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Small-town detective, Rory Naysmith, thought he’d seen it all, but a young woman’s brutal murder is especially hard to stomach. Doubly so, when he recognizes the murder’s MO is identical to that of Tobias Snearl—the killer he put behind bars a decade before. His frustration grows after a series of senseless accidents plague those dearest to him, and a second woman dies—this one too close to home. Searching for answers, Rory races against time, plunging deep into the murder investigations, drawing ever closer to becoming a casualty of the dark, angry deeds himself, until he finds no one is who they pretend to be—and none are beyond evil’s reach.
The recovery crew was still working when Rory swapped worry for anxiety.
He’d always loved summer—heat, humidity, long days cooled by the night breeze. He’d been younger then and in top condition. His damn foot put him in an awkward position. He wasn’t tip-top, that was for sure. The endless day of inaction taunted him and wouldn’t allow him to shake the doubts running through his mind. Was he in shape to conduct an investigation? How long could he hide his condition from the chief? Would Mansfield push him into administrative leave?
He knew one thing. He wasn’t giving up his shield—even temporarily.
What group did you hang out with in high school?
My family moved frequently. Although I was always the new kid, I spent my junior and senior years at the same rural Ohio high school. There were seventy-five students in my graduating class. I did not fit in with the jocks, stoners, FFA, or ROTC members. I participated in various clubs, loved theatre and art, and played in the marching band. So, I think that makes me part of the artsy crowd.
What are you passionate about these days?
I love to learn. I’m not speaking of formal education but instead expanding my skills by picking up a new craft, tackling the latest gadget, or writing in a different genre. Learning something new makes me feel “alive.” Not only does it enrich my life, but I find satisfaction in facing a new challenge and conquering it. I inherited this passion from my father, whose career was teaching. The week before he died, he asked that the ukulele be brought down from the attic so he could learn to play. My hope is that when my time comes, I still possess the desire to master the ukulele.
If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?
I would start earlier. I began writing short stories when I was in my forties. I loved English as a student and have always been a reader. I didn’t, however, consider myself a writer—or made of professional author material. When I turned sixty, I submitted my first short story, and within minutes of posting, received a publishing contract. It landed at the right place at the right moment, I’m sure, but gosh, I wish I would have tried to publish earlier. My regret isn’t that I found success later in life, but that I have many great novel ideas, and if I’d only started earlier.
Ebook or print? And why?
I prefer printed books, hardbacked and bound. I like the smell, heft, and feel of them. That said, I do use an e-reader on occasion and find that a good story is not diminished by the medium from which it’s read.
What is your favorite scene in this book?
Without including a spoiler, I’d have to say two scenes come to mind—first, the prison scene. Second, the scene where Detective Naysmith (protagonist) and Officer Thacker (sidekick) discuss their next move after leaving the prison. Both passages were fun to write, and the result was a bit of writing magic that highlights the relationship between the two characters.
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Terry Korth Fischer writes mystery and memoir. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, was released in 2019. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies in print and online. Terry is a member of Sisters in Crime, Pennwriters, Inc, and Clear Lake Area Writers. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston with her husband and their two guard cats. She enjoys a good mystery, heat and humidity, and long summer days. Visit her website at https://terrykorthfischer.com
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