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In this excerpt, Emily Wright is returning to her hometown for the first time in years. To avoid hitting a deer, she crashes her car on a road outside of town. It's getting dark....
THE FIRST VICTIM
She didn’t get very far before she heard an automobile approaching from behind. Stumbling off the road, she hid behind the thick trunk of an oak tree, its rough bark scraping her palm as she leaned into it. The hammering of her heart almost drowned out the sound of the car as it pulled closer.
“Drive past. Drive past. Drive past.” Tightening her grip on the stone and stick, she whispered the wish, painfully aware of how vulnerable and alone she was.
The car’s headlights slashed through the night, reaching for her. She held her breath, as though that would make her invisible.
Suddenly the car slammed to a stop just past the spot where her car had gone off the road. A tall man, his face silhouetted in the darkness, leaped out of the front passenger seat. Almost instantly the thin ray of a flashlight cut through the trees, landing on her car.
She didn’t dare move, afraid that any sound she made would alert him to her presence. As though he somehow sensed she was there, the shadowy figure swung toward her, the beam of light arcing through the darkness like an arrow aimed at a bull’s-eye.
A jolt of fright turned her legs to mush, rooting her to the spot. He was so big. There was no way she could outrun him. Not here. Not now. Not again.
THE FIRST VICTIM
Fifteen years ago, Emily Wright barely escaped from a serial killer dubbed the Baby Doll Strangler. She wants nothing to do with the small town she grew up in, but when her father is hospitalized she reluctantly returns home to care for her teenage sister.
When a friend of her sister is killed and left in front of Emily’s house, Emily begins to relive the nightmare she endured long ago. Soon she realizes that her sister too is in danger from the killer – and the only person who can help is the man Emily left behind: Deputy Bailey O’Neil. Together, Emily and Bailey must discover the killer’s identity before he claims his next victim…
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