Suzanne Kidwell promises exposure! She will root out and show you the dirt beneath the local church leader, business men and all those people who might have something to hide….She tend to cross the line a little though and when she is accused murder, it is tough for a private investigator, her ex-fiance, to help her. Can he accomplish the job and keep her safe?
I got really confused at the back of this book as it says a man was murdered in her apt. when in the story it is a woman. It greatly confused me and had me reading and re-reading the back cover. Other than that confusion though, I found this book intriguing and kept me reading until I was done. It was an engaging mystery! I did find it a little light on the faith aspect part of the book, which I miss the amount that prayer could come into the story. Overall, this would be a book I would recommend for suspense readers, who like a good mystery complete with murder, corrupt officials and all! -Martha
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)
***Special thanks to Staci Carmichael, Marketing and Publicity Coordinator, Doubleday Religion/Waterbrook Multnomah for sending me a review copy.***
WANDA DYSON lives on a working horse farm, boarding and keeping a menagerie of critters. After writing three critically-acclaimed suspense novels, Wanda was asked to co-author the true story of Tina Zahn, Why I Jumped, a non-fiction work for which both Wanda and Tina appeared on Oprah. Wanda is a licensed Christian counselor who specializes in helping women recover from depression, anxiety, rejection, and the long-term effects of sexual and physical assault.
Visit the author’s website.
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Friday, April 3. Baltimore, MD
Running away from home had sounded like the best idea ever when she was planning it, but now that sixteen-year-old Britney Abbott was tired, hungry, and out of money, it felt more like the biggest mistake of her life. She climbed down off the bus, slung her backpack over her shoulder, and wondered where she was going to sleep for the night.
If only her mother hadnt married that jerk. He was so strict. According to Ronnie, Britney couldnt date, couldnt stay over at a friends for the night, and she had to be in the house no later than seven every evening. None of her friends had to live like that.
Last Saturday night her mom and Ronnie went out to dinner, leaving her home alone with the usual litany of instructions: You cannot have anyone over. You will do your homework. You will be in bed by ten. You will not spend the evening on the phone with your friends. And you will notI repeat, notleave this house; I am going to call and if you arent here to answer the phone, you will be grounded for a month.
Fifteen minutes after they left, Ronnie-the-Predictable called. She answered the phone. An hour and a half later, she was gone.
She looked around at the crowds dispersing in several directions. The smell of diesel fuel overwhelmed her empty stomach and it growled in protest. Everything looked the way she felt worn-out, dirty, and depressed.
Hey, you okay? A girl stood against the wall near the exit from the bus station. Torn jeans, pink T-shirt, high top sneakers, leather jacket, and numerous rings and studs from ear to nose to lip.
Yeah, Im cool.
You look hungry. I was just going over to Mickey Ds. You wanna come?
Its okay. I think I can buy you a hamburger and some fries.
Britney was hungry enough to be tempted and wary enough to wonder why the girl would make such an offer. Me?
Yeah. The girl walked over. My names Kathi. I came to Washington about five months ago. A friend of mine was supposed to be on the bus but either her parents caught her trying to run away or she changed her mind.
Youre a runaway?
Kathi laughed as she shoved her hands deep into the pockets of her jacket. Look around, girl. There are lots of us. We come to DC to get away. Some stay, some move on to Chicago or New York.
Britney felt relieved to know she wasnt alone. Okay. Ill take a hamburger. Thanks.
Kathi linked her arm in Britneys and led her down the street toward the Golden Arches. Whats your name?
Well, lets get you something to eat and then you can crash at my place.
They chatted as they ate their food and drank their sodas, and with each passing minute, Britney liked Kathi more. She might look a little tough, but Britney supposed that living on the streets, you had to be. Her appearance aside, Kathi seemed friendly and generous.
They were about a block past McDonalds when a woozy feeling interrupted their conversation. When she stumbled, Kathi steadied her. You okay?
Tired, more than likely. Its not far to my place.
But Britneys body felt heavier with each step. She struggled to stay awake. She had never felt this way before in her entire life. Not even after staying up for two straight days studying for a math test.
I dont feel so good.
Were almost there, Kathi told her. Just down this way.
Britney didnt like the dark alley or the dark van parked there with the motor running, but she couldnt find the strength to resist Kathis pull on her arm.
As they passed the van, the side door opened and a man
stepped out. Too bad shes such a looker.
Yeah, well, Kathi replied. You get what I can find.
The man picked up Britney and tossed her into the van. Britney tried to call out, tried to resist, but she could no longer control her arms or legs. She could only lie there and let the fear grow and build until the scream inside felt like an explosion in her head.
The man duct-taped her arms and legs. Then he placed a piece over her mouth. Dont worry, kid. This will be over real soon.
Wednesday, April 15. Outside Washington DC
Suzanne Kidwell shoved her tape recorder in the cops face, smiling up at him as if he were the hero in her own personal story. We have two girls missing now and both were students at Longview High. Are you looking at the faculty and staff at the school?
The officer puffed a bit, squaring his shoulders and thrusting out his chest as he hiked up his utility belt. You have to understand that we havent finished our investigation, but I can tell you that we found pornography on the principals computer. Id say were just hours away from arresting him.
She lightly traced a glossy red nail down his forearm. I knew I came to the right man. You have that air of authority and competence. And Ill bet you were the one who sent those detectives in the right direction too.
He dropped his head in one of those aw shucks, maam moves. Well, I did tell them that he had been arrested about ten years ago for assault.
And they made a man like that the principal. What is this world coming to? Before he could comment, she hit him with another question. Has he told you yet what he did with the girls?
Not yet. Hes still insisting hes innocent, but its just a matter of time before we get a confession out of him.
Thank you so much, Officer. Youre a hero. Those girls would be dead without you.
He blushed hard as she hurried off, lobbing him another dazzling smile as she calculated her timetable. It was nearly four and she had to be ready and on the air at six, scooping every other network in the city.
At the station, she ran up the stairs to the second floor and jogged down to Franks office. Is he in? she asked his secretary.
Sure. Go on in.
If there was a dark spot anywhere in her job at all, it was Frank Dawson. The man delighted in hassling her. Professional jealousy, no doubt. She knocked on his doorjamb. Can I talk to you for a minute?
Like Frank, the room was heavy on shine and light on substance. Awards and diplomas covered all the walls. Pictures of Frank with politicians, presidents, and the wealthy, beautiful, and powerful were displayed prominently on all the bookshelves. His desk dominated the center of the room, covered in paperwork, tapes, and files.
Suzanne took a deep breath, clutched her notes, and strode into his office. You know the two local girls that went missing recently?
He glanced up at the clock, a subtle reminder that she should be getting dressed and into makeup. I think so.
Well, Ive been doing some digging and they have a suspect.
And this is your business exactly why?
Because I scooped everyone else. I talked to one of the officers working the case and he told me that they have a suspect, theyre interrogating him now, and they expect to announce his arrest momentarily.
And what does this have to do with me?
She stared at him for a long moment. I want to go on the air with this late-breaking news.
He scratched his chin. Your show is already scheduled, Suzanne. Corruption in the horse industry.
I know that, and I can still do that. I just need five minutes at the end of the show to cover this. Weve got the scoop! How can we not run with it?
Waving a hand, he said, Fine. Go with it. I sure hope you have all the facts.
I have them straight from the mouth of the police. How much more do you want?
Fine. Do it.
Grinning, she rushed back down to wardrobe and makeup in record time, entering the studio with mere minutes to spare.
Suzanne looked over at one of the assistants. Wheres my microphone?
As someone rushed to get her miked up, the director walked in. We have a job to do, people; lets get to it. Were on the air in two.
She straightened her jacket as the assistant adjusted the small microphone clipped to her lapel. Its fine. Move.
The cameraman finished the countdown with his fingers. Three two one. She fixed her expression.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Suzanne turned slightly. Im Suzanne Kidwell. And this is Judgment Day.
Suzanne took a deep breath while the station ran the introduction, taking a moment to straighten the notes in front of her and sip her water.
When the director pointed at her, she launched into the ongoing corruption and abuses endangering horse owners.
The camera shifted for a closeup. And before I close tonight, I want to give you a late-breaking report. Just like you, Ive been horrified by the tragic disappearance of teens here in the tristate area. But what made me truly sit up and take notice was that within the last two weeks, two young girlsseventeen-year-old Jennifer Link and sixteen-year-old Britney Abbottwere reported as runaways. Same neighborhood, same school, both runaways?
Now maybe that could happen, but I was skeptical. I did some digging. And Im happy to report that the police have arrested Peter Fryer, the principal of Longview High School.
Suzanne changed her expression from a touch of sorrow mixed with concern to outrage. I spoke to the lead officer and he told me that evidence against the principal included child pornography on Fryers computer. In spite of being arrested ten years ago for assault, Peter Fryer was hired on as the principal of Longview just four years ago. He is still denying any involvement, but the police assured me they have their man. I will keep you posted.
She angled her body. As long as people out there who betray our trust, there will be Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell. Good night, America. Ill see you next week.
As soon as she got the signal that she was clear, she pulled off her mike and stood up, grabbing her water as left the studio.
She rushed down the hall, and when she reached her office, she sank down into her chair and kicked off her shoes. She barely had time to curl her toes in the carpet before her phone rang.
She picked it up. Great job, Suzanne. It was Frank.
Thanks, boss. I knew youd be happy.
The phones are ringing off the hook. The other stations are scrambling to catch up to us.
Smiling, she leaned back. Theyll be eating our dust for a while now.
Youll stay on this?
All the way to conviction.