The Fire Within

Book One: The Fire Within is an interesting concept, an assassin with amnesia. Unusual and well written story with strong characters and a compelling plot. I enjoyed the scenic descriptions that painted beautiful word pictures. Suspense, romance, and a Caribbean Cruise. Well done!

Amazon Verified Purchase Reader Review

Click to purchase on Amazon. To purchase locally, scroll down for a listing of local vendors.

The other two books in the Marine Letsco Trilogy – The Fire of Revenge & A Time for Fire


If you enjoy the stories of Sue Grafton or Patricia Cornwell, you will find The Marine Letsco Trilogy an intriguing read.

In Book One, on a cruise to the Caribbean, Marine Letsco is on her first vacation in ten years from her job with Transcontinental Solutions where she works as an assassin. She finds herself entangled in a murder-for-hire, a murder conspiracy, and a fall that results in her losing her memory. Aided by Dr. Chester Henegar, a neuropsychiatrist, Marine begins a danger-filled quest to regain her memory. The deeper she searches, the more she becomes convinced she may not want to know who she was.

The Fire Within is the first book in the Marine Letsco Trilogy, a series full of intrigue, romance, and a little murder mixed with thrills to keep you turning the page. It is available in print, eBook, and audio formats.

Excerpt from The Fire Within

As I walked out into the solarium sitting area of the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, I saw to my left two security guards moving toward me at a fast pace. I determined that I could remove the ink pen out of the last guard’s chest pocket, shove the end of the pen between vertebrae four and five thereby severing the guard’s spinal cord in mid-stride. I considered that I might need to practice that move in slow motion to increase my precision. Luckily for them, they went past me without incident.

The wait to board the plane for Fort Lauderdale wasn’t long. I had timed my arrival at the airport perfectly. Another thing I can’t abide is wasting time waiting. The flight to Fort Lauderdale would take about two hours. Once there, I’d make my way to St. Lucia by way of Stellar Cruises. While in St. Lucia, I’d complete my thirty-eighth termination job for Transcontinental Solutions; something just two hours ago, I didn’t think I’d be doing on this trip.


The taxi down the runway was uneventful and liftoff was smooth. Thankfully, my seatmate had dozed off to sleep. As he situated himself in his seat, I sized him up. He was fifty, married, middle management, tired of being on the road, and a real bore. His sleeping freed me to have some quiet. I savored these moments to ponder my life, what I knew of it.

All Aunt Jeannie ever told me about my parents while growing up and going to the South Hampton School for the Gifted in Chelsea, England, was that they died when I was three years old in a tragic accident. They were Foreign Service officers; my dad had been a member of the Marine Corps. I didn’t have a picture of them. One of the matrons while I was at the orphanage gave me a locket that was supposed to have belonged to my mother. Sometimes, while growing up, and even now, I dreamed of my parents, what they were like, and wondered how my life might have been different, if they had lived.


I looked down at the locket. Three months ago, on my thirty-third birthday, I took it to a jeweler. He said it was rather valuable due to its age. After he cleaned it, he fitted it with a new chain. The other one had worn thin. I had the jeweler place inside the locket a picture of a dog I once owned; a German Shepherd named Colombo. One day, he ran out of my apartment and into the street. He died in my arms. As I fiddled with the locket, I momentarily grieved for Colombo and for the parents I didn’t know. Death has a way of helping you look at life with darkness. Each job I completed, I found myself sinking deeper into a black hole.

“Ma’am, would you like a beverage?” Caesar asked as he moved along the aisle.

“No, thank you.” I responded, thinking how the trainers had lectured repeatedly about drinking a beverage handed to me by a total stranger when I couldn’t see how it was prepared, especially on a plane. Since then, I never took an open drink on a plane. I either poured it from an unopened bottle or not at all. I thought about other little habits I’d developed over the years, like how I always got on a first name basis with people as soon as possible. I’d learned that saying someone’s name always caused him or her to pause. That split second could mean the difference between life and death in my line of work, which had saved my life on more than one occasion. Both times, the victims of my quick reaction were dead as a result.

Looking up at the television monitor running news clips, I noticed one that caught my eye about a fire at a nightclub in Brazil. As I watched the news video of people racing out, I began to remember a similar nightclub fire I had survived in 2003. We, my friend and I, had just walked into the nightclub when the band began to play. Fireworks started to go off with the music. I had turned to my friend and yelled that we should leave, as it was too loud to hear the music.


Before we could turn, the crowd began to move back towards us. The fireworks had caused the ceiling to catch fire. I’m not certain if we managed to get out of the club on our own or if we were pushed out. We survived. The sounds of people screaming, the smell of burnt flesh, the taste of burning debris, and the pain of death would still be still strong in my memory, but my training taught me to suppress the memories of that night.

Despite all of my experience and training provided by Aunt Jeannie, when I went to work with TRANS, they managed to turn me into a cautionary, follow-the-rules, no questions asked, and loyal employee. Since then, I lost what little humanity I had left. Yet, despite my record with them being stellar, TRANS managed to turn my first vacation since I began working for them into work. I wasn’t happy going on a so-called vacation that TRANS had arranged for me. And, I should have known that when they booked this cruise that it wouldn’t be a vacation. I needed to think about my life. Hell, I had no life; it was always wrapped up in company business. That may need to change.



The Fire Within is the first book in the Marine Letsco Trilogy. Enjoy Marine’s story that is full of intrigue, romance, and a little murder mixed with thrills that keep you turning the page and wanting more.

The Fire Within is on Amazon in
paperback, audio, or e-book format.

Locally, you can purchase an autographed paperback copy of The Fire Within from this fine location:

Museum Gift Shop – Wytheville, VA

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