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Sunday, 15 May 2016

☀ The Murder That Never Was: Forensic Instincts [5] - Andrea Kane

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for The Murder That Never Was, a Psychological Thriller by (, Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC, 391 pages).

This is the fifth book in the Forensic Instincts series, which you can discover below.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below.  Read various excerpts with Amazon Look Inside.

Author Andrea Kane will be awarding a digital copy of The Murder That Never Was to six randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.  

Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).


Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Synopsis

Given the opportunity, would you assume someone else's identity and leave your old life behind? A serendipitous crossing of paths between two women leaves one of them dead and the other a fugitive— hiding behind one lie after another to escape a cold-blooded killer.

A 16-year-old female gymnast’s dream of Olympic gold is shattered when the “supplement” she has been taking turns out to be a designer performance enhancing drug.

Her trainer, Julie Forman, is furious at the people who victimized her star pupil, and goes on a personal crusade for the truth. That crusade is interrupted by a serendipitous crossing of paths between Julie and Lisa Barnes, a down-on-her-luck woman seeking a job. This chance meeting lands one of them six feet under and the other hiding behind one lie after another.

In a twisting tale of medical research gone awry, bodies are piling up between Chicago, New Jersey and Vermont as a megalomaniacal genius will stop at nothing to eradicate the research error and everyone involved.

Teaser: Excerpt

from

CHAPTER TWO


Downtown Chicago, Illinois
May 14th
Three days earlier…


Julie Forman couldn’t believe how quickly her luck had changed.
      Just as she was about to fulfill her dream of buying her own gym with the inheritance her parents had left her, just as she had made huge strides in helping sixteen-year-old Shannon Barker move one step closer to realizing her Olympic dream, everything had turned to shit.
      Shannon had been counting the days until her birthday—and not for the same reasons most sweet-sixteeners did. She’d wanted to become eligible for the US women’s gymnastics team.
      Julie was just Shannon’s personal trainer, albeit at the hard-core gym Training Elite, which was Julie’s second place of employment. Specifically designed for athletes with a purpose, the gym—located just a couple of miles away from Designer Fitness—was the complete antithesis of the latter. No Pilates, aerobics, spin, or yoga classes. Just pushing to the max, sweating, and moving up level by level, working toward a competitive goal. Julie worked with Shannon on comprehensive strength and cardio training, catering her workout to a professional gymnast’s needs. Shannon was at Training Elite six days a week religiously, training for three hours in the morning and two in the evening.
      In addition to that, Shannon’s daily highest-level workouts were conducted at the Apex Olympic Gymnastic Center, which was one step away from officially training at one of the three United States Olympic Training Centers.
      Her manager/coach was Yuri Varennikov, who was practically a celebrity in the world of Olympic-training gymnastics. He was all about blistering hard work, discipline, and results. He managed Shannon’s upcoming career, pushed her to the limit, and turned her over to Jim Robbins, top-notch trainer to professional athletes. Jim’s job was to mold Shannon into the star she wanted to be. He did everything, from stretching her to perfecting her technique on every piece of gymnastics equipment. He seemed to know just how much his pupil could take, because Shannon always rose to the challenge.
      In the past few months, Julie had truly started to believe that Shannon had a real shot. Her strength and her endurance had peaked. And, having watched Shannon train with Jim, Julie could see that her form and skill had peaked right along with them.
      Julie’s star pupil was on the brink of something wonderful.
      Until three days ago, when the whole world had shifted.
      Shannon had run into Training Elite wearing a shoulder brace, tears streaking her cheeks. She’d begged Julie to talk to her alone.
      They’d gone into Julie’s small private office and shut the door.
      “Honey, what’s the matter? What happened?”Julie had been truly alarmed—and not only by the injury. The young girl had been sobbing and shaking and running trembling fingers through her hair again and again. She could barely catch her breath, she was sobbing so hard.
      “It’s over,” she gasped. “My whole life.Everything. It’s over.”
      A chill shot up Julie’s spine, and she sucked in her breath. “How did you get hurt, and what did the doctor say?” she forced herself to ask calmly.
      “During practice. I tore my rotator cuff.”
      “Okay. Okay. Let’s try to calm down. That’s going to set you back. But it’ll heal, Shannon. Even if it requires surgery, it will heal.”
      “No, it won’t.” Shannon began sobbing anew, dropping into a chair and covering her face with her hands. “The X rays showed that the rotator cuff muscles and tendons are really weak and not likely to repair well. But it’s worse than that. They ran more tests and an MRI. They say that my heart muscles are enlarged. They say that whatever is wrong will weaken my heart function over time.”
      “Cardiomyopathy,” Julie murmured, feeling her stomach turn over.
      Shannon’s head came up. “Julie, I’ll never compete. Never. They told me so. It’s over. Just like that. It’s over forever.”
      Julie’s breath was coming fast, and her mind was racing. She walked around and wrapped an arm around Shannon’s good shoulder, holding her while she wept. Her thoughts converged on the most likely cause of this sudden and severe situation. She hated sounding accusatory, but she had no choice.
      “Shannon,” she asked quietly. “Have you been taking anything? Any performance-enhancing drugs?”
      Shannon didn’t answer.
      Julie squatted down so she could stare directly into her student’s eyes. “Tell me the truth. I’m not here to judge you. I want to help you.”
      Shannon’s lips quivered. “There is no help for me. My life is over. I just want to die.”
      “Did you take something, Shannon?” Julie repeated.
      Shannon reached across Julie’s desk with her good arm, plucked a tissue from the box, and blew her nose. “He said they weren’t drugs. They were all-natural supplements. I Googled the name of them, at least the one he gave me, and it was exactly what he said. They were helping me so much—building up my stamina, building up me. I felt great. I was training great. Julie, I was ready. And now this…”
      “He?” Julie repeated. “Who is he?”
      Shannon was silent for a moment. Then she whispered, “Jim.”
      Julie tried to hide her shock. Jim? Jim Robbins?Shannon’s Olympic trainer and trainer to so many other professional athletes? “Jim Robbins has been giving you supplements?” Supplements, my ass, she thought silently. They were PEDs. “For how long?”
      “Ages. And they’ve been working great. I never thought…”
      Julie rose and wiped her own tears away. She wanted to beat that man senseless. How in God’s name could he have given a young girl PEDs under the guise of supplements, knowing full well what they could do to her? How many other athletes had he done this to? And why the hell didn’t someone know about it?
      “Shannon,” she said gently. “Who else knew about the supplements?”
      Shannon shook her head from side to side. “No one. Jim told me to keep it between us, because other people might misunderstand and think I was taking steroids. So I did.” Her eyes narrowed on Julie’s face. “But they were PEDs, weren’t they? They had to be. Supplements don’t destroy a person’s body like that. Oh my God.” A fresh batch of tears. “I’m going to go right back there and confront him. I’m going to tell him that…”
      “No, you’re not,” Julie interrupted. “Jim is a despicable man. I don’t think it’s safe to threaten him.” Julie took Shannon’s hands in hers. “I want you to trust me. I’m going to take care of this. I’ll find evidence to bring Jim down without endangering you. You’ve suffered enough. Just rest your shoulder.Follow the doctor’s orders. And call Phyllis Hawke.”She grabbed a Post-It and scribbled down her name and number.
      “Who’s that?” Shannon sounded like a lost child.
      “A therapist. She works with young women in situations just like yours.” Julie paused. “Wait a day or two until I speak with your parents and get their permission.” Julie knew damned well that she would be calling the Barkers the instant Shannon walked out her door.
      “They’ll give it to you. They’re so worried about me. That’s why they let me come to you now. They knew you’d understand. This was my dream, my everything. I have nothing left.”
      “Yes, you do. I know you don’t believe me now, but there’ll be a new dream one day. I promise you.In the meantime, please, just do as I say. Promise me you won’t go to Jim.”
      “I promise,” Shannon said woodenly. Her eyes were filled with disbelief and devoid of hope. “I couldn’t face him, or anyone, right now anyway.” A pause. “My parents think I should take time off from my schoolwork and just rest.”
      “I agree,” Julie said. Shannon was home-schooled and, in addition, had a personal tutor. It was the only way for her to get an education in between the rigorous hours of training.
      “I don’t care about school. Honestly, Julie, I don’t care about anything.”
      Julie was fighting with everything in her to stay calm. “That’s how you feel now. And it’s completely justified. It’ll change. I promise.” Julie turned her head and glanced out the window. “Is your driver here?”
      A nod. “He drove me here. And he’s driving me straight home.”
      “Good.” Another squeeze of her hands. “I’ll visit you tomorrow. In the meantime, just rest. Don’t think. Don’t plan. Just let yourself feel what you need to feel. If your parents agree, I’m sure Dr. Hawke will see you right away. She’s a compassionate and understanding woman. You can trust her to listen and to help you.”
      “Okay,” Shannon said in a small voice.
      “I’ll walk you to the car.”
      Julie led Shannon through the gym and to the waiting chauffeur. She wouldn’t let Shannon put herself in harm’s way.
      But Julie herself was another story. No one was going to hurt this wonderful, joyous young girl, strip her of her hopes and dreams, and get away with it.
      She was going to get the proof she needed and lock the bastard away.

The foregoing is excerpted from The Murder That Never Was by Andrea Kane. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC.

The Murder That Never Was
Available for Pre-Order NOW!  Out on 17 May 2016!

purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads

The Series: Forensic Instincts

A dynamic, eclectic team of maverick investigators continue to solve seemingly impossible cases while walking a fine line between assisting and enraging law enforcement.  The first showcase of their talents came with the New York Times bestseller The Girl Who Disappeared Twice.

Recruited because of their special talents and dynamic personalities, the high-energy members thrive on blatantly disregarding authority.  Armed with skills and talents honed by years in the FBI and Special Forces, and with training in behavioral and forensic psychology, this unstoppable team solves seemingly impossible cases while walking a fine line between assisting and enraging law enforcement.

|| [1] || [1.5] || [2] || [3] || [4] ||

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.


The Girl Who Disappeared Twice [1]

Your little girl has been stolen.  How far would you go to get her back?

One hour ago Hope Willis’s daughter got into a car identical to her mother’s. A stranger’s car. It took less than 10 seconds for the locks to close. A team on the outside of the law is the only hope. But they demand absolute truth and dark secrets are lurking.

A twin sister snatched 32 years ago, a safe packed full of dirty money, a sordid affair one parent will do anything to keep secret.

I'm scared. I don't know where I am. I keep calling your name, but you don't come. Where are you Mummy? Please come.

[First published 01 January 2004; this edition 15 July 2011, 394 pages]


Lockdown [1.5]

**FREE on Kindle Unlimited**
A picture perfect, beachfront wedding in Hawaii is shattered when a deranged, gun-wielding man bursts into the chapel, taking the bride and her young son hostage. The maid-of-honor, Claire Hedgleigh, Forensic Instincts' resident psychic, stays behind to help her best friend. In a twist of fate, FBI agents Sloane Burbank and Derek Parker are honeymooning at the same hotel, and take charge of the hostage negotiations while law enforcement is en route.

Sloane, Derek, and Claire are in a race against time as a brittle personality with nothing to lose stands in the way of happily-ever-after for all.

[First published 29 May 2012 in the 2012 anthology "Love is Murder"; this edition 9 April 2016 , 25 pages]

The Line Between Here and Gone [2]

The man she loved is gone forever.

The child she lives for could be next. Each day is a struggle for Amanda Gleason’s newborn son as he battles a rare immune deficiency. Justin’s best chance for a cure lies with his father, who was brutally murdered before Amanda even realised she carried his child. Or was he?

One e-mailed photo changes everything, planting a seed of doubt that Amanda latches on to for dear life: a recent photo of a man who looks exactly like Paul. Could Justin’s father be alive? Or worse, could Amanda be about to uncover a shocking truth that transcends her own family’s darkest secrets? A truth that could change lives forever…

[Published 3 August 2012, 392 pages]

The Stranger You Know [3]

College-age girls with long red hair are being brutally murdered, posed like victims in a film noir. Each crime scene is eerily similar to the twisted fantasy of a serial offender now serving thirty years to life – a criminal brought to justice with the help of Casey Woods and her investigative team, Forensic Instincts.

Call.

Kill.

Repeat.

But the similarities are more than one psychopath’s desire to outdo another.

As more red-haired victims are added to the body count, it becomes clear that each one has been chosen because of a unique connection to Casey… Now the Forensic Instincts team must uncover the identity of a serial killer before his ever-tightening circle of death closes in on Casey, the ultimate target.

As the stalker methodically moves in on his prey, his actions make two things clear: He knows everything about Casey. And he won't stop until she’s dead.

[Published 1 October 2013, 363 pages]

The Silence That Speaks [4]

Who wants Madeline Westfield Dead? And why?

Forensic Instincts' first order of business is to find out who's targeting their client. Under the leadership of Casey Woods, the investigative team has the resources to do just that, working inside the law–and outside it. FI's strength is its members, among them Casey's associate Marc Devereaux, former navy SEAL and a man who's equal to any situation.

Except maybe this one…

Madeline's case hits too close to home for Marc. She's the only woman he ever loved, and she's his only weakness. Now a nurse at Manhattan Memorial, she's terrified because someone is trying to kill her. So she turns, reluctantly, to Marc and FI for help and protection.

Meanwhile, Manhattan Memorial is in turmoil. With a merger in the works, the staff is still haunted by their hospital administrator's sudden death–during heart surgery performed by Madeline's ex-husband, Conrad. A surgery at which Madeline was present. The killer seems to blame both Madeline and Conrad…

With a growing list of suspects–including the grieving widow and a string of scorned lovers–Forensic Instincts will have to figure out who has the greatest incentive to get rid of Madeline. And FI has to work fast to save her…before she's permanently silenced.

[Published 1 May 2015, 332 pages]

About the Author

Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including thirteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles.

With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger.  As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.

Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller.  She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including No Way Out, Twisted, Drawn in Blood, and the Forensic Instincts series.

Kane's beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart's Desire, Samantha, The Last Duke, and Wishes in the Wind.

With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.

Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family.  She's an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan.  Otherwise, she's either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

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