Title: The Longest Silence by Debra Webb
Shades of Death Series Book Five
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 336 pages
A killer stole her voice. Now she’s ready to take it back. Don’t miss the chilling Shades of Death series from USA TODAY bestselling author Debra Webb.
Joanna Guthrie was free. She had been for eighteen years—or so she needed everyone to believe. What really happened during the longest fourteen days of her life, when she and two other women were held captive by a dangerous serial killer, wasn’t something she could talk about. Not with him watching. Not unless she wanted to end up like the ones who didn’t make it out.
But when more women go missing in an eerily similar manner, Jo knows her prolonged silence will only seal their fates. She’s finally ready to talk; she just needs someone to listen. FBI special agent Tony LeDoux can’t deny he finds Jo compelling—he’s just not sure he believes her story. But with the clock ticking, Jo will do anything to convince him, even if it means unearthing long-buried secrets that will land them squarely in the crosshairs of the killer…
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Tuesday, April 10, 11:16 a.m.
The god-awful sound wouldn’t go away. Like an earthquake shaking the whole damned townhouse, the noise splitting his skull.
Former Special Agent Anthony LeDoux cracked one eye open. Sunlight poured in through the slits in the blinds and he snapped his eyes shut once more. What idiot designed bedrooms facing east? Better question, what idiot rented a townhouse with a bedroom facing east?
A rusty groan growled out of him. You did, Tony. Special agent… Yeah right.
He should probably get up. Maybe eat something so he wouldn’t lose any more weight. Maybe even do something worthwhile like look for a job. His brain ached with the weight of the thought.
What the hell time was it? One hand tunneled from under the sheet and pawed across the bedside table until he found his cell phone. Once his fingers wrapped around it, he dared to raise his head from the pillow. Pain abruptly throbbed in his skull like a series of IED blasts.
“Shit.” Despite the agony, he forced his eyes open and peered at the cell phone—11:20 a.m. “Christ.”
Before he could drop the phone back onto the table it vibrated. So that was the infernal noise that had awakened him. Even with the phone in his hand the noise was like a blender full of rocks roaring on high speed. He stared at the screen until the caller’s identity came into focus.
Oh hell. Tony cleared his throat and said hello aloud a couple of times just to make sure he sounded normal and not hung over before answering. “Hey, sis. What’s up?” Didn’t help. His voice sounded rusty and cracked twice.
He sat upright, the room rocking like a boat about to capsize. Plowing a hand through his hair, he prayed his head wouldn’t explode before he got through this conversation. “What’d she do? Drop out of school?”
His niece had been the perfect angel from the day she was born until high school. It was as if the day she turned sixteen she wanted to make up for lost time. The girl had given her conservative parents pure hell the past three years. As Angie’s only sibling, Tony had been the sounding board for the worst of the awful episodes. Thankfully things had been mostly quiet since Tiffany left for college. He’d hoped she had grown out of her wild stage.
A sob echoed in his ear and his heart reacted. “Ang, what’s going on?”
He stood. Swayed some more before he could steady himself. It wasn’t until then that he noticed the blonde in his bed. Her bare ass and rumpled mane were the only parts not covered by the tangled sheet. What the hell was her name? Chelsea? Chanel? Fuck! He couldn’t remember.
“She’s missing, Tony,” Ang said in his ear. “My girl is missing.”
A hint of fear roiled in his belly. He turned away from the blonde, who hadn’t moved. “Okay, sis. Take it from the top. Tell me what happened.”
As Angie spoke, he put her on speaker and left his phone on the table while he searched for his jeans and shirt. When the blonde still didn’t move, he leaned close and listened for any sign of breathing. She smelled of expensive perfume and high-octane vodka. Her soft purrs confirmed she had survived whatever the hell they’d done last night.
“We wanted her to come home for spring break,” his sister went on, “but she had other plans. She wouldn’t say what or with whom. Said it was none of our business and that we’d hear from her when she got back. So we thought maybe she had a boyfriend. Maybe a serious one. But ever since spring break she’s been distant. I called her every day last week and she never answered or called me back.” More of those heart-twisting sobs resonated in the room.
Tony hopped on one foot and then the other to tug on his jeans. “Is she showing up for class?”
“She was in class on Friday, but she didn’t show up for any of her classes yesterday or this morning.”
“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute.” The room spun a little so Tony sat down on the bed. The blonde moaned but didn’t move. He picked up the phone and took it off speaker. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s not even noon, Ang. Maybe she’s just late. She could be on her way back from a weekend trip right now.” His niece had hardly been out of pocket long enough to overreact. Ang did that sometimes. She was particularly emotional when it came to her only child.
“No. No, I spoke to her roommate. Tiffany didn’t—”
“Ang, listen.” He rubbed at the back of his skull. Damn, his head hurt. The taste of bile and vodka climbed up his throat. He swallowed it back. “She’s nineteen and trying out her wings. Wait and see… She’ll show up sometime today. Just try to stay calm.”
“You don’t understand!”
Her sister’s raised voice was like a bullet to his brain, he flinched. He needed something for this headache. Angie was older—only by fifteen months—and she never let Tony forget it. As calmly as he could, he said, “Explain it to me then.”
DEBRA WEBB is the award winning, USA Today bestselling author of more than 130 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency, and the Shades of Death series. With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood on a farm in Alabama.
Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads
I am giving away ONE PRINT copy of The Longest Silence (contest open to US Addresses ONLY). To enter the giveaway, please fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Monday February 19th:
Please Note: Prize courtesy of Harlequin and/or Debra Webb. Giveaway open to US Addresses ONLY. Winner will be selected by random.org. The novel will be sent to the winner by the publisher or author. Not responsible for lost or misdirected mail.
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