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Release Date: July 7, 2015
It's been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds's cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts her concerning a senator's missing granddaughter who was last seen in Logan Point, Livy notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. With self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of the self-assured PI, she's finding this investigation an uphill battle. But with the prospect of finding her cousin on the horizon, she'll have to find a way to work with Alex--before it's too late.
Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps you on the edge of your seat with a case--and a relationship--that is anything but certain.
"Patricia Bradley has hit a home run. The suspense is high, the romance is sweet, and the villain is one you want to see caught and brought to justice. Gone without a Trace, a novel of forgiveness and finding one's place in the world, brings home the point that while not everything in life may go the way you want, God is still in control. Can't wait for the next book!" -- Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Hidden Identity series
Enjoy this excerpt from the second chapter of Gone Without a Trace told by Alex Jennings, the hero of the story:
Alex Jennings examined the photograph his boss handed him. It looked like a selfie with the blonde-haired beauty staring confidently at the camera, her blue eyes wide and a saucy grin on her lips. His heart rate increased. His first big case. Maybe.
“Samantha Jo Woodson has been missing for two days. She didn’t show up for work Monday, but her boss waited until today before she called the emergency number the girl had given her.” Delores Mathis tapped her pencil on the massive oak desk that took up much of the space in her tiny office. Her Texas drawl drew the words out. “State Senator Robert Woodson has hired us to look into his granddaughter’s case.”
He scanned the information on the second sheet the owner of Mathis Private Investigations had handed him. “How did a spoiled, Texas debutante end up in Logan Point, Mississippi, working as a waitress?”
“That’s the fifty thousand dollar question.”
Dee was a big fan of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He glanced once again at the photo. “How old is she?”
He would’ve guessed eighteen.
“After her second year in college, she dropped out, said she wanted to go to Nashville and be a singer. Isn’t Senator Woodson your grandfather’s colleague?”
Alex nodded and unrolled the cuffs on the white dress shirt he’d worn this morning. Woodson served on the opposite side of the political fence in the Texas state legislature with Josiah Jennings. Although in their seventies, both men still wielded power in Texas politics.
“Your grandfather still bugging you to take the bar exam?”
“Oh, yeah. Neither he nor my father has let up the pressure. Which reminds me, I have a lunch date with the Senator.” He checked his watch. “In twenty minutes.”
“I wondered about the dress shirt this morning.” She smiled. “Do you want this case?”
Alex cocked his head, studying the woman he worked for. He’d met her three years ago when she came to the airfield where he gave flying lessons, looking for someone to fly her to Houston. He’d offered his services. On the flight he learned Dee was the sole investigator in the agency she’d started ten years earlier, this after spending twelve years as a Dallas homicide detective.
When they arrived at Sugarland Regional Airport, he’d been intrigued by this woman who looked like everyone’s Aunt Bea. Brown hair styled in a simple cut, nothing remarkable about her face—she would blend into any setting. That was her secret, she’d told him. No one ever saw her. He wanted to know more and offered to drive her around Houston since he was familiar with the city. They talked about the case she was working on, and he made a few observations, and she offered to hire him on the spot as a consultant.
Since then he’d worked several cases for her, never anything big or important, and he wanted to know why she was handing a case as big as this one off to him. “I figured you just wanted me to fly you to Logan Point.”
“Nope. It’s all yours since I have to be available to testify in court in the morning.” She made a face. “Probably all week and this case needs someone on it yesterday. There’s a small airport on the outskirts of Logan Point and a bed and breakfast nearby. I’ll call and see if you can stay there—just keep up with your expenses.”
A tremor ran through him. Maybe, if he solved this case, his grandfather would drop the campaign to get him to take the bar and join the family law firm. “As soon as I return from lunch, I’ll get right on this.”
“Well, for Pete’s sake, comb your unruly hair before you meet your grandfather.”
He smoothed his hand over his head.
“I meant with a comb.”
At exactly twelve-thirty, Alex walked through the back door of the estate where he’d spent most of his childhood after his parents’ divorce. Behind his back he carried a bouquet of daisies he’d picked up at the florist. Eloise, the family cook, turned from the stove.
“Alex, you’re one minute late. The Senator will be fit to be tied.”
“No, ma’am. I’m right on the money.” He pulled the flowers out. “For you, m’Lady.”
Red started at the base of her throat and rose to her cheeks. “Don’t know what you mean, bringing me flowers,” she said as she took them. “You ought to be finding some beautiful lady to give these to.”
He sniffed the air. “But she wouldn’t cook chocolate brownies for me.”
“Get out of here before your grandfather’s blood pressure starts going up.”
He laughed and kissed her fat cheek. “Going.”
His smile faded as he went through the dining room door and spied Josiah Jennings waiting in his usual place at the table. A stack of papers lay to the left of his plate. When he saw Alex, he glanced at his watch. “Not quite late,” he said.
“Good afternoon to you, too, Grandfather.”
Want to read more? You can keep reading the second chapter of Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley HERE.
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