A Crack in Everything: A Susan Callisto Mystery #1
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Susan Callisto is pushing thirty and taking stock. The man in her life, Massachusetts police lieutenant Michael Benedict, has unaccountably left her–without a word of goodbye. Wounded but full of pride, Susan wonders why: Is she cold? Curt? Is her humor too dry? Then she shrugs and puts him by. Who needs a moody piece of work like Michael, anyway? Certainly not Susan who is far too busy making the transition from lawyer to political consultant to bother about love. Except on lonely summer nights when even the dimmest stars seem to wheel across the sky and a thousand crickets make their silky clatter in the grass. Susan misses Michael then.
Her consulting firm caters to entry level candidates, and while business is good, money is short. Late in the season, political novice Charles Renfrow begs Susan to help him run for mayor of Telford. But Renfrow is a scientist not a politician, and his pockets are far too deep. Susan is tempted–Renfrow knows how to seduce–but her suspicions, if not her libido, are aroused. When a friend insists Renfrow’s biotech company is dumping deadly toxic waste, Susan decides to find out the truth before committing herself.
Instead of truth, she finds a corpse, Renfrow’s gorgeous assistant Torie Moran. The murder weapon is a microtome blade, razor-sharp and accessible to anyone at Renfrow’s lab. After Torie’s murder, violence shadows Susan and people close to her. She is attacked in her driveway. An elderly client is beaten and left for dead. The young daughter of a candidate is abducted on her way to play camp. All sticky strands of a web with her name on it, Susan fears.
Then Renfrow himself turns up dead. Was he was the spider, the liar, the pitiless master of cause and effect? The murders bring Michael Benedict back into Susan’s life, and when another of her candidates is charged, she elbows her way into Michael’s investigation.
Working on parallel tracks, Susan and Michael uncover trails no one else wants to follow. While he explores mountains, she unearths a daunting truth about little Delia Baird. In the nick of time, Susan swoops in and rescues Delia from the person she now reckons has killed Renfrow and his assistant. But she’s only half right. Susan confronts Renfrow’s real killer and barely escapes with her life.
A few days later, on a blue and gold afternoon in Truro, Susan and Michael pry open their hearts and start to fall in love all over again.