Several surprises await Beth Abbott when she returns to her small town. As a detective, she expects very little in the way of interesting crime. Then, an old woman is found dead, brutalized. And then another and another. Instead of laborious police work, Beth and Tom, her new partner, find themselves tracking a serial killer.
The police chief is unwilling to get outside help, and so the two detectives are on their own in trying to solve these heinous crimes.
In the process, they find each other and fall in love. Of course, there are definite complications along the way.
Sightlessly, the old woman stared up, the look of utter horror frozen forever on her face. Her mouth gaped open, blue lips drawn back in a soundless scream. One of her now gray hands lay, palm up, next to her face in a parody of a mother calling in her child for supper.
She wore a light cotton, flowered dress, newly decorated with streaks of dried blood and mud from her resting place, and the garment was badly torn. Her arms bore defensive wounds. Beth counted at least eight. There was definitely blood under her fingernails. This one had not just given up the ghost, so to speak. She had fought hard, and certainly her assailant bore evidence of this woman's determination to live.
The old woman's right hand had been severed at the wrist. It looked like the job had been botched before it was accomplished. The blood from the gaping wound had seeped into the dark earth, which had greedily sucked it in like nourishment. Beth imagined that so much blood meant it had been cut off pre-mortem. She shivered.
"Weird, huh," said Brady. "The sicko must have tried to take the hand as a souvenir. Apparently, the boys found it a few feet from the body—over there." He pointed to a spot where leaves had recently been moved away to expose the missing part.
His tone conveyed that this type of violence was foreign to his nature and shocking even if he was trained for it. Still, he looked as if he had just discovered that people ate cow's blood in a pudding and swallowed raw oysters without so much as a 'how-do-you-do' to the teeth. Beth supposed that was what it was like to live in a small town where this kind of horror was virtually unheard of except on TV and in movies.
About the Author
However, it has been writing that has consistently been her passion.
She is a bestselling author who has written twelve romance novels, including nine historicals and three romantic suspense. She also sold an episode of a TV show, and had a screenplay optioned. Leslie lives in Florida with a fabulously supportive engineer husband and her new writing buddy, Annie, a terrier.
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