Five Moves of Doom is a high-altitude and high-attitude entry in A.J. Devlin's award-winning mystery series, one that finds its hero pushed to his absolute limit, relying on his closest allies to survive, and making choices he never thought he'd have to make.
About the Author
Cobra Clutch, the first book in the "Hammerhead" Jed professional wrestling mystery-comedy series, was released in spring 2018 and nominated for a Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery and won the 2019 Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The sequel, Rolling Thunder, was released in spring 2020 and was featured in the Vancouver Sun, The Province, The Globe and Mail, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal, and on CBC The Next Chapter.
The third book in the series, Five Moves of Doom, will be published in fall 2022. For more information on A.J. and his books, please visit ajdevlin.com.
Read an Excerpt
You have a couple of options when you answer the door wearing nothing but a skin-tight pair of André the Giant boxer briefs before being arrested for murder.
ONE: You accept what's happening and fully embrace your shame.
TWO: You man up and rock those undergarments with the same aplomb James Bond would while sipping vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred) at a no-limit baccarat table in the Casino de Monte-Carlo.
I attempted to pull off the latter and tried to puff out my hairy chest, which was suddenly itchy as hell. I also quickly real¬ized my torso was long overdue for a trim.
"Burt Reynolds on a bearskin rug ain't got nothing on you, Big Guy. And while I'm sure a bunch of tabloids will duke it out for the privilege of splashing this iconic pose all over the cover of a future issue, I'd hardly call that bulge the Eighth Wonder of the World."
Vancouver Police Department Homicide Detective Constable Rya Shepard, flanked by two uniformed officers, tugged on the lapels of her tan pantsuit blazer before nodding toward my junk and rolling her eyes.
"Hello, Rya. You seem chipper." I grabbed a T-shirt and pair of track pants on the banister beside me and slipped them on faster than it takes a piece of weakened two-by-four western red cedar to break in half over my forehead after winning a wrestling match.
"Detective Shepard?" asked one of the uniformed officers beside the woman I had long loved with feelings I had never shared.
Rya sighed audibly before looking downwards. "Cuff him."
One of the cops strutted forward, yanked my wrists behind my back, and handcuffed me while his partner pulled a laminated card from a pouch on his police duty belt and proceeded to read aloud my rights. "John Edward Ounstead, AKA "Hammerhead" Jed Ounstead. You are hereby under arrest for the murder of"
I couldn't take it anymore. "What the hell, Rya?!?"
"Don't make this any harder than it has to be," she said, hang¬ing her head.
I clenched my jaw as Officer Tweedle-Dumb snapped on the metal restraints.
"This isn't a heel turn, Detective. You know me. I'm not a murderer."
Rya crossed her arms and finally looked me in the eye. "I hope you're right, Jed."
"Hope? What happened to trust?"
She turned her back to me. "Take him away," she said softly to the officers.