Chief of Police Matt Foley has a new bride and the most complex case of his career.
A prominent couple prepares to retire, when an assassin’s bullets retires them permanently. And he doesn’t stop there.
As the investigation pushes forward, layers of deceit, greed, and bitterness are peeled away, and two families, connected by marriage and murder, face the exposure of their darkest secrets. It’s just another case until Matt finds his wife caught in the killer’s crosshairs.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
DOWNFALL is book 3 in a police procedural suspense series. i started the series because its the genre I like to read and I found that most of what was available had more violence and sex content than I like. My goal was to write exciting novels that people like myself would enjoy and find entertaining.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
This may sound overly simple, but when I begin a novel I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about developing the characters, they are just there as I write. As I writing a do create a character sheet, (age, height, weight, likes, education, etc.) more for my memory than anything else.
Sunday, The Connelly Home
Twin Falls, Texas
Shannon Connelly stepped out of the shower and slipped into a warm, woolly robe. Toes digging into the carpet’s thick pile, she walked across to the bedroom window and opened the drapes. Sleet pinged against the windows and she shivered. Mid-January had arrived with a rare winter storm, the worst in years. She gazed into the distance as large, white flakes almost obscured the second-floor view of the neighborhood.
Across the street, movement in the near white-out caught her attention. Human or animal? Too tall to be an animal, and apparently dressed in white.
Most likely her overactive imagination at work. She was nearsighted and her contact lenses still lay in the case on the nightstand. She turned away from the view and punched her feet into furry house slippers.
With a dismissive shrug, she put the scene out of her mind and trailed downstairs.
No work today, thank Heaven. After hearing the weather forecast yesterday, she’d made an executive decision to close the country club. Sundays were usually slow in the winter months anyway. No need to put her staff in danger for the few folks who might show up. As the club’s manager, one of her many responsibilities was the safety of the members. They didn’t need to be out on the bad roads.
Spending a rare day off with her husband was an opportunity she intended to take full advantage of. Unlike her, Colin never worked weekends; one of the many perks of being president of Twin Falls Bank and Trust.
The aroma of fresh brewed coffee welcomed her into the kitchen. She slid onto a seat at the bar, and Colin handed her a steaming cup of dark French Roast. He leaned over and kissed her brow. “Morning, Love. How about eggs Benedict for breakfast, in honor of my having you all to myself today?”
She sniffed the coffee like a fine wine before taking a sip, and observed her husband. At forty-five, Colin Connelly was twelve years older than she, and two inches taller than her own five-foot-nine-inch height; a little overweight, but firm bodied and very sexy with his shaved head. Not only was he brilliant and an attentive mate, he was also an amazing cook. She took a seat at the bar. “Sounds wonderful. You spoil me.”
A scratching sound on the kitchen door drew her attention. “What on earth…” She set her cup on the counter, shuffled her furry slippers across the tile floor, and hoped it wasn’t another raccoon. Last summer, when she’d heard a noise outside and opened the door, the masked animal sprinted into the house. It had taken her and a neighbor half a day to trap that sucker.
She peered through the window panel in the door and blinked. A white bulldog whined on doorstep, almost invisible in the snow except for two pleading obsidian eyes.
“It’s Sugar, from across the street,” Shannon said and cast a quizzical glance at her husband. “Why would she be outside? The Davenports have a doggie-door.”
Sugar’s chubby little body hurtled inside when the portal opened. The muscular mutt was too heavy to lift, so Shannon enticed her further into the kitchen with a slice of maple-flavored ham.
Colin removed his oven mitt and knelt to scratch behind the dog’s ear. He glanced up at Shannon, his brow wrinkled into a frown. “I think she’s hurt. She has blood on her mouth and paws.”
“I wonder what she’s been into.” Shannon said more to herself than to Colin. She stepped into the bathroom off the kitchen and came back with a warm washcloth. With little cooperation from Sugar, she scrubbed the dog’s paws and mouth.
“You’re just a great big ol’ baby, Sugar.” Shannon smiled and gave her another treat. Sugar
wasted no time making the ham disappear, and then settled on a rug in the living room in front of the fireplace.
“I’ll call Kathy and let her know we have Sugar, so she won’t worry.” Shannon picked up the cordless phone on the breakfast bar and dialed Kathy’s number. No answer.
“Guess they’re not at home. Maybe at church. After breakfast, while you shower, I’ll take Sugar home.”
“Maybe Taylor can come and pick up Sugar, or I’ll take her after I get dressed,” Colin said.
“Taylor isn’t at home this weekend. She went on a church retreat with her Sunday school class. Won’t be home until tonight. I’ll take Sugar. It’s not a problem.”
Venturing out into the snowstorm wasn’t something Shannon looked forward to, but Art and Kathy would be concerned about their pet. They doted on the spoiled mutt.
Shannon swallowed the last delicious bite of breakfast and went upstairs to don Eskimo gear for the trek across the street: a warm, fashionable ski outfit, and boots she’d worn on their last trip to Vail. The belt from her bathrobe made a serviceable leash for the canine house guest.
With a reluctant Sugar in tow, Shannon trudged across the street to the Davenports’ front door and rang the bell.
She rang again. Still nothing.
She looked through the garage window. Both cars were inside.
Lights blazed in the entryway. Perhaps the Davenports were ill. Flu season had hit Twin Falls hard. News reports claimed local hospitals were full. She made her way around to the back, admiring the beauty of the white landscape. Cedars, heavy with snow, and bare oak limbs hung with shiny icicles, looked like a scene from a Christmas card.
Sugar’s earlier paw prints leading away from the house became a darker red the closer she came to the back door. When Shannon knocked and tried to push Sugar through the doggie-door, the dog whined and balked, staying close to Shannon’s side.
Again, the knock went unanswered.
She exhaled an exasperated breath and moved to the back windows, which presented an unobstructed view into the living room.
The sight turned her feet to stone on the hard-packed snow. Bile burned the back of her throat and tears welled in her eyes.
Panic suddenly released her stupor.
She scurried across the street, burst through the front door, and crashed into Colin. He reached out to prevent her falling face-first onto the tile floor.
“Colin, oh, Colin.” She took deep gulps of air to slow her heart and quell her trembling hands. “Something terrible has happened to the Davenports
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