Forcing Amaryllis: A Novel
Once Calla Gentry wore bright colors, buttery yellow and hot orange. Now she shrouds herself in the bleak shades of a desert landscape, her wardrobe a field of sand and shadow and quartz. But her current fashion choices are more than an instinct to blend with her present home in the Arizona desert. Like the evolution of female birds, she has learned to soften her sounds and colors for survival.” “It has been seven years since her sister Amaryllis—or Amy, as she has always called her—was attacked and left for dead. But seven years isn’t long enough to push the horror out of Calla’s nightmares, or the fear from her waking hours.
Today Amy lies in a coma after a failed suicide attempt, while Calla hides behind locked doors and jumps at shadows, imagining a monster behind every tree. Calla works as a trial consultant in Tucson but, because of her fears, will handle only civil cases. When she’s forced to join the defense team for accused rapist and murderer Raymond Cates, the son of a powerful local landowner, Calla is sickened by the parallels between the crime Cates is being tried for and her sister’s own horrifying assault. She knows she won’t be able to go near the case until she confirms that Cates wasn’t the man who attacked her sister.
With the help of a private investigator who brings his own love of the chase to her quest, Calla will uncover critical holes not only in Cates’s story, but also in Amy’s account of her own attack. In the seething heart of a Southwestern summer, Calla will slowly unmask the face of a shocking predator…and at the same time become his next target.