Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Heist #Thriller: THE LOCK BOX, A Novel by Parker Adams

KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench, where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site, so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!


A Novel


When an army-vet-turned-safecracker is forcibly recruited to be part of a dangerous heist, she’ll need all her skills to get out alive in this fast-paced thriller perfect for fans of Jeffery Deaver and P. J. Tracy.

Nearly a decade after getting chased out of the Army for fighting back against abuse, Monna Locke’s skill and discretion have made her the go-to safecracker for Los Angeles clients who need vaults opened and no questions asked. When a lawyer hires her to retrieve a box from his client’s mansion, it seems like an easy payday—until she opens the safe and is immediately attacked by heavily-armed men.

Locke barely escapes and returns to her isolated cabin only to find the client waiting in her home, threatening what she holds most dear: her son, Evan. After being knocked unconscious, she wakes up across the country, trapped in her own personal nightmare: she and Evan will be held captive until she helps a seedy crew pull off a seemingly impossible heist.

Forced to practice breaking into the most impenetrable safe ever designed, Locke bides her time and eyes her escape routes. She knows there’s no way to finish the job she’s been forced into, but it’s either crack the lock, or lose everything.


A Novel


Seeing the guns changed everything.

The mansion, so open and airy, seemed to shrink around Locke’s shoulders. The balcony might as well have been a balance beam. Although a million thoughts collided in her head, including whether the gunmen had already seen her through the glass, her overriding concern was that she was cornered. To have any chance of escaping—to have any options at all—she needed to get back downstairs.

Her rubber soles gripped the stone floor tightly as she took off in a dead sprint.

After three steps, though, she heard the front door’s familiar beep-and-swish. At the noise, Locke dropped to the floor.

It had been a long time since she’d practiced a combat fall. Her drill sergeants from Basic would not have been pleased at the result. The hard stuff in her bag—the crowbar, the other tools—hit first. Not only did they make a hefty clunk, her ribs and stomach came crashing down on top of them.

Locke bit her lip to stifle a groan from the impact.

A tiny sound leaked out.

Had the gunmen heard?

As seconds ticked by and no one sprayed bullets in her direction, it seemed maybe they hadn’t.

The arch at the end of the balcony loomed a couple feet away. Close enough, Locke could reach out, curl her fingers around the corner of the wall, and pull herself to it. But while part of her wanted to do just that, a voice inside warned to check the door first.

Locke hauled herself up onto her elbows and combat crawled to the base of the railing. Below, the four gunmen had fanned into a semicircle. Communicating with hand signals, they were advancing steadily into the house, the nearest ones passing under the balcony and out of view.

Her head whipped back toward the stairs. Although they seemed tantalizingly close, she knew she couldn’t make it.

She needed someplace to hide. Fast.

Her eyes slid to the double doors she’d bypassed earlier. Like all the others in the house, they were wood-framed, with a frosted glass panel in the middle. In her mind, Locke imagined a sprawling king-sized bed and huge, walk-in closet inside. But the truth was, she had no idea what lay behind the darkened glass, whether that room would provide any kind of shelter at all.

Worse, it stood alone at the top of the stairs.

The first place the gunmen would check.

And a complete dead-end.

Locke gathered her feet beneath her, then spun back toward the office. With the gunmen below, she didn’t run, exactly—she couldn’t risk her boots clonking against the balcony. Instead, she rose up on the balls of her feet and used long, slow strides to cover as much ground as possible.

Avoiding the office, she made for the rooms she’d seen farther down the balcony. Now that she focused on them, she counted three doors, two singles on the left and a double set at the very end on the right.

She stopped at the first single door. Although no one should have been inside, she caught herself checking the glass inset anyway.

Dark and still.

As Locke reached for the handle, she cocked an ear back over her shoulder. Not a peep from below. These guys were dead quiet—more noise came from her chest, where her heart was pounding, than from downstairs.

Locke put steady pressure on the handle bar until it started to turn. The clock in her head screamed that she’d already taken too long, that the gunmen would be sneaking up behind her any second. Out of nowhere, though, one of The Mule’s sayings from high school echoed in her ears: go quickly, but don’t hurry.

Once she felt the latch release from the frame, she eased the door inward. Slowly, smoothly—she couldn’t afford any creaks or groans. After slipping through the opening, she eased it back closed.

The interior handle included a simple twist-lock, and she considered turning it to slow down the gunmen.

But a locked door in an otherwise-empty house would be a dead giveaway. Emphasis on the dead. These guys would simply shoot out the glass, unlock the door, and finish her off if one of their bullets hadn’t done the job already.

Imagining a burst of hot metal spraying toward her, Locke retreated a step. Thankfully, the room was dark—no skylight here—and she didn’t cast a shadow on the door’s glass inset. When she turned into the heart of the room, she found it filled with fancy, white furniture: a four-poster bed, a desk, and a dresser.

The bed seemed to be her best hope, but a quick flip of the skirt showed its frame was solid all the way to the floor.

No hiding underneath.

About Author Parker Adams…


Links to Parker’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

Amazon Listing 

Instagram: @josephreidbooks https://www.instagram.com/josephreidbooks/


Special Giveaway: Parker will give away a copy (U.S./Canada) of THE LOCK BOX to one lucky reader who comments on his Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Good luck!
Happy Reading!



Thanks, Parker, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!


10 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Heist #Thriller: THE LOCK BOX, A Novel by Parker Adams”

  1. Oooh… This book sounds like an exceptional read. Love books like this and the cover and the excerpt make me want to read it. Looks and sounds like a page turner too, maybe even a best seller for you.
    Hope I Win

  2. Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench, Parker. What an intriguing excerpt. I’m hooked. I love books like this. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

  3. Wow, this book sounds and looks Very Intriguing and full of action!! Thank you so much for sharing about it. Have a great day and a great week.

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