Title: Silent Little Angels: Detective Katie Scott Book 7
Author: Jennifer Chase
Genre: Crime Thriller
The water ripples as the girl’s body escapes the reeds and floats silently upwards. Her beautiful face—blue eyes frozen open, skin as white as snow—breaks the surface. But it’s too late, this innocent soul has taken her final breath…
When camp counselor Carolyn Sable’s body is found floating in a lake beside Eagle Ridge Summer Camp, Detective Katie Scott must dig deep to stay focused. As a child, Katie spent many happy weeks at that camp toasting marshmallows on the fire with her best friend Jenny… until the day Jenny disappeared. The loss will always haunt Katie, but Carolyn’s inconsolable family need answers.
Searching the area, the devastating discovery of two more bodies sends the case into a tailspin. Suddenly on the hunt for a serial killer, Katie’s blood turns to ice when she finds newspaper clippings about her own past cases planted near one of the bodies. Was this twisted killer banking on Katie taking the lead? And why?
Carolyn was adored by children and staff at the camp, so Katie thinks her sudden resignation is key to cracking the case. Uncovering a tragic accident involving a group of children in the weeks before Carolyn left, Katie knows she’s getting close.
But when the carefully laid trap Katie sets to catch Carolyn’s killer backfires, Katie finds herself in unthinkable danger and unable to even trust her own team. Can she stay alive long enough to crack the toughest case of her career, and how many more innocent lives will be lost before she does?
An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller from a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author. Fans of of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh will be sleeping with the lights on!
Everyone is talking about Silent Little Angels:
“I still have goosebumps! Omg……… amazing…I flew through the pages with Olympic speed. I was hooked from the very first page.” NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars
“One hell of an unpredictable rollercoaster ride with several twists and turns along the way… I almost had to read through my fingers… A brilliant, and highly recommended read.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
“It kept me guessing right until the end. There is plenty of action, suspense, and tension. I’ve become so invested in these characters. I was glued to this one and up way past my bedtime. I couldn’t put it down.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
“I read this in one very short sitting, I couldn’t put it down. It was well written with well-developed characters and a gripping storyline that was full of mystery, tension and twists… a thrilling read.” NetGalley reviewer
“All-time favorite… I was shouting in my head, don’t go back there… wow!” I Spooky’s Maze Of Books, 5 stars
“THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS PUTTING THIS BOOK DOWN!!!!!… I was literally holding my breath… I HAD TO KNOW!!!!! As for the explosive ending: WOW definitely not what, or who I was expecting.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
Release Date: April 19 2022
Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1803142319; 402 pages; $11.99; E-Book, $3.99; FREE Audiobook with Audible Trial; eBook FREE with Kindle Unlimited Membership
Tuesday 0930 hours
The luxurious dark-gray sedan crept along the rural road that led up to where Eagle Ridge Camp was nestled in the beautiful, wooded hills of Sequoia County, California. In places along the track, large pine tree branches arched downward creating makeshift tunnels. As the car climbed, the views of the rolling hills and the picturesque town of Pine Valley became even more spectacular.
William and Jane Faulkner grew increasingly uncomfortable the closer they approached the property. They watched from the car as the beautiful forestry hills turned into a heavily wooded area that was almost impassable. The attraction of the potential investment property seemed to become less valuable the closer they got to Eagle Ridge Camp.
Mr. Faulkner glanced at the real estate agent Daniel Green, who had been highly recommended, and watched him grip the steering wheel tighter as he navigated around road hazards. He turned to the backseat and observed his wife as she strummed her long, polished nails on the door handle: sour expression with a downturned mouth. It was clear that she was not happy about being dragged this far out of town. He had second thoughts too.
“We’re just about there,” Daniel said, forcing a smile.
“The road is… barely passable,” said Mr. Faulkner. He gripped the handle of the door to steady himself.
“It’s nothing that couldn’t be easily cleared in a few hours with some bulldozers. It would be a cinch to clear the heavy brush—maybe remove a tree or two. The road itself is in pretty good condition, so it wouldn’t be difficult to scrape and level with a good construction company. There’s also another utility road that comes into the property from the other side. But…” he continued, mustering some zeal, “this road gives you the best view of the most beautiful fifty acres in the county. It’s an amazing investment opportunity.”
The couple stared silently out the windows—seemingly not convinced.
Daniel pushed the high-performance car up the last incline to where the land then leveled out and opened into spectacular views of stunning meadows and groupings of trees.
“Wow,” Mr. Faulkner said under his breath. Finally, he could see past the overgrowth and grasp the potential. “This is amazing. And thank you for making time for us today. We’re on a flight to France tomorrow.”
His wife leaned forward to get a better look through the windshield. Her face softened in wonder as she gazed at the rolling countryside unfolding around them.
Daniel pulled to the left and parked. “You ready for a bit of a walk? You brought your hiking shoes, right?”
The couple nodded.
“Great,” he replied and opened the car door while the couple changed their shoes.
He checked his pockets to make sure he had the keys that opened the main buildings. Filled with nervous energy, he jingled his own car keys against them as he paced in front of the car, surveying the area.
The pines arched and swayed around them in the breeze, blowing their sweet scent through the air. Daniel turned to look down the valley at the various towns he could see in the distance: pretty as a postcard. Fresh air, birds fluttering in the trees, and the warmth of the gentle rays of sun upon his face.
Mr. and Mrs. Faulkner emerged from the car and slowly closed the doors.
“How about we check out the main buildings and then have a look at the lake?” Daniel said.
“Sounds good,” Mr. Faulkner said, still surveying the area. “So, how long has this camp been closed? It’s been on the market, for what, almost two years?”
They began walking along a narrow trail. Before them were some large buildings, clustered around the main clearing, the gentle rolling hills visible behind them. Weeds crunched underneath their shoes as they weaved along the unkempt path.
“It closed about five years ago,” said Daniel.
“We’ve had several interested parties, but something always went wrong with the escrow. Investors pulled out. Money didn’t get transferred. Things like that. We’ve even had a foreign investor wanting to turn it into a family theme park for a while now, but it’s moving slowly.”
As they walked around the area, Mr. Faulkner felt his enthusiasm grow. He glanced at his wife, and she, too, smiled and raised her eyebrows in growing expectation.
Daniel made an abrupt left turn on the path and began to move downward. The trees clustered closely again around them, before the huge trunks opened into another serene clearing surrounded by gently rolling hills. “This is the south end of Echo Valley, where the lake begins.”
“Echo Valley?” Mrs. Faulkner asked.
“Hello, hello,” he called out, letting his voice resonate around them before fading away.
All three of them stood for a moment and listened. The calmness and beauty of the area was worth a moment of silence.
“C’mon. You’re in for a real treat,” Daniel said. He quickened his pace around two large trees. An enormous lake glistened before them, surrounded by the hills. There was not a ripple across the surface, and the reflections of the nearby trees, grasses, and the partly cloudy sky were cast back at them like a visual echo. Just to Daniel’s left, a little boathouse and wharf sat at the lake’s edge.
“I told you,” said Daniel. “This is only one of many amazing views on the plot. Can you imagine taking a kayak out at sunset? Or building a dream house here? Just breathtaking.” He paused and took a gentle deep breath.
The Faulkners walked over to the dock to get a closer look at the birds swooping and diving around the lake. Daniel followed silently behind them, as the weathered boards creaked gently underfoot.
A soft bumping sound could be heard from within the boathouse at the end of the jetty, and curious, Daniel took a detour to take a quick look. He pushed open the door, which hung cockeyed off its hinges. They gave way with a prickling screech. Inside was revealed a long wooden deck along with several well-worn hooks, used to secure canoes and kayaks.
Hearing the couple behind him, he called out, “Watch your footing, one of the planks is missing.”
The couple followed him inside.
Mr. Faulkner looked closely at the structure. He wondered how much it would cost to build a proper boathouse. He saw Daniel looking down into the water at something dark, something that bumped against the underneath side of the deck with the lapping of the wavelets created from the mountain breeze.
“What is that?” asked Mr. Faulkner, straining to see.
Mr. Faulkner watched Daniel awkwardly kneel down to grasp the end of a piece of rope that was floating nearby. It appeared to be clean and new, totally out of place in a boathouse that had been abandoned for years. The agent pulled at it until there was a resistance.
The dark mass came closer into view with every tug of the rope. As it broke the surface, it rolled to one side and, to Mr. Faulkner’s horror, they stared at a woman’s face; dark eyes fixed open, skin opaque and shiny like artificial rubber. Brown hair swirled in the water around her pale cheeks, framing her face.
“What?” said Mr. Faulkner, not believing what he was actually seeing.
“It’s…” Daniel couldn’t form the words. “She’s…”
“What?” demanded Mrs. Faulkner before leaning in for a closer look. There was a pause before she registered the face staring back at her, screamed, and then ran from the boathouse, her hurried footsteps crashing through the valley path.
“What the hell. Is she dead…?” Mr. Faulkner whispered over Daniel’s shoulder.
Daniel leaned forward. His eyes locked on the dead woman’s gaze.
Mr. Faulkner had never seen a dead body before. Sucking in a breath, he watched Daniel pull at the rope once again, dragging the woman’s body closer. Her torso, oversized from bloat, rolled over so her face was forced downward with one arm out to her side. The other arm was… missing. He could see that she was dressed in dark pants and a light short-sleeved shirt. Shoes missing, her feet ballooned and, cartoon-like, floated on the surface.
“Call the police,” Daniel whispered to Mr. Faulkner without looking back at him.
About the Author
Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and USA Today BestSelling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.
Her latest book is the crime thriller, Silent Little Angels.