Published by Montlake Romance
Fourteen years ago, Kaitlin Roe was the lone witness to the abduction of her cousin Gina. She still remembers that lonely Virginia road. She can still see the masked stranger and hear Gina’s screams. And she still suffers the guilt of running away in fear and resents being interrogated as a suspect in the immediate aftermath. Now Kaitlin has only one way to assuage the pain and nightmares—by interviewing everyone associated with the unsolved crime for a podcast that could finally bring closure to a case gone cold.
But when a woman Kaitlin questions is later found stabbed to death, she fears that she’s drawn a killer out of hiding. It’s Detective John Adler’s fear that the murders have only just begun. Now his job is to keep Kaitlin safe.
As a bond between Kaitlin and Adler builds, the past closes in just as fast—and it’s darker than Kaitlin remembers. Soon,her wish will come true. She’s going to find out exactly what happened to Gina. Someone has been dying to tell her.
Exclusive Excerpt: Her Last Word by Mary Burton
Adler watched Kaitlin Roe drive away. He couldn’t get a full read on her. She was nervous and edgy, but he sensed a resolve. Her blond strands blended into long dark roots, drawing attention to her angled face and sharp brown eyes. Hergreen V-necked sweater was full and loose, but when she’d moved, the fabric had clung to a tight body and full breasts. She’d filled out the worn jeans nicely.
When she’d first tried to meet him months ago, he and Logan had been responding to a call. The explosion happened a day later, and his promise to call Kaitlin Roe back was forgotten.
There was no forgetting her now. In fact, getting her out of his head wouldn’t be easy. As he drove back to the homicide scene, he ran a search on Kaitlin Roe. There were no charges pending against her in Virginia. There’d been a speeding ticket in Montgomery County last year, which she’d paid.
An Internet search of Lyn Tyler pulled up references to her advertising job in Dallas. She wasn’t listed on the staff page, but when he clicked on prior events, he found a variety of pictures featuring her at corporate functions. If he hadn’t been looking for her, he might have missed her. Her hair was fully blond, and the makeup she wore made her look too perfect. In one cocktail setting, a blue sequined dress skimmed her trim body, and tall heels made her already-long legs look, well, pretty damn stunning. In another image her dress was black and fitted, and she was holding a crystal award while surrounded closely by several older men. Kaitlin was grinning at the camera while the others were enraptured by her.
This version of Kaitlin would have turned his head when he was a younger man. But he preferred the woman who’d demanded a meeting with him and whom he’d found tonight in the deserted meeting space stacking chairs. She was interesting. She had dropped whatever mask the Texas Kaitlin had been wearing, and didn’t seem to care what he or anyone thought.
Next he called the police records division and asked for the Gina Mason investigation book. Maybe there was a connection between Jennifer’s and Gina’s deaths.
At the murder scene, he found Quinn sitting in her car. The forensic team was still inside the townhome processing evidence.
He tapped on Quinn’s window, and she reluctantly set aside a thermos of coffee and climbed out of the car. “Ready to knock on a few doors?” he asked.
She rolled her shoulders. “Ready to wake up the good citizens.”
He checked his watch. Eleven thirty. Yeah, they were going to disturb a few people, but the earliest hours in a murder investigation were the most critical. Now was the time to talk to anyone and everyone.
“So how did it go with Kaitlin Roe?” Quinn asked.
He outlined the details of her project. “She says she did an interview with Jennifer Ralston. I’ve requested it from her and the Gina Mason files from records.”
“How did Ms. Roe react to the news of Ms. Ralston’s death?”
“She was upset, but held it together. I suspect she’s had some practice hiding her emotions.”
“I suppose cops make her nervous.”
He thought back to when he’d first seen her. She’d appeared tense, but he’d been too focused on another case to find out why. “She came by the police station in December. She caught Logan and me outside the station as we were headed to a call. She wanted to talk about a cold case. It was a day before the explosion, and I forgot about her until tonight.”
“In your defense, you did get blown up.”
“Yeah.” Thinking about Kaitlin now, he couldn’t believe he’d forgotten her.