Lex Talonis: An Eye For an Eye
Kramer & Shadow Crime Series Book 3
by Greg Smith

Action Crime Thriller

One woman’s thirst for revenge unleashes the dogs of war in this action
crime thriller. The first stage of her plan makes 9/11 pale in
comparison – but she is not finished. She has one more target in her sights.

When investigations into a huge diamond heist point to their nemesis,
Shelley Harper, being involved, Kramer and his canine partner,
Shadow, are forced to take on a new team member. As they chase down
the diamonds they uncover the truth behind the theft. Harper has
joined forces with an international terrorist organization and
intends using them and the diamonds as part of her diabolical plan to
exact retribution from America on a monumental scale for the deaths of her family.

This is a strong story with an intriguing premise; one that can easily
become all too real in this day and age. Kramer must struggle with
his own doubts and demons as he leads his team against a malevolent
opponent. They are faced with an almost untenable situation; one that
has their survival highly questionable.

Who will be left standing when the dust settles?

Smith is the Hemmingway of crime fiction. Brutal, concise, and elegant.”
David Bailey, English Professor
Director and CEO at Bailey Education Professionals

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A tan-colored tsunami surged up from the brush and fell upon the unsuspecting security guard. His shotgun spiraled out of his hands and landed with a rasping thud several feet away as Shadow hit the man with two hundred pounds of canine fury. Man and animal crashed to the ground in a tangle of flaying arms and legs. Shadow’s massive maw crushed the guard’s throat, effectively cutting off any attempt to scream for help.
It was all over in seconds.
Brandt recovered the shotgun and crabbed her way back to the fight scene. Shadow lay beside the body watching Kramer search through the clothing.
“Bloody hell, I’ve heard stories about Shadow, but they don’t half compare with seeing him in action,” she exclaimed softly. She paid scant attention to the ripped throat. “Find anything useful?”
Kramer retrieved a small slim wallet from a trouser pocket and thumbed through it. “Judging by this driver’s license, our unfortunate friend here is one Pieter Swart, twenty-seven years old, and has his address in Kuils River…I think that’s a suburb outside Cape Town. And this card has him working for Franskraal Security Services. I’m guessing that’s either a division of Franskraal Winery, or that both businesses may operate under an umbrella company.”
Brandt lay on her stomach, her binoculars trained on the house. “Maria might come up with that info after she’s had a chance to dig into the winery company,” she said.
A surprised squeak sounded from behind. They peered over their shoulders and spied Junior’s head poking through a stand of grass. The boy’s eyes were as big as saucers as he gawked at the body and the damage wrought by Shadow. As Junior wriggled through the scrub, the dog crawled to meet him, then together they worked their way across the ground to join Kramer and Brandt.
“I—I thought I heard something. It woke me, so I came to see—”
“Shadow surprised the guy who surprised us,” Kramer murmured. He used a corner of the man’s jacket to cover his face and neck. “We don’t have to worry about him any more. We have—”
A muffled metallic voice squawked from beneath the body.
“Pieter, report in. C’mon man, quit muckin’ about—you’re late callin’ in.”
Kramer swore under his breath and rolled the body over. Entangled in a squashed mess of grass and bush lay a small portable 2-way radio.
“Pieter, get your butt back here on the double. Our guests are getting ready to leave, and the boss wants you to ride shotgun.”
Kramer retrieved the radio and thumbed a switch. “Regso, ek hoor. Ek is oppad.”
“Yeah, well double time it, man. You don’t want to get yourself on her bad side.”
Regso.” Kramer stuffed the radio in one of his utility pockets. He looked up and noticed Brandt eyeing him.
“Well, I’m impressed,” she said. “No one told me you could speak Afrikaans. So what did you say?”
“I just acknowledged the call and said that I was on my way back. And did you hear what I heard? The guy referred to the boss as ‘her’.”
Brandt glanced at the house. “Yeah, I picked up on that. I take it as confirmation that we’re on the money; that the woman in the house could well be Harper. The way that bloke sounded probably gives us about five minutes—ten tops before our friend here is missed.”
“My thought exactly. And it also sounds like our ISIS team is about to leave.” Kramer studied the house. His eyes narrowed as he considered their next move.
Their primary mission was to track the terrorists and the diamonds to whoever they were meeting with and prevent that person from utilizing the diamonds for whatever diabolical purpose he or she had in mind.
Kramer’s unit had achieved phase one of its mission.
Nothing had been specified about what to do about the ISIS group but Kramer felt he had the opportunity to cause the terrorist organization a significant headache if he were to take them out. But they were about to leave so he had to make a move and do it fast.
“Whatcha thinking, boss?” Brandt whispered.
Kramer rolled onto his side and looked back at the way they had come. We don’t have time to get back to the Land Rover, he thought.
“How good are you with that?” He nodded at the rifle bag lying at Brandt’s side.
“Good enough,” she replied simply.
“I hope so.” Because I’m about to find out in the worst possible way, he thought.
Kramer quickly outlined his plan while Brandt slid out her Mk-11 .300 Win Mag and attached its Knights Armament suppressor. She set the tripod up, checked the sniper rifle’s bolt action and fitted the Nightforce NXS 8-32 x 56 scope. To Kramer it certainly looked like the woman knew her business.
“Ready when you are, boss,” she said, screwing her ball cap backwards on her head.
Kramer laid a hand on Junior’s shoulder. “Remember, whatever happens you stay close by Charlie.” The boy nodded solemnly. Brandt gave Kramer a curious look; he’d never used her first name before.
“Hey, boss.” Brandt pointed towards the house. “I guess their curiosity got the better of them.”
“Damn,” Kramer muttered.
They watched as three figures emerged from around the front of the house and began moving somewhat in their direction. They’ve come looking for their mate, Kramer thought. He decided to stick with his plan nonetheless.
“Okay, I’m moving out. Keep a close eye on those guys. I’m trusting you to watch my six.”
“Roger that.” Brandt nestled into a comfortable firing position. “Ready when you are.”
With a last command to Shadow to stay with Brandt and Junior, Kramer wriggled backward a few feet then rolled to his left through the scratchy brush until he judged he was below the ridge line. He rose to a low crouch and began moving as swiftly as he could in a shallow arc toward the house. As his senses heightened he became acutely aware of the sun’s growing heat on his neck and through his clothing.
Shrubs scratched and plucked at his pants as he broke into a crouched run. He had to be in position before the ISIS group left the house. Beads of sweat formed at his hairline and seeped into his cap band. He dragged air in through gritted teeth, occasionally swiping his drying lips with his tongue. If only he had another couple of people in his unit to improve the chances of his plan succeeding.
Oh well, he thought, it is what it is. He speeded up. As he forged ahead he couldn’t help part of his mind going off on a tangent. From the moment he decided to have the boy along part of Kramer rebelled at the added responsibility. It was the last thing he needed on this mission. The youngster was undoubtedly a liability that could suddenly turn into something deadly.
It paralleled military arguments for allowing women on the frontline. A vast majority of military still regarded the fairer sex as being the weakest and that men might unnecessarily risk their own lives to rescue a female unit member. Kramer considered himself a fence sitter on the subject but now, with Junior along, he felt himself leaning toward the argument against women.
As much as he didn’t like having Brandt with him, he had to reluctantly acknowledge the fact that she appeared competent enough to look after herself. She certainly had the Aussie attitude—time would tell if she had the balls to back it up. He could only hope that neither of them would find themself being forced to throw caution to the wind to run to Junior’s rescue.
A voice whispered from the back of his mind that this train of thought all resulted from Sarah’s untimely death and the guilt he’d heaped upon himself for it. The voice was always there, and nothing he tried could shrug it off. He refocused.
Moments later he broke out of the fine bush to find himself at the edge of the road leading from the house. It wasn’t much better than a rough rock-strewn track switch backing its way down the ridge toward Franskraal that lay hidden from sight several miles away.
No dust trails. That meant the ISIS group hadn’t passed this way. Great.
Kramer quickly scanned the terrain. The road twisted uphill to the house and he could see the leading edge of the roofline jutting above the hilltop. The switchback he stood on looked like a tilted V, with the point to his right and him on the lower arm. The ISIS vehicle would travel downhill and make a slow sharp turn onto the V’s upper arm that would bring it broadside to where he currently stood.
He looked about for a good line-of-fire position and spotted a deep depression at the road’s edge. After scraping away several large rocks and debris, he settled into the hole with his feet braced against a slight embankment. Perfect. He had clear sight of the entire length of road slanting down the hill.
He made sure his Glock had a full magazine and chambered a round. Next he slung the Heckler and Koch MP5K from his back, checked it, and then settled down to wait.
He didn’t have to wait long.

You Can Run
Kramer & Shadow Crime Series Book 2

U.S.Marines, Capt. Kramer and his dog Sgt. Shadow survive hell in
Afghanistan — but worse awaits them back home.

HOLD ON FOLKS!!! YOU CAN RUN is not your average crime thriller. Full of
crime, absolutely! A thrilling ride, most definitely! But Greg Smith
takes it up a couple of notches, pulls you, the reader, into a
dangerous, action-packed FBI operation. You enter the world of 2 U.S.
Marines who offer their services to bring down a diabolical kingpin.

The Pits
Kramer & Shadow Crime Series Book 1

After nearly 20 years serving in the Marine Corps, Captain Kramer thought
he'd been prepared for anything life had to throw him. He returns
from deployment to Afghanistan with a new dog, Shadow. Back in
Oceanside, California he and Shadow are drawn into a struggle to oust
local gangs involved in a bloody sport. Kramer and Shadow's
activities capture the attention of the FBI who quickly enlist their
help in an operation to bring down a major crime lord based in
Florida. Captain Kramer, USMC and Corporal Shadow, USMC soon find
themselves in their deadliest fight ever.

Even as a young child I was always conjuring up stories and filling them with colorful
characters, sharing them with anyone and everyone who would listen.
Since then, I’ve progressed quite a bit to formulating longer and
more complex stories and sharing them with much larger audiences. As
a professional storyteller, I’m adept at using my imaginative
thinking and creative flair to bring my stories to life in engaging and entertaining ways.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, I moved to America in 1999 and now live with my wife,
Trish, Sydney, our 12 year old Border Collie, and part-Bengal cat,
The General (Bugsy), in our 36ft 5th wheel as we travel and explore the United States.

The advent of retirement opened a whole new world to me and now that it
has come to pass, I am turning my artistic bent from graphic design
and illustration to that of writing.

The Kramer and Shadow series is an action, adventure, crime thriller series that
encompasses the world and has our two Marines fighting hard against
organized crime at many levels - but always involving do-or-die confrontations.

My hope is to establish a fan base for my writing so that my readers can have an active role in helping me grow and develop as an author in the years to come. I invite you to join
me in this adventure.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!