18 March, 2024

Read an Excerpt from Wet, Warm and Noisy by David A. Willson


Wet, Warm and Noisy by David A. Willson Banner

Wet, Warm and Noisy

by David A. Willson

March 4-29, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


Wet, Warm and Noisy by David A. Willson

A supernatural crime thriller set in Alaska, the Last Frontier...

Surrounded by the unforgiving climate of the frozen north, Jake Ward, a tenacious Alaska State Trooper Investigator and cancer survivor, is on a relentless quest to regain his health and return to full-duty status.

But Ward's world takes a bone-chilling turn during a routine polygraph examination when a woman escapes custody, leaving an officer critically injured. What started as an ordinary investigation transforms into a complex web of intrigue, where medical experimentation and consciousness collide.

In "Wet, Warm, and Noisy," Willson masterfully blurs the boundaries between law enforcement and the supernatural, leading readers on a heart-pounding journey through a realm where the tangible and the mysterious intersect. With time slipping away, can Ward decipher the enigmas that defy reason, or will forces that transcend human experience overwhelm him?

Author David A. Willson, with over two decades of experience as an Alaska State Trooper, brings a rare authenticity to crime fiction that will both enlighten and captivate you. Prepare yourself for an electrifying thriller that challenges the very foundations of our reality.

Book Details:

Genre: Speculative Crime Thriller
Published by: Seeker Press
Publication Date: March 2024
Number of Pages: 236
Series: A Jake Ward Novel, 1
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Palmer, Alaska - Today

Cool springtime winds kicked up across the shooting range just outside the Palmer city limits. Behind the long mound of dirty ice and gravel that served as a backstop, the majestic Chugach mountains, half-covered in snow, stood proudly in the distance as two men faced a target stand. The target was cardboard, the outline of a human torso stapled to two upright posts. The men were real, however. One was an Alaska State Trooper firearms instructor serving as range master. The other was Trooper Investigator Jacob Ward.

The shot timer sounded and Ward’s right hand went to his hip. In a fluid motion, his thumb defeated the retention mechanism and his fingers clasped the handgrip to free the .40 caliber Glock pistol from his belt, then pointed it toward the target. At least he hadn’t gotten hung up on the holster this time.

Grip. Clear. Rock-and-lock.

Almost a second had already passed when his left hand moved from its place on his solar plexus to the pistol, completing his grip on the gun. The smack step.

He pushed it forward to the target, closing one eye as he focused on the front sight. The look step.

He imagined his index finger pulling the slack off the trigger as he prepared to deliver two shots, center mass, but couldn’t be sure, because he couldn’t feel it. Not even a bit.

Pop. Pop.

Two shots. One had gone early, and hit wide of the target because his presentation was terrible. It’d been too long since he’d been to the range and the results were showing. Then, of course, there was the other issue.

He aimed the gun higher, focusing on the head of the paper target.


His finger started to pull back again when the shot timer beeped again.


Too late.

“Overtime,” the range master said, as if Jake didn’t know. It was his third penalty in as many rounds. “First shot went off early, which wouldn’t be a problem if you had a better presentation, but it’s wide. And slow.”


“Fingers still numb?”

“Nah,” Ward lied, then turned back and forth, doing his safety scans before inserting a full magazine and replacing the pistol into the holster at his hip. Frustrated and nervous, he needlessly adjusted his hearing protection. A breeze swept across the range, startling him as it brought a chill to his shaved head. Maybe he should have worn something warmer than his State Trooper ball cap, but the blue BDUs and cap were as close to a uniform as he could get until he got approval for full duty. He wanted to feel like a Trooper today. In a bad way.

“Are you pushing this too soon? The Captain is happy to keep you on light duty for a while yet.”

“If I don’t get out here and just do it, I’ll never qualify. Neuropathy or not.”

“True. But with three overtimes already, I’m not sure you’re gonna make any progress with a qual course today.” The burly range master took a step closer, a concerned look on his face. Ward had rarely seen the man show any feeling - he was all business. “Everyone knows you shoot well, but you’ve had a rough go lately. You’ll get there, but not all at once. Let’s ditch the course and do some slow presentations. Dry practice, maybe. Fundamentals.”

But Ward didn’t move, instead squaring up to the target. It wasn’t just the neuropathy and numb fingers. He had weak toes and shaky hands. And shaky confidence. But he wouldn’t get his mojo back by sitting at a desk. And pity didn't help one bit.

“Suit yourself,” the range master said, then let out a huff and took a step back. He paused a moment, then raised his voice back to range levels. “Again, fail to stop drill at seven yards. Five seconds from the holster.”

Ward focused, his eyes drilling a hole in the target where he wanted the shots to hit.

“Shooter ready!”

The timer sounded.

* * *

The drive to work along the Glenn Highway was uneventful, other than a speeder that insisted on doing eighty-five, tailgating everyone who dared occupy their lane. If he’d been driving his assigned vehicle, Ward would have activated his emergency lights and pulled the punk over for a friendly conversation. But light duty status means no Trooper rig unless you have special permission, not even an unmarked one. And no gun, at least until he could qualify.

The occasional wind gust caused Ward’s blue Chevy pickup to sway within the lanes, distracting him from the sound of the political commentary streaming through the truck’s speakers. The talk radio host paused for a news report announcing a shooting at a gas station in Anchorage last night, municipal budget cuts, and something about a missing college kid. There would always be crime, and therefore, plenty of job security.

The traffic got thicker as Ward traveled through Eagle River, Anchorage’s closest suburb, then even worse as he exited off the highway onto Muldoon Road. Muldoon became Tudor Road, and he turned into the parking lot of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation.

He parked the truck and came through the side entrance, stopping at the break room to see if the coffee was rolling yet, hoping that a fellow caffeine addict had beaten him to work today. The empty pot announced no such luck. A few minutes later, he welcomed a steady stream of black goodness into the pot and he was on his way down the hall to the office.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Technical Crimes Unit was a modest space in a boring, rectangular building in east Anchorage. What happened between those walls, however, was anything but boring. One sergeant, two civilian techs and three investigators were involved in some of the biggest criminal investigations in Alaska. Even when they didn’t have primary case responsibility, they provided critical support to other officers. It was the variety that had attracted Ward to this kind of work. Sure, he had a talent for technology, which helped get the job, but that wasn’t why he was here. What attracted him was the fact that no two days were ever the same. He could write a search warrant for a child exploitation case in the morning, then do a forensic computer exam for a homicide case before lunch. He might kick a door on a building search, only to be called away to sit shotgun in a helicopter, acting as a spotter for a search and rescue. The variety of work duties assigned to an Alaska State Trooper Investigator was unparalleled.

Unless you were on light duty.


It was Sergeant Ballack down the hall, shouting from his office. Ward got to his feet, snagging his notebook and a pen on the way out of his cubicle. That shout always came with some ‘other duty as assigned,’ or so the trooper saying goes.

As always, the sergeant’s office smelled old, musty maybe. He didn't know if it was Ballack’s bad cologne or his shampoo, but then his sense of smell kinda sucked. Chemotherapy will do that to ya.

The Sergeant turned to face Ward as he entered, grabbing a few papers off his desk as he did so. The man had quite the glorious head of hair and it probably took some pretty fancy conditioner to keep its form, adding a good three inches to his already impressive height.

“Whatcha got for me, boss?”

“Have a seat,” Ballack said. He was impeccably dressed, as always, with a sharp red tie and blue tailored suit. “How ya feeling?”

“I’m fine.”

“Ward, you’re not fine. Cut the crap. Nobody who’s battling pancreatic cancer is fine. Serious. How are you?”

“Surgery went well enough. Chemo is over and my oncologist thinks I’ve got a shot. Neuropathy is getting better every day. I’m ready for full duty, sir.”

“My wife has a friend that works at a cancer clinic. She said you’re not out of the woods till you hit five years. Is that right?”

Heck, I’d love to make it five years. A few months ago, I thought I was toast.

“With pancreatic, it comes back fast, or it doesn’t come back at all. If I make it two years, I’m probably ok.” He didn’t tell him about the other problems, though. Digestive issues causing low energy, the numb fingers and toes, memory lapses, concentration, yada yada. Ya can’t kill cancer cells without killing a lot of other stuff, apparently.

“Don’t rush it, ok?” Ballack put down the papers. “I can keep you busy on light duty for a long time.”

Not the words he wanted to hear, and standing in the Sarge’s office discussing death and light duty, which was almost as bad, tested Ward’s patience.

“What do you have there, Sarge?”

“Polygraph. You game?”

“Absolutely. What’s the case?”

“Palmer patrol picked up some crazy chick on grave shift. Ahem. I mean, ‘a person in crisis.’ She tried to break into a warehouse a couple of nights ago. Then she babbled about being kidnapped, something about a kid, all kinds of nutty stuff.” Ballack rolled his eyes. “I’m thinking poly her, see if she’s cracked. If her claims are legit, we’ll follow up. What do you think?”

“I’ve been looking for some actual police work to do.” He reached for the paper.

“Find out about the kidnapping. If it happened at all. If you get admissions about why she was trying to get into the warehouse, well, that’s really the target.”

“We rarely run polygraphs on victims.”

“She’s full of crap. She’s a doper who tried to rob a building and we want to know why. Poly is a pretext for interrogation on the burg.”

“That’s fine. I haven’t run a poly in months and I’m going blind on all those public information requests you keep handing me. It’ll give me something real to do.”

Ward moved to walk out of the office.


He turned back.

“Take it easy, son.”

“It’s a polygraph, boss.” Ward furrowed his brow. “I’ll survive.”

“Sergeant Vance told me about the range.”


“Don’t push it, Ward. I’m not talking about the polygraph, or the range. Just in general. Bodies take time to heal and you’ve been through hell.”

He has no idea. “Got it, boss.”

“I mean it. We’ll wait for you to be strong.”

Ward bit his lip, trying to hold back, but the pity was too much for his pride. “I got it, ok? Got it. You care. Everyone cares. Don’t rush it. Loud and clear. I’m good.”

Then he walked out of the room.


Excerpt from Wet, Warm and Noisy by David A. Willson. Copyright 2024 by David A. Willson. Reproduced with permission from David A. Willson. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

David A. Willson

David A. Willson, a retired Alaska State Trooper with more than two decades of service, brings unmatched authenticity to his crime fiction. During his career, he served as a certified police instructor, polygraph program coordinator, court-certified computer forensics expert and supervisor of both Major Crimes and Technical Crimes units. With over a decade in an investigative capacity, he supervised thousands of felony cases, chasing Alaska’s most dangerous criminals.

Catch Up With Our Author:
BookBub - @DavidAWillson
Facebook - @DWillsonAuthor



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