Intense, Provocative, Addictive: Susanne Lee Matthews’ The White Carnation

The White Carnation

Evil exists in the world, and Susanne Lee Matthews captures its horrors in an exquisitely crafted, gripping romantic suspense, The White Carnation, first in The Harvester Series. I found the book intriguing, and the suspense chilling. Faye Lewis and Detective Rob Halliday are swept into the labyrinth of danger presented by serial killers and secretive cults, and their escape is never a given. Author Susanne Lee Matthews shares details with us:

Blurb For The White Carnation

The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.

For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée.

Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?

The White Carnation will be available April 20, 2015. For buy links, please visit http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/

 

Excerpt:

Twenty minutes later, the unmarked police sedan pulled up behind the black and white outside the brownstone. The paramedics were parked farther along the street, just ahead of the police car, reducing traffic to a single lane. The coroner’s van pulled up behind them. Rob got out and approached the coroner.

“Amos, I didn’t expect to see you here so soon. I called for a bus, not the meat wagon.”

“Paramedics were nearby so Logan got here quickly. He radioed in—exsanguination due to a lacerated throat. He’s still up there. Nothing he can do for the victim, but your fiancée is taking it hard.”

“The victim was like a second mother to her.”

Your fiancée—Amos’s words were true once, but never again. There was no way Rob would hitch his wagon to a woman who could believe he’d betray her like that, a woman who’d put her job so far ahead of him, he’d barely been on her radar at times. The sex had been great, but love was supposed to be more than that. Still, she’d reached out to him. He took the stairs to the brownstone two at a time, his lean, muscular body having no problem with the climb. He flashed his badge at the officer who stood guarding the door. “Anyone showing any interest?”

“No, Detective. According to the concierge, the people in number five are in Europe, and I don’t think the rest of the residents are home from work yet. Looks like a robbery—the place has been tossed pretty good—and there’s no damage to the door, so she must have let them in. Logan says her throat’s been slit from behind.”

“Where’s Ms. Lewis?”

“In the living room with Logan. He wanted to take her to the ER—claims she’s in shock. I told him she had to stay put until you arrived. He’s pissed at me. Says I’m interfering with his job. He seems pretty friendly with her. I heard she’s some big shot investigative reporter.” He chuckled. “Some crime reporter—she’s puked a couple of times already.” He continued to laugh. Rob’s face must have reflected the anger moving to the surface because the guard choked it off.

“Rick Logan is one of the best paramedics we have. For the record, McMillan,” Rob read the nameplate on the policeman’s uniform, “the next time he says someone has to go the ER, you’d better damn well listen to him. And as for Ms. Lewis, the victim was a personal friend. It’s different when the victim’s someone you know.” His voice was clipped, his displeasure obvious.

Rob turned and entered the apartment. He’d learned the need to remain objective in order to do the job properly, but as he’d told the young officer, it was different when it was personal. Not only had the victim been an acquaintance, Faye was in there. He swallowed and tried to find the emotional distance he needed.

The place was a mess, just as the officer had said. He looked around quickly, his trained eye taking in everything in an instant—the wallet on the table, money on the floor mixed with the victim’s blood, the take-out bag, Faye’s purse and its scattered contents. Whatever this had been, it hadn’t been a routine robbery. Someone had been looking for something other than the usual snatch and grab items, so what were they after? What could Mrs. Green have that was worth dying for?

He found Faye sitting on the living-room sofa with Logan. Her face was red and blotchy, her blue-green eyes mascara-rimmed from her tears, and her clothing disheveled and covered in blood. She stood and moved forward, stopping before she reached him. Wrapping her arms around herself, she looked young and vulnerable, not a bit like the bitter, angry woman she’d been the last time he’d seen her.

new picture of me

About the author:

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Follow Susanne on her:  Website    Blog    Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page

Susanne always provided a bonus, for those who want to know more. Why not meet one time crime reporter Faye Lewis before you dive into her chilling story:

 

Meet Faye Lewis:

Creating three dimensional characters the reader will identify with is a challenge faced by most authors, including myself. For Faye to be “real” to the reader, she had to be “real” to me. I wanted my readers to love her, identify with her, and care about her and her struggles the same way I did.

Faye Lewis, the heroine in The White Carnation, Book One of The Harvester Series, is named after my best friend, and in writing the story, I tried to give Faye Lewis those qualities I admire most in my friend. With apologies to the real Faye, I’ve tortured my heroine, but she’s a fighter, and believe me, she gets her happily ever after in the end.

So what kind of person is Faye Lewis?

Dedicated: Faye’s an aspiring journalist who’ll do whatever it takes to get the story. She’ll work long hours, and make whatever personal sacrifices are necessary on the way to her ultimate goals—a Pulitzer Prize and the number one spot on the crime beat at Boston’s most prestigious newspaper.

Caring: She has a soft spot for underdogs, and befriends those who are marginalized by others. She also jumps to help those who ask for her help. She accepts people at face value, but if you get on her bad side, forget it. She can and does hold a grudge.

Knowledgeable: Faye’s intelligent and well-read, and has done a lot of research on a number of different topics in her quest for the truth in reporting her story, and her search for the story that will win her that Pulitzer Prize.

Perceptive: She has the ability to look at a number of seemingly disconnected points and pulling them together so that they make sense. She’s invaluable to Rob as they try to solve the Harvester case.

But, in order to be well-rounded, Faye also has her faults.

Stubborn: When Faye thinks she’s right, nothing can make her change her mind.

Distrustful: Due to her father’s behavior, Faye expects to be let down by people. She doesn’t trust anyone, not even the man she purported to love.

Quick-tempered: Irish to the roots of her chestnut hair, she loses her temper quickly, jumps to conclusions and says things she regrets almost as soon as she’s said them.

When the story starts, Faye has two fears: clowns and electrical storms.

The White Carnation is available now from most major e-retailers. Visit my website http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/  for direct purchase links to this and the rest of my books.

About Leslie P Garcia

A well-intentioned principal posted my first story, Ricky and Tricky's Christmas, when I was six years old, condemning me to a life spent writing. I've lived on the Texas-Mexico border for what is now most of my life, am an educator, mother, and grandmother.
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