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Mui and Ryan have escaped to Crete for a few relaxing days, but an encounter with a young woman whose uncle is missing puts them on a collision course with the Minotaur, a ruthless arms trafficker who lives up to his nickname.
Will Mui and Ryan find the missing man, or will they fall victim to the Minotaur’s labyrinth?
The Minotaur grabs you on page one and doesn’t let go.
Read An Excerpt
Read An Excerpt
At one in the morning, Captain Stefanos Samaras and five of his most trusted officers were making their way on foot into the mountainous region of Zoniana on the island of Crete. He and his men were equipped with HK MP5 submachine guns with silencers. Each of their utility belts carried extra magazines and a holstered Beretta M9 with a suppressor. Everyone in the group wore black from head to toe—civilian clothes—with body armor under their shirts. With no backup standing by should the operation go sideways, they took more precautions than usual. In fact, the operation was not officially sanctioned.
For eight years, Samaras had worked for Greece’s national police force, the Hellenic Police. He’d been assigned to a task force set up to tackle drug-related crimes in Athens. During that time, he received acclaim for his work and the many arrests he’d made. But a year ago, his superiors transferred him to Heraklion Police Headquarters on Crete. Most of his colleagues saw it as a demotion, but Samaras saw it as an opportunity.
The small group of men had traveled as far as they could on the road that led up the mountain and they were now making their way forward on a trail that one of Samaras’s men was familiar with.
There were too many lookouts for them to approach by vehicle. It was also suicidal to attempt anything during daylight. Under cover of darkness was the only chance Samaras and his men stood if they wanted to see their families again.
Samaras held up a hand, and the stacked group of men came to a halt. “Spyros, how much farther?” he whispered.
“We’re close,” Yiorgos Spyros whispered back. He knew the area the best. He’d grown up in one of the nearby villages before drug lords overran it. “We must be careful. We are close enough that we could run into a foot patrol, even at this time of the night.”
All of Samaras’s men were born and raised on Crete. Samaras had to trust their knowledge of the land and that they also hadn’t succumbed to the lure of corruption. For years, the local police had turned a blind eye to the drug lords who had settled in the area. It was even rumored that the police were a part of their operation. Years of complacency had turned the mountainous region into large cannabis farms and a hub for illegal arms trafficking.
Samaras had been tasked with cleaning it up. He didn’t need to report to anyone, nor did he need to receive approval for his operations. The downside: The Hellenic Police would deny their involvement and say Samaras acted on his own as a rogue officer of the law. In other words, he was working undercover, with the support of a select few in Athens, unless the shit hit the fan.
The powers that be knew this was the only way they could tackle the drug problem. There were too many leaks in the department, as the drug lords were always told of any planned operation ahead of time. Samaras and his team had to be unsanctioned. They had to be ghosts.
The village Samaras targeted that night belonged to a man responsible for trafficking more than fifty percent of the cannabis from the island. He was also the most significant arms trafficker on Crete. It was said that he only hired Albanians as foot soldiers and armed them all with Kalashnikov rifles. Surveillance was the mission that night. Samaras needed to understand what he was up against. They had tried aerial surveillance once before, but that operation ended abruptly thanks to RPGs launched from the ground.
Spyros surveyed the trail ahead with a night-vision scope—his personal property. The Heraklion Police did have night-vision goggles, but checking them out would signal an operation was underway and possibly alert the drug lords. Samaras couldn’t take that chance. Doing so would be akin to walking his men into an ambush.
Spyros motioned for everyone to follow him. So far, they’d avoided detection. Perhaps the so-called foot patrols had fallen asleep. A few yards later, the first few buildings of the village came into view. Most of the residents were decent people trying to make a living. And they did so by working on the cannabis farms.
The main road leading into the village was deserted, and the building windows were dark. Intelligence received earlier in the week indicated that the drug lord’s home was located at the rear of the village, butted up against the mountainside. The only way to access it was head-on. Samaras needed to see it with his own eyes to believe the information.
Spyros avoided the main road and led the men along a smaller one that ran parallel. He had a hand-drawn map that he’d gotten from a trusted source. They expected to have eyes on the home in ten minutes.
The men crept in single file down the walkway in front of the buildings lining the road. The quarter moon above shed very little light, helping Samaras’s team advance undetected.
Spyros brought the group to a stop.
“What’s wrong?” Samaras asked.
“Something’s not right.”
“What do you mean?”
“When have you ever seen a village in Greece without stray dogs?”
Samaras looked up and down the street. They should have seen dogs sleeping in the road, next to cars, or tucked into the entrances to shops or buildings. But there were none. Did someone clear them away on purpose?
“Fall back,” Samaras said quickly. “Fall back.”
Floodlights lit up the street as if it were the middle of the day. Samaras and his men were utterly exposed. Second-floor window shutters flew open and gunfire rained down on them.
Samaras dived for cover behind a car as he returned fire at the window directly above them, hitting the figure in it. A beat later, the man lay dead across the windowsill, and the Kalashnikov he’d been firing had fallen to the walkway, a few feet from Samaras.
Spyros had taken cover behind the same car and returned fire to another window above them.
“I think I got him,” Spyros shouted.
Bullets from the building across the street pinged the vehicle like a drum. The windows near them shattered, sending shards of glass onto Samaras and Spyros.
“This car won’t hold up much longer,” Spyros shouted. “We need to get out of here.”
The rest of Samaras’s men were trapped behind another vehicle, a truck not far from them.
Samaras called out to his men at the other vehicle and told them he and Spyros would lay down cover fire so they could retreat farther. They would then provide cover fire so Samaras and Spyros could fall back.
He held up a hand and started a count to three. As he put up his third finger, he and Spyros popped up and fired at the building across the street. A beat later, a bright flash, followed by an explosion.
Samaras fell back to the walkway, temporarily blinded. Everything around him sounded muffled. Slowly his vision came back. He looked to the side and found Spyros lying next to him on his back, appearing just as disoriented. A flashbang.
Samaras rolled onto his side, his hand patting the walkway in search of his rifle. A boot stomped on his wrist, pinning his arm against the ground. Samaras looked up at the figure looming over him, blinking against the glare of the floodlights. He couldn’t make out any facial features, as the man was backlit. But Samaras was positive the person had two curved horns protruding from his head.
What’s half-man, half-bull, and lives in a labyrinth? A nightmare. The Minotaur grabs you on page one and doesn’t let go.
" The scariest villain yet." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ — Reader Review
Series: Mui Action #3 (Novella)
Ebook: 172 pages