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Carla Landreth

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My Sin
by Carla Landreth   

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Books by Carla Landreth
· Silk Stocking Road
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Publisher:  Author House ISBN-10:  1418422487 Type: 


Copyright:  April 7, 2004


Who knew a bottle of perfume could be so murderous?

It is said that a person's scent can tell a lot about them. Who we are, our mood, even our personalities, but what if s particular scent was a motive for murder?

Someone is drugging, raping and strangling young beatiful women in a small Texas town. FBI Agent Holden McBray has discovered his new case involves a serial killer whose calling card is drenching victims in My Sin perfume-a-perfume that has not been manufactured since the 1970's.

Agent McBray joins forces with a woman from his past, Alex Pendleton, the woman who saved his career seven years ago.

Together they form a list of suspects, including a holy-roller Baptist preacher, a straight and narrow strip joint owner, a drug addicted ex-convict, a sleazy landlord and an unsuspecting mentally challenged person who will cover for them all.

As the two delve deeper into the case, it is becoming cold and quickly. With not much more than a small sample of DNA that doesn't match any suspects, they soon discover the killer stalks before he kills, and his next planned target is none other than Alex.

The night was cool and crisp. He'd been watching her secretly all night from the window. Every time she bent over or played with her chestnut hair it made him desire her even more.
He masturbated several times as he watched her move from room to room, only to catch a glimpse of her taut body when she forgot to draw the shade down while changing into her night shirt. That's when he showed up, ruining his night.
"That fucking bitch," the voice snarled. "You were so nice to her. Look, she let that man into her house. I bet she fucks him. She's just like those other women. A whore."
"Shut up," he gritted his teeth. "Just shut up. She's not like the others."
"The hell she ain't," argued the voice. "Sashaying herself half naked, touching him."
"I said shut up," he grabbed his ears, clawing at them as he ran.
Before he knew it, he found himself on the side of a dirt road. He was on his knees, sobbing. The voice had done nothing but scream at him as he ran away. Now, on the deserted road he heard nothing.
"She loves me," he said. "I know she loves me."
"Yeah right," the voice finally said. "What the hell do you think she's doing with him right now, just the laundry? I don't think so."
"She's not that kind of woman," he said. "I know her."
"Yeah, you know her so damn well, she's fucking him and not you," the voice said.
He took a few deep breaths and then said. "I love her. Maybe it's time I show her how much I love her."
The voice made a haunting laugh. "Now you're thinking. Let's show that bitch how much we love her."
Then he made an eeried laugh. "I'll show her just how much I love her."
At eight-thirty Holden complained to the manager at the Rumby Inn about the loud activity next door. By ten-thirty he was packing his bags.
Even though he'd told himself that staying with Alex would not be a good idea, staying in his cold car for the night wasn't an option either.
Taking the directions Alex gave him in case he changed his mind, he drove around the dark cool autumn night, and it wasn't long before Holden found himself sitting in front of the little farmhouse.
He sighed, turning off the engine. Reaching over the seat he grabbed his garment bag, his shaving kit and got out.
It was so quiet and peaceful. Now he could see why Alex wanted to live out in the country. He looked to the house. In the front window was one single light burning.
A cool, crisp breeze rustled his hair as he moved forward, going up the steps to the house. Once he reached the front door he began to knock, but the porch light came on and the door jerked open.
There on the other side of the screen door was Alex, dressed in a blue flannel nightshirt and thick wooly socks. At that moment a little voice in his head told him to turn and run before he got himself into trouble but another part of him, his heart, said even in ratty pajama tops Alex was still attractive.
"I wondered when you'd get here," she said.
"You waited up?"
"Sort of." she smiled. "Finishing up laundry."
"Alex, are you sure you want to do this?"
She unlatched the screen door and opened it. "Would you just get in here?"
Holden stepped into the house. Cozy and warm were the words he would use to describe the place. While most people believe in on theme for their home, Alex had the eclectic country look, with gingham checks, Battenburg lace, wicker baskets and assorted types of furniture. Even the smell of freshly baked apple pie filled the house. A picture-perfect life for those who would peer inside.
Alex kindly took his things and placed them on the stairs. "Have you eaten?" she asked.
He nodded as he glanced around. "Your place is nice," he said.
"Think so? Still has a lot of work that needs to be done on it. I'll get it done someday. Would you care for some tea? I was just about to make it."
Alex gave him a smile and a wag with her head. he followed her into the kitchen. He took a seat at the small marble-top island as she filled the little red teakettle with water.
"How about a small slice of pie? Freshly baked," she said with enticing words freshly baked.
"Did you bake it?"
"Yes. In fact, the apples are from my tree," she boasted.
"Let me get this straight. You put in a full day's work, came home, fixed supper, did homework, managed to grab some quality time with Adam, clean house, do laundry and still had time to bake a pie?"
"That's a slow day." She laughed.
"A slow day?" He was shocked. "Aren't you tired by the end of the day?" he asked.
Alex patiently took a seat beside him as they waited for the water to boil. She nervously looked at him as she played with her fingers.

Professional Reviews

Writer's Digest 2008
Landreth does a wonderful job of showing the private problems of the main characters while they are attempting to solve a major case. In too many books, the detectives don't seem like real people because of the lack of realistic private lives. This is definitely not the case in My Sin.
All of the characters are realistic, and the hero and heroine people the reader can relate to and cheer on. All of the dialouge sounds natural and definitely moves the plot along and reveals character.
The plot is unusal, intriguing and complicated enough to keep the reader guessing. The romance between the hero and heroine is both loving and sensual and adds to the enjoyment of the book.
The tension ansd suspense builds to a surprising solution to the crimes and a most satisfying ending. Excellent writing and mystery.

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