Lisa Palmer has barely recovered from the sudden death of her husband when she is drawn into a new nightmare. On her way home from upstate New York, Lisa stops at a service center minutes before an armored car heist. Four men are executed before her eyesone, an off-duty FBI agent she tried to help. Now Lisa is the FBI's secret witness and the key to finding the fugitive killers.
FBI agent Frank Morrow leads the investigation of the high-profile case. Hiding a very personal secret, Frank knows this assignment will be like no other he's ever faced and it could be his last.
Pressured to land an exclusive, journalist Jack Gannon chases the elusive thread of an anonymous tipster. With every instinct telling Jack the story is within his grasp, he risks everything to reveal the chilling truth before the cold-blooded killers can take the next step in their vengeful mission.
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Ramapo, Metropolitan New York City
Maybe the worst was really over, Lisa Palmer thought, driving home alone to Queens from Upstate New York.
Her fingers tightened on the wheel. She was trying to get a grip on her life, trying to regain control, but it was hard, so hard. It had been nearly two years since her husband, Bobby, had died, but now, for the first time, Lisa believed that she and her kids would endure.
They had to.
They needed to move on with their lives. Selling the cabin in the Adirondacks was the first big step Lisa had taken.
But was it the right thing to do?
She glanced at the passenger seat and the slim briefcase holding all the paperwork. A few hours ago she'd closed the sale at the Realtor's office. The new owners, a retired chef and his wife, a florist, from Newark, would take possession in thirty days.
The cabin was still Lisa's until then.
She had promised Ethan and Taylor one last visit to the lake. It was important for all of them to say goodbye to this part of their lives. They'd go up to the cabin together in a few weeks. Lisa brushed a tear from her eye. God, the kids loved it there. She did, too. It was on Lake George and so pretty. It had been in Bobby's family since his greatgrandfather bought it in 1957.
Bobby had treasured the place. Lisa's hand shook when she'd signed the papers and all the way down I-87 she'd begged Bobby to forgive her.
I had to do it. The insurance is still a mess. The bills keep coming. I can't make ends meet anymore, not on my pay. The cabin was our only asset. I'm so sorry. I have to think of the future; of going on without you.
She would always love Bobby. But while her aching for him would never stop, she found hope in the thick forests that swept down the hills and rock cuts of the region.
Suddenly, she felt he was near.
He was a mechanic who'd quit school to work in a garage in Corona. A kind, good-looking guy who was good with cars. He loved history, always had his nose in a book. It was at this point of the cabin drive that he would say that the lumber and iron from these hills helped build New York City. Then he would tell her how George Washington had climbed one of the rocks out there and watched for British ships down by Sandy Hook.
Lisa smiled at the memory as her Ford Focus glided down the New York Thruway. After drinking the last of her bottled water, she decided she'd take a break at the new truck stop coming up at the exit for Ramapo, which would put her about an hour or so from home.
This trip to sell the cabin had overwhelmed her. Along the drive, she thought of her best friend from the old neighborhood, Sophia Gretto. They'd grown up together and were like sisters. Even after Sophia had left Queens for college in California they'd kept in touch. Now Sophia was an executive with a public relations firm. Her husband, Ted, was an entertainment lawyer. No children, two Mercedes and a house on Mulholland Drive. Lisa was a supermarket cashier in Queens who never made it to college.
When Bobby died, Sophia and Ted flew to New York to be with Lisa and the kids. Ted had been a saint. They'd both been so good to her.
In the months after Bobby's death, Sophia had visited a few times and called almost every day.
"Why don't you think about moving to Los Angeles," Sophia suggested a few months ago, during one of their calls.
"Ted and I could get you a job in one of our offices. You could take courses and get your real estate license like we talked about. We could help you, Ethan and Taylor. Think it over."
"I don't know, Sophia. It could be too much change for the kids."
"Promise me you'll just think about it, honey, okay?" Lisa did.
In fact, it was all she could think about.
Being a cashier was a good job, but it was not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Before she'd met Bobby and got pregnant, Lisa had dreamed of going to college to study interior decorating and start her own business. It didn't happen. After high school she had to work to help take care of her mother. Lisa loved Bobby and her life with the kids, but in a far corner of her heart her dream still flickered.
Should she go after it?
Could she leave everything here and move to Los Angeles?
"It would be like walking away from him, from the life we had here," Lisa had told Sophia.
"Lisa, before all this, you were the fiercest, toughest person I've ever known. You could handle anything without anyone's help. So whatever you decide to do, you'll make it work. You just need to get your strength back." Then Sophia said, "You did not die with him."
"Part of me did."
"Not all of you. You have a life to live. You have to go on."
Everything Sophia had said made sense.
Lisa was about to arrive at a decision as she left the thruway and wheeled into the big, new Freedom Freeway Service Center at Ramapo. She parked some distance from the rigs easing in and out of the lot. Diesel engines growled, air brakes hissed. She was enveloped by humid air as she walked across the hot pavement.
After driving nearly two hundred miles, stretching her legs was a luxury.
The interstate traffic droned.
The building was landscaped with clipped shrubs. Its neo-deco facade had huge windows. New York State flags and the Stars and Stripes flapped on gold-tipped poles above the mammoth entrance.
Inside, the air-conditioning was soothing. After using the restroom, Lisa went to the snack shop for bottled water, a candy bar, a comic for Ethan and a magazine for Taylor. She knew she shouldn't be spending the money, but she missed her kids and wanted to give them something.
A few people stood ahead of her to pay.
As the line advanced, all the lights went off. The ventilation fans stopped and the building lost power. People glanced at each other for an answer. A moment later, the lights came back on and the fans restarted.
Keys jingled and a man in a business jacket loosened his tie, hurried from a rear office toward the restaurant, grumbling to the woman accompanying him. "Call them and tell them it's another false alarm."
Lisa saw the man go to a control panel at the far end of the restaurant. The panel's lights stopped flashing after he inserted a key and turned it.
Must be this hot weather straining the air-conditioning.
Come on, please.
This was taking longer than she'd expected and she still faced New York traffic. She wanted to get back on the road.
Lisa looked outside as an American Centurion armored truck stopped in front of the lobby, which had three ATMs. One guard started loading a cart while another stood by, scanning the lot and the building.
The guards started for the entrance as Lisa stepped to the counter. After paying, she slid her items and wallet into her shoulder bag. Then she made a quick search in her bag for her supermarket ID, not certain if she'd left it at home, or if she'd thrust it in her bag after finishing her shift before driving upstate.
She barely noticed the rumble of the four motorcycles that had pulled up alongside the armored truck. Adjusting her bag, she saw several people standing near the ATMs; some were studying the large map of Greater New York City above the machines.
As the armored truck guards entered, Lisa froze.
Two of the motorcycle riders, their faces hidden by their helmets and dark shields, were dressed in full-body riding suits that were bulky around their abdomens. They were wearing gloves and gripping handguns as they came up behind the guards.
The first rider shot the first guard. A gout of blood and fragments of his skull blasted across the floor to a vending machine.
At the same time, the second rider came up on the guard wheeling the money cart and fired into the back of his neck. Crack! The impact forced the top of the guard's head to flap open, cranial matter springing out. The money cart clanged to the floor between the dead men, their blood blossoming into widening pools.
Lisa caught her breath.
"Everyone down!" the first shooter yelled, seizing the guards' guns. "Nobody fucking move! Put your phones on the floor beside you now! Put your hands behind your head! Look at the floor! Don't look at us!"
Lisa slid to the floor. Her magazines, water and other items tumbled from her bag around her.
The second rider produced a sack and moved swiftly, collecting cell phones from staff and customers throughout the center.
Outside, the two other riders had sprayed something into the truck's air intake, forcing the driver to exit, double over and vomit. Then they shot him. The two riders entered the truck and quickly unloaded money into backpacks and saddlebags.
In the service center, a woman began wailing.
One of the riders herded all staff and customers from the washroom, the restaurant, the kitchen, the snack shop and gas counter into the center's lobby, forcing them to the floor at gunpoint. The other gunman produced folded nylon bags and commanded the nearest person, a sobbing teenage girl, to help him fill them. The plastic wrapped around some of the cash had torn. Bundles had rolled over the center's floor lobby near Lisa.
The gunman collecting the cash grunted as he snatched the packs that had fallen around her, whizzing them into the nylon bags. His partner eyed the people on the floor for movement.
Please, God, let someone call the police, Lisa thought.
The man on the floor next to Lisa turned his face to her. He looked about thirty, was clean shaven with quick intelligent eyes. He was wearing jeans, a jacket and T-shirt.
"I'm a cop," he whispered, keeping his hands outstretched over his head. "My gun's on my right hip under my shirt."
"You slide closer, lift it out," he said. "Tuck it under me. They're wearing vests, but I can get off head shots." Lisa could not breathe.
She was motionless until the man's urgent gaze compelled her to move. She worked her way closer to him, carefully extending her left hand, pulling away his jacket, feeling the hardness of his gun. Lisa got it loose. Her sweating face was two feet from his.
He nodded encouragement.
As Lisa pulled, the weapon slipped from her fingers and rattled on the floor. A gunman flew to them, grabbing the gun before the cop could. He patted the man, taking his second gun from his ankle holster. He jerked at the man's jacket, extracting a folding police wallet and examining it.
Lisa looked into the young agent's eyes.
The gunman pushed the muzzle against his head.
Lisa's breathing quickened. The agent blinked and said, "Jennifer, I love you," before his skull exploded, propelling brain matter onto Lisa's face.
The killer moved and pressed his gun to her head.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jack Gannon, reporter extraordinaire, is definitely one of the most interesting characters in fiction today, and THE BURNING EDGE keeps the reader on edge through the entire book. Mofina traverses the story through different character's experiences, and this style makes it impossible to put down the book. We meet Lisa Palmer,a young widowed mother, who witnesses an armored car heist where four men are executed. She feels responsible for one of the deaths and becomes a secret witness for the FBI. The agent in charge, Frank Morrow, is carrying his own secret, and both of these characters pull the reader into their lives. Of course the segments involving Jack are as exciting as ever. He is following an anonymous tipster and is determined to break the story of his career. The reader needs to suspend reality in order to appreciate Super Hero Jack, but it is definitely worth it.
This is a great book, keeps you on edge, this is the 3rd of Jack Gannon that I have read and they keep getting better - cannot wait for more.
I don't think I actually like Jack Gannon, the high profile journalist at the centre of Rick Mofina's books, but he certainly is determined and focussed in what he believes the purpose of a journalist is: to discover and publish the truth.This has the effect of making him appear determined to use people. He has, to give him his due, already served a jail sentence for refusing to reveal his sources. But not everyone he approaches for information is happy with his technique. ¿What I don¿t get¿¿ she stabbed her salad with her fork ¿¿is why do you need to know? That¿s part of a police investigation.¿ ¿He needs to know because he¿s reporting on the heist,¿ Brad said. ¿I asked him, Brad.¿ ¿Journalists investigate, too,¿ Gannon said. ¿I¿ve got a tip, a long-shot tip I¿m working on that may be connected to the case.¿ ¿What is it?¿ ¿It¿s a bit vague right now, but it¿s possible someone with advance knowledge on the case contacted the WPA.¿ Anita put her fork down and turned to Gannon. ¿If that¿s true, you should tell the FBI.¿ ¿I¿m not a police informant. I¿m a journalist and I investigate independently.¿ ¿Except when you need our help, like now.¿However, one thing I can say is that Rick Mofina builds a compelling story and the reader is constantly assessing its credibility.In the author's note at the end of THE BURNING EDGE Rick Mofina says The Burning Edge is loosely inspired by a true case, a commando-style armored car heist that I¿d covered many years ago while working as a crime reporter. Other aspects of the novel were drawn from real-life situations that I, or others I knew, have experienced. But I won¿t go into any of it here. It¿s too personal.
Lisa Palmer, a widow and single mother, just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. She thought she was just stopping at a rest area to take a small break and grab a few items before heading back to her children. Unfortunately her stop on that particular day would put her front and center in an armored truck robbery gone awry. Witnessing this crime puts her on The Burning Edge, a new suspense thriller by Rick Mofina.Lisa hated having to put the family's lakeside cabin up for sale. It had been in her husband's family for more than 60 years and had been a welcome vacation refuge for their family. It should have been a simple four hour drive back to the city after signing the sales papers, but nothing that day was simple. Lisa became a witness to a daring and senselessly violent armored truck robbery at a highway rest area. One of the robbers killed the armed FBI agent in front of her and would have killed her as well.Frank Morrow has just been given a death sentence. He is an FBI agent and was just informed that he has a particularly aggressive form of cancer that will most likely kill him within 12-18 months. Frank isn't given much time to think about his choices in this matter before being pulled into an investigation that has ended with four dead, including one FBI agent. The highly organized crime becomes his sole focus for the next few days as he tries to track down the robbers turned killers. Jack Gannon is a reporter for a national wire service. His investigation into the armed robbery leads to information that even the FBI doesn't have and certainly doesn't want revealed. Jack's investigation leads him to a story that involves overseas ghost ops and rogue agencies. His investigation also leads him to Lisa and her story.The Burning Edge is a fast-paced suspense thriller. The investigations by the FBI and Jack Gannon provide insight into the behind the scenes action of dual investigators: criminal and journalistic. Mr. Mofina also provides a glimpse into the motivations of the robbers by including a storyline that includes one of the robbers. All of the major characters are constantly on edge for one reason or another. Jack must deal with the constant threat of his story being one-upped by the competition. Frank is trying to find cop-killers as well as deal with the stress of his recent diagnosis. Lisa has to deal with the new stress of being a witness to a vicious crime and worry that she may continue to be a target for the killers. Ivan Felk, a robber and admitted killer, deals with stress of trying to complete his agenda before a deadline or more people will die, including his brother and several co-workers. All of the characters are well-rounded and realistic, including the bad guys. The Burning Edge combines action, suspense and subtle personal drama to provide a story that kept me engrossed to the very end.
The Burning Edge by Rick Mofina 5 STARSWhat an roller coast of a story. I cried durning the funeral scene and laughed atLisa getting back. In between was so into the story could not read fast enough. Highly recommend this book! I will be on the lookout to read more of Rick's books in the future.Lisa Palmer is a widow of two years. She is a grocery clerk and has had a hard time supporting her and her two kids. So she is selling her husband cabin thats been in the family for generations. On her way home she stops to get gas,food. When the lights go off than back on and armed men come and kill 4 guys and rob armed truck getting 6 million.The guy on floor by her is FBI agent and he tries to get his gun out with Lisa's help and they are seen. The FBI agent is killed and Lisa begs for her life and is spared.Lisa is willing to help in anyway but they wore motorcycle outfits with helmet on and down they were covered from head to toes. She was so concerned for her kids and upset by the violence.Jack Gannon was old school reporter and worked the case trying to get his own leads. He was first to find out FBI agent had died. plus got more leads. I like Jack don't think much for his editor.FBI agent Frank Morrow was the lead on the case and he kept getting Lisa to find out more since she was his only source. Frank just got news he had rare cancer and year to live. or 3% with treatment. He did not know what to tell his family and kept puting it off.Everyone kept working the case one clue at a time, With each clue the good guys got more leads. The officers of the law around the world helped each other.I really enjoyed reading this book that I was given to read by Netgalley in exchange for honest review.12/27/2011 PUB Harlequin Mira Books
Another edge of the seat, unable to put down, exciting read!! I read this book in two sittings, absolutely could not put it down. Rick has a way of sincerely getting you into the characters, feeling what they're feeling and never wanting the story to end. I even found myself having some sympathy for the 'bad' guys, well, not for long. But, there are so many different aspects of this story. The bad guys were victims of circumstances that shaped them into what they became. The main characters all have had tragedies that made them the strong, capable people they are. It all comes together to make an unforgettable read. I wait very impatiently for each and every Rick Mofina book and believe me, I read all genre's, many, many authors, and voraciously! You will not ever be disappointed after reading one of his books. Brenda
Lisa Palmer’s fragile world, a precarious life that revolves around caring for her two young children a year after the death of her husband, explodes in violence when she witnesses a murderous holdup. Four masked motorcyclists ambush an armored car and callously kill the three guards and an off-duty FBI agent who tries to stop them. Lisa is a key witness to the killings, but can the FBI keep her and her family safe from the killers? For Frank Morrow, the FBI agent in charge of the investigation, catching the killers of a fellow agent is not just a high priority, it’s the only priority…and it’s personal. Frank carries a secret, kept from his colleagues and his family. The press is onto the story as well. Every news organization in town wants to be first in breaking news about the bold robbery and subsequent manhunt that has captured the nation’s attention. Veteran reporter Jack Gannon knows his job is on the line in a new world of cost cutting and bottom line driven news. Gannon has to struggle between honoring the ethics of his profession and doing what it takes to scoop the competition. And what of the robbers? The military precision of the holdup and their getaway suggests they are not run of the mill hoods. As the story progresses, we learn what is driving their desperate actions and follow them as they make their escape and lay plans for another daring heist. “The Burning Edge” careens like a getaway car squealing on all four wheels with guns blazing from New York to Canada, across the US to the west coast and back again, taking the reader on a wild and exhilarating ride to a satisfying conclusion. Reviewed by Andrew MacRae for Suspense Magazine
The Burning Edge by Rick Mofina 5 STARS What an roller coast of a story. I cried durning the funeral scene and laughed at Lisa getting back. In between was so into the story could not read fast enough. Highly recommend this book! I will be on the lookout to read more of Rick's books in the future. Lisa Palmer is a widow of two years. She is a grocery clerk and has had a hard time supporting her and her two kids. So she is selling her husband cabin thats been in the family for generations. On her way home she stops to get gas,food. When the lights go off than back on and armed men come and kill 4 guys and rob armed truck getting 6 million. The guy on floor by her is FBI agent and he tries to get his gun out with Lisa's help and they are seen. The FBI agent is killed and Lisa begs for her life and is spared. Lisa is willing to help in anyway but they wore motorcycle outfits with helmet on and down they were covered from head to toes. She was so concerned for her kids and upset by the violence. Jack Gannon was old school reporter and worked the case trying to get his own leads. He was first to find out FBI agent had died. plus got more leads. I like Jack don't think much for his editor. FBI agent Frank Morrow was the lead on the case and he kept getting Lisa to find out more since she was his only source. Frank just got news he had rare cancer and year to live. or 3% with treatment. He did not know what to tell his family and kept puting it off. Everyone kept working the case one clue at a time, With each clue the good guys got more leads. The officers of the law around the world helped each other. I really enjoyed reading this book that I was given to read by Netgalley in exchange for honest review. 12/27/2011 PUB Harlequin Mira Books
¿Jennifer, I love you.¿ No, this is not a love story. These four words are the last words spoken by a young FBI agent as he lay dying next to Lisa Palmer, recently widowed, single mother. At the request of the agent, Lisa had tried to reach his gun so that he would have a chance at the robbers but the gun slipped and attracted the attention of one of the robbers who immediately shot the FBI agent and held a gun to Lisa¿s head. Lisa escaped death but didn¿t escape the terror of living through the robbery and the fear that the robbers would somehow find her. Although Lisa has two small children to protect, she does agree to do everything she can to cooperate with the FBI in their search for the criminals. For FBI agent Frank Morrow this case is extremely important. Morrow is facing his own death sentence and is determined to conclude the case and allow him time to spend with is family before his health problems take their final toll. Jack Gannon, a reporter for World Press Alliance, is given the assignment and pressured to land an exclusive. Gannon¿s current boss, Dolf Lisker, is nothing like Melody Lane, his former boss, who has taken a one-year leave of absence. Lisker had never worked the streets or followed a lead and had no patience whatsoever. Lisker demanded immediate results and had no patience with Gannon who had an anonymous tipster he was attempting to catch up with and obtain further information about the robbery and its purpose. Gannon feels that the robbery had been carried out by well-trained men and the purpose of the robbery was more than just a chance to grab some fast money. The story jumps back and forth from Gannon¿s quest for more information, Lisa Palmer¿s fears and her determination to keep her family safe and be sure the robbers are captured, and the point of view of the robbers and their reasons for needing a large amount of cash in a short amount of time. Jack Gannon is a professional and the inside story of how a reporter chases down leads keeps the pages turning rapidly. If you have not read the previous Jack Gannon novels this fast-paced book will be sure to make you want to read each book in the Gannon series. Rick Mofina is a former crime reporter and writes from his own experience.