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by B. A. Reukema

294 pages
When Tim Wallace finds a murdered corpse, his chief suspect is Nicole Carlisle. Tim starts falling for her, but when another body turns up, Nicole is implicated again. Tim's efforts to prove her innocence become a race to prevent her murder.

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Category: Fiction:Mystery:Police Procedural
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About the Book
Detective Sergeant Timothy Wallace stumbles across a body washed ashore at an English seaside town. When it looks like a case of murder and the corpse is identified as a courier, there are two chief suspects. Count Frederico Ferrano, who employed the deceased courier, is a seemingly wealthy businessman who sponsors a rag-tag soccer team. Nicole Carlisle is a forty-something single mom. She was also a courier, but now she spends her retirement gardening. However, if the neighbors are to be believed, Nicole is involved with witchcraft.

Timís career is a mess. His interviews with the count and Nicole are not helping the investigation. Tim's aggressive female boss is angry with him for his attempt to link the waterlogged corpse with her failure to arrest a drug dealer three years earlier. She even blames Tim for the stray dog living in the police station car park. His boss thinks that the courier's death is connected to a string of burning barns in the surrounding farmlands. She brings in a hotshot arson investigator to head the inquiry and undermine Tim's authority.

Timís personal life is just as chaotic. He is romance-challenged at the best of times, but his relationship with his girlfriend has hit a critical roadblock. Unfortunately for Tim, his boss is his girlfriend's mentor, and any missteps Tim makes are almost immediately relayed upwards.

Tim's boss has received permission to eavesdrop on the local couriers when they meet periodically at Haywood House. Nicole attends one of the meetings, having traded her rubber boots and a sunhat for a form-fitting dress. Detective Sergeant Wallace is captivated by her new appearance. Since the count and Nicole are longtime friends, Tim joins the count's soccer team in an effort to find out more information on the deceased courier and get closer to Nicole.

One evening, Tim sees two men in business suits crossing a field, which he thinks is strange. He attempts to follow them, but they hear him and chase him to the towpath that runs beside the waterway. Slipping on the muddy path, he falls into the canal. Tim manages to hide in the water but gets lost when trying to locate his car. Eventually, he makes his way to Nicole's home, where she takes care of him. But Tim's plan to see more of Nicole is thwarted when his boss belligerently interviews Nicole in connection to the recent death, and Nicole wants nothing more to do with Tim. To make matters worse, Sergeant Wallace also discovers that the count is not who he seems to be and was associated with a restaurant that burned down.

Told to build a case against Nicole, Tim continues to fall for her. When his boss tells him to get rid of the stray dog, Tim persuades Nicole to adopt it. Because of the dog, their relationship thaws, and Nicole asks Tim to accompany her on a courier assignment to North Wales. Tim discovers a lot about Nicole's background on their trip, including why the locals think she's a witch. Shortly after they return home, the dead body of a middle-aged man is located in North Wales. When a connection to Nicole is found, Tim desperately hopes that this is a coincidence. However, when he is attacked on the footpath along the local canal, the circumstances again point to Nicoleís involvement.

Nicole finally confesses to Tim how she is connected to the dead courier. What she tells him amazes Tim. Moreover, in a twist of fate, a wanted fugitive, who is also linked to the deceased courier, is back in circulation and is bent on revenge. The fugitive is obsessed with finding someone who means a lot to him and is willing to murder anyone who gets in his way. So, not only does Tim have to prove Nicole's innocence, but he also finds himself in a race against time to prevent Nicole from becoming a victim in the waterway murder.



About the Author
The authorís first job was pulling pints in a Scottish pub, followed by careers as a stockbroker in Montreal and teaching aviation law in Los Angeles. A marathon runner, B. A. Reukema is married with two sons. The author was born in England but now calls California home.



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