Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on November 7, 2016




A murder enveloped in pain and mystery…

When Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder.

The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.

Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister’s horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him…

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Chapter 17

Tuesday, one-thirty in the afternoon, I watch as Warner’s foyer fills with mourners. Outside, Carrigan sits in a white unmarked van with darkened windows photographing everyone entering and existing. I down two finger sandwiches without tasting them and hear Angie, inside my head.

Sorry, babe.

Four days have passed since the murder. I study the room, feeling the mounting pressure down the chain-of-command. The sandwiches do little to replace the anxiety centring inside my chest. My shrink said indigestion is my body’s way of telling me to ease up. That made me laugh. Easing up isn’t part of my job description.

“Finding your wife’s killer isn’t going to make your problems go away,” the shrink said.

“Ah,” I snapped back. “You have a lot of patients who are victims of crime, do you?”

“Yes, actually, I do.”

From hidden speakers throughout the house, the Celtic Woman singers sing You Raise Me Up. The music softens my mood and helps me refocus. I search for anyone or anything out of the ordinary. An inappropriate stare, a suspicious stance, perspiration or an unlikely flushing in the cheeks. I make eye contact with those who don’t avoid my gaze and wait for nervous tics. There are over four hundred faces to study in the house, over seventy in the foyer alone. I’ll study their photographs repeatedly before the investigation is over.

Liking no one in this specific area, I stuff my hands into my jacket pockets, look up at the high ceilings and crown moulding. It occurs to me that if the roof caves in, a lot of important people will die. Including me. Behind me, a man chuckles. Life goes on. You bet your ass it does. Annoyed by the thought, I continue to observe the surrounding elegance. How did maintaining this house impact Warner’s life? The fancy horseshoeshaped staircase takes up half the receiving hall and would make the staircase in Gone with the Wind look like a fire escape. The fifteen-foot high fireplace in the great room seems too clean to have been used. Heating the place probably costs a small fortune. Maintaining the whole house and all that involves was probably a bitch for the old man, despite his lucrative law practice.

The front living room resembles a high-end florist shop. A strong aroma of pinecones mingles with scents of gladiolas and gardenias. Almost immediately, the music stops. A second later, out of the speakers comes Celtic Woman’s rendition of Let It Snow.

Mourners warming themselves in front of the fireplace remind me of the Norman Rockwell puzzles stocked on the shelf at the grocery store. There was a time when I fell for that stuff.

The conversation centres on somebody’s kid being recruited to Prince George’s Junior A hockey team.


About the Author

author-joylene-nowell-butlerWhen Joylene’s father died in 1983, she wrote her first full–length manuscript to channel her grief. The seven-year process left her hooked and she began Dead Witness within a few weeks of finishing Always Father’s Child. Today Joylene is the author of three suspense novels: Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and the steam-punk collaboration Break Time. While she’ll admit being published didn’t fix all the wrongs in her life, she wishes her parents had lived to see her success. Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal, and its sequel Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is due for release November 1, 2016.

Joylene lives with her husband and their two cats Marbles and Shasta on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.

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This giveaway is for three (3) print copies that are available to those living in the U.S. only and one (1) eBook copy available international.

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