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Ty Hutchinson Books

A Book of Truths

A Book of Truths

USA Today Best Selling Author

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 2,193+ 5-Star Reviews

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She’s unraveling a past that others are killing to keep quiet.

A Book of Truths is the start of an action-packed thriller series.

"The headstrong, feisty fighter in Mui will capture your heart." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ — Reader Review

Series: Mui Assassin #1

Synopsis

When Mui comes into possession of a book littered with cryptic notes handwritten on the pages, she thinks nothing of the doodling nonsense until she discovers one is an anagram for her late father’s name. Deciphering more of the riddles leads her to believe her father isn't dead and her mother lied to her.

But Mui’s not the only one with a strange connection to the book. A secret organization called the Bibliokeepers created the book, and they want it back.

A Book of Truths is the start of an action-packed thriller series.

Read An Excerpt

I hope she didn’t get spooked.

Elliot Tinsley adjusted his grip on the strap of the leather satchel that hung from his right shoulder as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. In his other hand, he clutched a damp white handkerchief. As quickly as he wiped away the beaded sweat on his forehead, it reappeared.

She should have been here by now. He glanced at his watch. It was 5:30 p.m. Did she change her mind? 

It had taken Tinsley two weeks to make a persuasive argument for her to meet him in person. During that time, she had cancelled twice, the last being only two days ago, but a late-night call the day before had put the meeting back on track. To have it fall apart in the final moments… He didn’t want to think about it.

He waited behind a postal collection box and a narrow tree barely the width of a signpost. The tree had low, leafy branches, which helped to obscure his presence a bit. He had been in the same spot longer than anticipated, and he worried he would lose his anonymity if he hung around any longer.

Directly across the street, sandwiched between a bodega and a barbershop, was a small coffee shop: A Cup of Hot Black. He was on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, north of Central Park, and had been watching the place for thirty minutes—but it felt like hours. Every passing minute made him feel more and more exposed. 

Time is running out. I can’t stay here any longer. It’s too risky.

Just as that thought had materialized, so did the woman. 

Her name was Juli Thorton. She walked with her head down and one hand resting securely on a purse that had been slung across her chest. She wore a checkered knee-length skirt and an off-white blouse and had her hair pulled back tightly into a bun.  

Through the window, he watched as she placed an order at the counter before taking a seat at a table for two near the back of the shop. He waited until she had collected her coffee and sat again before he crossed the street. At the entrance, he wiped his forehead one more time, taking that pause to look up and down the sidewalk for anything that seemed out of place. There wasn’t.

The bell on the door jingled, and he caught her eye immediately. He moved toward her and took a seat at her table.

“Thank you for meeting me.” He glanced at the other patrons in the café; most were busying themselves with phones, laptops, or books. Even so, Tinsley leaned in and spoke in a lowered voice. “You recognize me, correct?”

“I do from the picture that was sent to me,” she answered.

“Does anyone know you’re here?”

“No.”

His right leg bounced, and he couldn’t help his frequent glances toward the entrance. 

The woman cleared her throat before checking the time on her watch. “I don’t have very much time.” She also looked around the café to see if anyone was watching them.

“I know what you do,” he said.

If he had been expecting a reaction, there was none. Her mouth remained tightly closed. Her eyes never veered from his, and her hands remained clasped in her lap.

He went on. “As I mentioned during our phone discussions, I have information I need kept safe.”

“Shouldn’t someone else be here?” she asked.

He took a breath, pausing a beat. “It’s better this way.”

She leaned back and crossed her arms over her chest. “You’re wasting my time.”

The man glanced once more at the surrounding patrons. He leaned in closer. “I’m told you have ways of keeping information hidden in plain sight.”

“I can’t help you,” she said as she pushed back from the table.

“Wait.” He touched her arm. “Please, hear me out. You’re my only hope at this point.”

The woman seemed to consider his request momentarily before scooting her chair closer again. 

Tinsley lifted the flap of his satchel and produced a flash drive. He reached across the table and motioned for her to take it.

“This isn’t how it works,” she said, eyeing the device as if it were a contagion. “There are procedures, none of which you’re following. Another person was supposed to be here.”

“I understand that. I apologize, but the information I have is so sensitive, I couldn’t risk having a third person at this meeting. Please.” He gestured once more for her to take the flash drive.

She took it, reluctantly. “What sort of information does it contain?”

“I’d rather not say right now. Just hide what’s on here.”

“Until when?”

“I don’t know, but it’s no longer safe with me.”

“You want me to hide the information contained on this flash drive until I hear otherwise?”

He nodded. “I realize the absurdity of my request but—”

“I’ve heard worse. But you do realize there are a plethora of options available to you for keeping items safe, especially a tiny flash drive.”

“None of them are as secure as what you’re capable of. I wouldn’t be here if I thought I had other options.”

“Consider it done. A few questions, though. Is your name really Elliot?”

“Yes.”

“Just Elliot?”

“For now, yes.”

“Who else is aware of the information on this flash drive?”

“As far as I know, only you and me… and the people who want it.”

“Why don’t you give it to them if they want it?”

“Because the information is about them. They are not the nicest group of individuals.”

“You said earlier I was your only hope.”

“I don’t know how much longer I can remain hidden from them.”

“I’m assuming the police can be of no help.”

“I’m afraid not.” 

The woman had opened her purse but stopped.

“Trust me,” he said as he reached across the table and guided her hand toward her purse. She dropped the flash drive inside and closed the flap. 

Tinsley then reached into his jacket and produced an envelope. He slid it across the table. “Payment. I’m sure the amount will suffice. I’ll contact you again in one week. I hope to have more direction at that point.”

Satisfied with the outcome of his meeting, Tinsley stood and left the coffee shop.

* * *

At 7:50 p.m., the taxicab came to a stop in front of a five-story apartment building in Astoria, Queens. The streetlights on the quiet residential block cast a yellow glow every thirty yards, which was diminished by numerous elm trees. Tinsley paid the driver and hurried into the building without collecting his change.

Inside, he waited for the elevator cage to arrive at the ground floor. He slid the metal grate open and stepped inside, pressing the button for the fourth floor. The elevator jerked, bounced once, and then started its labored climb. His collar was soaked and discolored. He hadn’t stopped perspiring since he’d left the coffee shop, and every inch of his handkerchief felt damp to the touch. Even in the safety of his building, his nerves hadn’t calmed one bit. 

The cause? A few days earlier, Tinsley noticed a man outside his building. He’d never seen him before and what made him look even more out of place was his skin color. Tinsley was one of the few white people in a neighborhood populated by Bangladeshi immigrants. He noticed others like himself. 

For a solid thirty minutes, the stranger stood across the street staring at Tinsley’s window. His head never turned, and his stance never changed. Tinsley realized it wasn’t a matter of if, but when they would come for him.

Once inside his apartment, Tinsley slid the deadbolt in place before leaning back against the door. He hadn’t switched the lights on, but light from the street shone through the sheer curtains hanging from the windows. 

A sudden movement in the shadows, near the small sofa, caused him to gasp.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” the figure said.

Tinsley only managed to stutter a series of unrelated words.

“Relax, nothing to fear. I only want what you have taken.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

The figure took a step forward, the light from the window catching his face. Tinsley recognized him as the man who’d been watching his building.

“Let’s not play games. I already know you have it, but I thought I would be polite and ask first. We can do it the other way if you prefer.”

The figure lifted his arm, revealing a long, pointy object extending from his hand. The blade was unmistakable, even in the dark—seven inches long. 

“I’ve already searched your apartment. I’m assuming you have it on your person, perhaps in your shoulder bag?”

Tinsley looked around and noticed then that the place had been ransacked. He slid the satchel off his shoulder and tossed it across the room. The bag landed on the floor just in front of the stranger, who picked it up and searched inside.

“Why toss me the bag if it’s not in here?” the stranger asked, dropping the satchel to the floor.

“I told you, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Tinsley’s eyes darted around, looking for an escape route. “I’m just trying to be cooperative.”

“You do know it’s impossible to hide anything from us. Our eyes, our ears— they’re everywhere.”

Tinsley swallowed, realizing his throat felt suddenly dry. The stranger moved toward him, and Tinsley raised his hands in defense. 

It took a few moments for him to realize both hands had been sliced open by the razor-sharp blade.

The stranger struck again, this time opening up the left side of Tinsley’s face.

“Wait!” Tinsley shrieked.

“I’m sorry,” the stranger said calmly. “You had your chance. You chose to lie.”

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