January Kills Me (Samantha Rialto #1)
by Evan Katy
Samantha Rialto, a recently divorced, defensively snarky middle school music teacher, has taken up surveillance photography as a way to fill the gaps in her educator’s salary. As the daughter of the former Chief of Police it seemed like a reasonable choice for a side job. That is until a particularly cold week in January when Sam finds herself entangled in a mystery involving dead people, copious amounts of cash and a nutty Tai Chi enthusiast.
In a deserted alley two people are murdered and Sam is the only witness. Ben Parker, the detective assigned to the case, is not happy to see her again. A year ago his former partner, Harry Rialto – Sam’s ex-husband – killed a fellow cop in a bar brawl, single handedly tarnishing the local police reputation. Sam never spoke about how Harry treated her while they were married and she isn’t going to start now, even though Ben’s questions about the alley crime scene and her inability to answer them bring up old frustrations and ignite a surprising (and inconvenient) attraction.
Before long, Sam finds herself outfitted with a wire at dinner, nearly run over by a car, and shot at by a trained sniper. Her carefully constructed existence, post-divorce, begins to crumble as the widow of one of the victims refuses to leave her alone, her ex-husband begins stalking her and Ben’s sexy crime fighting skills cause a mild anxiety attack. When key evidence shows up linking Samantha to the murders, things become much more sinister. With the help of her best friend Maxie, Sam will tap into reserves of inner strength left scarce after her wrenching divorce and will have to use more than her considerable wit to stay alive.
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