The Dark Falls, CO series
is a multi-author series set in Dark Falls, CO.
Bad things happen there,
but there are heroes that rise
when the darkness comes.
Follow the series to meet these heroes
and the heroines who claim their hearts.
Each book in the series can be read as a standalone, but readers may enjoy the series best if read from the beginning.
NY Times Bestselling Author
The last thing he needed was another cop in his life.
Growing up with his dad on the force was hard enough on Kemal. And with the shape his dad is in now, the last thing Kemal wants is someone around to remind his dad of his glory days as a detective in the Dark Falls PD. So when Eve Scanlon shows up with a lead in the one cold case his dad never let go, he’s going to make damned sure she doesn’t get his dad involved.
Eve doesn’t care what Kemal Goodwin wants or doesn’t want. She’s got a job to do and the body of a woman who vanished decades before, not to mention evidence of a child out there somewhere in danger. If Kemal thinks he’s going to get in the way, she’s got a wake up call for him. Her former mentor might be retired, but he knows this case better than anyone.
Solving a case with thirty-year-old evidence and not a whole lot of leads. Yeah, that’s hard. Dealing with the feelings for Kemal that she definitely doesn’t want and absolutely isn’t going to act on? That might prove to be damn near impossible.
This book opens with the find of a body related to a cold case. Eve’s retired partner Glenn had continued to work this case long after it went cold and until he retired.
Now Captain, Eve is reopening the case on new evidence and she needs to talk to Glenn. She hasn’t visited very often lately, her busy schedule has made that difficult. Glenn hasn’t been the same since his wife died and his son, Kemal doesn’t like her talking about the job but this time he doesn’t get the choice.
This is a favorite scene.
He stepped closer to her, using the height he held over her to his advantage. “He’s not the man you used to know, Eve. That man died with my mom.” He always made a point to remind her that she used to know his dad.
Normally, she’d backed off for a while. But she couldn’t back off today. Not this time.
Eve sometimes couldn’t believe the man Glenn’s son had become. There was a time she was welcomed here for Sunday dinners with the family. A time they all used to laugh around the table, taking a much-needed break from the hell she and Glenn were immersed in at work. Kemal was a different man then. Dahlia Goodwin’s death had left a gash so deep and so painful in this family, it was struggling to survive.
Still, today wasn’t a day when she could let him have his way. And she knew what it would take to get in the door. “Sorry, Kemal, but this can’t wait. We just identified the body of Samantha Greer.”
She didn’t need to tell him who Samantha Greer was or why it mattered to his dad.
He knew the name Samantha Greer as well as she did. Not because he’d known Samantha. Not because she’d been anything more than a runaway teen to him, but because his dad had never stopped looking for the girl the rest of the city had thrown away.
Glenn Goodwin had never forgotten the case. Twenty-one years hadn’t changed the fact he’d committed to bringing the lost girl home someday.
Kemal wasn’t swayed. “He’s having a bad week. Things will turn around in a few days. You can come back then.”
Eve tried to relax her jaw. Her dentist had told her she had to stop clenching it so tightly or he wouldn’t be able to undo the damage she was doing to her teeth. Let the man try dealing with Kemal Goodwin, then he could talk to her about meditation and relaxation.
“We’ve got a body now. We’ve got new evidence. Do you know what that means to a cold case? I can’t wait a week, Kemal. I need to move now.”
He crossed his arms over his chest. Was he really pulling this crap with her?
“Do you really want to do this? Do you need me to pull out my badge and remind you that it’s a crime to interfere with a police investigation?”
The anger that crept over his face was harsh, taking what had been dull, tired eyes and making them crystalline chips of granite.
Eve blew out a breath and softened her tone. “Don’t let your dad to read about this in the paper. How do you think he’ll feel when he knows I didn’t come straight o him with this the minute we found her?”
Kemal scrubbed his hands over his hair and then down the back of his neck, looking at the ground, not at her.
“I’m sorry, Kemal. If I thought it would be better not to tell him, I’d do that, but he needs to know this.”
He nodded, but didn’t speak. With a final breath out, he walked up the steps and unlocked the door, swinging it wide to let Eve enter first.
The house was dark and quiet. “He’s probably still in bed,” Kemal said quietly, moving past her. “I’ll get him. Help yourself to a drink in the fridge.”
He took the stairs two at a time and Eve made her way through the living room to the kitchen at the back of the house. She opened curtains as she went. The house was neat and clean, but she had a feeling it wouldn’t be if Kemal hadn’t moved in with his dad.
She put her fingers to the photos of Kemal’s mother that lined the hallway as she passed them. She had liked Dahlia a lot. It would kill Dahlia to see Glenn like this.
Eve started a pot of coffee. It was already past noon, but she could use it and she had a feeling Kemal and Glenn could too.
It was ten minutes before she heard them coming back down the stairs. She wasn’t prepared for seeing Glenn. Kemal was right. It wasn’t a good time. The man who’d always been meticulous about his clean-cut hair and shaved jaw was now sporting an ungroomed beard of a couple of inches and his hair looked like he hadn’t combed it in a week.
He wore sweatpants and a t-shirt and he tried for a smile when he saw her.
He glanced at the coffee pot. “Sorry, Eve. If I’d known you were coming, I’d have tried…” He seemed at a loss and she wondered if he was trying to figure out what he would have tried to do to prepare for her.
She moved to him and put a hand on his upper arm, giving a squeeze. “I never need you to put yourself out for me, Glenn. I’m sorry I stopped by without calling first.”
Eve didn’t mess around with any more niceties. She dove right in. “We recovered the body of Samantha Greer.”
She watched the blood drain from Glenn’s face. He closed his eyes for a second before opening them and sinking into one of the chairs at the counter island that took up much of the room.
“Where was she?”
“There’s a small cemetery on the upper west side of the city.” She could feel Kemal’s eyes on her as she spoke. He might be pouring coffee, but he was listening. “A grave was dug four days ago in preparation for a funeral. When the workers uncovered the plot the following day for the burial they realized it wasn’t as deep as it should have been. They hopped in to finish the job.”
“Wasn’t empty?” Glenn asked.
Eve accepted the cup of coffee Kemal handed her and sipped. The man made a damned good cup of coffee. “No. Someone had dumped a body and put enough dirt over it to cover it, probably hoping they’d just put the coffin in and fill it without noticing.”
Eve hated the look on Glenn’s face. He’d looked so long and hard for Samantha after her disappearance. She was a foster kid most people had written off as a runaway, but not Glenn. Eve had a feeling he’d always held out hope she would turn up somewhere, alive and well.
Glenn cleared his throat as if prepping himself for his question. “Cause of death?”
“Blunt force trauma to the head.” She took a deep breath. “Glenn, she didn’t die when she was fifteen. We’ve got a rock-solid ID from her dental records so we know it’s Samantha Greer, but she was somewhere in her late twenties or early thirties when she died.”
Glenn was struggling with the news and she didn’t blame him. The look on his face was haunted. “She was alive. We could have found her.”
Eve didn’t say anything. There wasn’t anything she could say that would alleviate the guilt he would carry over that. She could tell him he’d done all he could, and she knew that was the truth. He’d never given up. But there were some burdens words wouldn’t alleviate.
Glenn looked to her. “Where was she all those years? And where has her body been all this time?”
Samantha Greer had vanished twenty-one years ago at age fifteen. So, she’d been somewhere for ten to fifteen years before she died, give or take based on the pathologist’s estimate of her age.
“And where was her body before it was moved?” Eve asked, knowing he wouldn’t have any more answers than she did.
Glenn’s eyes flashed dark. “She wasn’t a runaway and this proves that, Eve. You need to fight to reopen this case and give it the attention it never got. She deserves that much. Hell, she deserves more.”
Eve raised a hand, palm out to stop him. He was one of the few people who could get away with talking to her like that, but still, his ire was misplaced. “We’re reopening the file. She’s got head trauma we need explained and someone dumped her body. There are things here that need answering. I’ll make sure that happens. In the meantime, can I call you when I have questions about the case?”
She saw Kemal stiffen but ignored him. He was wrong if he thought working on something like this was bad for his dad.
Glenn gave a curt nod. “Yeah. You can call me.
Lori Ryan. Dark Prison: Dark Falls, CO Romantic Thriller Book 9 (Kindle Locations 195-256).
In spite of Kemal’s protests, Glenn is going to help all he can with this investigation.
What Eve doesn’t expect is her almost overwhelming attraction to Kemal. I loved the internal battles they both seem to have.
As we learn more about this case we also get to see some of the hot racial topics that are in the news almost daily, these are handled with grace, dignity and truth.
Plenty of frustration and intrigue, laced with some family drama and a relationship that sizzles.
5 Contented Purrs for Lori!
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Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has fallen in love with writing.
She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.
She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.