In recent weeks, three young women have been brutally assaulted and murdered in the city of Philadelphia. Lt. William Fogarty, a time-toughened cop, hardened by personal tragedy, is shocked by the brutality of the crimes. His only lead comes from medical examiner Josef Tanaka. Half Japanese and half American, Tanaka, a skilled practitioner of the martial arts, claims to recognize the method used in the attacks: a karate strike known as nukite, or spear hand. Fogarty has nowhere else to turn. An unlikely combination, Fogarty and Tanaka, forced together by circumstance and neither completely trusting the other, they conduct a desperate hunt, trawling the city streets of Philadelphia and into the dangerous underbelly of the killing arts. Pursuing the Mantis, a creature who uses the flesh of his victims in a sadistic, macabre ritual of self-purification, while Fogarty and Tanaka endanger the lives of those closest to them as they inch perilously close to the precipice of their own worst fears and weaknesses.
Combining the Eastern exoticism of Rising Sun with the gripping serial-killer intensity of The Silence of the Lambs, Leopard is the terrifying sequel to Richard La Plante’s acclaimed first thriller Mantis. Medical examiner Josef Tanaka returns to his native Japan for the first time in fifteen years to learn that his brother has been savagely murdered. To find the killer, he must rediscover his Japanese heritage—and plunge into the mysterious world of ritual tattooing, sumo wrestling, and the Yakuza. But Tanaka faces something even more deadly than gangsters: The Leopard, a remorseless human killing machine, swift, cunning, and unstoppable. His pursuit of the Leopard leaves Tanaka’s relationship with cosmetic surgeon Rachel Saunders in tatters. Yet as Tanaka is drawn within a web of deceit it is only Rachel who intuitively understands the truth.
John Winston Flint, prominent Philadelphia physician, has been systematically tortured to death. Every bone in his body has been shattered—even the joints of his fingers and toes reduced to powder. The doctor’s hidden side is revealed when a police search turns up a collection of sadomasochistic videos in which Flint himself was the star performer—and horrifyingly, one shows a brutal rape and apparent murder. Fogarty and his friend and colleague, medical examiner Josef Tanaka, also discover that Flint was selling massive quantities of illegal steroids to hardcore bodybuilders. In a world where total physical prowess is the ultimate goal, and strength truly equals power, performance-enhancing chemicals are more than worth their weight in gold. Nothing in Fogarty’s experience has prepared him for this case, where each secret he uncovers seems to lead him farther from the truth, and where the darkest secret of all is written in the blood of two drug-enhanced, steroid supermen.
Incarcerated cult leader Justin Gabriel, convicted of ordering his followers to kill, has spent ten years honing his mind control abilities. His parole hearing is approaching—his one and only shot at freedom—andhe is determined to silence anyone who might speak against him. Taking the form of a giant predatory bird, Gabriel terrorizes his enemies—those who got him convicted—through their dreams, causing heart attacks or insanity.c The last survivor is ex-cop Bill Fogarty, now retired and enjoying a new life and love. Gabriel invades Fogarty’s dreams with terrifying visions, eventually causing a mental breakdown and institutionalization. Fogarty’s longtime friend and former colleague, Philadelphia medical examiner Josef Tanaka, desperately tries to put the pieces together in time to save his friend. But will these two men, accustomed to the clinical realities of autopsy tables and precinct desks, be able to fight for their lives in the realm of the Dreamtime?
Now you can get the first four books in Richard La Plante’s acclaimed Fogarty-Tanaka thriller series in one boxed set! Mantis, Leopard, Steroid Blues, and Mind Kill are now available as ebooks in this special half-price collection.
Richard La Plante started riding motorcycles at sixteen, escalating from a Cushman motor scooter to a Norton Electra. An arrest ended his ride at twenty. Eighteen years later, he realized that something was missing from his life. That something was a Harley-Davidson. Middle-aged, but determined, he bought the smallest bike in the Harley fleet, an 883 Sportster. Opening the floodgates to new adventures. In Hog Fever, La Plante motors from the King’s Road, London, to the badlands of New Mexico, riding with everyone from posers to outlaws. Along the way he rises to the heights of highway nirvana then plummets to the depths of a crashed bike, a long dark highway and two hundred miles to ride with a broken foot. In Hog Fever you will experience not only the creation of the custom bike but the creation of the biker himself, from La Plante’s first tottering ride to his ‘Death Race’ across the American Dream.
“Never Again,” Richard La Plante promised after he and his new wife completed building their family home in East Hampton, New York. But he did not keep his promise. Instead he bought twenty acres of raw land on a mountaintop located three and half thousand miles away, in a small town that he had only visited by internet… And the nightmare began. A house in New York to sell, a massive loan to pay off for the newly purchased land, dishonest builders, some of the most stringent building codes in America, and the economic collapse of 2008. With no general contractor, because they had decided to save money by doing it themselves, La Plante and his wife face an empty bank account, a black widow spider infestation and a large wooden frame with no windows. With two young sons to raise, a stony silence between them and a marriage counselor who says in sagely fashion, “There’s only one answer. Finish the house,” the La Plantes stumble from hilarious disaster to not-so-hilarious disaster to ultimate success. Never Again is a seven-year chronicle of trial and triumph, both a warning and inspiration to anyone trying to build a dream.
Author Richard La Plante had always wanted to ride cross-country to Sturgis, South Dakota—to the famous motorcycle rally that has become the mecca for the American biker. But at the age of 53, still bruised from a divorce, newly remarried, and a father for the first time, he thought the trip would remain an armchair fantasy.
Then came the summer of 1999. Pressured by work, another baby on the way, he made a decision: Escape—out of the armchair and into the saddle. On a borrowed Big Dog motorcycle, he set off for the Black Hills of Dakota. Moments of crazed introspection mixed with the sheer euphoria of the ride all add up to the metaphor of a life’s journey.
Told in La Plante’s humorous and self-deprecating style, Detours is a wild ride, all the way home.