Karen’s Killer Book Bench: Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra by Nancy Raven Smith


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A Swindle in Sumatra


A young heiress has disappeared in Sumatra with a mysterious new boyfriend. Her father fears she may have been kidnapped.

An American bank fraud investigator goes undercover to find the answer. The investigator’s job might be easier if she didn’t have to contend with her boss’s untrained son who has a crush on her and the unexpected appearance of an ex-boyfriend/con man who has his own secret agenda – one which will definitely conflict with hers.


A Swindle in Sumatra


We emerge from the airport in Medan onto the sidewalk and are assailed with a one-two punch. First our bodies hit a wall of heat and unbearable humidity. Second, our ears ring from an overwhelming cacophony of noise. Suddenly we’re surrounded by porters in yellow jumpsuits. All vying for our business. I wave them away.

The sidewalk is packed with people, and the dense street traffic is a sea of vehicles. Minibuses, cabs, bicycles, cars, and becaks, the Indonesian version of tricycle pedicabs. There’s even a horse cart or two, but nothing we can identify as our hotel transportation.

“Check that way. Someone should be here from the hotel,” I tell Steve.

I go to the right and am immediately swallowed by the surging crowd. After a minute, I turn back to see if Steve’s having better luck in his direction.

I manage to catch glimpses of him in the distance. He’s put his bags down to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Bad move. His eyes and hands aren’t on his luggage.

I spot the young woman who’s connected to the beggar from inside the airport step out of the crowd behind Steve and deliberately bump into him, spilling her coffee down his shirt. Alarmed, I race in his direction.

“Oh, Monsieur. Pardonez moi. I am so sorry,” the woman says to Steve.

He’s fascinated as her flitting fingers move around his jacket, trying to mop up the mess with her handkerchief.

“Please. It’s nothing.”

“You are so kind. Allow me. I am so clumsy.”

“Really, it’s—”

“It was so bad of me. Your poor coat is ruined. It was all my fault. Please, tell me that you forgive me.”

“I can have it cleaned.” Steve catches sight of the beggar’s back as he races away with Steve’s red luggage.

“Hey, you. Stop. Stop thief!”

The beggar only runs faster, weaving in and out of the crowds on the sidewalk.

Steve sprints after him, but the beggar has too big a lead. He pulls away, heading straight toward me.

When the beggar comes close I stick my foot out. He trips end-over-end and drops Steve’s bags. I’m reaching for his collar when someone collides with me from behind. We both go down on the pavement, and I lose my grip.

I turn to confront my attacker.

It’s Steve.

I turn back to the beggar. Too late. The beggar scrambles to his feet, grabs the closest of Steve’s bags, and disappears into the crowd.

Steve apologizes, “I couldn’t stop in time.”

“I hope your mother packed your clean underwear in the other bag.”

Steve grabs his remaining bag. “Rats. He got my new Nike Red October Air Yeezys.”

“Seriously? Your shoes have a name? Yeezys?”

I shake my head. “Well, they’re long gone.”

“I was talking to this French woman—”

I point to the spot on his coat. “Yes, I saw. The one who spilled the drink on you.”

“It was an accident.”

“Don’t you know anything? You were tag-teamed. She distracted you, he grabbed your bags.”

“That’s crazy. She was well dressed and nice. There’s no way she was in cahoots with that beggar.”

“Think about it, Steve. Where is she now?”

He looks around. There’s no sign of the French woman. He feels his pocket. “My wallet. It’s gone.”

“Your passport?”

“No. It’s under my shirt like you told me.”

“That’s lucky. This is a really bad place to lose personal documents.”

“I should report it.”

“Forget it. Your girlfriend’s long gone. Let’s not attract any more attention, okay? You can cancel your cards from the hotel.”

“Please don’t tell Dad I screwed up already.”

I try to take the sting out. “Come on. We can call Howard. He can deal with it without telling Morgan.”

We wait another hot, sweaty hour before I spy a jeep with the name Star of Sumatra Hotel on the side. When I catch the driver’s attention, he heads in our direction and stops. Steve helps him toss our bags into the jeep.

I start to get in, then realize someone else is in the back seat. I freeze.

No. It can’t be. Not the one man in the universe I hoped never to see again and the reason I was arrested two years ago. What on earth is he doing here in this remote place? Surely it can’t be a coincidence.

Meet Author Nancy Raven Smith… 

Nancy Head Shot tightuse-1 300ppi

NANCY RAVEN SMITH grew up in Virginia where she ran horse sport events. On her farm, she rescued horses, dogs and cats and is an advocate for animal rescue. Later in California, she traded her event experience for film work. Her screenplays have won numerous major awards. Raven Smith decided to write one idea as a novel and discovered a passion for writing mysteries/romantic suspense. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Women in Film.


Links to Nancy’s website, blog, books, etc.




Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra

The Reluctant Farmer of Whimsey Hill   http://amzn.to/1XoblsP

LSToPrint**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**:  Nancy is giving away a print copy (U.S. Only) of LAND SHARKS – A Swindle in Sumatra to one lucky reader who comments on this Author Peek or Karen’s Killer Book Bench blogs. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your story with us.

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

10 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench: Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra by Nancy Raven Smith”

  1. Nancy, Your book souds interesting. I would like to read more into it. I love a good mystery to try and solve. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Good morning, Nancy, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I think losing my luggage is my worst nightmare as a traveler. I can’t imagine losing it in a foreign country! Yikes. Thanks for sharing your book and excerpt with us. 🙂

  3. Hi Karen,

    I’m always an anxious travler, although I love traveling and new places. In Land Sharks, Steve has a lot to learn about street smarts, bank fraud, and scams fron my protagonist, Lexi as they solve mysteries and crimes. Some of the things he learns I know readers will be aware of. I hope readers will also become aware of other scams they don’t know as Steve learns them.

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