Author: Chris Patchell
Published: March 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather’s cruel abuse. Now, as an adult, Jill’s made it—she has a successful career and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon. Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle.
The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim lies dormant—until one day a reporter lures her to his hotel room under the pretense of an interview—and suddenly it all comes rushing back.
Jill seeks revenge on the reporter, triggering a series of events that leads Jill down a wormhole of retribution, forcing her to spin an ever-widening web of lies.
Meanwhile, Alex is on the case of a series of murders that began as cyber relationships. There seems to be a familiar fingerprint on these crimes, but Alex refuses to believe that the murderer could be so close to him.
Husband and wife stand on opposite sides of a divide created by lies and rooted in a dark and deadly past…
Alex and Jill are facing marital problems. Their jobs keep them apart for most of the week and it doesn’t help that Jill is having an affair with her boss, until, that is, he decides to move on to someone else. While trying to resolve the awkward situation Jill has manoeuvred herself into something totally unexpected and horrific occurs but after the initial shock she sees how this could work to her advantage.
After the abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Jill resolved never to be at the mercy of another man. When she is compromised by a reporter supposedly wanting an interview she takes matters into her own hands. Jill’s behaviour, even as you feel for the young girl she was, is totally disproportionate and spirals out of all control.
“Ready or not, here I come,” her stepfather, Master Sergeant Samuel Morris, called out in that creepy, singsong voice, like this was some sort of sick game.
Her hands shook, and she clasped them in a tight knot under her chin. Her mother’s scent – baby powder and cinnamon – filled the small space, enveloping her like a warm cloak, and she wished she could hide here forever. Safe. Untouched.
Tears stung her eyes. God, she missed her mother. It was bad before. His punishments had always been harsh, but since her mother’s death, everything had changed.
Alex is a detective with the Seattle Police Force and is investigating the disappearance of his ex fiancée’s sister, which is linked to a serial killer. During the course of his investigations he begins to wonder how much he really knows his wife. He realises she has changed in an elusive way but can’t quite rationalise how or why. He is shocked and unbelieving at where the clues are leading him.
This is a very skilfully written debut novel, with strong, well-developed characters. The absorbing storyline is full of intrigue and suspense. Alex is someone I could relate to immediately and, for all Jill is a very complex and complicated character, and because of childhood suffering I could understand, up to a very definite point, what drove her. And Alex’s partner, Jackson, is a great character too, always having Alex’s back.
The detail and descriptive prose gives a very intense and realistic slant….and the ending! I didn’t see that one coming! There is nothing I dislike about this book, although the ending did leave me quite shell-shocked. Definitely an author to look out for. Many thanks to JB Johnson at Brook Cottage Books for sending me a copy. So glad I didn’t miss this one.
About the author
When Chris Patchell isn’t hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn’t steal them from comic books.
Years later, Chris spent long afternoons managing her own independent record store and writing romance novels. After closing the record store and going to college, Chris launched a successful career in hi-tech. She married, had kids but amid all the madness, the itch to write never really went away. So she started writing again. Not romance this time – suspense filled with drama, and angst, speckled with a little bit of blood.
Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. “My stories are based on scenarios I live every day, distorted through the fictional lens. And my stories come with the added bonus of not having to be restrained by socially acceptable behavior.”
To learn more about Chris and her debut novel, DEADLY LIES, visit www.chrispatchell.com/
Join her on Facebook for book giveaways and more gritty fun at www.facebook.com/authorchrispatchell
“Chris Patchell”s debut novel, Deadly Lies, is a taut, fast-paced thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. Patchell is a master storyteller with a real talent for creating pulse-pounding suspense.”—Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of Unspeakable.