Shea Stevens thought she was finished with outlaws. After a terrifying brush with death in Arizona’s criminal underworld, Shea rededicates her energy to her girlfriend, her ragtag family, and her custom motorcycle shop, Iron Goddess—until the CI agreement she signed to dodge a weapons charge comes back to haunt her.
People are dying from a club drug laced with strychnine. A witness tells the lead detective that the bad pills are coming from a dealer in an all-female motorcycle club: the Athena Sisterhood. Under threat of jail time, Shea is tasked with sniffing out the truth—by infiltrating the Sisterhood. Though they claim to be a bunch of fun-loving feminists, they’re packing some serious firepower. Worse, they’re led by Shea’s former old lady, Debbie Raymond.
The awkward reunion is just the start of Shea’s troubles. As a prospect in the Sisterhood, there’s a target on her back from day one. Biker culture breeds paranoia and violence, which is the whole reason Shea quit in the first place. But she’ll do anything to keep her family safe—even if it means snitching on one of her own.
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Terror gripped Genette Abrams. What’s wrong with me? Can’t breathe.
Earlier in the evening, Ironwood’s Downtown District had pulsed with Central Arizona University students.
Genette had been having such a good time at the Trip Hop Lounge, dancing and rolling on a drug called hex, a mix of heroin and ecstasy, that she told her sorority sisters to go home without her.
But at eleven thirty, her stomach had begun to cramp. She’d stepped outside, hoping some fresh air would help make her feel better. It hadn’t. The stomach cramps worsened until she hurled next to an ironwood tree planted along the sidewalk. She would have been embarrassed had anyone seen her. But on a Monday night with finals just a week away, the streets were all but abandoned.
As she walked away from the club, her legs and chest stiffened, making walking and breathing difficult. Her four-inch heel slipped off the sidewalk. She tumbled into the cold, dark street and lay shivering on the pavement.
Above her, the red-and-green lights of a holiday decoration affixed to a streetlamp glowed cheerily.
As quickly as it came, the bizarre tightening of muscles released. Using the small ironwood tree to pull herself up, she hobbled up against a nearby building and took a breath. I’ll be okay. Just need to find my car and get home. She managed a smile, as the bass beat of the club’s house music lingered in her drug-lubricated mind. Where the hell’d I park, anyway?
A second wave of stiffness battered her, more intense this time. Hands trembled. Jaw tightened. Leg muscles seized. Her chest muscles constricted and squeezed the air out of her lungs. Genette cried out in agony through gritted teeth as she collapsed. “Grrrngh . . .”
What’s happening to me? Please, God, don’t let me die.
Moments before she blacked out, the tightness and pain eased up again. She took deep, gulping breaths. A gust of icy November wind blew across her bare legs. Gotta get out of the wind.
Holding on to a wall to steady herself, she inched along the steep sidewalk into an alley. It wasn’t much warmer, but at least it cut the wind screaming down the street.
Gotta call Sarah. She’ll help me.
She reached for the phone in her purse. With clumsy fingers, she dialed her roommate’s phone. Another wave of cramps and tremors hit her.
“Hello?” asked a gravelly, irritated voice.
“Su . . . muh . . . heh . . .” The words would not come out.
“Genette, is that you?”
“Brah . . . nee . . .” With a squeal, her jaw clamped shut and refused to open.
“Dammit, girl! I told you before—don’t be drunk dialing me this late. I’ll talk to you in the morning.”
“Ughnnn . . .” Her lungs burned for air. Her chest tightened. Her pulse thrummed in her ears, like taiko drums from a horror movie soundtrack. A foamy liquid in her throat choked off her breathing. Panic and confusion gripped her. She collapsed on the ground. The phone clattered onto the sidewalk next to her.
“Shut the f*** up!” came a voice farther down the alley. “Some of us is trying to sleep!”
A woman bundled up in a coat with a hoodie loomed over her, illuminated by the dim light spilling from the street.
“Jesus H. Christ. Can’t you find someplace else to make noise?”
Genette reached out, her eyes bulging in their sockets. “Mmrrnngh . . .”
“F***ing drunk college kids ain’t got nothing better to do than interrupt my sleep. Shit.” The woman disappeared from view, followed by the rhythmic squeaking of a grocery cart wheel.
Genette collapsed as her muscles no longer responded. No, don’t leave. Please. Help.
Her body arched backward in crushing waves of pain, twisting and contorting. The cold deepened. Genette’s mind went dark. Dead eyes stared sightless into the night.
Twenty miles to the south, in the town of Sycamore Springs, Shea Stevens and three of her employees at Iron Goddess Custom Cycles were rushing to finish the one-off bagger. It was nearly midnight. The new owner was scheduled to pick it up in the morning.
The scarred-over gunshot wound on Shea’s lower back burned as she tightened the leads on the motorcycle battery. The ache in her recently healed collarbone wasn’t helping either.
Three months earlier, two sheriff’s deputies had attempted to silence her after she learned they were running a heroin-trafficking ring. Sergeant Willie Foster had run her bike off the road with his car, breaking her collarbone. After she killed Foster with a shot to the head, his cohort, Detective Edelman, had put a bullet in her back. Had it not been for Edelman’s assigned partner, Detective Rios, Shea would have been dead.
But Shea didn’t have time to worry about old wounds. If they didn’t deliver the bike on time, the shop would incur expensive penalties. Shea didn’t care so much, but Terrance Douglas, her business partner, would have a shit fit if they missed the deadline.
“Okay, folks, let’s bring this baby to life.” Shea inserted the key and pressed the starter button.
The engine went rurr-rurr-rurr, but didn’t catch. A series of frustrated glances passed between Shea and her crew. She tried again, holding the starter a few seconds longer. It refused to turn over.
“We did put gas in the tank, right?” Shea asked.
Lakota, an Oglala Sioux woman who served as the shop’s mechanical engineer, inspected the bike. “Full tank. Battery’s fully charged. Oil pan’s filled. Air intake looks fine. It should start.”
“Maybe it’s the wiring,” suggested Kyle Flores, Shea’s newest hire. Despite being just under four feet tall, he still managed to ride a standard-size motorcycle and had turned out to be a decent motorcycle mechanic.
Switch, the shop’s electronics specialist, stared at the bike. “It’s not the wiring,” she said firmly.
“If we got air and we got fuel, problem’s gotta be electrical.” Shea rubbed the scar on her back. “No offense, Switch, but I think something’s miswired.”
“I didn’t miswire it. I did everything right. I always do everything right.”
Shea caught a cautionary look from Lakota that said, Don’t set her off.
Outside the closed garage bay doors, the throaty growl of a Harley from the back parking lot caught everyone’s attention. A moment later someone pounded on the back door with such force it made everyone jump.
“Who could that be?” asked Lakota.
“I’ll deal with this bozo.” Shea grabbed a large dead-blow hammer and marched toward the door. “Y’all figure out why this bike won’t start.”
Whoever was knocking was probably not someone she wanted to talk to. A tweaker looking to rob the place. A cop looking for her or one of her team of second-chancers. An ex-girlfriend making a late-night booty call.
“We ain’t open yet,” Shea yelled through the closed door. “Come back at eight.”
More pounding followed by a familiar voice. “Shea-Shea? Open up. It’s Monster.” He sounded drunk.
Anger rippled up her back and into her fists. Like I ain’t got enough shit to deal with.
Shea kicked open the door, nearly knocking the heavyset biker off his feet. “What the hell you doing here? It’s late and I’m busy.”
Monster sported a halo of snowy hair and a longish slush-colored beard tied with a rubber band. His leather vest, known as a cut, identified him as a member of the Confederate Thunder Motorcycle Club. “Easy, girl. Saw the lights on. I left you messages, but you never called back.”
“I ain’t got nothing to say to you, old man.”
“Now, Shea . . .” Monster reached out to put a hand on Shea’s shoulder, but Shea backed away, warding him off with the hammer.
“Keep your f***ing paws off me. I don’t want nothing to do with you or the Thunder ever again. You got me?”
“Shea, darling, I just wanna see my grandbaby.”
“Annie ain’t your grandbaby.”
“Like hell she ain’t. I raised your sister, Wendy, since she was seven years old. I was there when she gave birth to Annie. I’m the closest thing to a grandpa Annie knows.”
“Wendy’s dead because of her involvement with the Thunder. I ain’t gonna let that happen to Annie.”
“Aw, that’s horseshit and you know it. That no-good cop’s the one shot Wendy. She’d still be alive if you two had stayed at the clubhouse like y’alls supposed to.”
Shea swung at him but he caught the hammer and pulled her close.
“Wendy’s dead cause the Thunder are the biggest crank dealers in the county,” she said. “I’m the one who rescued Annie from the kidnapper. I’m her guardian now. And I say you ain’t getting nowhere near her.”
“Shea, I know you’re angry. Hell, I’m angry, too. It can’t be easy raising Annie by yourself. I’m here ’cause Julia and me wanna help.”
“Me and my girlfriend are doing just fine without you.”
“The girl needs a father figure in her life. She ain’t getting it having two mommies.”
“Get the f*** outta here, Monster, ’fore I call the cops.”
“Shea, please. Julia cries every night she don’t see Annie. We lost Wendy. Least you could do is let us see our grandbaby.”
Shea studied Monster’s face. “As long as you’re a member of that drug-dealing, murderous band of misogynists you call a motorcycle club, you and Julia ain’t stepping anywhere near Annie.”
Monster scoffed. “You been hanging around them femi-Nazis in the Athena Sisterhood?”
The Athena Sisterhood was a women’s motorcycle club that frequently staged protests and rallies for feminist causes. There were rumors that the local chapter had firebombed a state senator’s office and a strip club. Shea had avoided them because the chapter was run by an ex-girlfriend of hers.
“None of your business who I hang with.”
Monster’s face changed from pleading to threatening. “You best stay clear of them Barbie bikers, if’n you know what’s good for ya.”
“Tell me, old man. Is the Thunder still using the old stash house to store drugs and guns? Be a shame if the cops busted the place.”
His eyes narrowed. “Shea, talk like that could get you hurt. Your daddy mighta been the Thunder president once upon a time, but that won’t protect you if you go snitchin’.”
“This conversation’s over.” Shea tried again to close the door, but Monster stopped it with his boot.
“I’m gonna see my grandbaby, Shea. Ain’t no reason to be stubborn about it.”
She smashed Monster’s boot with the dead-blow hammer. He fell back cursing and holding his foot.
“Stay away from my family, or I’ll put a bullet in your brain.” She slammed the door and locked it.
Monster pounded on the door. “This ain’t over,” he yelled in a strained voice. A moment later the roar of his bike filled the air, then faded into the night.
Shea trudged back to her crew and their work in progress. Kyle and Lakota were staring at her. Switch had unbolted the tank and propped it out of the way as she worked with the bike’s ignition system.
“You okay, Shea?” asked Lakota.
“Just peachy. What’s the story with the bike?”
“Spark plugs were bad out of the box. Switch is replacing them now.” Lakota leaned close to Shea. “Who was that guy?”
“A member of the Confederate Thunder I used to know.”
“Should we be worried? Last time they showed up here, they shot up the place.”
“Nah,” Shea said, hoping to convince herself as much as anyone.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent book. Really enjoyed it. Lily ?
Snitch is the second Shae Stevens book. Shea is a tough biker who just wants build bikes and be with her family, but her outlaw biker history keeps pulling her back in. The story picks up a few months after the first book. What I like about this book (and the series in general) is its edginess. It really sucks you in. Part of it is the conflict and contradiction between Shea’s values and her nature. She wants nothing to do with MC culture, but once she’s in, she’s all in. I think the author does a good job making it believable. Another thing I found interesting in this is Shea’s relationship with Monster and his old lady. They practically raised her, but because they’re still in the Confederate Thunder MC, she absolutely hates them. This is rather sad, I think, because they really seem to love her and her niece. One thing I noticed was that instead feeling natural to the story, the prevalence of LGBT characters seemed contrived. In many cases, the revelation of sexual preference was just, bam, there, without any clear tie to the storyline. In other cases, it seemed downright out of character. I like diversity in stories, but I don’t particularly care for it when it’s forced. Overall, I really liked the story because it was gritty, dangerous, and hard to put down. I’d recommend Snitch to fans of MC thrillers, biker culture, and stories who feature strong female characters. I picked up the advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This review was written for the blog at PureTextuality.com.
Shea Stevens wants to leave her past behind her as she had been in trouble and get on with her life . Shea had been brought up in a MC called the Confederate Thunder . Monster and his old lady had practically raised Shea. and they love Shea and her niece even though she has pulled away from them. Shea just wants to run her custom motorcycle business and build her custom bikes called The Iron Goddess and be with her family.. But also being a parent to her niece Annie who the court had granted her custody of and be with her girlfriend Jessica who has actually the one taking care of Annie as Shea is putting so many hours into her bike shop and Jessica doesn’t like it. . Then after a night of partying people dying when taking a new drug turns up cut with strychnine. This drug appears to be the reason for the deaths. The Athena Sisterhood seem to be the distributor of this drug. Shea is forced to infiltrate the MC and try to learn more. Shea had to sign a informant contract to stay out of prison on some gun charges before she got out of the MC after a near death experience. Shea was threatened with prison time if she didn’t go undercover into the Athena Sisterhood MC which is run by Shea’s ex girl Deb runs the MC. Shea pushes her way into the MC and becomes a prospect which is dangerous in itself as The Confederate Thunder are insisting the MC submit to having the Confederate Thunder over them and ruling them .Or the Athena Sisterhood could disband. The Confederate Thunder is not dealing the drug as they got rid of all they had. Shea believes the the strychnine was added by the person who bought the drugs. Then Shea reveals someone by the name of Boneface who is at the heart of the distribution. Now Someone is set on killing Shea. I liked this book. I like how Shea wanted to get away from her past and be happy with her business that she loved doing and be happy with her niece and girlfriend.i felt bad when she was forced to infiltrate the sisterhood and risk her life and everything because of something she ad done in the past.There is a lot of action in this story and has a very good plot. It is also face paced and draws you in and doesn’t let go until the end. A good read that i enjoyed with a new concept of a female MC . the one thing I didn’t like how Shea distanced herself from the couple that raised her and loved her and Annie. wasn’t right to forget them because they still belonged to a MC Shea didn’t have to belong to still have them in her life. But i liked most of the characters and the other characters had their roles to fulfill and I liked the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.
A story about people I can't like or relate to, doing things I can't understand and find repugnant, told so well it was fascinating and engrossing. I had to read it through in a single setting. The suspense built through the story, and the ending was bittersweet. The descriptions of the area were very apt, but brief enough not to interfere with the progress of the narrative. So many very-human details are included to engage the reader that I challenge anyone not to have an emotional reaction at the ending. I want to see more of Shea Stevens, the woman I love to loath. Iron Goddess was a great beginning, and this second book in the series is as good or better.