today’s book: Evidence Uncovered by Jacquelin Thomas
We are moving right along on our summer-long Road Trip Reads Giveaway where we will be visiting all 50 states on the pages of recently released books. Because road trips are always better with friends – and books – right? So grab your fave snacks, a cold soda or bottled water, an upbeat playlist and let’s head to the Deep South!
today’s stop: Louisiana
EVIDENCE UNCOVERED by Jacquelin Thomas
SERIES: Love Inspired Cold Case
GENRE: Romantic Suspense/Mystery (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Inspirational Cold Case Collection (Love Inspired)
RELEASE DATE: October 25, 2022
A string of unsolved murders…
An FBI agent out for justice…
With young New Orleans women turning up dead, FBI agent Lanier Barrow is sure that the Crescent City Strangler is back. But proving it to distrustful lead detective Daniel Jordan means she must hide her tragic connection to the case. And with their uneasy partnership already troubled, even more dangerous secrets will put their lives on the line…
“A couple of froggers found the body,” Michael stated during the drive. “She’d been discarded in a canal two miles from where our first victim was discovered.”
When they arrived, Lanier was the first one out of the vehicle. Her eyes beheld the grim sight before her. Orange evidence cones were placed around a trash-strewn area and along the banks of the canal. Yellow tape roped off the scene to keep unauthorized persons from contaminating evidence. The body was covered with a white tarp. Crime scene technicians moved about in jackets emblazoned with the words New Orleans Police Crime Lab.
“I suggest we start with the body and work backward,” she said, “which will hopefully help us narrow down our suspect pool.”
“Because the body is the only constant in the murders…” Daniel glanced around the taped area. “All the victims were found along this same area, like the earlier crimes, but this doesn’t mean it’s the Crescent City Strangler. This perp is intentionally trying to mislead us.” He didn’t want to believe that Lanier’s theory was correct. Twenty years had passed. Why would he suddenly start up again? Why now?
Techs covered the area, searching for evidence, photographing and bagging fragments of different items like cigarette butts and gum wrappers. One of the technicians poured a powdered stone material mixed with water into footprints and tire marks. When it dried, they would have a three-dimensional model of the impression.
Lanier slipped on a pair of purple plastic gloves, a contrast to the navy tailored slacks she wore with a matching blazer and a crisp, white button-down shirt underneath. She also wore a pair of low-heeled navy-blue leather pumps. Silver stud earrings and sheer tinted lip gloss completed her look. “Make sure to canvass the area thoroughly. This area just might offer certain clues about the unsub.”
“We know the job,” Michael stated. “We’ve done this more than a few times.”
Ignoring his comment, she led the way to where the partially clothed corpse lay. Lanier pulled the sheet back and stared at the discoloration of the body. “What is the estimated time of death?” she asked the coroner.
“Between sixty and seventy-two hours ago.”
“Can you tell if the body was violated in any way?”
“No. I’ll know more after the autopsy.”
She leaned in closer. “I need a pair of tweezers or small tongs.”
Lanier signaled for a tech to join her. “There’s something in her hair. It could be fiber from a rope or rug.”
The CSI technician collected the fiber with tweezers and placed it in a clear tube, then labeled and placed it inside a carrier with the other evidence.
She pointed to the victim’s neck. “There’s a lot of bruising on her hands and neck, which means she most likely put up a fight before or while she was being strangled.”
The coroner agreed. “Her larynx was crushed like the other three.”
Lanier glanced up at Daniel. His eyes were closed, and his expression was one of profound sadness. Just in the short time she’d talked with him, she knew each victim meant something to Daniel. Although they disagreed when it came to the unsub, the one thing they had in common was that they both wanted justice for the victims and their families.
Jacquelin Thomas, Evidence Uncovered
Love Inspired, an imprint of Harlequin © 2022. Used by permission.
Jacquelin Thomas is offering a print copy of Evidence Uncovered to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Evidence Uncovered by Jacquelin Thomas? Have you ever visited Louisiana?