GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
The Murder That Never Was
(Forensic Instincts Book 5)
(Forensic Instincts Book 5)
by Andrea Kane
The Murder That Never Was is the fifth book in the Forensic Instincts series by Andrea Kane. Also available: The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, The Line Between Here and Gone, The Stranger You Know, and The Silence That Speaks.
The Murder That Never Was is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
Given the opportunity, would you assume someone else's identity and leave your old life behind?
A serendipitous crossing of paths between Lisa Barnes, a down-on-her-luck job seeker, and Julie Forman, a personal trainer to an Olympic hopeful, forever changes the course of both women's lives. One winds up dead and the other finds herself a fugitive, hiding behind one lie after another as a cold-blooded killer methodically hunts her.
Desperately trying to stay alive, the terrified woman enlists the help of Forensic Instincts, a rogue investigative team that clandestinely operates in the gray area between legal and illegal. Safeguarding their client's deception, Forensic Instincts digs into dangerous territory as they try to find out who's after their client and why.
Meanwhile, bodies are piling up in Chicago, New Jersey, and Vermont as a megalomaniacal genius will stop at nothing to eradicate anyone who threatens the success of his medical breakthrough. With an unhinged client and a monstrous criminal enterprise as its adversary, Forensic Instincts is forced into uncharted territory to protect their client and save one of their own from becoming the next corpse.
Forensic Instincts is an unorthodox, criminal investigative team that carefully navigates the fine line between legal and illegal. The team consists of a behaviorist, a former Navy SEAL, a techo-wiz, an intuitive, a pickpocket, a retired FBI agent, and a human scent evidence dog.
Lisa opened the front door and peeked down the street. The sun was starting to dip down toward the horizon, and there was still no sign of her benefactor.
The May evening was still warm enough to sit outside, and Lisa needed the air anyway. After a full day of waiting on rich women and a few hours of deep house cleaning, she was ready to relax.
She poured herself a glass of ice tea and went out to the front porch, sitting on the top step to enjoy the evening and wait for Julie to arrive.
About a half hour later, she spotted Julie coming down the street. She was striding angrily, gripping a bag in her hands. Even from a distance, Lisa could see that something was very wrong. As she approached, Lisa could see that she was shaking.
This wasn’t a bad mood. This was bad.
Lisa’s stomach clenched. She rose and put her ice tea on the small outdoor table.
She was just about to hurry down to see what was wrong when a car sped down the street, stopping right next to Julie. The passenger door flew open, and a barrel-chested man with tattoos on his arms stepped out. He was holding a gun.
Julie turned, startled, and dropped the bag she was carrying to the sidewalk.
She didn’t even have time to scream.
It happened in two seconds. Pop. Pop. Two muffled gunshots, straight into her head. The killer grabbed the bag off the sidewalk and jumped back into the car, which then screeched off.
Julie had crumpled to the street, blood gushing from her skull, the contents of her purse spilling out around her. Cosmetics, wallet, cell phone—everything rolled onto the street.
For an instant, Lisa froze, bile rising in her throat.
Then, she raced down the stairs and straight to Julie’s lifeless body.
She squatted down. No pulse. No sign of life. Julie was gone.
Had those bullets been meant for her? Had they found her after all these years?
Lisa’s head flew up, and she looked all around. The block was deserted. The killer had used a silencer, and no one had heard the shots but her.
It was just her.
What the hell should she do? If the drug ring was after her, they’d come for her again as soon as they realized they’d killed the wrong girl.
Unless they never found out.
Self-preservation took over. Lisa reached over and grabbed Julie’s wallet, cell phone, checkbook, keys—anything that could identify her as Julie Forman.
Digging into her own pocket, Lisa pulled out her ID wallet and dropped it next to Julie’s purse.
That’s all the time she had. She could already hear sirens approaching, which meant that someone had heard the screech of tires, and maybe even seen Julie’s body, and called for help. She prayed they hadn’t spotted her. She couldn’t wait around to find out.
Shaking violently, with tears of sorrow and panic splashing down her cheeks, she glanced one last time at Julie’s body.
Then she took off.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]
Praise for the Book
"Andrea Kane has a new and rabid fan! The mark of a great book for me, is one that grabs me from page one and takes me on a great ride. Andrea accomplished that in spades! This book contained so many elements and personalities that I am left in awe. When you start with the puzzle put together and then have it disassembled and reassembled with such artistry ... well, I cannot wait for her next book! If you enjoy intrigue, international players and spunky smart heroes, this book is for you! Enjoy!" ~ Kristen Spate
"The Murder That Never Was is the fifth and latest addition to the Forensic Instincts series by Ms. Kane. As with previous books in this series, there's murder, mystery, and mayhem. This book also adds identity theft, performance enhancing drugs, drug cartels, and the emotional carnage of being a foster child into the mix. [...] I found The Murder That Never Was to be a fast-paced read and a great addition to the Forensic Instincts series." ~ Vivian
"Kane truly brings her characters to life and keeps readers engaged in the suspenseful plot from beginning to end. Her latest installment is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a good thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat." ~ The New York Daily News
"The Murder That Never Was is a character driven novel with twists galore. If you love a good thriller, then you can't go wrong with an Andrea Kane novel!" ~ Kathleen @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
"The plot bounced me from city to city as the death toll rose and the villains closed in. Suspense built, fear for the characters made me anxious, and I pushed through the night to finish the book and find out what happened. The last chapter had me riveted!" ~ Laura @ fuonlyknew
"The variety of action and character insight kept me avidly reading to the suspenseful end." ~ Joan at Avid Reader Book Reviews
"Andrea Kane never disappoints! The Murder That Never Was, a high energy, tightly written thriller, grabs you from the start. You will be anxious to finish, then sad when you do. Sure to be another hit." ~ Merry @ Mystery Suspense Reviews
Guest Post by the Author
My Inspiration for the Forensic Instincts Team
Up until the Forensic Instincts series, I’ve always written one or two protagonists per book, usually one male and one female. I gravitated toward using the relationship between the two main characters to create tension as they either worked together or battled each other to solve their investigations. It was the combination of "relationship/suspense", and the different balances between the two in each book that made the finished product.
And then suddenly came the FI team, who opened a whole new chapter in my suspense writing - one I wasn’t expecting and yet one that felt very natural. It wasn’t hard for me to figure out why.
Let me digress and go back in time. As a child, I was a voracious reader. I read all of Janet Lambert’s Penny Parish books (even though they were published long before I was born!) because I was drawn in by the family interactions and the love they shared. I read and reread The Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, which was much more sobering and intense than The Sound of Music (although I adored that movie) because it really delved into the relationships between the children, their parents, and the whole group as an interactive whole.
So, relationships - all different kinds and all intertwined - were always my thing, even as a child.
That was Part 1.
A few years went by, and then came Nancy Drew. Enter Part 2. Suspense. Mystery. Great characters. A strong female protagonist who could take on the world and win. And some good friends to help her do it. I was hooked.
So, with Part 1 and Part 2 on board, I plunged into the reading world of romantic suspense and thrillers, and never stopped. I loved the combination of vital characters and knot-in-your-stomach tension. When I had the great joy of being published and the chance to instill that same combination in my own books, I jumped at it.
Which brings us back to the present.
In my personal writing process, my characters more often than not start brewing before my plot. Sure, I start with a "what if?" but the rest of the story comes to me in filaments for a while. In the meantime, my characters marinate and come to life, two protagonists (up until that point) fighting to be heard. Then something happened at the onset of The Girl Who Disappeared Twice. For the first time, it wasn’t one or two characters demanding to be heard. It was three, then four, then five, along with an awesome bloodhound who was based on the Human Scent Evidence dogs I met through the FBI at Quantico. These characters were part of a whole, a team, a group of brilliant mavericks, each with his/her own talents and personality, all of whom interacted together and all of whom thrived on walking a fine and dangerous line between legal and illegal to solve their cases ASAP and with minimal red tape.
And so Forensic Instincts was born.
Casey is my Nancy Drew - a strong leader and a strong woman. And she picked the best of the best to stand by her side. Marc Deveraux, Ryan McKay, and later Patrick Lynch, Claire Hedgleigh, Emma Stirling, and, of course, Hero (who was a gift from Casey’s guy, FBI agent Kyle Hutchinson). Each character is unique, and yet they all fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, perfectly placed. They’re a family and a crime-solving team - exactly the combination I was looking for. So the inspiration became a reality, and I’m thrilled with that.
About the Author
Andrea Kane's psychological thriller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, became an instant New York Times bestseller, the latest in a long string of smash hits. With her acclaimed signature style of developing unforgettable characters and weaving them into carefully researched story lines, Kane has created Forensic Instincts, an eclectic team of maverick investigators. Recruited because of their special talents and dynamic personalities, the high-energy members thrive on blatantly disregarding authority. Armed with skills and talents honed by years in the FBI and Special Forces, and with training in behavioral and forensic psychology, this unstoppable team solves seemingly impossible cases while walking a fine line between assisting and enraging law enforcement.
With a worldwide following and novels published in over twenty languages, Kane is also the author of numerous romantic thrillers and historical romances. She lives in New Jersey with her family, where she is busily crafting a new challenge for Forensic Instincts.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebook copies of The Murder That Never Was by Andrea Kane (US only).