Lauren Gold and Vance Courage jump at the chance to buy a luxury West Texas guest ranch. They've been looking for ways to launder a few million bucks and this deal seems perfect.
After settling in as the new owners, tragedy strikes. A body is found in one of the buildings. The ranch manager—a holdover—pressures them not to immediately report it. Meanwhile, rumors swirl that the Supreme Court Justice who died of natural causes at the ranch before they bought it might actually be an unsolved murder. Suspecting the killer might be among them, they begin to dig for clues.
What they unearth is chilling. The resort is ground zero for a secret society of global power brokers with a shocking agenda that stretches from Silicon Valley . . . to Frankfurt . . . all the way to Capitol Hill.
Starting out two steps behind, Gold and Courage must play catch-up. Or risk becoming the next victims.
"The Bottom Line: A ripped-from-the-headlines legal thriller that John Grisham fans will love.
Conspiracy theories about the untimely death of a Supreme Court justice draw attention to the West Texas dude ranch where he died. When attorney Vance Courage and his business partner Lauren Gold purchase the ranch to launder a large sum of dirty money, they soon discover that the rumors may be warranted.
The ranch’s previous owner was a highly decorated U.S. Army Captain who, before his death, was locked in a not-so-secret campaign to use the legal system to curb the power of the world’s five largest technology companies. And not long after Vance and Lauren’s arrival at the ranch, another suspicious death is reported. This time, the victim is the ranch’s longtime head of housekeeping, who was certainly the killer’s loose end.
As the duo launch an investigation, they discover that the property is routinely used by some of the world’s most powerful lawmakers and titans of industry. The question isn’t so much who had a motive for murder, but who didn’t?
Strictly speaking, Killer Deal isn’t a traditional legal thriller. After all, Vance may be an attorney (and former detective), but he’s also a money launderer. Even so, the book’s thoroughly satisfying exploration of how corporations attempt to use the courts as a business strategy is meaty enough to warrant admiration from fans of John Grisham and Scott Pratt.
In addition, readers may recall that real-life justice Antonin Scalia also died at a West Texas dude ranch, and those following the story will relish the opportunity to help solve this alternate universe version of events.As a whodunnit, author Karen S. Gordon succeeds wildly, delivering a whopper of a surprise in the book’s third act that few readers will see coming. Along the way, Vance and Lauren’s (mostly platonic) chemistry is enjoyable, although readers may want to check out the first Gold & Courage series book for the detailed lowdown on how they ended up as partners. With that said, the book works well as a stand-alone. Highly recommended."—Bestthrillers.com
"In Killer Deal, the second book in Karen S. Gordon‘s Gold and Courage series, Gordon spins a tale of secret manipulation and murderous revenge in the middle of the West Texas desert. When Vance Courage a former not-so-upright police-detective-turned-attorney, and video producer Lauren Gold buy a West Texas resort to launder stolen drug money, they soon realize they bought danger disguised as a luxury retreat.
Although Vance told her it was “a little late to have a Girl Scout moment,” Lauren turned down her share of the $40 million of salvaged drug money—it was dirty, and she hadn’t earned it. But Vance saved it for her. With their friend Jake Fleming, the three buy Antelope Creek Ranch, a luxury West Texas resort, at a fire sale after a Supreme Court Justice mysteriously died there, followed by the death of its owner Roy Pompadour. In hindsight, they should have recognized the warning signs of trouble, but they needed a place to launder the boatload of money Vance recovered from a defunct drug cartel. The Ranch seemed to be the perfect investment.
Lauren and Vance admit Antelope Creek is impressive—an oasis of opulence plopped into the barren Chihuahuan desert at the Texas/Mexico border. But soon after their arrival, an employee commits suicide. At least, that’s the story, but Vance isn’t so sure. As a former Miami police detective, he knows what to look for, and the clues point to murder.
As Vance conducts his own investigation into the death, he gets a taste of small-town Texas justice. Local law enforcement has its own unique methods of administering the law, some not so legal. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to go down.Disturbing things continue to happen at the ranch. Who delivered live scorpions to the guests? Why are trumped-up charges brought against the attorney who handled the purchase of the ranch? Why does high-caliber gunfire thunder through the canyons close to the resort?
What they don’t realize is that the ranch is the hub of a secret society of powerful entities that plans to launch a covert mission. Global power-brokers—those who haven’t sold their souls to the high-tech industry—have planned the biggest intervention in history. And as the new owners, Lauren and Vance are caught in the middle of it.
When the resort goes into lockdown and all communication with the outside world stops, Lauren and Vance must determine who is behind the murderous plot before they become the next victims.In Killer Deal, Gordon refreshingly uses unlikely champions to battle society’s dependence on high-tech and its loss of social conscience. Within the pages of a fast-paced thriller, readers are entwined in an intriguing look at the hunger for power, the ego of control, the persistence of greed, and two unlikely heroes whom we can cheer for in their not-so-conventional attempt to uncover the truth." BookTrib