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Secrets. Betrayal. Murder. It’s all a day in the life of a Blackstone.
Thirty years ago, my father killed my mother in a fit of jealousy—or at least that was what I was led to believe. I heard him crying and calling my name as I hid in the back of a closet. I know he was there and assumed the right man is doing the time.
After an anonymous note questions Jesse Blackstone’s guilt, I find myself pulled back into the past and my hometown where secrets hide, and I try to reconstruct my mother’s life and the events that resulted in her murder.
Now, those who knew my mother back then are turning up dead, and raising more questions than I can answer. And all I know about my life is about to get turned up on its head.
Nathan opened the car door for me. I slid into the seat. He had a nice SUV. Big. Sturdy. Clean. It wasn’t a new model but was very well cared for. That told me a lot about his character as an adult.
He turned to me as he buckled his seatbelt. “You look nice.”
“Thanks. So do you.” Awkward small talk was never my thing. This was painful.
Da Vinci stood on the chair; his head poked out the curtains watching me leave. He threw his head back. Even though I couldn’t hear him, I knew he howled.
Nathan shot me a worried glance. “Is he going to do that all evening?”
“I don’t know. He usually isn’t away from me for too long. If I go somewhere that he can go, I take him.”
Nathan smiled. “Change of plans.”
“What?” Shock moved through me as I watched him get out of the car. By this point, Cal had come to the window to try and get Da Vinci to settle.
Nathan knocked and I watched the door open. A moment later, Nathan reappeared with my dog. He carried the leash but didn’t have it fastened to Da Vinci. The dog trotted to the SUV and waited patiently for Nathan to open the back of the truck. Da Vinci jumped into the backseat as if it was part of his normal routine.
I turned around and ruffled his ears and jowls. “You look very pleased with yourself.”
He licked the side of my face as if in agreement.
“Everyone ready?” Nathan’s voice had taken on a cheery tone.
And we were off.
We drove out to the boardwalk where Gulf met land. Shops and arcades were situated on one side and the surf rolled in on the other.
Da Vinci tried to look out both windows at once as we parked. All the lights and people had him excited for the excursion. So many new smells and things to investigate.
“You know he’s thinking this is his best date ever.” I opened my door and jumped out before Nathan could come around to the passenger side. The fact he thought to include my distressed puppy had me feeling all kinds of warm thoughts that I probably shouldn’t have.
Nathan smiled and looked down at Da Vinci. “I know the feeling, buddy.”
No. He didn’t just say that.
We walked out onto the boards and joined the crowds of people out for a stroll. Now, this was what I meant about keeping it casual. I might have been nervous, but walking relaxed me. Kept the jitters at bay.
Nathan had taken Da Vinci’s lead and the dog walked in front of us like a goodwill ambassador for pet adoption. His flat nose stuck up in the air sniffing as if he’d caught a scent.
“He’s a great dog,” Nathan said as Da Vinci stopped and tried to catch a scent on the breeze. He began to whine.
“Yeah, he’s the best.” A sense of foreboding went up my back. Da Vinci was acting weird.
I put my hands down in my pockets and watched as Da Vinci backed up and went on sudden alert.
Then the screaming started.
Note From Star:
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