USA Today and New York Times bestselling writer Dean Wesley Smith returns to one of his favorite characters, Pakhet Jones, a superhero tasked with protecting cats.
When cats become the target of an advanced weapon, it falls on Pakhet Jones, Poker Boy, and Lady Luck herself to find out why, solve the mystery, and save not only cat's lives, but human lives as well.
A fast, tense read, Big Eyes shows why Pakhet Jones lives up to her reputation as one of the best in the Poker Boy Universe.
Sometimes days just start out too perfect.
Today was one of those. I woke up with my girlfriend, Diana, in her wonderful huge bed in her condo, a bed that was so comfortable that getting out of it was tough. Expensive sheets that sort of just caressed your skin and a mattress not too hard, not too soft.
We managed and Diana got all dressed up, which I loved to watch. We had breakfast together before she gave me a kiss and vanished, heading off to a scientific conference on something that if she tried to explain I wouldn't understand.
Diana and I fit perfectly together, but you could never tell at a glance. We were both superheroes, both single women, and both loved to have a few drinks and party, while on other nights we both loved to just spend a night at home.
Diana stood five foot, if that, had long silky-brown hair, and the most amazing brown eyes. While I, on the other hand, stood well over six foot tall, was as skinny as any woman could get and look healthy, and was completely bald.
I kept my bald head and the rest of my body perfectly tanned, which made me look even taller. But we still fit together perfectly in ways that did not need to be explained in polite company.
I petted Diana's feline companion, Benji, then jumped back up to my condo, gave my handsome tuxedo-colored companion, Thomas, the attention and breakfast he wanted, then showered, got dressed in my "do nothing today" clothes, grabbed a new mystery novel, and got comfortable on my couch.
I did not realize at that moment the day was starting off too perfectly. I was just enjoying it.
Outside my condo in the Ogden in downtown Las Vegas, the day promised to be a warm, but not hot. A spring day without a cloud in the sky and no wind at all moving the tops of the palm trees.
My view was of the downtown below me and off a mile the Las Vegas Strip. On both sides of the Strip I had views of all the homes spread out up the hills and the rocks and mountains that framed the valley.
To say my view was spectacular would be a massive understatement. When people saw it for the first time their only reaction was "Wow."
I had my two-bedroom condo decorated in soft brown tones and furniture made for comfort and not show, with a lot of pillows. I liked pillows, the comfortable kind, not the hard ones made to decorate a place. I had a large flat-screen television mounted on the wall that I seldom used and a stereo system built in that was concert quality.
Trust me, I used the stereo.
At the moment I had light jazz playing, turned low enough that it didn't bother my reading.
Thomas finished his breakfast and came in, crawled up on the back of the couch that would be in sun in about thirty minutes, and started into his bath routine.
Plus the opening of the mystery novel was good and drew me right in.
I guess I am just aware enough to notice when things were too perfect. I could sense when things were wrong with cats, since I was a superhero in the world of cats and had been now for more than a hundred years.
But sensing that the balance of the universe was off with too much perfect, just not one of my superpowers it seemed.
So I was about two chapters into my compelling mystery when suddenly Thomas jumped to his feet, turned and stood there on the back of the couch just staring out the window.
"What's happening?" I asked.
Cats are in danger and being killed. Thomas thought at me. One of my superpowers is being able to hear a cat if they direct a thought at me.
"What?" I asked. "What is happening?"
I do not know.
"Are you safe here? Is Benji safe?"
I believe so but better to have Benji here.
"Tell him I'm coming."
I jumped to Diana's apartment where Benji was standing on the back of Diana's brown couch, also staring out the window.
I grabbed him and jumped back to my condo and put him on the back of the couch with Thomas where they both stayed, staring out the window.
"I can see nothing happening," I said. "But I can sense a lot of cats suddenly very afraid and some in pain. Can you tell me anything more that you can sense about what is going on?"
No. Thomas thought back at me.
"Can you sense where the Big Tom is at?"
The Big Tom was the big yellow, feral tom cat that basically controlled all the cats in the entire downtown area and a ways into North Las Vegas. He and I had worked a couple cases before and I had saved his life once.
He will meet you in the parking area, as normal, in five minutes, Thomas thought at me.
I quickly changed into jeans, running shoes, a sports bra, and a white dress shirt. I just had no idea where I might end up with this. I had never seen Thomas or any cat act like this if there was no danger to be seen. Something serious was happening with cats in this area. I could feel it.
Just couldn't sense what it was. And that had me more worried than I wanted to admit.