by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to win an ebook copy of Killing Secrets, along with a link to purchase the book.
Pasadena Police Detective Nan Vining should have been spending the day taking a midterm for the college degree she was finally pursuing. Instead, Nan has been called to a double homicide scene (and her teenaged daughter Emily was the first to arrive). Emily’s beloved young teacher, Erica Keller, has been stabbed to death, presumably by Jared Hayword, another student—the other body next to hers. While the media and even her superiors seem eager to write off the deaths quickly as a case of an obsessive murder-suicide, there are too many oddities for Nan to accept. Not only does the evidence not seem to add up, but Erica had a restraining order and was divorcing a Pasadena Police Department sergeant with a history of domestic violence.
Far more troubling to Nan is that Jared Hayword’s own father, a Reno federal prosecutor, is believed to have committed suicide, despite having had no history of depression. Jared was intent on acquiring investigative skills to prove his father’s death a murder, and so had sought the help of a prominent Pasadena news blogger. Despite being pressured by the department to keep the case closed, and facing considerable resistance from a public that already passed judgment, Nan finds herself forced into making a choice whether to trust her instincts and integrity or to make the safe decision and protect her family.
What elevates this novel above others is how the author very realistically balances Nan’s personal dilemmas with those of her profession. Both Nan and her daughter are still dealing with the recent trauma of having faced a madman, and Nan finds it exceedingly difficult to relax the protective instincts that seem so confining to teenagers. Emily’s choice of boyfriend is further straining their mother-daughter relationship, as is her father’s indulgent trophy wife. Readers will feel Nan’s frustration increasing by the second as her very justifiable concerns are being ignored as too paranoid. This is a suspenseful thriller that allows the tension to build naturally and readers will feel outraged by the injustices placed in Nan’s path. Her progress as a mother is just as compelling as the mystery of the murders, but it is the latter that will surprise readers with its stunning conclusion.
To enter to win an ebook copy of Killing Secrets, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Secrets,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 8, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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