The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.
The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Marla Madison's New Book: The Way She Lied.
Author Marla Madison is the bestselling author of the Detective Kendall Halsrud series and the TJ Peacock & Lisa Rayburn Mysteries.
The Way She Lied
TJ Peacock and Lisa Rayburn mysteries Book 4
Author: Marla Madison
When psychologist Lisa Rayburn is offered the chance to evaluate the psychiatric release of Roman Guerrero—a man who confessed to slaughtering eleven people nearly a decade earlier—she's both tempted and wary. The ramifications of any decision regarding the man’s release might just outweigh the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with such a fascinating—and mysterious—subject.
Was Guerrero the one responsible for what happened the night eleven people died in a Milwaukee restaurant? Nobody really knows, but the community is in an uproar over the possibility of a mass murderer being released into their midst.
While Lisa interviews Guerrero and struggles to stay objective, her friends—private investigator TJ Peacock and crime reporter/blogger Bart Kosik—push Lisa to join them in investigating the ten-year-old mystery of the Guerrero murders.
Hampered by patient confidentiality, Lisa can only listen to her friend’s theories of the case. But it isn't until their lives, as well as hers, are at stake that Lisa finally realizes she has to make a decision.
Question is: is she too late?
Excerpt from The Way She Lied
Within the torrential rain, visibility was down to a few yards. Lisa Rayburn guided her car off the highway to a cemetery entrance and followed the small dirt drive into a landscape of headstones, their reflection eerie in the strobe-like flashes of lightning. She turned the car around and parked off to one side, facing the road. Not many vehicles were passing by in the midst of a storm reported to have tornado conditions.
While she waited out the storm, she switched off her headlights and found a radio station playing soft jazz. In the next lightning display, she noticed a large garbage bag lying alongside the fence on the side facing the main road, and she wondered how people could be so thoughtless as to toss out their garbage rather than take time to dispose of it. She and Eric had taken time more than once that season to pick up the detritus thrown from passing cars to the side of the highway surrounding his property.
Eric would be waiting for her, along with their guests, who were gathered at the house to celebrate the launching of a friend’s novel. They would have to wait even longer—the storm showed no sign of diminishing.
Her heart soared with the music’s next crescendo then came to a sudden halt. She’d never seen a bag of refuse move—not the way the huge, black-plastic glob in front of the cemetery was moving. She flicked her headlights on for a better look. A bag can’t move, she told herself. But something inside of it was definitely shifting. Had someone thrown out newborn kittens? Or puppies? It wouldn’t be the first time.
Lisa unlocked the glove compartment and took out the small revolver she kept there since being awarded a concealed-carry permit. She tucked the gun in her pocket and pulled up the hood of her raincoat then left the security of her car. By the time she reached the large bag, it was still. Maybe what she thought she’d seen was only an illusion brought on by a streak of lightning.
The top of the bag had a yellow drawstring that hadn’t been knotted, merely cinched. Lisa bent down and slowly eased it open.
The dinner guests were gathered in the garage around a huge, egg-shaped Weber grill that had been rescued from the patio when the rain began. The warm October night had been perfect for outdoor grilling, and Eric Schindler had the steaks seasoned and ready to go.
“I think I’m going to go ahead and put them on. Lisa should be here any minute.”
“Dunno about that,” TJ said. “Are you sure she left Madison? Think they had a tornado warnin’ out that way.”
“She’s not one to let that stop her, but I’ll try her again.” Eric held his phone and pressed a button. “Another ‘All circuits are busy’ message.”
“We don’t need to eat yet. As long as the bar’s open, we can wait for her.” TJ gestured to the table next to the grill. “There’s enough snacks here to hold us for the rest of the week.”
“Wait. I think I’m getting a call.” Eric opened his phone. “Lisa, Lisa?” He repeated her name a few more times and then closed the phone. “Okay, now I’m worried. She’s trying to get through but can’t.”
“That don’t mean nothin’,” TJ said. “She’s probably just letting us know she’s gonna be late.”
There were no kittens or puppies jumping out of the bag when Lisa loosened the plastic ties. She edged back the opening. The body of a child lay inside, tossed to the side of the road like yesterday’s table scraps. It looked like a boy. Was he even alive? He must have been a minute ago when she’d seen the bag move. The child was tiny and couldn’t have been much more than three years old. She uncovered his face and saw that he appeared to have been badly beaten. She felt his throat. He had a pulse—thready, but there.
She shielded her phone from the bucketing rain and dialed 911. It took nearly a minute before she heard the operator. Lisa described where she was and told her she’d found a child who was badly hurt and barely alive. “He needs medical attention immediately!”
“I’ll get someone there as soon as possible, but a tornado touched down in that area, so it could be a while.”
Lisa insisted that the child needed help right away, and then she realized she was speaking to dead air—she’d lost the connection. Before she could think of what to do next—she was struggling with whether to go to the car for a blanket or take the risk of moving the boy to the car—she felt a touch on her arm.
Oh God. He thought she was his mother. She took his hand. “It’ll be okay. I’m going to get you help.”
He whimpered and turned in the bag.
“I’m going to get you a blanket,” she said. “I’ll be right back.”
“No!” He clung to her arm. At least he was able to talk. That was a good sign. Lisa opened her phone again and tried Eric. She heard him answer, but the line quickly went dead. Her second try went through. “Eric, I have to talk fast before I lose you again. I need a medevac. Not for me—for a child. Pull whatever strings you have to, but please, get one here. I’m at the cemetery west of our house. This child’s life depends on it.”
Eric closed the phone when the service dropped the connection again. He’d heard enough. Putting off the questions of his guests, he stepped into the house and dialed his friend Rick Kelleher, who was the chief administrator of an area hospital. Rick promised Eric he’d try to get a Medivac to the cemetery, and if that wasn’t possible, he’d call him right back.
Lisa wasn’t all that far from the house, but driving conditions were still terrible. As much as Eric wanted to go to her, he’d have to trust that a Medivac would be available and would get to Lisa and the child in time.
Suspense, Mystery & Thrillers
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Marla Madison is the author of two suspense series. She's Not There is her debut suspense novel and is the first book of the TJ Peacock and Lisa Rayburn series.TRESPASS, is the second and Marla's next novel will be the third of that series.
Relative Malice, her second book begins the Detective Kendall Halsrud series. Iced Malice, is the second book of that series.
Marla is a retired Federal Mediator who works as an Arbitrator. She lives on Prairie Lake in Northwestern Wisconsin with her significant other, Terry, a beloved shelter dog, Skygge, and Poncho, an opinionated feline from the same shelter.
Also an avid reader of suspense, some of Marla's favorite authors are Tana French, Lisa Gardner, Jeffrey Deaver, Jonathan Kellerman, James Patterson, Tess Gerritson, and Tami Hoag.
When not reading or writing, Marla enjoys hanging out with other area authors, playing duplicate bridge, golfing, and going on long walks with her dog.
Author's Book List
Promise of Malice
- The Detective Kendall Halsrud Series Book 3
When Kendall becomes a date rape victim, the incident triggers a series of events that send her life into a dangerous freefall. Still struggling with the remains of her relationship with ex-lover Adam Nashlund, Kendall is temporarily suspended from her job, and she joins Nash, who has been hired to locate a man’s missing wife.
A rape-homicide in the area leads Kendall to investigate the case of a rapist who leaves his victims tattooed with a strange symbol. Kendall’s neighbor, Brynn Zellman, card reader and reformed computer hacker, identifies the tattoo as a Reiki symbol and helps Kendall unearth the truth as both cases become intertwined.
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- Detective Kendall Halsrud Series Book 2
Detective Kendall Halsrud returns in Iced Malice, another stay-up-all-night thriller by the author of Relative Malice.
In the midst of the worst winter in Eau Claire, Wisconsin since 1890, Detective Kendall Halsrud is investigating a case involving two murdered teenagers. Kendall and her partner soon realize the teens’ murders appear eerily similar to the Fiancé Murder case from twelve years ago when three couples disappeared from the area. Their bodies were never found, and the case remains unsolved.
Kendall asks herself if the faceless killer has returned, or does someone else have his own reason for killing couples?
With her personal life also in chaos, Kendall immerses herself in her work. When another woman disappears, Kendall has more questions than answers. Does the killer have an accomplice? And can she find them before they target the next young couple?
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- The Detective Kendall Halsrud Series Book 1
When four family members are found dead after a home invasion, Detective Kendall Halsrud takes charge of the case. In the murder house, she discovers an empty crib with blood drops next to it on the wood floor. The family: a father, mother, teenage daughter, and young son have been fatally shot . . . but where is baby Philly?
The desperate search to find the child derails when a man is arrested for murdering the family and claims to have killed the baby. Suspecting he had an accomplice, Kendall isn’t convinced. Refusing to give up on finding the child, Kendall persists in unearthing the family’s secrets. With the help of a hacker turned spurious fortune-teller and a former cop hired by the missing baby’s uncle, she discovers a furtive pedophile ring is planning on buying and sharing a baby. Can she stop them while there's time to save Philly?
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Barnes and Noble
She's Not There
Women are missing . . .
Is the rising number of abused women who've gone missing a statistical anomaly? Or is a serial killer targeting this vulnerable group of women?
When the Milwaukee Police Department refuses to investigate because no bodies have been discovered, Lisa Rayburn, the clinical psychologist who discovers the anomaly, is drawn into an investigation to discover the cause after one of her own clients goes missing. She finds herself forming an unlikely alliance with a former policewoman turned security consultant, TJ Peacock, and the husbands of two of the missing women who may themselves be murderers.
When TJ is attacked, and a woman looking remarkably like Lisa is found murdered, they know . . . someone is willing to kill to protect his secret.
Can they reveal the killer before he gets to them?
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Barnes and Noble
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