#ThrowbackThursday - Bait (Circles #5) by Elizabeth Noble


For today's #ThrowbackThursday, we travel back to March 2020 to take a look with Elizabeth Noble's Bait, book 5 of the Circle series.

From the Blurb:

Tyler McCall made a mistake that cost him his job, his freedom and everything he’d worked for. Now he’s living in the Black Hills of Wyoming, working two jobs and doing his best to not dwell on what he’s lost.

Linden Bourne is a no-nonsense FBI agent. His hunt for a killer takes him to Wyoming, where he has questions for Tyler. Linden quickly realizes Tyler isn’t a suspect, but the next likely victim.

When he and Tyler then become trapped by a blizzard in an empty inn near Devils Tower they discover they’re not alone. The killer has targeted Tyler and won’t let a little detail like an unexpected visit by the FBI stop what they’ve planned to do. Linden is completely out of his element, but he’s sworn to protect and that’s exactly what he plans to do: protect Tyler at all costs.


Tyler sat at the table, and Linden moved the other chair so they were close enough together that their knees brushed. He turned the laptop so Tyler could see the screen. A picture of a bathroom, the counter littered with beer bottles, a pint whiskey bottle, and medicine packets.

“Is this from Julius’s apartment?”

“Yes. He had enough alcohol in his system to be drunk, which is pretty easily guessed by the bottles.” Linden used one finger to point out the empty bottles. “He also had a high level of diphenhydramine.”

“Antihistamine. Benadryl?” Tyler asked.

Linden nodded. “Yes.”

“You shouldn’t mix the two.”

“No, you sure shouldn’t,” Linden agreed. “He was face down in his bathtub, which was about half-filled with water, with clothes on.”
“Reasonable if you’re going to kill yourself that way. Booze and diphenhydramine will make you groggy, possibly cause you to pass out, and the clothes so you’re not found naked.”

“You’d also leave your clothes on so you don’t get cold enough to wake up before you’re dead.” Linden sat back, took a sip of his coffee and held up one finger. “Here’s the thing, those diphenhydramine packets had no fingerprints on them. None.”

Tyler frowned. “Those things are a bitch to get into. I slobber all over them using my teeth and trying to pinch the pill out of those little foil packets, cut my finger, and usually end up getting scissors!”

“Exactly. Who opens a foil medicine packet without leaving a lot of evidence—fingerprints, saliva, blood, and therefore DNA? They make a mess, and no one is neat about it without a reason.”

“That’s why you think it wasn’t suicide, or at least that he had help?”

“Body number two, in a burned-out building. Fire destroys evidence and does so very effectively. The kicker is, there were empty beer bottles all over. The investigators were able to pull some prints and found DeCompos’s, but no one else’s. A search of his apartment turned up—”

“Let me guess. Empty diphenhydramine foil packets without a fingerprint or anything else on them?”

Linden stood up, picked up his mug and Tyler’s, and moved to the counter. “And that earns you a refill.”

“This is really what you guys do? I thought it was all excitement and chasing bad guys through alleys.”

“Disappointed?” Linden set the mugs down and slipped into the chair again.

“No. Aside from the fact two men died, this is actually cool and—I feel bad saying it—satisfying.”   

Bait is currently available on Amazon and as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.