03 March, 2020

#Spotlight :: A Revelation of Death by J.J. Cagney - @AlexaPadgett

About the Book:
Check out the Book on Apple
The fourth installment in the Kirkus Reviews, National Indie Excellence Awards and Publishers Weekly award-winning series by USA Today Best-selling Author, J. J. Cagney:

The first victim rolls out of a rain barrel.

Soon, Cici Gurule dreams of other women's attacks, thanks to visions from her dead twin. The victims' watery graves torment Cici, feeding her growing fear of water.

The killer targets Cici's congregants and friends, taunting her and her lover, Detective Sam Chastain. Sam partners with the SFPD to investigate the widening web of assault, death, and pain... all while Cici struggles with the choices she made in Chaco Canyon.

When the killer lures a teen girl from her family, Cici and Sam's desperation to identify him becomes critical. But the clues, from the disappearance of Sam's ex-lover, to a cat with a chilling message for Cici, are leading them further from the truth, rather than toward saving the kidnapped girl.

Read an Excerpt from A Revelation of Death

The story settled over them, causing Sam to shiver even as the morning light cast a warm glow over the hardwoods and the cozy cream color of the adobe walls that lined Cici’s kitchen, living, and dining rooms.
“So, you don’t think this female…Kelli?” he waited for Cici’s nod before continuing. “You don’t think Kelli fell in the river?”
Cici took another sip of her coffee as she considered Sam’s question. “No, it didn’t feel like the water moved around her, like it does in the Pecos or the Rio Grande.”
She pursed her lips. When she spoke, she did so with care, as if she were revisiting the moment and wanted to get her description correct.
“The water felt still. Warm. And stale.” She shook her head. “Like…like a pond or a pool or something.”
“Hmm. Okay. A pond is a different tack than the river. I’ll call Raynor back.”
“Thanks, Sam,” Cici said. She sipped from her coffee and then set it on the table, her gaze turning troubled once more. “One more thing. I’m pretty certain her hands were tied behind her back,” Cici said. “Just like Patti’s.”
Sam nodded, but Cici no longer paid him attention. She seemed to fall into the image only she could see. Her pupils dilated with the horror of the experience.
“She drowned?” Sam asked, covering her hand with his. “Like Patti Urlich?”
Cici blinked back the vision. “Yeah. Yeah, she did.”
“That’s where the similarities end,” Sam said. He didn’t want to shut her down, but he felt obligated to point out the differences in these cases—and the much greater likelihood they weren’t related.
“What was she wearing?” Sam asked. Part of him hoped Cici’s nightmare was simply bad luck. But she began to recount the clothes.
“Red platform wedges. Um…patent leather, I think, and they were tall. Maybe three inches. Jeans, high-waisted and acid wash. Like…from the eighties but the new ones because the bottoms were cut off and stringy. A white blouse. It buttoned with those little pearl buttons.”
Sam rose and grabbed a pen and pad from Cici’s drawer. He jotted down everything she could tell him about Kelli’s appearance.
“Long. Dark. Pulled into one of those high ponytails. And she wore dangly silver earrings. I think the term for the kind I saw is chandelier. Sunglasses in the same silver.”
Sam’s gut twisted. Cici’s memory continued to shock him but even for her this was an excellent description. “Height? Weight? Anything distinguishing about her features? A mole, scar, birthmark?” Sam rattled off the list, knowing Cici could keep up. As she liked to tell him, this wasn’t her first rodeo.
“Hard to tell height because of the shoes. Not tall, I’d say based on where she stood with other adults she passed. Thin, fine-boned. Um…” Cici trailed off, her eyes narrowing as she processed the images spinning through her head.
“I don’t know about birthmarks or anything. She was young. Pretty.”
“And her name was Kelli?” Sam asked, trying not to feel a pang for the potential victim. Not easy to do. Sam’s desire for justice was driven in large part because of his empathy for the crime victims.
Cici nodded. “With an i.”
“How do you know that?” Sam asked, glancing up from the pad.
Cici frowned. She stared down in the coffee. She took a deep breath before she lifted her head. “For a few moments, I’m pretty sure I was Kelli.”

About the Author:
Author's Amazon Page
J. J. Cagney is the mystery/thriller pen name of USA Today bestselling author Alexa Padgett. Her debut mystery, A Pilgrimage of Death, was named to Kirkus Reviews' 100 Best Books of 2018, 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards winner, and Goodreads Best Mysteries of the 2010s. 

Cagney holds a bachelor's in international marketing and spent part of her twenties as the marketing director for an elite sports management firm. And, yes, she did her requisite stint with a dotcom back in the early 2000s, first as a marketing coordinator and then as a content manager. She's penned work for a variety of websites and magazines, and she worked as a literary agent for Irene Webb Literary. 

She lives in northern New Mexico with her husband, children, about a million fish, and their Great Pyrenees, Ash. Kirkus Reviews called Cagney's latest mystery, An Artifact of Death, "An exhilarating entry in a thoroughly enjoyable series."

J.J.Cagney on the Web:


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