Written in Blood by Layton Green – Spotlight

Detective Joe “Preach” Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered a mental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children.

No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina–a bohemian community near Chapel Hill–than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

With the help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer’s community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed–and that one or both of them may be his next target.

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Like Father Like Daughter by Christina Kaye – Spotlight

Libby Carter is pretty sure she didn’t kill her husband…

When Libby wakes up to find her husband Ryan murdered in bed next to her with no memory of how it happened, she can only assume the worst. Daughter of the infamous I-75 Strangler, Libby is afraid that becoming a serial killer is in her DNA. Is she truly capable of killing the man she loves?

The evidence against her keeps stacking up, and it’s enough for an arrest…

It’s no secret that Libby is the number one suspect, and when she makes bail, she knows she has no choice but to turn to the only man who can help clear her name. Her father. After visiting him in prison, she decides to take the investigation into her own hands. Libby finds an unsettling lead on Ryan’s murderer and learns her husband might not have been as innocent as she thought.

But every clue she uncovers leads to another dead end…

Libby must risk her life to discover the truth about her husband and his murder, but things become even more dangerous when she realizes someone is watching her every move.

The Doubly Dead Angel Thief by Marc Whelchel – Spotlight 

V.C. Almond’s life is in the gutter. Divorced and broke, he’s living in a rat trap apartment above the loudest punk music venue in the Delmar Loop. He over imbibes Grand Marnier and has conversations with inanimate objects by day, while 95 decibels of indie-punk clatter blast him out of bed at night. Worst, his dear friend, merry prankster Jake Kennedy, son of crime boss “Big Jamie” Kennedy, has just committed suicide.

The night of Jake’s funeral, V.C. returns home after a booze binge to find a surprise on his floor: Jake’s freshly murdered, bullet-riddled body. The police inexplicably pretend it never happened. Big Jamie’s only response is to cry mock tears and proclaim V.C. a genius for his “brilliant idea.” Realizing that Jake’s double death appears destined to go unsolved, V.C. reluctantly agrees to help his old friend, the boisterous, logic-impaired private detective Aldous Lewie, crack the case.

But stumbling upon the body of a man who’s supposed to already be dead is just the first leg of V.C.’s journey down the rabbit hole. Mystery thugs are soon attacking his friends. V.C.’s car is set on fire. A shiny black Continental is hell-bent on running him down. A soft-core porn star-turned semi-pro wrestler-turned mobster’s underling wants to take him under his wing. A TV psychic wants to prove his apartment is haunted. To top it off, the psychotic ex-boyfriend of his new love interest, Miss Kalista Chestnut, has disappeared, popping up only long enough to leave V.C. death threats written in blood.

As the mysteries mount and the misunderstandings multiply in this rollicking absurdist comedy, V.C. finds himself an unwitting piece in an elaborate game of sex trafficking, narcotics, and murder. Two things soon become clear: Even in the Communication Age, miscommunication reigns supreme. And if V.C. and his band of misfits don’t figure out who aced their amigo soon, they will soon be sipping GrandMa in the Great Beyond.

Assassin by Day by Tessa Robertson – Spotlight

What would you do if the mystery to your mother’s death lay with your employer?

After years of unanswered questions, Mishka Vald sets out to uncover the skhodka’s involvement in her past. What she doesn’t expect is to join forces with men who push her to become a double-agent and confirm her future. While hunting down leads, the ruthless assassin realizes a life in the shadows is the only way for her to protect those she loves.

For Mishka, forbidden love is worth the pain when it comes to Eddie Harper, a military man turned cop. Her affection waivers when duty comes first and she joins forces with an elite Russian soldier, Alexei Petrovich. With a blackmailer threatening her school love, she seeks refuge with a fellow assassin, Nickolas Volkov. And when pushed too far, she’s ushered to a secure location…and straight into the arms of mysterious handyman, Dylan Kain. As the pieces fall into place, their mangled order reveals each man’s true intention. Whose deceit can she accept and whose will obliterate her?

All roads lead back to the woman she thought dead—her mother. Now, as weddings are crashed and alliances tested, Mishka uncovers a deadly game and the players involved. Her heart, once unable to budge, is thrust into action, but which man can keep her soul intact?

The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood – Spotlight

In this riveting debut, equal parts Cabin in the Woods and The Breakfast Club, five teens will discover what lies within a local, infamous house is darker, and more personal, than any urban legend.

Plenty of legends surround the infamous Boulder House in Whispering Bluffs, Wisconsin, but nobody takes them seriously. Certainly nobody believes that the original owner, Maxwell Cartwright Jr., cursed its construction—or that a murder of crows died upon its completion, turning the land black with their carcasses. If there were truth to any of the local folklore, River Red High wouldn’t offer a field trip there for the graduating class.

Five very different seniors—Violet, Paul, Ashley, Dylan, and Gretchen—volunteer, each for private reasons, none of which have to do with trip itself. When they’re separated from the group, they discover that what lies within Boulder House is far more horrifying than any rumor they’ve heard. To survive, they’ll have to band together and ultimately confront the truths of their darkest selves.

The Dead of Night by Jean Rabe – Book Tour!

As Sheriff Piper Blackwell rushes to a clandestine meeting with an aging, paranoid veteran who believes spies are trailing his every move, she is caught in a fierce thunderstorm. Pounding rain drums against the bluff, washing away the earth and revealing a grisly secret someone tried to bury a long time ago.

Putting a name to the skeleton on the bluff, and searching for the thief who robbed the old veteran of his life’s earnings, sends Piper delving into the sleepy towns that dot her rural county. Now she’s digging into pasts perhaps best left alone.

Accompanied by Chief Deputy Oren Rosenberg, Piper seeks to expose a truth someone wants to remain forever hidden. The investigation may have started with a thunderstorm, but Piper aims to finish it and find justice. Uncovering fragments of Spencer County’s history could prove more dangerous—and deadlier—than she ever expected.

A Time for Penance by Robin Storey – Spotlight

She murdered her husband. Now she has a chance to undo her crime.

For 20 years, wealthy socialite Eva Dennehy has borne the guilt of murdering her first husband Charlie, who was planning to leave her for his mistress.

When Eva is offered the opportunity to travel back in time, and undo her crime as penance, she accepts – what does she have to lose? Back in her old life with Charlie, her passion for him surpassed only by her torment at his infidelity, she is more determined than ever to prevent him from leaving her.

But her plan plunges her into a world of crime and depravity, and she soon discovers she has even more to lose this time around.

This taut, gritty novel about jealousy, betrayal and the dark side of love will appeal to fans of suspense, crime and modern noir.

The Church of the Holy Child by Patricia Hale – Review by Layna

A woman with a history of domestic abuse is missing. Her sister hires private investigators Cole and Callahan.

When the woman is found dead, her husband is charged but when a second body appears showing the same wounds, questions arise and what looked like a slam-dunk becomes anyone’s guess. The case goes to John Stark, a veteran cop and close friend of Griff Cole.

The bodies are piling up, and one person knows where the killer is. Father Francis, a priest at The Church of the Holy Child, listens to the killer’s disturbed account of each murder and wrestles with the vows that bind him to secrecy.

The case takes an unexpected and personal turn when Cole’s ex-wife goes missing and a connection to his past points to the killer.

You Dear, Sweet Man by Thomas Neviaser – Spotlight

Would you give up your life to enter an unknown world just to eat a hamburger? A fast-food company develops the Ultimate Perfect Ad, a 3D form of motion with a model having a malefic agenda. Her paranormal ability has special powers over men, utilizing a simple phrase, “You dear, sweet man.” Her plan jeopardizes a blue collar worker’s life as he realizes that advertising is not as glamorous as it seems.