Author of the Susan Wren Series
“Weir continues to entertain with her crisp, easygoing style, some intriguing characters, and a complex scenario that still holds up to close inspection.”
A new mystery from Charlene Weir
Santa Monica is a place of amazing sunsets, spectacular scenery, great hotels, five star restaurants, perfect weather, great shopping, theaters and coffee shops. The rich live in million dollar mansions, and the cops wear plain clothes to blend into the scenery, a car worth less than a million is likely to be reported to them. Detective Maddie Martin lives in Mira Vista where a house is available for less than three million.
Rain hammered the roof of the car. She inched along the narrow road with nothing but darkness on both sides. She hadn’t seen her ex-husband in over three years. Why would he suddenly need her? To report a crime? He was a suspect in a crime and needed her help to prove his innocence?
Inching along in the dark, she thought she was totally lost. A few more turns and she saw a large, sprawling, two-story house tucked beneath huge trees. A completely dark house. No lights. Not one inside, not one outside. A little worm of worry wiggled through her mind.
She pulled up into the driveway and cut the headlights and the motor. The only sound was the splatter and splash of rain. People expecting a visitor turned on lights. At least an outside light. Why no lights? An oversight?
Or a trap.
Set up by her ex-husband? Come now. She grabbed the flashlight from the glove box, flicked it on and slid from the car. Rain pelted her as she sprinted up the brick path toward the house. It was a dark and stormy night—
In Charlene’s Words
It all began…
Lightning forked through the night sky, rain pounded against the roof, fierce gusts of wind rattled the window panes. He pulled out a chair and gestured for me to sit. I hesitated, then did as I was told. He slapped a yellow legal pad on the table and held out a pencil.
I looked up, hoping this was only a joke.
He tapped the pencil twice against the pad.
Even knowing this could lead to serious consequences, I closed my fingers around the pencil. A horrendous rending cracking crash shook the house.
On that dark and stormy night, just as lightning ripped through the tree outside the window, I entered a life of crime.*
Dealing in crime requires me to sit at my computer and worry. I’m working on a new character, Maddie Martin, a detective with the sheriff’s department in southern California. She felt harassed by her boss, her partner, a persistent headache, her sixteen-year-old niece showing up unexpectedly, her current case getting cold, and a surprising phone call.
He ex-husband has just taken a job with a company doing stem cell research, and he claimed he needed her help.
Her instinct was to say no.