Delivering Death: A Novel

Delivering Death: A Novel

by Julie Kramer

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From the author of Stalking Susan comes the latest installment in the “compulsively readable” (WCCO-TV) bestselling Riley Spartz thriller series, featuring a smart, sassy, and always entertaining TV reporter as she matches wits with a media-savvy killer.

The most appealing mystery heroine since Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, TV reporter Riley Spartz is a star investigative journalist for Channel 3—and no stranger to the seedier side of her hometown. But when she receives a package of smelly human teeth in the mail at work, she’s quickly embroiled in a homicide investigation that spirals into one of the odder cases the Minneapolis police force has ever seen. Though the cops try to keep certain grisly details quiet, this murder has a strange twist—it seems that the killer wants the crime publicized.

Is it a revenge killing, or something more? Riley’s investigation takes her inside a lucrative identity theft ring that links low-life crooks like now-dead Leon Akume to white-collar opportunists like once-wealthy Jack Clemens. Despite a prime motive for murder, Jack also has the ultimate alibi: he's behind bars. While Riley pushes to keep the homicide in the news, her boss is convinced that coverage of the Mall of America’s unique version of a royal wedding is key to the station winning ratings. As the stakes continue to rise for her job and her life, Riley must outwit the killer in a trap that could leave yet another person dead...

An irresistible suspense novel that will keep readers turning pages until the stunning conclusion, Delivering Death brings the humor, intrigue, and twists and turns Julie Kramer’s fans have been waiting for.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451664683
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 363,750
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Julie Kramer is a journalist turned novelist. She writes a series of thrillers set in the desperate world of TV news. Julie has won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best First Mystery, as well as the Minnesota Book Award. Her work has also been nominated for the Anthony, Barry, Shamus, Mary Higgins Clark, and RT Best Amateur Sleuth Awards. She formerly ran WCCO-TV’s investigative unit before becoming a freelance network news producer for NBC and CBS. She lives with her family in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Read an Excerpt

Delivering Death

  • A guard checked a number against the ID bracelet on the man’s wrist while marking his name off a clipboard as he stood in line.

    Another chained the man’s cuffs to his waist and shackled his feet together, so he had to shuffle to board the prison bus behind other stumbling inmates in orange jumpsuits. He heard some snickering among the jailers about something called “diesel therapy.” The term puzzled him, but amid the scuffling and stern faces, he had no time or nerve for questions.

    His answer came thousands of miles later via a road trip through highway hell during which he had to constantly remind himself that he was Jack Clemens and he used to be rich.

    After the first day, he had learned not to eat the baloney sandwiches offered for lunch. Not only did they taste like shit, but bathroom breaks were stretched hundreds of miles apart and by the time the bus finally stopped for gas, he’d soiled his pants.

    “Idiot. Asshole.” The guy in the next seat swore at him, looking as tough as his talk with cornrows, tattoos, and scars.

    “Sorry.” Those who knew him on the outside would have been surprised by such a quick apology. Atonement had never come as naturally to him as blaming others. During his court sentencing, Jack had been given a chance to speak, but instead of expressing regret for his crimes—as his attorney had urged—he insisted that he’d been unfairly persecuted. All that blather did was piss off the judge and land him ten years in the slammer.

    Now, seven hours into this excursion, the entire bus reeked.

    This wasn’t the deal Inmate 16780-59 had envisioned. After all, he wasn’t a violent felon. Or a repeat offender. Maybe some of the outlaws on the bus deserved transport torture, but not him. Sure, he had tried to game the penal system and that arrogance had cost him his comfy bunk at a country club prison camp in northern Minnesota . . . but what did they expect? He was a white-collar criminal.

    Until his crime made headlines, his wealth wasn’t the kind that made Jack Clemens a household name. He didn’t own a professional sports team, or appear in television commercials, or invent a product that changed the world. He simply moved money around various financial accounts, and thus could walk down the streets of Minneapolis without being recognized. With brown hair and blue eyes, medium height and weight, this middle-aged man was average in every way but income.

    That night, after six hundred miles crammed in narrow plastic seats with stiffening legs and sore arms, the chained gang left the bus to be housed at another prison overnight. The inmates were given fresh uniforms and a chance to shower. But he was afraid of the showers and cleaned himself with water from the toilet.

    He had no idea where he was, where he was going, or when the journey would end. He’d stopped trying to calculate what direction they were headed in, knowing only that he didn’t belong on this bus with these animals. The guards ignored him when he tried explaining that a mistake had been made. He waited for the attorney to fix things, but days turned into nights and the wheels on the bus kept rolling.

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    Delivering Death: A Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Just like all her other books, I could not put this one down. There is always that surprise at the end. Waiting for her next novel to come out.
    NCLknfan More than 1 year ago
    Finished this book several hours ago and am still thinking about it! Loved it. After reading four of Kramer's books, Reily Spartz is like an old friend. This is my favorite of the Spartz books so far. (Although I REALLY liked Shunning Sarah and Missing Mark.) Julie Kramer just keeps the surprises coming in her books. And they keep getting better.
    Karen-Florida More than 1 year ago
    Charming book.  It was fun, suspensful and romantic.   What more can you ask for.  Riley Spartz is an engaging character and you will enjoy this book
    anniemichelle More than 1 year ago
    Let me just start out by saying if you have never read a Riley Spartz book, you are really missing out. Every paragraph in Julie's books are funny and filled with her dry wit, one liners and local insider jokes that make you chuckle and laugh out loud the whole way through the book. Sometimes the Joke is on Riley but, the best jokes are when Riley turns the tables on the bad guy and gets the story all in one fell... scoop. Wonderful to see the characters in all The Riley Spartz books back again, Riley's on again/off again ex-fiance Nick Garrett as well as her always loyal photographer Malik, computer slueth Xiong, her always fun parents and her news directer and sexual twerp Bryce. Another favorite part in the books is the delightful back and forth Riley & Nick do with movie quotes they throw to each other such as... Riley to Nick "you don't even know how much you'll miss me"... Nick to Riley "Shirley MacLaine, tearms of endearment, 1983" there are many more of these scattered throughout all the books and they will make you smile and try to guess the answer every time. Riley Spartz is a TV investigative journalist for channel 3 news in the Twin cities MN area. One day she opens her mail at the station and finds a set of loose teeth, newly pulled with no note or explanation. This sets Riley off all over the cities looking for who, what, where, they done it and why they sent them to her? I love to ride along with Riley in our hometown as she sets off hunting down the story, knowing where she is and who she's really talking about is part of the fun! Riley and her mouth frequently get her into trouble but her quick wit usually gets her out, sometimes with the help of her ex Nick. Since channel 3 is really about channel 4, WCCO in the twin cities, I will read you one of the comments from WCCO ... "From the author of Stalking Susan comes the latest installment in the compulsively readable best selling Riley Spartz thriller series, featuring a smart, sassy and always entertaining TV reporter as she matches wits with a media savvy killer." This is spot on Riley! This is one of the funniest, best mystery series out there and that reason alone would keep me coming back but the great stories, humor, characters, issues and having it be local is enough to keep me reading about Riley as long as Julie will write about her! There are lots of stories going on for channel 3 news this time around... the teeth sent to Riley & Saint Apollonia to protect them, missing dogs, animal & environmental issues, the FBI & Nick, a large fish painting & off shore accounts, bomb scares, weddings and movie stars at MOA, funeral homes & coffins, greedy & ruthless business people, high school reunions, lost and then found again love, you name it and Riley was covering it. I recieved this book because I have a BIG MOUTH, hehehehe.... since reading the first Riley Spartz book years ago, I have been hooked & blabbing about them and I'll continue to do so!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Benjamin_Sobieck More than 1 year ago
    In Delivering Death, TV investigative journalist Riley Spartz (a little art imitating reality) receives a package full of teeth. Whom they belong to, and how they relate to a well-known Minnesota fraudster serving time in prison (loosely based on either Denny Hecker or Tom Petters, I suspect), makes for a fast-paced A plot. Still, much of the novel focuses elsewhere. The B plots involve other stories Spartz chases, a mass marriage at the Mall of America, missing dogs, an ex she must turn to as a source and a TV news director sacrificing quality for cheap entertainment during sweeps. Much as she likely did in real life, Kramer balances each without losing the reader. The writing is crisp, the chapters quick and the plot deceivingly smart. Kramer lobs a few softball homeruns for readers to run the bases with, but clears the floor with a couple bombshells no one will see coming. However, as my old journalism mentor would say, the "story is done when it's done." I thought the story ended when the A plot wrapped up, but the book kept going for a jaunt to the Mall of America. It felt tacked on to fill pages, but forgivable in light of Delivering Death's other strengths. One other point, this time about nuts and bolts writing. Delivering Death shifts between first and third person points of view. That's something I pull in my WIP crime novel, and hadn't seen it done before now. Honestly, I was worried that format would throw off would-be readers. But seeing Kramer pull it off so effortlessly - sometimes even within a single chapter - is enough verification to me. Kramer made a fan out of me with Delivering Death. I can't wait to dive into her other novels. She's my kind of crime writer. You'd do well to be her kind of crime reader.
    BuzzBland More than 1 year ago
    Julie Kramer is "Delivering Death" in a masterful new book! Julie Kramer is back with a delightful alliterative titled new book featuring Riley Spartz, investigative reporter for Channel 3. Riley receives a package in the mail, and so begins the fast paced road for Riley to travel, through a murder investigation, white collar crime and a group wedding set to take place in the oddest of places, the Mall of America. In a mix of danger, office politics, unresolved love and the art world, this page turner gives us all the twists, turns and surprises we expect in a Julie Kramer novel. First time readers can enjoy a look into the television world and the dangers of being a reporter today, and long time readers can revel in another romp in Riley's world. Julie delivers everything you have come to expect, suspense, danger, character depth and a backdrop that real people live in, and make you want to visit over and over! Well done, Bravo!!! Add this author to your list of favorites today......she is one of mine!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    A real page turner. But who needs sleep?
    MarienicollBetaIN More than 1 year ago
    This is a enjoyable read. I fell in love with Riley Spartz. She is great news reporter. Delivering Death is a fast paced who dun it with Riley and her charm that leads the reader into her office for a master piece of crime. No where else can you find fun, crazy antics and a hot man all in one place.  Death, weddings, art and even a coffin will have you guessing as you turn the pages. Julie has a winner with her Riley Spartz novels. She is at the top of her game
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Fantastic addition to the Riley Sparks saga. Kept me up reading, I couldn't put it down. A wondetful read. I highly recommend this book.