Sheriff Austin Garrett enlists the help of FBI profiler, Jo McDaniels, to help him solve a string of murders plaguing his community. Unlike most profilers Jo has an unusual gift that allows her to get to know the victims better than anyone else. She not only feels their emotions; she feels their pain. But the last time she relied on her physic ability it almost cost her career as well as her sanity. As the case progresses and the body count rises they soon realize that Jo’s sanity isn’t all that is at risk. She has become the killer’s ultimate kill.
Jo McDaniels listened attentively as Sheriff Austin Garrett explained the reason for his call. “In the last two weeks three women have been found nude and decapitated here in Claremont, Oregon. They were found in wooded areas, frequented by hunters and hikers, with a piece of string connecting the large toes of both feet.”
She glanced up from her note pad, looked at Special Agent in Charge Isaac Washington, and then to the intercom on his desk. Uneasiness settled in the pit of her stomach. “Did you say Claremont, Oregon?” She hoped like crazy that he hadn’t.
“Yeah, we’re an hour’s drive from Portland.”
“I know where it is.” It was her hometown and she hadn’t been back there in ten years. She shifted her gaze back to her supervisor and shook her head, suspecting he’d known this before he even brought the case to her attention. “Have the victims been identified?”
“Fingerprints were run but their identities remain unknown. A basic description of the Jane Does have been sent out to area and state law enforcement agencies, but so far, no hits. Due to the lack of blood and trace evidence found at the scenes, it appears they were killed elsewhere and their bodies brought to the wooded areas then placed against a tree in an upright position.”
Jo added the details to her notes then swiped her sweaty palms against her slacks. This can’t be happening!
“We’ll need all your case notes and photos of the victims and dumpsites,” Agent Washington advised.
If he thinks I’m going back there, he’s nuts.
“I FedEx’d them yesterday, you should be getting them sometime today.”
Jo gave a heavy sigh. It was the type of case she loved to crack. She couldn’t go back there though. They were just going to have to send someone else. Closing her notepad she glanced over just as Agent Washington hung up.
“I know that you don’t want to do this, but you’re my best profiler, Jo,” he said, with the quirky smile he always used when trying to persuade her to do something she didn’t want to do. “Besides, what would the town folk think of their pride and joy if she refused to come to their aid?”
“I didn’t much care what they thought of me when I left, why should I now?”
“You can’t tell me you’re not at least intrigued.”
His words raised a smile. It frightened her sometimes how well he knew her. “The victims haven’t even been identified yet.” And knowing them, their habits and personalities would be instrumental in developing a working profile of the killer.
“Which is why I need you and your gift.”
Gift. It was more like a curse, bringing her closer to the killer than the victims themselves in many cases. It was the reason she’d left Claremont in the first place to join the FBI, and why she had become the top in her field.
“I know you Jo, its cases like this one, where there’s little to go on, that you live for.”
“I haven’t been back to Claremont in…”
“I know. And I know it won’t be easy for you. Time is of the essence, here, though. This person has already killed three women.”
Great. He was pulling out the guilt card, knowing she’d cave in if he did.
“Maybe it’s time you buried the past. You could kill two birds with one stone.”
She gave a dry chuckle. “That’s easier said than done.”
“Have a look at the case file when it comes in, you can decide then.” Available now at Awe-Struck Publishing! New release special 15% off!