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A criminal cartel on the loose. A woman caught in the crossfire.

Ray Okon, a low-ranking DSS analyst is frustrated at being stuck in a desk job. He’d rather be in the field, experiencing the adrenaline rush of catching the bad guys.

When the love of his life, Loretta Olawale, rejects his marriage proposal, he has no choice but to move on and bury himself in his work...until the ties that bind them brings them together in the cruellest way possible.

As he and his Homicide and Anti-Drug Trafficking Unit track down a deadly criminal cartel at the centre of Abuja city, Ray finds himself thrust back into Loretta’s life.

But this time, she is in grave danger, and time is running out. Ray finds himself in a race against time to unravel the case and save Loretta's life. But as buried secrets and lies surface, they are entangled in a sinister game of blood and death.









Mararaba, Abuja

Tamina Ajah did not need a seer to tell her that today would be her last day on earth.

She’d made a terrible mistake. She shouldn’t have come back.

Heavy footsteps thumped on the concrete, mixing with the clanking of her high heels. The gunmen were close.

The stilettos were a deterrent to swift motion—time to leave them behind.

Heart-pounding, she pumped her arms hard and ducked into a corner. Catching her breath, she glanced over her shoulders.

Three shadows moved in the dark alley towards her.

Oh, God.

She yanked her shoes off and raced forward. A sharp bend appeared on her left, and she took it, hoping it would lead to freedom.

High brick walls loomed ahead, around her—a dead-end.


Pulse-racing, she swivelled to go back.

Three looming, menacing shadows blocked her path. She couldn’t see their faces, but she knew who they were—the gunmen.

She was trapped. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide.

Terror made her body tremble and her muscles tense. She murmured silent prayers for rescue and safety.

Regret knotted Tamina’s belly. She should have gone to the authorities and told them everything. Now, it was too late.

The man in the middle—the tallest among them—strode towards her. The gun in his hand caught the faint light.

Whimpering, she arched her back against the wall until she couldn’t move further.

The leader pointed his weapon at her, and her breathing ceased.

“I’m…sorry…for…leaving. I wasn’t planning to tell the authorities. Please,” she pleaded, her voice breaking apart.

The gunman’s fierce eyes did not flicker, and he pulled the trigger.

Tamina let out a shrill cry, and everything went black.

Ties That Bind eBook | Stanley Umezulike

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