A serial killer returns to taunt the woman once determined to catch him.
In this gripping thriller, former detective Jill Jacobs must confront the Makeup Artist, an elusive psychopath whose trail of terror left seven dead and whose obsession almost destroyed her.
When the Artist strikes again in a new city, Detectives Gordon Daniels and Aaron Remalla must find the woman whose strange psychic connection to the killer is their best hope to catch him.
Desperate and afraid, Jill’s only chance to find closure is to confront the man who stalked her and his grizzly crimes. But there’s a catch. She must return to the mindset that bound her to him. The mindset the killer still seeks from her.
But choosing to help Daniels and Remalla will not only risk her life but also her heart, when she falls for one of them, drawing the attention of the man she’s driven to capture.
After losing everything, can she find the courage to face the murderer who took it all away, and who is eager to do it again?
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wanted to write a suspenseful thriller with a whodunit vibe. I've had this story in my head for a while now and have been wanting to get it on paper. Once I started, the words came with ease. I love to keep a reader guessing.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I love partnerships, whether it's working, romantic or friendship. I love the give and take between two flawed characters and good banter. Detectives Daniels and Remalla basically wrote themselves. I love their close bond and how much they support each other, but also their toughness. I also love a good romance where the characters are damaged but somehow, their bumps and bruises each fit the other's. I love to root for love and writing about it.
The body stared up with vacant eyes, the garish lipstick smeared across the lips, and the cheeks streaked with harsh red. Blood pooled on the carpet and stained the walls. Large drips dried as they slid down the walls. Detective Aaron Remalla recalled the TV show he’d watched the previous night. The one with the demonic clown wreaking havoc in a small town, and wished this scene could be just as fictional, only it wasn’t. Compared to this, the TV show was tame. He took a breath to settle his stomach.
Rem looked up to see his partner, Gordon Daniels, standing beside him. The light from above silhouetted his long, powerful frame, and Rem squinted. “I saw enough about three years ago.” He stood.
“I hear you,” said Daniels. He crossed his arms, and his leather jacket crinkled with the movement. “I’d thought we’d seen the worst of it.”
Rem grunted. “There’s always another sicko in the works to take the last one’s place.”
“Don’t you think at some point, we’d reach the limit for psychopaths?”
The front door was open, and Rem noticed two police officers who kept a small crowd at bay. One of them held police tape. “Is that Delgado?”
He shook his head. “How is it he always gets these scenes?”
“Maybe he’s a fan of the macabre.”
“I should give him my job.”
“He’d take it in a second.”
Rem raised a brow. “You want a new partner?”
Daniels rubbed his neck. “I finally got you trained. I’ve been tortured enough.”
Rem snorted. “Trained? I taught you everything I know.”
Daniels uncrossed his arms. “The location of every gas station bathroom and fast-food chain between home and the station is helpful, but not exactly necessary.”
“It is when you need a couple of Taco del Fuegos after a twelve-hour shift.”
Daniels sighed; his face strained. “Nothing’s stopping you from eating a banana.”
“My sanity is. Nobody’s eating a banana after a shitty day.”
“Speak for yourself.”
“I usually do. Who else would I speak for?”
“Really? You want me to answer that?”
Rem looked to see Officer Delgado standing at the doorway. “Stay put, Delgado. Crime Scene is still working.” He stepped away from the body and toward Delgado, and Daniels followed. Once outside, he pulled off the shoe coverings and gloves he wore. Daniels did the same. “What is it?” asked Rem.
“You need me to take pictures of the crowd?”
“Why?” asked Daniels. “You like photography?”
“The light is especially good right now. Don’t you think?” asked Rem.
Daniels pointed. “Yes, especially on that particularly large gentleman in the front. You could get a great shot of him eating his sandwich.”
Delgado rolled his eyes. “I’ve heard that serial killers sometimes revisit the scenes of their crimes. I just thought…”
Rem raised a hand. “Serial killer? Who said anything about a serial killer?”
Delgado’s eyes rounded. “Come on, guys. You know what this looks like.” He gestured toward the door.
“I also know what that looks like,” said Daniels, motioning toward the street as a press van pulled up. “Until we confirm anything, you know nothing. You got it?”
Delgado set his chin but nodded. “I got it.”
“And don’t worry about the pics. Crime Scene will handle it,” said Rem.
Delgado stared out at the growing crowd. “I guess I’ll go help Parsons.”
“I’m sure your partner would appreciate that,” said Daniels.
With a last, almost sad, look at the house, Delgado turned and walked down the front stairs.
“You should be nicer to him,” said Rem. “He could be your partner someday.”
Daniels started to leave. “I’d rather eat a Taco del Fuego.”
Rem followed. “You know, we could pick one up on the way to the station.” He raised a brow as Daniels groaned.
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