The bestselling author of "You Can't Hide" delivers a heart-stopping suspense tale about a deadly arsonist with an appetite for destruction, and the veteran firefighter and homicide detective who are in pursuit. Original.
Rose cranks up the heat in more ways than one for recurring heroine Det. Mia Mitchell, last seen in You Can't Hide, to deliver another winning romantic mystery thriller. When a series of arsons turns out to hide a homicide, Mia teams up with Chicago Fire Department Lt. Reed Solliday to track down the firebug killer. Still reeling from her father's death and her last case, which landed her partner, Abe, in the hospital, Mia's not pleased to be teaming up with someone new-especially with Abe's assailant still on the loose. Reed has his doubts as well, suspecting that Mia isn't ready to be back on assignment. As the investigation proceeds and the two divulge their troubled pasts, they find themselves warming to each other-just in time for Mia to become the next target for the flame-happy madman. Rose's characters aren't exactly fresh-she's the tough-but-vulnerable cop's daughter, he's the gruff-but-lovable heavy-but Rose gives them plenty of room to develop as the tense procedural escalates. Emotional subplots, engaging secondary characters and a string of red herrings will keep readers hooked. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Thrilling and suspensful
Posted August 19, 2009 by Regyn , AzleI'm hooked. I absolutely couldn't put the book down and wanted more once I finished it. Perfect balance of suspense, thrills, and romance.
Can wait to start Die for Me
Grand Central Publishing
January 31, 2007
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Excerpt from Count to Ten by Karen Rose
Saturday, November 25, 11:45 p.m.
A branch slapped the window and Caitlin Burnette's jaw clenched. "It's just the wind," she muttered. "Don't be such a baby." Still, the howling outside was unsettling, and being alone in the Doughertys' creaky old house wasn't helping. She dropped her eyes back to the statistics book that was responsible for her being alone on a Saturday night. The party at TriEpsilon would have been a hell of a lot more fun than this. Noisier, too. Which was why she was here, studying the most boring subject in the quiet of a boring old house instead of trying to study with a party going on all around her room.
Her stat professor had scheduled an exam for Monday morning. If she failed it, she'd fail for the semester. If she failed one more class, her father would take away her car, sell it, and use the money to take her mother to the Bahamas.
Caitlin ground her teeth. She'd show him. She'd pass that damn test if it killed her. And if she didn't, she had nearly enough money in savings to buy the damn car herself or maybe even a better one. The money the Doughertys were paying her to take care of their cat was chintzy, but enough to put her over the top and--
A different noise had her chin jerking up, her eyes narrowing. What the hell? It came from downstairs. It sounded like... a chair scraping against the hardwood floor.
Call the police. She had her hand on the phone, but she drew a breath and made herself calm down. It's probably just the cat. She'd look pretty stupid calling the police about a twenty-pound, overly pampered Persian. Plus, she really wasn't supposed to be here right now. Mrs. Dougherty had been clear about that. She was not to "stay over." She was not to "have parties." She was not to "use the phone." She was to feed the cat and change the litter box, period.
The Doughertys might get mad and refuse to pay her if they found out she was here. Caitlin sighed. Besides, word would get back to her dad and wouldn't he just have a field day with that? All over a stupid fluffy cat named Percy of all things.
Still, it didn't hurt to be careful. Quietly Caitlin moved from the spare bedroom the Doughertys used as an office to the master bedroom where she pulled the small gun from Mrs. Dougherty's nightstand drawer and disengaged the safety. She'd found the gun when she was looking for a pen. It was a .22, just like she'd shot dozens of times at the range with her dad. She descended the stairs, the gun pressed against the back of her leg. It was pitch black, but she was afraid to turn on a light. Stop this, Caitlin. Call the cops. But her feet kept moving, soundless on the carpet, until two steps from the bottom, a stair creaked. She stopped short, her heart pounding, listening hard.
And heard humming. There was somebody in the house and they were humming.
The screech of something heavy being dragged across the floor drowned out the humming. Then she smelled gas.
Get out. Get help. She lurched forward, stumbling when her feet hit the hardwood floor at the base of the stairs. She fell to her knees and the gun flew from her hand, skittering across the floor. Loudly.
The humming stopped. Desperately she made a move for the gun, grasping for it in the dark, her hands frantically patting at the cold hardwood. She found the gun and scrambled to her feet. Get out. Get out. Get out.
She'd taken two steps toward the door when she was hit from behind, knocked to her knees. She tried to scream, but she couldn't breathe. Together they slid a few feet before he pushed her to her stomach, lying on top of her. He was heavy. God, please. She struggled but he was just too heavy. In a second he twisted the gun from her hand. His breath was beating hot and hard against her ear. Then his breathing slowed and she could feel him grow hard on top of her. Not that. Please, God.
She clenched her eyes closed as he thrust his hips hard, his intentions clear. "Please let me go. I'm not even supposed to be here. I promise I won't tell anyone."
"You weren't supposed to be here," he repeated. "How unlucky for you." His voice was deep, but fakely so. Like a bad Darth Vader imitation. Caitlin focused, determined to remember every last detail so that when she got away, she could tell the police.
"Please don't hurt me," she whispered.
He hesitated. She could feel him take a breath and hold it, as time stood still. Finally he let the breath out.
Then he laughed.
Sunday, November 26, 1:10 a.m.
Reed Solliday moved through the gathered crowd, listening. Watching their faces as the house across the street burned. It was an older, middle-class neighborhood and the people standing outside in the cold seemed to know each other. They stood in shock and disbelief, murmuring their fear that the wind would spread the flames to their own homes.