The Murder of Grace Bryant by Suzanne Rossi

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  • Callie Bryant, a young woman with partial amnesia, returns to her childhood home with hopes of restoring the memories that are slowly coming back. She may have been a witness to her mother's murder twenty-five years before. Instead of being welcomed, Callie finds some people just want her to leave town. Anonymous letters show up, followed by threatening phone calls. Intruders invade the house. The ante is upped when someone shoots out her front window.
     
    The only person she trusts is reporter, Josh Hendricks. He is new in town and not a suspect at the time of her mother's death. Intrigued, he agrees to help discover why certain city officials are refusing to answer her questions. Never tell a reporter, “No.” Josh asks questions of his own throwing himself into the mystery. As time passes, their relationship deepens.

    Falling in love was not part of the plan. The more they investigate, the more nervous the killer becomes. Callie and Josh are not safe. Callie is remembering, and the clock is ticking down on the killer's freedom.

    Rating: Sensual
    Page Count: 356
    Word Count: 88895
    978-1-5092-1368-9 Paperback
    978-1-5092-1369-6 Digital

    Excerpt

    I folded my hands in my lap and kept quiet.

    “The prosecution had a good case. Fingerprints on the knife, a time gap from when Eric Bryant left the bar to when he called the cops, and their frequent arguments, all added up. Even where the knife was kept worked against him.”

    “And where was that?” Josh asked.

    A distant memory flashed through my mind. “In a scabbard hanging on the wall on the far side of the back porch.”

    “In plain sight?”

    I shook my head and worried my lower lip. “It was visible, but not in your face. I don’t think Daddy used it much.”

    “So, the chances of a stranger knowing its location would be slim,” he noted with a frown. “On the other hand, a friend…”

    “What was your take on the defense?” I asked the editor, interrupting Josh.

    Harper sighed. “Not the best choice of attorneys. Brought up the subject of the defendant going to the bar in the first place, leaving the door wide open for the prosecution to ask why.”

    “And because my father was an honorable man, he admitted he and mother had had an argument on the way home from the concert.”

    He nodded. “Means, motive, and opportunity. He tried to argue that someone could have known where the knife was hanging, but the jury dismissed it as unlikely. The only smart thing John Casey did was during pre-trial when he argued against admitting hearsay about your father having an affair into the record.”

    “Especially since the prosecution couldn’t produce the so-called third party,” I said.

    “That’s about it, although the rumors were out there.”

    Josh shot me a speculative look, and then said, “Casey didn’t try for a change of venue?”

    “Nope.”

    “So, he was in way over his head. Can’t imagine why your father hired him in the first place,” Josh muttered.

    “Guess we’ll have to ask John Casey. Mr. Harper, you were there. Do you think my father did it?”

    “Is that what this is all about? Proving your father innocent?”

    I squeezed my folded hands together harder. “Yes.”

    The man took a moment to gaze out of the window. “To be honest, I was never sure. He was grief-stricken over the loss of his wife and bewildered that anyone would think he could have done it. He had an air of honesty—of openness—about him I liked.”

    “And yet, the evidence was there,” Josh added.

    “The evidence was there. The blood, the fingerprints, the time gap, the argument, it was all just too much to ignore.”

    Josh rose and extended his hand. “Thanks, Dan, we appreciate your input.”

    I also stood. “And thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.”

    “Miss Bryant, are you thinking of trying to get the case re-opened?”

    “Well, in order to do that, I’d have to find the real killer, wouldn’t I? Goodbye, Mr. Harper.”

    We left the room with him staring at us, a surprised expression on his face. I wondered if he’d start digging again, too.

    I may be opening one hell of a can of worms.

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The Murder of Grace Bryant

The Murder of Grace Bryant

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