Detective Katie Scott #4
Half-buried in the muddy earth and surrounded by puddles of water lies the naked body of a beautiful young girl. Her pale skin looks like porcelain in the early morning light. Her fragile arms bent and crooked like a broken doll.
When Detective Katie Scott is called to the discovery of a young girl buried on the grounds of a former children’s home in Pine Valley, California, she’s hopeful it’s the end to a devastating cold case she’s been working on. No one has seen Candace Harlan since she ran away from Elm Hill Manor five years ago. Her death will be a tragedy, but it will also bring peace to those who miss her most. But the girl in the ground is not Candace.
The victim is almost identical to Candace in every way, but fear grips Katie as she takes in the black ink that decorates the girl’s back—a terrifying message tattooed on her skin after she drew her last breath.
Forcing down traumatic memories of losing her own parents, Katie is certain someone mistook this poor soul for Candace, and that this crumbling home for lost girls is at the heart of this terrible crime. She sets to work digging into the tragic history of the owners who lost so many children of their own and tracking down the last six residents and the staff who cared for them—but no one wants to talk, let alone remember.
The next day, as second girl’s body is found down by the creek at high water, the same words etched into her skin. Katie’s worst fear is confirmed: someone is picking off the last of the Elm Hill girls one by one. But what does the tattoo mean? And what monster would target these innocent girls who have already been through so much?
Katie must dig deep to confront her own fears and protect the vulnerable—but as the body count rises further, will there be anyone left to save?
When and where do you prefer to write?
I can write almost anywhere. But, I prefer to write in my home office where I can keep my time and writing more structured. I find that I’m very productive keeping it simple in a comfortable setting.
Do you have a certain ritual?
Once I grab some breakfast and wake up, I feed and take care of my dogs. I don’t drink coffee (I know some of you think I’m crazy) so I find my way to my office and then I begin writing for the morning block.
Do you like a drink or something to nibble on while you write?
I generally don’t eat anything while I work (too many crumbs on the desk), but I always have water or iced tea nearby.
Do you consider writing a different genre or do you already do that?
For the most part, I write crime, mystery, and thriller. I love these genres, but I’m thinking about writing a historical fiction and even horror.
What is/are your favourite book(s)?
So many titles to list, but I can name a few that made an impression on me. When I was young I loved Nancy Drew mysteries, Call of the Wild, and Island of the Dolphins. As I got older, I loved anything with a mystery. Agatha Christie novels are amazing—that was one clever author. It drove me to write mysteries.
Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
I don’t base characters on someone I know—but rather—my characters are combinations of people I know, people I’ve met, and people I’ve observed.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I think it would be extremely difficult to co-write a book, but if I did, it would be my favorite author Jeffrey Deaver.
Do you take a (digital) notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
No I don’t have a digital notebook, but a small paper notebook I jot down ideas when it comes. It could be an idea for a character, scene, or title.
Which genre(s) do you not like at all?
I really don’t dislike any genre, but I generally don’t read chick lit or erotica.
If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I love this question. It’s difficult to choose just one foreign country but I would say Italy and Spain. Not only would it make a great background for a story, but the locations and food would be an added bonus.
Thank you, Jennifer Chase and Pump Up Your Book
About the author
Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells.
In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.