other two in this series so will read this author again. I received this ebook from NetGalley for an honest review.
jayfwms More than 1 year ago
This is an unusual story set in both Mexico and the United States. Layla Remington is a real, well-rounded person with a strong desire to serve in law enforcement. The story of a serious series of tragedies during her early career is framed by the unfortunate shooting of a civilian during a major riot, and the court review that results from it. The strength of the book is the slow realization of the motive behind the heinous crime committed against a rich family. The quality of writing creates a strong bond to the story, and makes the book impossible to put down. Definitely a great read.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was certainly a book with a LOT of action. It went back and forth from present to past and was a little confusing at first, but once I figured it out, there was no putting this one down. There were more bad guys than I have digits. And they were seriously some BAD guys! And then the ending when you find out what all the fighting is about - the dude who goes to London deserves to have everything that happened to everyone in the book happen to him. Grrr! What an a$$hat. I would certainly recommend you try this one out for yourself. I think you will agree that it is not one to be read near bedtime. Start this one early in the day, because you won't be able to put it down. Thanks Random House and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this e-galley. I thoroughly enjoy it and will be posting my review on all the usual sites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a grabber! I started reading it and didn't put it down until it was finished. The characters and plot were complex (there is a great twist toward the end) and there was enough action to keep even the most jaded reader engrossed. Thanks to Net Galley and Alibi for an ARC for an honest review.
booklover- More than 1 year ago
This is a new author to me and 13 UNDER THE WIRE is the third book, following 13 HOLLYWOOD APES and 13 STOLEN GIRLS. Layla Remmington is a sheriff's detective in Los Angeles. And right now, LA is under attack. All cops are on duty to try to hold the peace amid the rioting and looting and burning. This all stems from an LAPD Anti-Gang Task Force shot up the wrong house. The police killed six innocent residents including a pregnant teenager. All the cops were white. All the victims were Hispanic. Working in the midst of a 36 hour shift, Remmington is tired, very tired. She sees another policeman running toward an alley. Thinking he's after a rioter or arsonist, she also takes chase. What ends of happening is the cop is on the alley floor bleeding out, there are several men surrounding him, and a man on the side holding a shotgun. She shoots the man holding the gun .. only to later find out he was just a man coming to help, trying to chase away the bad guys. He was also Hispanic. I was really into it at this point, it's also where I got real confused. She is taken in a bus to a place she knows very well .. she used to spend time there when she was a teenager. For some reason, this is set up as a base. And then the story veers off to 10 years earlier, when the young man who lived here died of a drug overdose. She hasn't seen the family in years and she's now in the police academy. The head of the house asks her to pack up and clean their son's apartment and put all the boxes in storage. Now I had to ask myself .. would I want that job done by someone I really didn't know? If I didn't want to do it myself, could packing have waited awhile? Why was it so important that it be done right now? I lost all interest as nothing seemed to make sense to me. She's invited to the big house when they have guests ... and everyone treats her as though she doesn't exist. Rarely do I leave a book unread, but I didn't connect to any of the characters or the events taking place. I did like the beginning chapters and I really liked the detective's name. My thanks to the author / Random House Publishing Group - Alibi / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.