Friday, March 22, 2013

Claude Bouchard - Femme Fatale is featured in HBS Mystery Reader's Circle

Claude Bouchard is in the HBS Mystery Book Reader's Circle.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Claude Bouchard Books - Crime Thrillers and other Stuff...
Twitter: @ceebee308
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Author Description:

I was born in Montreal, Canada, where I still reside with my spouse, Joanne. I completed my studies in human resources, accounting and management at McGill University and worked in various management capacities in the fields of HR and finance for a handful of firms for what seemed like decades, because it was. I should also mention I love pizza, but who doesn't and, in my opinion, nothing rocks more than cooking on the grill.

My first stab at writing was in 1995, the result being my first novel, Vigilante. This was subsequently followed by The Consultant (1996) and Mind Games (1997), all of the same series. Professional obligations and other creative interests led me away from writing for a number of years but I found myself busy at the keyboard in 2009 with The Homeless Killer after having finally published my first three novels. I then followed up with 6 Hours 42 Minutes in 2011, also part of the Vigilante series born from Vigilante. In July 2011, I released ASYLUM, my first stand-alone novel and Discreet Activities, my sixth Vigilante crime thriller was published in January 2012. In October 2012, I penned and released Something’s Cooking, a faux-erotica parody and cookbook under the pseudonyms RĂ©al E. Hotte and Dasha Sugah. My eighth novel and seventh installment of the Vigilante series, Femme Fatale, has just been released. I think I'm really starting to like this writing thing.

Besides writing, editing and promoting my work, I also spend some artistic energy with my five guitars, oil paints and watercolours. Other passions include cooking (big time with fine wine to go with it, of course), reading, traveling and working out just enough to stay fit. It should also be noted that following several years of practice, I now excel at being cat furniture for Krystalle and Midnight, or so they tell me.

Femme Fatale


Author: Claude Bouchard


Less than two years earlier, Leslie Robb, an accountant in her late twenties working for the Imperial National Bank, had seen her life-partner and co-worker, Gina, shot to death during a bank heist subsequently foiled in part by Chris Barry, millionaire and clandestine operative of the government's 'Discreet Activities'.

Taken as a hostage along with Chris by the remaining robbers onto a helicopter secretly piloted by two 'DA' operatives, including 'DA' head, Jonathan Addley, Leslie had played an integral role in helping bring the offenders down. As a result, thanks to her sang froid, sense of moral justice and martial arts affinities, Leslie left the world of finance to fight crime as a member of the 'DA' team.

Now, Leslie has a new partner in life, Dominique Petit, a Canadian/French dual citizen who suggests Leslie visit Paris with her while she is in the City of Lights on business. Less than twenty-four hours after Leslie arrives, Dominique and her sister, Corinne, disappear, turning Leslie's vacation into her own business trip of justice and revenge…

Beautiful Killer. Bouchard does it again.

Another phenomenal chapter in the VIGILANTE chronicle and another great journey into the cunning mind of Claude Bouchard. If you've read any of the other books in this great series then you need to read FEMME FATALE now! And if you haven't then you still need to read FEMME FATALE now!

As with all the books in the series, the strength lies in the characters Bouchard creates and the way they interact with each other, dancing together to weave a wondrous tale of espionage and death, this time in Paris.

Leslie Robb from Discreet Activities returns as a heroine searching for her partner… and maybe a little revenge along the way.

Great story from a great storyteller. Stop reading this and start reading FEMME FATALE now! By Luke Romyn

VIGILANTE Addiction!
Claude has done it again in this latest book in the Vigilante series. Once I opened the first chapter it was impossible to put it down until it was over.

Leslie Robb the heroine in this book has turned into one of my favorite characters and I truly hope to see more of her in the future. As with all of Claude's characters, she is someone you feel like you know personally. I am always amazed at the depth of personality he portrays with his characters.

Kudos Mr. Bouchard! Your quick wit and mesmerizing storytelling keep me coming back for more! By EdwinaP


As Leslie looked back down at the dead guard, still crouched by his side, the door from the entrance foyer opened behind her. Turning her head, she saw the front guard standing there, staring at her without expression. A few seconds went by then he pushed the door closed with his foot and smiled at her as he pulled a switchblade from his pocket.

“You came to the wrong place to cause trouble, pretty lady,” he said taking a step towards her. Rising to her feet, Leslie took a couple of steps back and a switchblade suddenly appeared in her hand as well.

“Give it your best shot, you big ape,” she replied as they began circling each other, each looking for that opportunity which could lead to the other’s demise.

Chris, who still stood at the top of the landing and had yet to be noticed by the guard, was trying to determine something, anything he could do to assist Leslie in the deadly dance being performed below. He doubted he could make it down the stairs without getting the man’s attention then it suddenly dawned on him that getting the man’s attention was the best thing to do.

“I’m glad I’m not in your shoes, my friend,” he called down.

As expected and hoped, the man jerked his head to the right and up towards Chris.

The half second distraction was all Leslie needed who launched into a vicious reverse roundhouse kick, catching the man solidly in the throat.

Dropping his knife, the big Moroccan clutched at his neck as he tried to suck in precious air. Taking no chances, Leslie delivered a flying kick to the chest, knocking the man to the stone floor where Chris rolled him onto his stomach, binding his wrists and ankles with zip ties.

“You’ll live,” Chris told the man as he lay on the floor wheezing. “Now, how do I unlock that door?” In response, the guard attempted to spit at Chris, managing only to send himself into another choking fit. Chris kicked him in the thigh and said, “If you want to join your dead friend here, we can accommodate you. Now, what’s the magic numbers for that fancy keypad?”

“Three, six, nine, four,” the big Moroccan gasped.

“Same for the front door and gate?” asked Chris as Leslie tried the combination, confirming it was correct.

The man nodded in response, still wincing in pain.

“Thanks for your cooperation,” said Chris then reached into his pocket as his phone began to vibrate

Discreet Activities


Author: Claude Bouchard


As a result of information gathered via electronic surveillance by intelligence agencies in the U.S. and Canada, a budding terrorist organization, the Army for Islam or AFI, is suspected of planning an attack, its target possibly NYC, Burlington, Vermont or even Canada's famed Montreal.

When four foreign students from Pakistan with known ties to the AFI's Montreal cell arrive in the area on New Year's Eve, Discreet Activities' head, Jonathan Addley, along with Chris Barry and other DA consultants are more than willing to take on the additional workload.

After two of the DA team members die violently in an AFI related suicide-bombing, the job becomes getting revenge on those responsible for this Holy War…


“That was a fine meal,” Cat declared as she pushed away the empty dessert plate, “And now I’m stuffed.”

“You and me both,” Leslie replied. “I’m thinking a little walk along the beach wouldn’t do me any harm.”

“Sounds good to me,” Cat agreed as she signalled the waiter for the bill.

After signing for the meal and picking up a glass of port at the bar, they made their way across the vast terrace surrounding the pool and down the steps leading onto the beach. Though a few people could be seen strolling here and there, the area was mostly deserted as it was after ten in the evening. Moving on to the water’s edge to feel the gentle waves wash over their feet, they then headed northward at a leisurely pace, chatting along the way.

Several minutes into their walk, they came upon some rocky outcrops which reduced the beach to practically nothing though they could see that the expanse of sand extended for quite some distance beyond the natural barrier. As they got closer, they noted that the rocks could be circumvented with relative ease if they wished to pursue further.

“Do you want to go a little ways yet or head back?” asked Leslie as they reached the first rock formations.

“We haven’t been walking that long,” Cat replied. “We can go on for a bit.”

They moved forward, walking in the shallow water around one particularly large mass of stone. As they came around its edge and back onto the sand they found themselves face to face with two local men. Both of average build and height, dark-skinned and in their early twenties, they left the impression they had been waiting for the women to appear.

“Hello, pretty ladies,” one said with a flash of white teeth as both men stepped forward. “It is a lovely evening for a walk, yes?”

“Yes, it is,” Cat replied, she and Leslie standing their ground and watching for signs of possible aggression, “And that’s exactly what we’re going to keep on doing.”

Sensing movement behind them, Leslie turned to find a third man, of the same age bracket as the two others but stockier in build, standing there and smiling at her.

“Aw, come on,” the first man continued. “Why don’t you sit with us, have a drink, talk and have some fun.”

“We’re having fun as it is,” Cat coolly replied, “So just get out of our way and everything will be fine.”

“But you will have more fun if you party with us,” the man said, his smile less friendly.

“Actually, if you insist on partying with us,” Cat warned, “I can guarantee that we’ll have more fun but you certainly won’t. This is your last chance to get the hell away from us.”

“Do you think you can speak to me that way and get away with it?” the man snarled in sudden anger as he raised his hands towards Cat.

At the same moment, the heavier man grabbed hold of Leslie from behind which, of course, was not a wise move. Her port glass, now empty, was a stemmed flute which she smashed against the rock at her side. The flute now gone, what remained in her hand was the stem and base. Wrapping her fingers around the base with the underside flat in her palm, she swung her arm down and back, ramming the full length of the three inch jagged stem into her aggressor’s thigh.

Howling in pain, he released her, another mistake on his part. Spinning to face him, Leslie grabbed the back of the man’s neck with both hands and head-butted him, not once or twice, but three times in the face, crushing his nose and knocking him unconscious.

In the meantime, Cat had slapped her attacker’s arms open as he reached for her and followed up with a solid knee to the groin. Upon impact, the man had doubled over, only to meet Cat’s knee as it rose again, sending him tumbling backwards. As his accomplice lunged at her, Cat swung a hand at him, the hand which still firmly gripped her port glass by the stem, and caught him just below his right eye by his nose. The glass exploded on impact as the man shrieked and slapped his hands to his bloody face. This was just before Leslie leaped into the air, kicking his hand covered face and knocking him against the rock wall behind him where he slid to the ground in a whimpering daze.

“Well, that was fun,” said Leslie as they looked down at the three moaning, disabled men. “You’re okay?”

“Not really,” Cat grinned as she displayed a small scratch on her hand. “I cut myself. How about you?” “The big ape got blood on my top, ughh,” Leslie grimaced. “What do we do with these idiots?”

“They got here by themselves,” Cat scoffed. “I’m sure they can find their way back without our help.” “That’s not what I meant, silly,” Leslie laughed. “I meant, do we teach them a lesson and kill them?” “Hmmm…” Cat pondered. “Nah. Let’s go back to the hotel and have another port instead.”
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