“Madison is a kick-ass detective who was fearless, strong-willed and tenacious.”
—Totally Addicted to Reading

This Christmas, murder doesn’t take a holiday…

Detective Madison Knight should have ignored her phone when it rang on Christmas Eve. Now she is spending her holiday dealing with her least favorite thing: a bloody murder scene.

Claire Reeves had it all—looks, sex appeal, and business savvy. But it seems that one of those things has caught up with her. Now, Madison and her partner are digging through the victim’s personal life, but the more they dig, the more people they find who had motive to kill her.

All the while, Madison is battling with a touch of the holiday blues, and the man she’s dating isn’t making things any easier. With the status of their relationship up in the air, it’s affecting her focus on the investigation. And if that wasn’t enough, tack on being the only female detective in the Major Crimes division and reporting to a sergeant who thinks less of her because she is a woman. Not that he’d say so in as many words.

But despite the odds, Madison is determined to prove herself by finding Claire’s killer and, more importantly, making sure justice is served.

Enjoy this excerpt taken from Chapter 1 of Justified (Detective Madison Knight series):

THE COFFEE CAME UP INTO the back of her throat, and Madison Knight swallowed hard, forcing the acidic bile back down. This was a messy crime scene, the kind she did her best to avoid. She knew Weir, the first officer on the scene, was speaking, but the words weren’t making it through. Despite her revulsion, her eyes were frozen on what was before her.

The victim lay on a crimson blanket of death, wearing nothing but a lacy camisole. The blood pool reached around her body in an approximate two-foot circumference. The blood had coagulated, resulting in a curdled, pudding-like consistency. The kitchen floor was a porous ceramic, and the blood had found its way to the grout lines and seeped through it like veins. Arterial spray had splattered the backsplash like the work of an abstract painter who had fanned a loaded brush against the canvas.

Cynthia Baxter was hunched close to the body taking photos and collecting shards of glass that were in the blood. She was the head of the forensics lab, but her job also required time in the field. She looked up at Madison, nodded a hello, and offered a small smile. Madison knew her well enough as a friend outside of work that the facial expression was sincere, but the scene had dampened it from reaching her eyes.

Weir stood back at the doorway that was between the front living room and the kitchen. “Such a shame, especially on Christmas Eve.”

Terry Grant, Madison’s partner, braced his hands above his holster and exhaled a jagged deep breath.

“What’s her name and background?” Madison asked Weir with her eyes on the victim.

“The vic is Claire Reeves, forty-three. Lived here alone. No record of restraining orders or anything out of the ordinary. Nothing noted as her place of employment. Her maid, Allison Minard, found her. She’s over at the neighbor’s. Officer Higgins is over there with her.”

Madison managed to break eye contact from the body, glanced at Terry, and settled her gaze on Weir. His words came through as though out of context.

“Detective Knight?” Judging by the softness in his tone of voice, Weir must have read her reaction to the scene. His eyes inquired if she was okay, but the silent probing would have been squashed by the wall she had erected. He continued. “The maid’s pretty shaken up.”

Madison could understand that. She had experience in processing murder scenes, and she could barely handle this one. She did her best to keep eye contact with the officer, but her fear, her distaste for blood, kept pulling her attention to the dead woman.

Claire Reeves. That was her name before she had been reduced to this. To be killed in this manner pointed toward an emotional assailant. Her lack of clothing was an indication that she likely had an intimate relationship with her killer.

Madison scanned the room. There was no sign of a struggle, no overturned chairs or broken dishes. The only thing standing out was a tea towel bunched on the floor in front of the stove as if it had slipped off the front bar. “Any evidence of forced entry?”

Weir shook his head.

“She let her killer in.” Madison’s gaze returned to the victim.

She was someone’s daughter, someone’s best friend, someone’s lover. Normally Madison didn’t have an issue with separating herself from crime scenes and keeping them impersonal. Maybe it had something to do with all that blood and the fact that Claire had been murdered just before Christmas.

You’ve reached the end of the excerpt of Justified (Detective Madison Knight series)However, this book is available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover formats. Visit the book page for retailer links here.

FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team are called to Savannah, Georgia when body parts belonging to three victims are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River. As the case takes one dark turn after another, Brandon finds himself embroiled in a creepy psychological nightmare.



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