THE DARKNESS WE HIDE by DEBRA WEBB

The Darkness We Hide (The Undertaker's Daughter, #3)

THE UNDERTAKER’S DAUGHTER #3

We’re back in Winchester, Tennessee with Dr. Rowan Dupont. Living in a funeral home is its own creepy story, but Rowan has faced death more outside of the morgue than inside.

Things are peaceful in town at the moment. No Julian sending her bodies or trying to kill her. But Rowan knows it won’t last. The man will not stop until she is dead along with everyone she loves. And now that she and Billy are serious she has a lot more to lose.

She has found enough family secrets for more than one lifetime. But she still doesn’t know enough. Everything she thought was true has turned out to be false. What was her mother? And why do all of these bodies have her name tattooed on them?

Just when things seem calm, a body shows up on her mother’s grave and we are in the thick of it once again. But oh my the shocking end!

I love this series and Rowan. Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ March 31st, 2020 by MIRA

 

 

 

 

 

The LOST ORPHAN by Stacey Halls

The Lost Orphan

1754 London. Not the most pleasant time in history. And not a time kind to women. Poor Bess Bright works all day hawking shrimp to make barely enough to scrape by.

When she has a random encounter with a young man that leaves her pregnant, her only option is to give up her daughter. Leaving her at the Foundling Hospital is gut-wrenching for her. But Bess isn’t one of those mothers who won’t come back. She fully intends to come for her daughter as soon as she can. Leaving a token of half a whalebone heart her child’s father gave her, as an identifier.

Six years later and Bess goes back for her daughter only to be told that her daughter was picked up the day after arriving by a woman with the correct identifier. Distraught and confused she is determined to find her child.

I enjoyed the writing in this tale. The atmosphere was easily imagined and while it was horribly sad, it was also full of courage and the relationship between a mother and her child.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ April 7th, 2020 by MIRA

 

 

 

 

THE FINAL DECEPTION by HEATHER GRAHAM

The Final Deception

New York Confidential #5

How do you confront a threat that is hiding in plain sight? FBI agent Craig Frasier and psychologist Kieran Finnegan hunt an escaped serial killer in the latest explosive thriller in the New York Confidential series.

The gruesome murders confessed to by the killer called the Fireman have left their mark on Kieran and Craig.

Even locked away his name and his story are chilling. When Kieran is asked to consult with the man to see if he is insane or just plain evil, she is not prepared for the man she meets. 

But just days later there is another body. With the same MO and in a bizarre turn of events our serial killer escapes from prison and is now on the loose. While the body count rises, Craig and Kieran may be in the most danger as they chase an escaped killer and try to unravel a web of lies, greed and straight-up crazy!

Graham never fails to give us a good, twisty, thriller of a tale! This was like trying to untangle a Rubick’s Cube! So many threads to pull at and everyone had me thinking, “Oh, yeah, he did it. ” And every time I was wrong.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ March 31st, 2020 by MIRA

 

 

A Forgotten Murder by JUDE DEVERAUX

A Forgotten Murder (Medlar Mystery, #3)

A Medlar Mystery #3

An English manor home, an unsolved mystery, too many suspects to count… It’s the perfect holiday for romance novelist Sara Medlar.

Let me begin by saying if you haven’t read the first two books in this series you will want to do so quickly after you read this one!

Ms.Deveraux is a master at storytelling. As well as creating the best characters.

A little backstory for you.

Sara Medlar is a successful romance writer from Florida. Her partners in meddling are her niece Kate and her godson, Jack.

Soon after solving a couple of murders in their own town, Sara has decided they need a holiday. An old friend of hers in England owns an enormous estate with a rich and sketchy past. Now, it is a hotel but closes in March for the neverending repairs and renovations such as an old place needs. A perfect time for a visit from the woman who bankrolled the renovations.

Sara has also invited a number of other people and Kate and Jack are puzzled and know immediately that she is up to something. But what? Is she writing a book? Doing research? Or is it something more dangerous?

When the motley crew arrives, Sara lets them in on why they have been summoned.

Decades ago, this group was here in this house when two people ran off and were never heard from again. Sara intends to uncover what happened to the couple by casting the group in a Hercule Poirot type of theatrical event.

What the group doesn’t know is…no, I’m not spoiling it for you! Suffice it to say that no one is what they say they are and you will not believe the ending! This time our author, Sara, may not live to write the tale!

The characters in this were brilliantly done. I love Sara, Jack, and Kate. The secondary characters were awful at first glance but in the end, my heart hurt for a few.

I absolutely adored this one!

NetGalley/ March 10th, 2020 by MIRA

TEN DAYS GONE by Beverly Long

Ten Days Gone (A.L. McKittridge, #1)

Most of the police procedurals I have read have been set in the UK. This one is set in Wisconsin with bits of Minnesota and Illinois. This is the first in a series and I am so glad I read it.

In Baywood, Wisconsin, A.L. McKittridge and Rena Morgan have a big problem. Four women dead in forty days. One killed every ten days. All found dead, naked, with clothes folded neatly. No signs of a struggle. It is a race against time to find the killer before they find another body.

This was a twisty, evil, puzzle of a tale! The best type! I think we have a winner here and I hope we see more!

NetGalley/ February 18th, 2020 by MIRA

 

 

GOOD GIRLS LIE by J.T. ELLISON *Release Day* Blog Tour

Good Girls Lie

“There are truths, and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened, which is where you and I will meet.”

I am a sucker for a good boarding school thriller/mystery!  This tale of teenage girls at a prestigious boarding school just for girls, The Goode School, is anything but good! These are some seriously privileged and mean girls.

After her parents’ deaths, Ash is shipped off to The Good School. She has changed her name to avoid the publicity of the deaths and all she wants is to study and stay under the radar. Not going to happen. Someone always knows someone who can find out what you want to stay hidden.

The school is full of children of wealth and privilege whose parents are high profile people with little time for their own children, much better to send them to a snooty school that seems perfect on the outside but rotten on the inside. Including the Dean!

I am not sure there was one decent character in this book! Girls start to seriously hurt each other and then the deaths begin. Ash is sure she knows who is behind it, but will anyone believe her now? And is she even Ash??

And once secrets begin to spill out, everyone is left exposed. I loved every wicked minute of this one!

NetGalley/December 31st, 2019 by MIRA

JT Ellison Author Photo credit Krista Lee Photography - vertical (1)

1
THE HANGING

The girl’s body dangles from the tall iron gates guarding the school’s entrance. A closer
examination shows the ends of a red silk tie peeking out like a cardinal on a winter branch, forcing her
neck into a brutal angle. She wears her graduation robe and multicolored stole as if knowing she’ll never
see the achievement. It rained overnight and the thin robe clings to her body, dew sparkling on the
edges. The last tendrils of dawn’s fog laze about her legs, which are five feet from the ground.
There is no breeze, no birds singing or squirrels industriously gathering for the long winter
ahead, no cars passing along the street, only the cool, misty morning air and the gentle metallic creaking
of the gates under the weight of the dead girl. She is suspended in midair, her back to the street, her
face hidden behind a curtain of dirty, wet hair, dark from the rains.
Because of the damage to her face, it will take them some time to officially identify her. In the
beginning, it isn’t even clear she attends the school, despite wearing The Goode School robes.
But she does.
The fingerprints will prove it. Of course, there are a few people who know exactly who is
hanging from the school’s gates. Know who, and know why. But they will never tell. As word spreads of
the apparent suicide, The Goode School’s all-female student body begin to gather, paying silent,
terrified homage to their fallen compatriot. The gates are closed and locked—as they always are
overnight—buttressed on either side by an ivy-covered, ten-foot-high, redbrick wall, but it tapers off
into a knee-wall near the back entrance to the school parking lot, and so is escapable by foot. The girls of
Goode silently filter out from the dorms, around the end of Old West Hall and Old East Hall to Front
Street—the main street of Marchburg, the small Virginia town housing the elite prep school—and take
up their positions in front of the gate in a wedge of crying, scared, worried young women who glance
over shoulders looking for the one who is missing from their ranks. To reassure themselves this isn’t
their friend, their sister, their roommate.
Another girl joins them, but no one notices she comes from the opposite direction, from town.
She was not behind the redbrick wall.
Whispers rise from the small crowd, nothing loud enough to be overheard but forming a single
question.
Who is it? Who?
A solitary siren pierces the morning air, the sound bleeding upward from the bottom of the hill,
a rising crescendo. Someone has called the sheriff.
Goode perches like a gargoyle above the city’s small downtown, huddles behind its ivy-covered
brick wall. The campus is flanked by two blocks of restaurants, bars, and necessary shops. The school’s
buildings are tied together with trolleys—enclosed glass-and-wood bridges that make it easy for the girls
to move from building to building in climate-controlled comfort. It is quiet, dignified, isolated. As are the

girls who attend the school; serious, studious. Good. Goode girls are always good. They go on to great
things.
The headmistress, or dean, as she prefers to call herself, Ford Julianne Westhaven, great-
granddaughter several times removed from the founder of The Goode School, arrives in a flurry, her
driver, Rumi, braking the family Bentley with a screech one hundred feet away from the gates. The
crowd in the street blocks the car and, for a moment, the sight of the dangling girl. No one stops to think
about why the dean might be off campus this early in the morning. Not yet, anyway.
Dean Westhaven rushes out of the back of the dove-gray car and runs to the crowd, her face
white, lips pressed firmly together, eyes roving. It is a look all the girls at Goode recognize and shrink
from.
The dean’s irritability is legendary, outweighed only by her kindness. It is said she alone
approves every application to the school, that she chooses the Goode girls by hand for their intelligence,
their character. Her say is final. Absolute. But for all her goodness, her compassion, her kindness, Dean
Westhaven has a temper.
She begins to gather the girls into groups, small knots of natural blondes and brunettes and
redheads, no fantastical dye allowed. Some shiver in oversize school sweatshirts and running shorts,
some are still in their pajamas. The dean is looking for the chick missing from her flock. She casts
occasional glances over her shoulder at the grim scene behind her. She, too, is unsure of the identity of
the body, or so it seems. Perhaps she simply doesn’t want to acknowledge the truth.
The siren grows to an earsplitting shriek and dies midrange, a soprano newly castrated. The
deputies from the sheriff’s office have arrived, the sheriff hot on their heels. Within moments, they
cordon off the gates, move the students back, away, away. One approaches the body, cataloging;
another begins taking discreet photographs, a macabre paparazzi.
They speak to Dean Westhaven, who quietly, breathlessly, admits she hasn’t approached the
body and has no idea who it might be.
She is lying, though. She knows. Of course, she knows. It was inevitable.
The sheriff, six sturdy feet of muscle and sinew, approaches the gate and takes a few shots with
his iPhone. He reaches for the foot of the dead girl and slowly, slowly turns her around.
The eerie morning silence is broken by the words, soft and gasping, murmurs moving sinuously
through the crowd of girls, their feet shuffling in the morning chill, the fog’s tendrils disappearing from
around the posts.
They say her name, an unbroken chain of accusation and misery.
Ash.
Ash.
Ash.

2
THE LIES

There are truths, and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened, which is where
you and I will meet. My truth is your lie, and my lie is your truth, and there is a vast expanse between
them.
Take, for example, Ash Carlisle.
Six feet tall, glowing skin, a sheaf of blond hair in a ponytail. She wears black jeans with rips in
the knees and a loose greenand-white plaid button-down with white Adidas Stan Smiths; casual,
efficient travel clothes. A waiter delivers a fresh cup of tea to her nest in the British Airways first-class
lounge, and when she smiles her thanks, he nearly drops his tray—so pure and happy is that smile. The
smile of an innocent.
Or not so innocent? You’ll have to decide that for yourself. Soon.
She’s perfected that smile, by the way. Practiced it. Stood in the dingy bathroom of the flat on
Broad Street and watched herself in the mirror, lips pulling back from her teeth over and over and over
again until it becomes natural, until her eyes sparkle and deep dimples appear in her cheeks. It is a full-
toothed smile, her teeth straight and blindingly white, and when combined with the china-blue eyes and
naturally streaked blond hair, it is devastating.
Isn’t this what a sociopath does? Work on their camouflage? What better disguise is there than
an open, thankful, gracious smile? It’s an exceptionally dangerous tool, in the right hands.
And how does a young sociopath end up flying first class, you might ask? You’ll be assuming her
family comes from money, naturally, but let me assure you, this isn’t the case. Not at all. Not really. Not
anymore.
No, the dean of the school sent the ticket.
Why?
Because Ash Carlisle leads a charmed life, and somehow managed to hoodwink the dean into
not only paying her way but paying for her studies this first term, as well. A full scholarship, based on her
exemplary intellect, prodigy piano playing, and sudden, extraordinary need. Such a shame she lost her
parents so unexpectedly.
Yes, Ash is smart. Smart and beautiful and talented, and capable of murder. Don’t think for a
moment she’s not. Don’t let her fool you.
Sipping the tea, she types and thinks, stops to chew on a nail, then reads it again. The essay she
is obsessing over gained her access to the prestigious, elite school she is shipping off to. The challenges
ahead—transferring to a new school, especially one as impossible to get into as The Goode
School—frighten her, excite her, make her more determined than ever to get away from Oxford, from
her past.

A new life. A new beginning. A new chapter for Ash.
But can you ever escape your past?
Ash sets down the tea, and I can tell she is worrying again about fitting in. Marchburg,
Virginia—population five hundred on a normal summer day, which expands to seven hundred once the
students arrive for term—is a long way from Oxford, England. She worries about fitting in with the
daughters of the DC elite—daughters of senators and congressmen and ambassadors and reporters and
the just plain filthy rich. She can rely on her looks—she knows how pretty she is, isn’t vain about it,
exactly, but knows she’s more than acceptable on the looks scale—and on her intelligence, her
exceptional smarts. Some would say cunning, but I think this is a disservice to her. She’s both booksmart
and street-smart, the rarest of combinations. Despite her concerns, if she sticks to the story, she will fit
in with no issues.
The only strike against her, of course, is me, but no one knows about me.
No one can ever know about me.

THE KILL CLUB by WENDY HEARD *BLOG TOUR*

The Kill Club by Wendy Heard

Jazz is a bad-ass. She’s had a hard life and now she is doing everything in her power to protect her little brother from their foster mother, Carol, a religious nutjob who decides the boy doesn’t need his diabetic medication as God is going to heal him.

As Jazz takes on beatings and sneaks the boys’ meds to his teacher or through the bars of his window, things are getting worse. Then she gets a call from an unknown number and learns that she isn’t alone and there could be an end to Carol’s reign of terror.

All she has to do is kill someone. Can she do that? Learning about an underground group calling themselves The Blackbirds, they kill a stranger and a stranger kills their problem. Sound familiar?  Strangers on a Train?

There is a lot at stake in this thriller and the author has made Jazz very real and vulnerable, but also very brave.

Heard is so great at the build-up that by the end of the book you hope you have a fingernail left!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ December 17th, 2019 by MIRA

Today is our stop on the Blog Tour for The Kill Club by Wendy Heard! Here is a little taste!

THE CEILING ABOVE the crowd sparkles with strings of golden lights. They twinkle just bright enough to
illuminate the faces. I adjust a microscopic issue with my toms and run my fingers through my bangs,
straightening them over my eyes. The guys are tuning up, creating a clatter of discordant notes in the
monitors. When they’re done, they approach my kit for our usual last-minute debate about the setlist.
Dao humps his bass in his ready-to-play dance, black hair swishing around his shoulders. “Dude, stop,”
Matt groans and readjusts the cable that connects his Telecaster to his pedalboard.
“Your mom loves my dancing,” Dao says.
“You dance like Napoleon Dynamite,” Matt retorts.
“Your mom dances like Napoleon Dynamite.”
Andre raises his hands. “Y’all both dance like Napoleon Dynamite, and so do both your moms, so
let’s just—”
I wave a stick at them. “Guys. Focus. The sound guy is watching. We’re three minutes behind.” I
have no patience for this shit tonight. This all feels extra and stupid. I should be doing something to help
Joaquin. His dwindling supply of insulin sits at the front of my brain like a ticking clock.
The guys get into their spots, the distance between them set by muscle memory. Andre leans
forward into the mic and drawls, “Arright DTLA, lez get a little dirty in here.” His New Orleans accent
trickles off his tongue like honey.
The room inhales, anticipates, a sphere of silence.
“Two three four,” I yell. I clack my sticks together and we let loose, four on the floor and loud as
hell. I’m hitting hard tonight. It feels great. I need to hit things. My heart beats in tempo. My arms fly
through the air, the impact of the drums sharp in my joints, in my muscles, the kick drum a pulse
keeping the audience alive. This is what I love about drumming, this forcing of myself into the crowd,
making their hearts pound in time to my beat.
Dao fucks up the bridge of “Down With Me” and Andre gives him some vicious side-eye. The
crowd is pressed tight up against the stage. A pair of hipsters in cowboy hats grabs a corresponding pair
of girls and starts dancing with them. I cast Dao an eye-rolling look referring to the cowboy hats and he
wiggles his eyebrows at me. I stomp my kick drum harder, pretending it’s Carol’s face.
The crowd surges back. Arms fly. A guy in the front staggers falls. A pair of hands grip the
stage and a girl tries to pull herself up onto it.
Matt and Dao stop playing. The music screeches to a halt.
“What’s going on?” I yell.
“Something in the pit,” Dao calls back.
Andre drops his mic and hops down into the crowd. Dao and Matt cast their instruments aside
and close the distance to the edge of the stage. I get up and join them. Together, we look down into the
pit.

A clearing has formed around a brown-haired guy lying on the floor. Andre and the bouncer
squat by him as he squirms and thrashes, his arms and legs a tangle of movement. Andre’s got his phone
pressed to his ear and is talking into it urgently. The bouncer is trying to hold the flailing man still, but
the man’s body is rigid, shuddering out of the bouncer’s grip. He flops onto his back, and I get a good
look at his face.
Oh, shit, I know this guy. He’s a regular at our shows. He whines and pants muffled words
gargling from his throat. Some of the bystanders have their phones out and are recording this. Assholes.
The man shrieks like a bird of prey. The crowd sucks its whispers back into itself, and the air
hangs heavy and hushed under the ceiling twinkle lights.
Andre is still talking into his phone. The bouncer lifts helpless hands over the seizing man,
obviously not sure what to do.
I should see if Andre wants help. I hop down off the stage and push through the crowd. “Excuse
me. Can you let me through? Can you stop recording this and let me through?”
I’m suddenly face-to-face with a man who is trying to get out of the crowd as hard as I’m trying
to get into it. His face is red and sweaty, his eyes wild. “Move,” he orders me.
Dick. “You fucking move.”
“Bitch, move.” He slams me with his shoulder, knocking me into a pair of girls who cry out in
protest. I spin, full of rage, and reverse direction to follow him.
“Hey, fucker,” I scream. He casts a glance over his shoulder. “Yeah, you! Get the fuck back
here!”
He escalates his mission to get out of the crowd, elbowing people out of his way twice as fast.
I’m smaller and faster, and I slip through the opening he leaves in his wake. Just before he makes it to
the side exit, I grab his flannel shirt and give him a hard yank backward. “Get the fuck back here!” I’m
loose, all the rage and pain from earlier channeling into my hatred for this entitled, pompous asshole.
I know I should rein it in, but he spins to face me and says, “What is your problem, bitch?” And
that’s it. I haul back and punch him full in the jaw.
He stumbles, trips over someone’s foot and lands on his ass on the cement floor. His phone goes
clattering out of his hand, skidding to a stop by someone’s foot. “The hell!”
“Oh, shit,” cries a nearby guy in a delighted voice.
“Fucking bitch,” the guy says, and this is the last time he’s calling me a bitch. I go down on top of
him, a knee in his chest. I swing wild, hit him in the jaw, the forehead, the neck. He throws an elbow; it
catches me in the boob and I flop back off him with a grunt of pain. He sits up, a hand on his face, and
opens his mouth to say something, but I launch myself off the ground again, half-conscious of a chorus
of whoops and howls around us. I throw a solid punch. His nose cracks. Satisfaction. I almost smile.
Blood streams down his face.
“That’s what you get,” I pant. He crab-shuffles back, pushes off the ground and sprints for the
exit. I let him go.

My chest is heaving, and I have the guy’s blood on my hand, which is already starting to ache
and swell. I wipe my knuckles on my jeans.
His phone lights up and starts buzzing on the floor. I pick it up and turn it over in my hand. It’s an
old flip phone, the kind I haven’t seen in years. The bright green display says Blocked.
Back in the pit, the man having a seizure shrieks again, and then his screams gurgle to a stop. I
put the phone in my pocket and push through the onlookers. I watch as his back convulses like he’s
going to throw up, and then he goes limp. A thin river of blood snakes out of his open mouth and trails
along the cement floor.
The room echoes with silence where the screams had been. A trio of girls stands motionless,
eyes huge, hands pressed to mouths.
The flip phone in my pocket buzzes. I pull it out, snap it open and press it to my ear. “Hello?”
A pause.
“Hello?” I repeat.
A click. The line goes dead.
A set of paramedics slams the stage door open, stretcher between them. “Coming through!”
They kneel down and start prodding at the man curled up on the concrete. His head flops back. His eyes
are stretched wide and unseeing, focused on some point far beyond the twinkling ceiling lights.
Next to him on the concrete lies something… What is it? It’s rectangular and has red and—
It’s a playing card.

Excerpted from The Kill Club by Wendy Heard, Copyright © 2019 by Wendy Heard. Published by MIRA
Books.

551-06-Winter-Blog---Mystery-Thriller--900x337

THE KILL CLUB by WENDY HEARD

The Kill Club

Jazz is a bad-ass. She’s had a hard life and now she is doing everything in her power to protect her little brother from their foster mother, Carol, a religious nutjob who decides the boy doesn’t need his diabetic medication as God is going to heal him.

As Jazz takes on beatings and sneaks the boys’ meds to his teacher or through the bars of his window, things are getting worse. Then she gets a call from an unknown number and learns that she isn’t alone and there could be an end to Carol’s reign of terror.

All she has to do is kill someone. Can she do that? Learning about an underground group calling themselves The Blackbirds, they kill a stranger and a stranger kills their problem. Sound familiar?  Strangers on a Train?

There is a lot at stake in this thriller and the author has made Jazz very real and vulnerable, but also very brave.

Heard is so great at the build-up that by the end of the book you hope you have a fingernail left!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ December 17th, 2019 by MIRA

 

 

 

 

 

 

the last affair by Margot Hunt

The Last Affair

Love may be blind, but obsession’s a real killer.

From the title, I got the idea that this was going to be someone’s final affair. And it was.

Nora is married to a distant alcoholic and is miserable. She is sick and tired of her husband.

Josh is married to a psychopath. And he has had enough. So when he meets Nora and sparks fly, they both will begin an affair that will have deadly consequences.

So what separates this domestic suspense tale from all of the others I’ve read this year? Nothing. I figured out who was just plain crazy and who was obsessed very quickly. And the ending felt flat.

I’m not sure there was one redeeming character here. And there doesn’t always have to be, but for me, it was just okay.

NetGalley/ November 26th, 2019 by MIRA

THE LAST AFFAIR
Author: Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778309222
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Publisher: MIRA BOOKS
BIO: Margot Hunt is a critically acclaimed author of psychological suspense. Her work has been praised
by Publisher's Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.
BOOK SUMMARY:
Gwen Landon—poster woman for the perfect wife, mother, and suburban bliss—is found brutally
bludgeoned to death behind her Floridian McMansion. Beautiful and beloved by her community, Gwen
makes an unlikely victim. But just a scratch below the surface of her perfectly curated world reveals one
far more sinister. When looking back over the six months leading up to her death, the question of, “who
would do this?” quickly shifts to, “who wouldn’t?”
Commercially successful food blogger and mother of three, Nora Holliday never imagined she would
have the nerve, let alone time, to get involved in an affair. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she does
whatever it takes to keep it all together. But when Nora runs into Gwen Landon's husband at a hotel in
Orlando, his easy kindness and warmth prove too tempting to resist. As their affair spirals dangerously
out of control, it seems things can’t get more complicated—until Gwen turns up dead.
SOCIAL:
TWITTER: @HuntAuthor
FB: @AuthorMargotHunt
Insta:@margot_hunt

The Last Affair, Margot Hunt
Prologue

Other than the woman’s blood-covered body splayed facedown in the grass, it could
have been any typical upscale Floridian backyard.
There was the ubiquitous pool with a water fountain feature, a patio furnished with
both a dining set and an outdoor sectional couch, and an enormous gas grill capable of
cooking hamburgers by the dozen. A large pergola with a tropical vine trained over it
covered part of the patio. The dining area was shaded by a black-and-white-striped
awning. It was the very picture of suburban domestic bliss. It could have been the set
for a commercial advertising anything from laundry detergent to allergy medicine.
Again, except for the dead body.
The area had already been taped off. The first officers on the scene appeared with an
ambulance in response to a frantic 911 call placed by the woman’s daughter. The
paramedics had assessed the situation and quickly determined that the woman was
dead. The fact that the back of her head had been bashed in with what looked like a
paving stone, conveniently dropped next to her prone body, made it immediately clear
that it had not been a natural death. The responding officers called the sheriff, who
responded by sending in a full investigative team. The medical examiner was now doing
a preliminary examination of the body, while police officers combed the area for
additional evidence. Two detectives, Mike Monroe and Gavin Reddick—separated by
twenty years and sixty pounds—were overseeing the operation, standing at the edge of
the patio under the shade of the pergola. It was the third week in April, but this was
South Florida and the temperature had already climbed into the low nineties.
“The paving stone came from the stack out in the front yard. They were delivered last
week by the company who’s installing the driveway,” Detective Reddick said. He was
the younger of the two men and had a wiry frame and angular face.
“Weapon of convenience. Suggests it wasn’t premeditated,” Detective Monroe said.
He had a ruddy complexion and a full head of thick dark hair, swept back off his face. A
strand never moved out of place, even in a strong wind.
“Plus he dropped the weapon, rather than taking it with him. Probably panicked.”
“Could be a she,” Monroe said mildly.
Reddick shrugged. “Blunt force trauma to the back of the head? You know the stats.
The overwhelming likelihood that it’s a man, and probably someone the victim was
intimately involved with. Husband, maybe a boyfriend.”
“The husband was with the daughter when she called it in.”
“Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, and then had her place the call.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
The family had been sequestered indoors, both to keep them out of the way, and so
that the officers waiting in the house with them could observe anything they did or said.
Other than the husband, there was a daughter in her early twenties and a teenage son.
The daughter was reportedly distraught, while the husband and son had both been
eerily quiet. It was possible they were in shock.

“Do we have an ID on the victim?” Reddick asked.
“It’s her house,” Monroe grunted.
“Yeah, but I like doing things the official way, you know? I’s dotted, t’s crossed, all of
that. Building a case, basic detective work.”
Despite the chilling scene in front of them—the woman’s body still sprawled on the
grass, the back of her head a pulpy, bloody mess—the corner of Monroe’s mouth
quirked up in a half-smile. “Sure, kid, tell me all about basic detective work. I’ve only
been doing this for, what…thirty-two years now? The husband ID’d her. Victim is Gwen
Landon, age forty-nine. Married, mother of two. The husband said she hasn’t had any recent
conflict with anyone.”
“Other than the person who caved in the back of her head with a paving stone,”
Reddick pointed out.
“Wouldn’t be the first time a husband didn’t know his wife as well as he thought he
did.”
“Possible. But there’s another possibility, too.”
“What’s that?”
Reddick turned to look at his partner. His eyes were small and dark, and he had a
habit of squinting when he concentrated intently on something.
“The husband is a liar,” Reddick said.

 

 

 

 

 

THE LIES WE TELL BY DEBRA WEBB

The Lies We Tell (The Undertaker's Daughter #2)

THE UNDERTAKER’S DAUGHTER #2  Sometimes the truth will get you killed.

The first book in this series is a novella titled ” The Undertaker’s Daughter”, followed by ” The Secrets We Bury”. Both books are important to the third.

Dr. Rowan Dupont knows death. Living above her family funeral home she shared her home with it. She knew how to embalm a body before most of us had kissed a boy.

Her story begins as she is working with the Nashville police as a psychiatric consultant. She has a nose for killers and in return, they are very interested in her. But when she fails to recognize that someone very close to her is one, she runs home to Winchester, Tennessee. She is still haunted by dreams of her twin sister’s death, her mother’s suicide and the serial killer who followed her home.

Along with her life long pal Chief Billy, who I love, she is trying her best to stay out of the crosshairs of Julian Addington, a prolific serial killer who wants her more than anything. But why? When a body comes into the funeral home with a tattoo of her mother’s name on his back, Rowan knows this means something, she just isn’t sure what. Then the body disappears and the Feds are back to following her around.

This is the main story. Rowan’s fight to find the truth about her sister’s death and her mother’s suicide. Her mothers’ journals are cryptic and full of death. Was she obsessed with serial killers or was she one herself?  As the bodies continue to stack up, nothing makes any sense. And of course, it doesn’t because there is another story inside of the main one.

I would suggest you read the first two books first. Just so you know who all of the players are.  I absolutely love this series and Rowan and Billy need to quit dancing around each other and get together. IMHO.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/Expected publication: September 17th, 2019 by MIRA