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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

☀ Student Bodies: Delilah Price [2] - Susan Israel

Thank you for joining us on the Release Celebrations and Virtual Book Tour for Student Bodies, a Mystery by (, Fiction Studio Books, 183 pages).

This is the second book in the Delilah Price series.

Don't miss our interview with author Susan Israel.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below. Read the first three chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

Author Susan Israel will be awarding a copy of Student Bodies to three 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 excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).


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

Synopsis

Delilah Price is still dealing with the consequences of her recent abduction, but she needs to keep her life on track. In order to survive as an artist in New York City, she has started working as a substitute teacher, which leaves her navigating between two worlds that are foreign to her – students and educators.

Detective Patrick Quick has taken up a big place in Delilah's life. That is, when he isn't consumed by a case. And right now the case that is taking Quick away from Delilah involves a serial rapist and is striking very close to home.

On her way to her first day of work, Delilah witnesses a young girl falling in front of a subway train – or was she pushed? The victim turns out to have been a student at the middle school where Delilah has been assigned to teach and the teacher she is subbing for is a missing person herself. As Delilah gets to know her students and befriends a teacher on staff, she realizes that many have been hiding dark secrets that suggest abuse and worse. And when yet another girl who has hinted strongly that she was abused is a no show to class, Delilah stops counting on police help and follows leads on her own. Putting a dangerous predator on her trail.

The dramatic follow-up to Susan Israel's début suspense novel, Over My Live Body, Student Bodies is a novel rippling with tension and twists.

Teaser: Excerpt

2


The newspapers are full of it. LAST DANCE blares the headline of the Post. The victim Quick told me about was a principal dancer with the City Ballet, sidelined by an injured Achilles tendon, which made it all the more difficult for her to get away from the man who savagely attacked her last night, leaving her for dead in the gutter. Was it the same man who attacked all those other women in the East Village? Was it the same man who attacked Sachi?
     The door to the stairwell leading up to Sachi’s Prince Street apartment is propped open with a cinder block when I get there. I kick it aside with my foot so the door will lock after me and climb the stairs to the second floor, then stop to compose myself before climbing the next flight. I haven’t seen or spoken to Sachi in months. I don’t even know what I’m doing here. When my friend Morgan was in trouble, I rushed to be by his side. Something Sachi refused to do for me. She’d be better off calling the crisis hotline. Still here I am, in body if not entirely in spirit. I’m a sucker.
     The door to Sachi’s apartment is open too. She might as well put out a welcome mat: Come one, come all. The apartment looks like a set designer’s idea of a crime scene; end tables upended, an arm torn from a brocade chair, broken dishes on the floor. I rap on the jamb. “Sachi?” A terrifying thought possesses me and I step back a few feet. What if the rapist came back for seconds? What if he’s inside now? “Satch?
      ” I holler, my voice loud enough in its panic to alert other neighbors of a potentially precarious situation.
      Sachi struts out of the bathroom wearing a simple black slip dress, her head wrapped in a towel.“Were you here long? Sorry. I just got out of the shower.”
      “And you left the door open?”
      “Every part of me was ripped open,” she says briskly, like she’s talking about an envelope. “What more can he do?”
      “A lot more.” I shake my head at her. “You’ve been to the hospital already then...”
      “Uh, no.” She rubs her scalp with the terry towel, avoiding my stare. “I didn’t report it yet.”
      “Sachi, you’re not supposed to shower or be washing your hair or anything like that; you just washed a whole lot of evidence down the drain.” I don’t have to be involved with a cop to know that basic fact of life.
      She lifts a corner of the towel and peers at me. “I want you to go with me,” she says in a tremulous baby voice. “I didn’t want to go alone to tell some cop what was done to me.” She wrinkles her nose at the word cop as much as at the recollection of what was done to her.
      “What was done to you?” I know this has to be asked eventually and as much as I’m not sure I want to hear it, I know Sachi’s going to have to tell it again and again and again. She might as well start with me.
      “Oh...” she blows her nose into the towel and drops it on the floor. “You name it.”
      I look around the room again. “Here?”
      “No,” she shakes her head. “Not here. Right down the street. You know where there’s this Italian bakery with an open stairwell...he grabbed my ankle and pulled me down the stairs and did it to me there.”
      “What happened here?”
      “I did that.” She kicks aside a shard of glass and slides her feet into Birkenstocks that she had evidently kicked across the room in her rage.
      “Where’s...uh...your boyfriend?” I can’t remember if she ever even told me his name.
      “Tom? Your guess is as good as mine.”
      Problems in paradise. No wonder she called me. I never met the mystery man she dumped her friends for, so I couldn’t even begin to guess where he is now that he dumped her, if that’s indeed the case. “Satch, I’m going to call the police. Where’s the phone?”
      She grabs my wrist. “Can’t it wait till we get to the hospital? I just want to make sure he didn’t give me a disease.” She wrinkles her nose again. I can’t believe this is all she’s worried about. Like all they have to do is shoot her up with antibiotics, as a prophylactic, and everything will be fine—really, she can make like nothing ever happened to her.
      “The hospital’s going to notify the police anyway, Satch. It’s up to you whether you file a complaint or not, but they’re going to want to talk to you. There’s a serial rapist and he killed someone last night.” Not exactly the whole truth, since Quick told me that ABC wasn’t being considered a suspect for that, but Sachi needs to come clean. She’s coming to the hospital too clean, actually. I wonder how much evidence that shower destroyed. “I’ll stay with you if they let me and I think they will.But in the meantime, I still think we should call the police before we go, so they can go over to the crime scene.” I pick up the phone and automatically press the numbers for Quick’s extension.
      “They probably won’t find anything there. I told you, he just did it to me on the stairs...”
      A woman answers the phone. “Everybody’s out of the office right now,” she says when I ask for Quick. “If this is an emergency, I can page him or have someone else help you.”
      “I want to report a rape,” I say. Sachi flinches.
      “Address?” I tell her. “Where on Prince Street?” I tell her. “You want the First Precinct,” she tells me. I’m not so sure about that. I remember some of the other detectives Quick worked with at the First before he was transferred and I want to talk to him before Sachi has to talk to them. “Could you page Detective Quick and tell him Delilah called and that I’m going to be over at the hospital with the victim and I’ll call him from there?”
      “I don’t know when he’ll be back.”
      “Ask him to call me at the hospital in about an hour.”
      “Which hospital did you say you’re bringing her to?”
      I cup my hand over the mouthpiece and hiss at Sachi. “You’re not worried about getting pregnant from this, are you?”
      She shakes her head. “I’m on the pill.”
      “Beth Israel,” I say. “Tell him to call the emergency room there. Tell him it’s not me—that he doesn’t have to worry—just to call me there as soon as he can. Please.”
      “Who’s that you called?” Sachi gives me the once over, like she’s suddenly acknowledging there’s a lot she doesn’t know about what’s been going on in my life. Even in a state of shock, Sachi has to be in the know.
      “Detective friend of mine. He wasn’t there. He’ll call me at the hospital. Let’s get going.”
      “I don’t want to talk to any males about this.”
      “I’ll talk to him, Satch. They have female detectives to handle this sort of thing, I’m sure.” I wait for Sachi to lock the door. The tumbler clicks without a hitch. I would have dropped my keys five times by now if not more, had this happened to me. “Want to show me where it happened? So I can tell the police where to look, at least?”
      She points down the street to a bilious green wrought-iron rail. “Down there.”
      I walk down the block and look down the stairwell, then back at Sachi, who looks bilious herself.“Pretty close to home. Did he take anything from you?”
      “Aside from the obvious?”
      “You know. Money. ID stuff, anything with your name and address...”
      “He was only interested in one thing and he took it. Can we go now, please?”
      I shepherd her away from the scene of the crime and toward Sixth Avenue. “Come on, it’s not that far,” I coo. I can’t say, “It’s not going to be that bad.” I don’t know how bad it’s going to be. An M5 bus hisses to a stop past Houston and I gently shove Sachi up the stairs ahead of me. Her fingers fidget in her purse. “I can’t find my MetroCard...”
      I dig into my fanny pack for all the change I can scoop and drop coins on the floor and into the box all the way to First Avenue.

Student Bodies
Available NOW!

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The Series: Delilah Price

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

Over My Live Body [1]

Delilah Price is accustomed to people seeing her naked. As a nude model – a gig that keeps food on the table while her career as a sculptor takes off – it comes with the territory.

But Delilah has never before felt this vulnerable.

Because Delilah has an admirer. Someone who is paying a great deal of attention to her. And he just might love her to death.

The debut of a shockingly fresh voice in suspense fiction, OVER MY LIVE BODY will work its way inside of you.

[Published 1 June 2015, 264 pages]

About the Author

Susan Israel lives in Connecticut with her beloved dog, but New York City lives in her heart and mind.

Her first novel, OVER MY LIVE BODY, was published by The Story Plant in 2014.

A graduate of Yale College, her fiction has been published in Other Voices, Hawaii Review and Vignette, and she has written for magazines, websites and newspapers, including Glamour, Girls Life, Ladies Home Journal and The Washington Post.

She’s currently at work on the third book in the Delilah Price series.

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Giveaway and Tour Stops

Enter to win one of three copies of Student Bodies by Susan Israel. US Residents may have their choice of eBook or Physical and worldwide winners will receive an eBook copy.
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