Read One Deadly Sin Online

Authors: Annie Solomon

Tags: #FIC027110, #Fiction, #Romance, #Suspense, #Sheriffs, #General

One Deadly Sin

BOOK: One Deadly Sin
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The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Copyright © 2009 by Wylann Solomon

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Forever

Hachette Book Group

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New York, NY 10017

Visit our Web site at
www.HachetteBookGroup.com

www.twitter.com/ForeverRomance

Forever is an imprint of Grand Central Publishing.

The Forever name and logo is a trademark of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

First eBook Edition: May 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-55191-5

Contents

Copyright Page

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Author’s Note

ACCLAIM FOR ANNIE SOLOMON’S PREVIOUS NOVELS

DEAD SHOT

“Solomon’s psychologically rich romantic thriller balances grisly imagery with tender moments and is entertaining, through and through.”

—Booklist

“Gripping… Solomon’s characters are convincing and compelling… good suspenseful fun.”

—Publishers Weekly

“A riveting and edgy romantic suspense that you’ll want to read in a single sitting.”


BookLoons.com

“4 Stars! A creepy edge of danger threads through the story… fascinating. Solomon and suspense are a perfect match!”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

“Compelling… The plot is well-written, the action fast-moving, keeping the reader in suspense to the last page.”


MyShelf.com


Dead Shot
is a thrilling romance that is full of intrigue and emotion. Once I started… I just couldn’t put it down. The characters are wonderfully written and it was a nonstop thrill ride… This is a definite must-read if you are looking for an intense read with some romantic tension.”


RoundtableReviews.com

“An exciting romantic suspense thriller… Annie Solomon hooks her audience with the first spilled blood and never lets go until the final
Dead Shot
reckoning occurs.”


TheBestReviews.com

“Will have your heart skipping beats… Filled with tension in every sentence and a plot that just keeps accelerating and getting more intense by the second.”

—Shelflife

BLACKOUT

“4 Stars! Fantastic story!… Tough, suspenseful, and we have a heroine who is even tougher than the special agent hero. Whew! Never a dull moment. Solomon has outdone herself this time, and that’s not easy to do.”


RomanceReviewsMag.com

“Twisty and diverting, with well-written action sequences.”

—Publishers Weekly

“4½ Stars! Hooks you from the first page and never lets you go… dangerous and riveting. Rising fast to the top of the romantic suspense genre, Solomon doesn’t disappoint.”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

“Talk about edge-of-the-seat! I have never read a book with such relentless suspense… A superb example of showing over mere telling of a story. I highly recommend
Blackout
.”

—Romantic Reviews Today

BLIND CURVE

“4 Stars! Riveting and emotionally intense.”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

“A perfect ten… nail-biting, intense drama that will leave you breathless with anticipation.”


MyShelf.com

“Annie Solomon does such an outstanding job creating taut suspense. From the very first page… to the riveting climax, you can’t help but be glued to the story.”


RoundTableReviews.com

“An action-packed novel… a feast for suspense fans, and the added mixture of romance… another winner for an author who clearly has a gift and is on the rise.”


TheRomanceReadersConnection.com

TELL ME NO LIES

“Infused with raw emotion and a thirst for vengeance. Excitement and tension galore!”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

“Full of simmering emotions that lovers of romantic suspense will devour.”

—Rendezvous

“Another success! Miss Solomon’s latest novel is a testament to her gift for crafting intelligent, sexy novels.”


RomanceReadersConnection.com

DEAD RINGER

“Just the ticket for those looking for excitement and romance.”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

“An entertaining… exceptional… emotionally taut tale… offers twists and turns that kept me enthralled to the last page.”

—Old Book Barn Gazette

“Thrilling and edgy…
Dead Ringer
delivers excitement, suspense, and sexual tension… Highly recommended.”


RomRevToday.com

LIKE A KNIFE

“A nail-biter through and through. Absolutely riveting.”

—Iris Johansen

“Fast-paced… exciting romantic suspense that… the audience will relish.”

—Midwest Book Review

A
LSO BY
A
NNIE
S
OLOMON

Like a Knife

Dead Ringer

Tell Me No Lies

Blind Curve

Blackout

Dead Shot

To Mimi, Sundra, Lindsey, and all the rest

at Panera’s West End. Thanks for the coffee and

the warm welcome every morning.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I’d like to thank all who helped get this book into proper shape, particularly my agents, Kelly Harms and Christina Hogrebe, and my editor Michele Bidelspach.

As always, my appreciation goes to Agent Pat Hamblin of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for all her help with the criminal justice system. Also to Lieutenant Doug Whitefield of the Wilson County Sherriff’s Office for his tour of the Wilson County Criminal Justice Center’s jail, including a trip in the “pickle suit.” Thanks for all you two do to keep us safe.

To Stephanie Floyd for introducing me to wildman “Panhead” Phil Hipshire, whose help with the world of motorbikes was invaluable.

To my writing pals, Trish Milburn and Beth Pattillo, who read some of the early drafts, and picked me up when I was down, thanks for being there.

Finally, to Larry and Becca, who are always along for the ride, whether it’s bumpy or smooth, I couldn’t do it without you.

1

S
he came at night, creeping into town like a shade. Darkness suited her. It evoked the past, that black hole of fury and mystery. Recapturing it required dark arts.

There was irony, arriving at midnight. Pulling into the cemetery at the traditional witching hour, leaving the street lights behind. She inched forward, navigating through stars, those pinpricks of light. And memory.

The stars were out that night, too, long ago when the doorbell clanged and shattered the silence into before and after. She’d heard it through her bedroom door when she should have been asleep. But who could sleep with her father accused and missing, her mother an inconsolable machine of tears?

She remembered the darkness through her window, the moon a sly smile in the sky, the black a background against which the grown-up voices rumbled below.

And then her mother’s scream.

Unhuman, animal, a throat ripped out, a universe hacked and splattered into pieces. A sound so feral the memory of it still gave her shivers.

No one screamed now. Nothing broke the silence but the hum of her wheels rolling down the winding cemetery road, a path between graves.

At last she slowed. Stopped. Turned off the engine.

And picked her way over the dead to her destination. The last thing she’d seen in this town. The last image of home. Now, it was the first thing she’d see on her return.

The black angel.

She swept a penlight over the sculpture. Remembered the gargoyle face seen with ten-year-old eyes. Twenty years later she saw the face was meant to be kind. But it was overshadowed by massive wings that spanned up and out, looming over the headstone like a vampire bat.

There had been hot arguments over that angel. Even banished to her room, she could hear her mother and her aunt fighting.

“It’s frightening. Unholy,” her aunt had said. “A mark against his name.”

“They put the mark there, not me.”

“They who?”

“I don’t know!”

“You can’t do this, Evelyn.”

“It’s done.” Her mother’s voice was harsh and strained. “It stays until the stain is gone. Until I can prove it.”

Until I can prove it.

Poor Mother.

There had been no proving. It was all too hard, too heavy. Like life itself.

She bent down, ran her fingers over the headstone. Mud had dried and caked over the words cut into the marble. She found her penknife and scraped it away, blowing to clear the residue.

Charles Swanford.

Hello, Daddy.

She traced the rest of the inscription, not needing to see it because it was incised in her memory.
Beloved husband and father.
And the quotation:
They make haste to shed innocent blood.

BOOK: One Deadly Sin
12.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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