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Where the Truth Lives
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When the director of a local mental health hospital is found murdered and mutilated, Homicide Detective Reed Davies is first on scene. What was done to the body is gruesome. Inexplicable. But Reed is dealt another curveball when he finds that the doctor who discovered the victim is someone Reed is intimately familiar with—a woman with whom he shared one passionate night weeks before.
Dr. Elizabeth Nolan is somehow tangled up in the crime, and even while Reed must now question her possible involvement, he can’t help being drawn to the beautiful, enigmatic woman.
As more bodies appear and the devious killer terrorizes Cincinnati, a shocking connection begins to emerge, one that not only involves Dr. Nolan, but Reed himself. A connection more twisted and elaborate than he can imagine. Now Reed must hunt the monster down, a killer who will stop at nothing to see his diabolical plan to its final, deadly conclusion.
The follow-up to Where the Blame Lies— Where the Truth Lives is a gripping, page-turning, romantic thriller that will leave you gasping for breath.
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A crash echoed through the small house, followed by a curse. The front door down the hall slammed. Liza scooted closer to her sister, pulling the threadbare blankets all the way to their noses, hardly daring to breathe.
She heard the refrigerator door open, the rustle of the plastic bag she’d used to cover the leftover food, and then another curse as something landed on the floor.
“He’s drunk,” Mady whispered, voicing what Liza suspected, but didn’t want to let herself believe. Cold dread settled in her stomach, far colder than the frigid air of the house that their father didn’t allow them to heat when he was gone. Please just let him pass out on the couch or in his bed. Please.
“Shh,” Liza said, trying to soothe her younger sister, even while panic sluiced through her veins. She ran a hand over her sister’s wispy, white-blonde hair. “Just pretend you’re sleeping. Everything will be okay.” I’ll keep you safe.
Liza felt her sister’s shoulders shake but didn’t dare pull her closer. His steps were already approaching, an uneven clop-slide as he lurched down the wood floor of the hallway. He laughed, a greasy sound that made the fear inside her belly rise to her throat. She swallowed it down. Please God, please God.
Only God had never made time for Liza before, and she didn’t really expect Him to now.
Their door creaked open and Liza squeezed her sister’s hand under the covers, her heart pounding, eyes shut tight.
“Who left the goddamned shoes by the door for me to trip over?” he yelled. “And what the fuck is that sludge you left for me to eat?” She heard him spit on the floor.
Liza opened her eyes, meeting her sister’s gaze in the darkened room. The slice of moonlight glimmering through the curtain allowed Liza to see the stark fear in Mady’s eyes. Her lip trembled.
Liza shook with fear too, but a faraway resignation crept closer, like a thief in the night, there to steal any unlikely notion that this could end well. It wouldn’t. The most she could do now was survive it . . . and keep him away from Mady.
Not that he wanted much to do with Mady anyway. His disabled daughter. Damaged. Unwanted by anyone other than Liza.
But sometimes Liza let herself dream. And when she did, she dreamed of taking her sister far, far away, somewhere safe, somewhere where the devil—their father—would never find them. She’d buy Mady the wheelchair her father refused to pay for, opting instead to use his money on liquor and gambling, and she’d make sure they were safe.
But for right then, that misty dream was very far away. Reality was a heartless drunk who would take out his rage at life on her.
“Answer me, or I’ll shake it out of the both of you! You think a man wants to come home to a goddamned pigsty and a plateful of slop?”
Liza turned, sat up. “I did. I’m sorry,” she whispered, her voice shaking. There were no shoes by the door. If he’d tripped, he’d tripped over his own two feet. And she’d done the best she could with the small amount of money he’d left for her to buy groceries with that week. But that wouldn’t matter. It never did.
“Daddy, please,” Mady said, her voice a quiet croak.
“What’d you say, you useless piece of garbage?” His dark form, backlit by the hall light, tipped and took a small stumble, his hand reaching out for the doorframe to hold himself steady. “Lying there all day like a piece of trash eating my food and using up my hot water,” he hissed.
Liza’s heart lurched. She pushed the blankets aside, standing quickly. “I’ll go clean up the shoes, make you something hot to eat,” she said, her words tumbling out. Lead him away from Mady. Away, away.
She scooted under the arm he was using to hold himself up and prayed he’d follow. An exhale ghosted from her mouth when she heard the sound of his footsteps as he stumbled along behind her. She’d distracted the monster. But now she’d have to deal with him herself.
A blackness filled her. A loneliness so deep and bottomless that she both feared and hoped she’d drown in it. Suffocate. Disappear beneath its fathomless depths.
What was left of the dinner she’d made for herself, Mady, and her older brother, Julian, a pitiful concoction of frozen vegetables, cream of mushroom soup, and a piece of sausage, lay splattered across the peeled and dingy linoleum. The meal had only been half-edible, but she’d been happy the electricity was on so she could use the stove. It wasn’t always.
She stepped over the mess and opened the refrigerator. A half can of beans, a jar of mayonnaise all but scraped clean, three carrots, a potato, and a carton of milk that held just enough to make Mady and herself a bowl of cereal before school in the morning.