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Kidnapped by a cult of religious fanatics, an Austin school bus driver and eleven of his young charges have been held underground at the group’s highly fortified compound for forty-six days. While a team of federal negotiators begins to lose all hope of rescuing the hostages, crime reporter Molly Cates sets outto discover everything she can about the cult’s iron-willed leader, Samuel Mordecai. And as the clock ticks inexorably, she takes the role of Clarisse Starling opposite Mordecai’s Hannibal Lecter, engaging in a psychological confrontation as harrowing as any in The Silence of the Lambs.
Tough, terrifying, and relentlessly heart-wrenching, this is a novel whose images no reader will ever forget.
Katherine Driscoll is just three weeks away from disaster: foreclosure on her home and business, even the sale of her beloved dog. She has no hope of raising the $91,000 she so desperately needs—until the father she hasn’t seen for thirty years writes to her, offering her enough money to solve her problems…if she will do one thing in return.
But Katherine may never learn what that is. When she arrives in Austin, she is hours too late: her father has died in a bizarre accident. As she sifts through the cryptic notes he left behind, she finds herself caught up in terrible family secrets—and a deadly illicit trade. The more she learns, the more determined she becomes to prove her father’s death was no accident. In doing so, Katherine will make a bitter enemy—one desperate enough to kill…and perhaps, kill again.
Texas-based crime reporter Molly Cates has just published her first book, describing the blood-curdling exploits of serial killer Louie Bronk. Now on death row, Louie’s sentence is about to be carried out. Molly will be there as a witness, and she wants to write about it—the final coda to Louie’s story. But suddenly, she’s being strongly discouraged by her boss at the Lone Star Monthly and by Charlie McFarland, the millionaire real estate developer whose first wife, Tiny, was Bronk’s most famous victim—and the only one whose murder is a capital offense. Then Molly starts to receive dark hints that Louie may not have killed Tiny after all. There is another murder following Louis’s M.O.—one he could not have committed. The veracity of Molly’s book is threatened—and then her very life. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Molly realizes that by attempting to save Louis she is putting her own life on the line, and discrediting her own work. Mary Willis Walker brings a lusty new voice to the mystery scene. Already recognized for her first novel, she has now created a character just cheeky and gusty enough to take her place among the top ranks of female protagonists such as Kinsey Millhone and Kay Scarpetta.
When crime reporter Molly Cates’s father died more than twenty-five years ago, the case was ruled a suicide, and Molly’s efforts to prove otherwise led to nothing but anguish and the breakup of her family. But now new information has come her way and she reopens the investigation—and a rush of old wounds—with a vengeance. Soon the personal becomes dangerously political as Molly’s search for the truth leads her from the stately halls of Texas government to the mean streets of Austin’s down-and-out–and ultimately to a moral dilemma she never could have anticipated.