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Sloan McBride

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Member Since: Jan, 2008

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Together in Darkness
by Sloan McBride   

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Books by Sloan McBride
· Highland Stone
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Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  Sloan McBride Type: 
Pages: 

146

Copyright:  Apr 25, 2008 ISBN-13:  9781603941099
Fiction

Three lives connected by a psychic bond will be changed forever.

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Sloan McBride
Sloan McBride

A killer is leaving mutilated bodies across New England. Special Agent Jake Austin is in pursuit, led by clues the killer purposely leaves behind. In Gloucester, Massachusetts, site of the latest murder, Jake meets Allison Brody, a woman who claims to see the victims through the killer's eyes.

Allison Brody is proud of her gypsy heritage, but tries to hide the gifts inherited from her bloodline. Through strange visions and a connection that can't be broken, Allison watches as a killer stalks and murders women. The Surgeon is obsessed with her psychic link to him and uses her fear to feed his obsession.
  


Excerpt

"I'm Detective Lancaster."
Allison raised her eyes to face him with a tentative smile. "Hello, detective." She rose. "I need to speak with you about the recent murder."
"Yes, ma'am. Do you have some information?"
She fumbled with her purse, silently begging her nerves to settle down. "Is there somewhere we can sit and talk?"
"Okay." Detective Lancaster motioned her to the door and held it open. Carefully avoiding physical contact, she followed him down a slim, dismal hallway.
Allison entered the conference room to find the other man sitting at the table. She stopped short, causing the detective to bump into her. A brief flash of an older woman with a pretty smile went through her mind and then vanished. The detective peered over her shoulder and cleared his throat.
"This is Agent Jake Austin with the FBI. We're working together on this case. I thought it best that he be in on our conversation."
Allison's gaze shifted between the men. The younger man had a vibrant aura, an intensity that shook her already rattled nerves. Dark features so compelling they stole her breath and green eyes so deep in color, they were hypnotic. Dangerous came to mind. "I understand." Did it suddenly get twenty degrees hotter in the room?
The agent got up and gestured to a chair he'd pulled out. "Please have a seat, Miss."
"Brody. My name is Allison Brody."
"Okay, Ms. Brody. What can we do for you?"
He moved back, but didn't sit. She hesitated, distracted by the agent’s proximity. "Thank you for seeing me. I—I want to offer my assistance."
"What kind of assistance? Lancaster asked. He took a seat at the end of the long table.
Allison kept her head lowered and clasped her fingers. She'd rehearsed what to say, but now that she was here the words wouldn't come. Deciding to spit out the truth, she said, "I've been having visions of the murder."
A quick look passed between the two men, not totally unexpected. She sensed the strongest doubt in the federal agent. Their combined disbelief ravaged her like a sickness. "Think what you like gentlemen, but it will not change the fact that I have something of value to offer in your search for the killer."
"Not to be disrespectful, ma'am, but I'm sure you understand our skepticism." Lancaster smiled, as if to take the sting from his words.
Allison sighed heavily, far too familiar with the closed minds of people, especially those in the police department. "Yes, detective. I do. It's not the first time I've dealt with it."
In the days that followed her first visions, she had tried to help people. She told Mrs. Gulliver there would be a fire in her house on March seventeenth and not to turn on the stove. Mrs. Gulliver patted her on the head. On March seventeenth, Mrs. Gulliver's stove exploded and her house burnt nearly to the ground. Luckily the woman had managed to escape with minimal injury, but she never spoke to Allison again. The Gulliver fire was the first of many attempts to be a good citizen. All ended in a similar way, leaving many to believe Allison mentally unstable, bizarre, or a criminal.
Austin remained stoically silent, but studied her with cynical eyes. She felt like a freak show. His incessant stare whittled away her resolve.
"What is it you think you've seen?" the detective asked.
She forced herself to go on. "I've had flashes of places I recognize and a—a woman's face."
"What did this woman look like?"
"Reddish hair, brown eyes, young."
Massaging his neck with one hand, Jake Austin finally spoke. "That could describe anyone."
Allison ignored him and spoke directly to Detective Lancaster. "It was here, in Gloucester. I recognized the buildings. I saw things through his eyes."
"Whose eyes?" The agent sounded suspicious, with an undercurrent of anger that sent shudders across her shoulders.
"The killer." She tried to stay calm but dive bombers were crashing into the walls of her stomach. Something about the agent unsettled her. He felt almost familiar.
Austin moved to the windows. "Can you tell us where he is, what he looks like?"
Allison's narrowed gaze settled on him. He didn't trust her. Fine. She frowned. "No. I told you. I see things through his eyes."
"Do you know what his plans are? What direction he's heading? Who his next target is?"
Austin fired off the questions fast. No doubt in an attempt to jar her composure, scare her away.
"He's scouting out his next victim. He records information about each possible target in a notebook. The last woman he watched was a young mother taking a child to a birthday party." Allison’s gaze settled on Austin. "I'm assuming he has other women in the book, but I didn't see them. I don't know what his plans are, Agent Austin, but I feel certain one of these women will die if he's not stopped."
"Then I think we'll stick to good old-fashioned police work," the younger man said with a sneer. "You know, looking for leads, evidence, using gut instinct. Dime store palm readers and carnival psychics won't get us any closer to catching this maniac."
His superior attitude and dismissal pissed her off. She clenched her teeth and hands. "I can see you've done real well so far. Third times the charm!"
Detective Lancaster cleared his throat. "Ms. Brody, I'd like to thank you for coming to the station and giving us this information."
Startled by her outburst and a little disconcerted, Allison jumped up. "I'm sorry I've taken up your time." While reaching for the door handle, the bulb in the lamp next to her popped. Both men looked from her to the lamp. Allison threw open the door and hurried out before something else exploded.
"Arrogant, jerk." Allison fumed on the walk up the street.
Her gait was sure as she ranted, immune to the stares of a few passers-by. Who cared if she talked to herself? It was a free country. She slowed the pace and concentrated on breathing. "Find your center. Relax." She fingered the smooth stones in her pocket; blue sapphire for mental toughness, sugilite for courage and conviction, and citrine to keep the feelings flowing.
Her temper gradually subsided enough to think clearly again. The agent's attitude was distracting. She needed to focus. Her skin, juiced by the electricity Austin put off, still tingled.
It happened before. The words of the killer lingered, but what did they mean? She needed a quiet place to recall every word. They meant something, and since the police were no help, she'd have to figure it out herself.



Professional Reviews

The Romance Studio
Allison learned to suppress her powers and closed herself off from people. Now her powers are growing and the visions are back. To add to her anxiety, her deceased great-grandmother Yanni keeps showing up offering words of wisdom. Some how she's linked to a killer, seeing through his eyes, her fate entwined with his. Allison can't sit by and do nothing, knowing that maybe she can help even though she knows exactly what kind of reception she'll get.
Jake, an FBI agent, is tracking a serial killer. Each scene offers a clue to the killer's next location and he follows. Now in Gloucester with yet another mutilated victim, he meets Allison when she comes into the local police precinct with information about the murder. Jake scoffs at the visions she tells them she's having. But something about her intrigues Jake and just maybe she's the answer to catching a killer.
Fantastic. Together in Darkness is the first book I've read by Sloan McBride and I was highly impressed. This thoroughly entertaining novel kept me engrossed and turning the pages until the very end. The characters, both primary and secondary, drew me in with interesting dialogue and lively banter that gave you a good idea of their individual personalities and motivations. The relationship between Allison and Jake grew at a steady pace and was believable. They didn't act on their attraction for each other straight away and the love scenes were well written and sensual. I would love to see romantic suspense stories with the secondary characters featured. They interested me, I feel they deserve it. I didn't foresee who the killer was until the author wanted me to and that intrigued and surprised me. Twists and turns woven through the story added a lot of tension that at times had me holding my breath. Want an exciting novel to read? This is a book for you.
Overall rating: 5 hearts
Sensuality rating: Very sensual
Reviewer: Abi
May 22, 2008


Coffee Time Romance
Allison Brody has always known she has a special gift. She has been denying it for so long that dealing with it now is very painful. Unsure of how to make things work, she goes from day to day the best she can, hoping she can figure out who is connecting with her about the murders, and why. She has essential pieces that she must tell someone or lose her mind.
Jake Austin has recurring nightmares from his current case. The mastermind is taunting him with messages at each crime scene. He is not sure what to do next when a beautiful woman comes in and offers her help. He feels something between them, but being F.B.I, knows he must solve the case first.
Across state lines, a mad man is killing innocent women for no other reason than for fitting his perfect type. Allison sees events through his eyes and wonders what to do. She can go to the police who will not believe her, but staying quiet is not good either. Her headaches are getting worse and her visions leave her unable to sleep. The police think she is bonkers. She just hopes she can convince them before the next victim dies.
Ms. McBride is a fantastic author. This book is beyond creepy, but I wanted to see the case solved and the bad guy captured. I just kept hoping that it would not cost any lives. Allison is a woman who does not like to be messed with and that makes her so appealing to me. She is a strong woman who I found very relatable. Jake is a man who is fighting demons, but yet could still make me melt. This is one story that I could not put down. I have but one recommendation; do not read it at night.
Krista
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books


Bitten by Books
Jake Austin is a worn out FBI agent who does not sleep, eat and drinks way too much coffee for one person. He is on the trail of a killer that taunts Jake at every turn. Jake is man on a mission and has blinders on to everything but nabbing the killer.
The killer known as The Surgeon is meticulous with his victims. He never leaves any evidence behind to help figure out who it is. He leaves messages in the victim’s blood on the walls. He never forgets to leave that one small clue for the FBI agent to follow so he can toy with him and stay one step ahead in the game.
Allison Brody works nights at the local department store to avoid being around people. Instead of embracing her abilities, she hides from them. With her gypsy blood she has the ability that allows her to see through the eyes of the killer. She must go to the police but will they believe her or ridicule her like the last time?
I can describe this book in one word. Fabulous! Jake and Allison played well off of each other. The sexual tension is the book you could cut it with a knife. I am surprised that this book did not burst into flames. The killer was written so well that you could almost imagine being at the crime scene yourself. Sloan McBride has a new fan and I cannot wait to read another one of her books.
Reviewed by: Megan
Rating: 4-1/2 Gravestones


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