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HomeLIFESTYLEPreview Excerpt from the Novel "The Book of Unresolved Cases"

Preview Excerpt from the Novel “The Book of Unresolved Cases”

The suspense novel “The Book of Unresolved Cases” by Canadian author Simone St. James, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, is being prepared for publication by Crime Scene Press. The book masterfully weaves together past and present in a tapestry of real-world mystery and supernatural suspense. A paranormal thriller that keeps the suspense at high levels.

Claire Lake, Oregon. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but at night she works on her own true crime blog called The Book of Unresolved Cases. One day, she meets Beth Greer, the most notorious serial killer in town.

Actually, the alleged serial killer – although everyone believes she is guilty of killing two men, Beth was acquitted at her trial forty years ago.

What starts as a juicy story for Shea’s blog turns into a real hunt for the truth, which will overturn all the convictions in the small town. But someone – or something – wants to protect the secrets hidden in the Greer family mansion at any cost. Even at the cost of another murder.

Simone St. James was born in Canada and is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She has won two RITA Awards and an Arthur Ellis Award. She worked behind the scenes in television for twenty years before quitting and starting to write full-time. She is an author of suspense, romance, and historical fiction novels.

Her first book, The Haunting of Maddy Clare, was written because she wanted to read a novel that was scary – but not gory – and had romantic elements. Although she claims to have never seen a ghost, her novels talk about the possibility of seeing one – more precisely, they pose the question “what if…?” at the climax. She lives near Toronto, Canada, with her husband and a cat she rescued.

Promised Excerpt

Something moved in the hallway outside. It was a delicate sound, and Beth’s fingers reflexively gripped the blanket. She was used to fear – she had lived with it for so long, decade after decade. For as long as she could remember, actually. Forever. She couldn’t imagine what life without fear would look like. Beth knew the contours of fear intimately, its changing shapes, its taste and smell.

You don’t leave.

You don’t speak.

Those were the rules. But she was going to break the second one, wasn’t she? She was going to speak – to Shea Collins, who had read so much about her. Who knew everything and nothing.

There was a footstep in the hallway outside the room and a shuffling sound. Beth closed her eyes, though in that darkness it didn’t matter. She had locked the bedroom door. Yes. She remembered doing it, remembered the cold feel of the bolt on her fingers. Or was the memory from the previous night? Or the night before?

The pills were on the nightstand, but she couldn’t take one now. Not until she was sure about the door. Because if the door was unlocked, she didn’t want to be asleep when the thing outside came in.

So she waited, listening.

The shuffling sound came again, then a faint click on the handle, followed by the creak of a door. It was the bathroom at the end of the hallway. Again the shuffling, the click, the creak. It was Beth’s teenage bedroom. One by one, each door was tried and opened. Then the next. Then the next. Until it reached the master bedroom door at the end of the hallway.

Beth knew she should get up, run to the door, and make sure it was locked. But now it was too late. She couldn’t move. The shuffling sound came closer. Then the click. The handle of the master bedroom door was tried. It turned one way, then the other.

Beth closed her eyes.

You don’t leave.

You don’t speak.

But things were changing. The fever of madness was about to break after all this time, and it wasn’t going to be pleasant. People were going to get hurt. That’s what happened when you were touched by madness. You got hurt.

Beth knew everything about madness.

Click. Click.

The handle turned one way, then the other. Then again one way. Then the other.

It didn’t open because the door was locked.

Beth reached for the bottle of pills on the nightstand when a voice came from the hallway. A moan of desperation, its tone rising more and more. Then crying.

“Please,” said the voice. “Please.”

It’s not real, Beth told herself as she swallowed the pill without water. She’s been dead for so long. It’s not real.

“Please,” moaned the voice in the hallway.

Something jerked the handle, the click sounded loud, but the lock held.

Beth Greer pushed the blanket down and slipped under it. None of this was real. The pill would take effect, and everything would disappear by morning, like a dream.

She closed her eyes and waited for sleep while her mother cried in the hallway.

Excerpt from the Online Romanian Edition of Careers & Business Magazine

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