Once You Go This Far by Kristen Lepionka

Once You Go This Far

Once You Go This Far by Kristen Lepionka (Roxane Weary Series, Book 4)
English | 2020| Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 3.4 MB

Once You Go This Far is the fourth thrilling mystery from Shamus Award-winning and Anthony and Macavity Award-nominated author Kristen Lepionka.

Junior-high school nurse Rebecca Newsome was an experienced hiker-until she plummeted to her death at the bottom of a ravine in a Columbus metro park. Her daughter, Maggie, doesn’t believe it was an accident, and Rebecca’s ex-husband is her prime suspect. But he’s a well-connected ex-cop and Maggie is certain that’s the reason no one will listen to her. Roxane quickly uncovers that the dead woman’s ex is definitely a jerk, but is he a murderer?

As she pieces together the days before Rebecca died, what Roxane finds doesn’t quite add up. From a series of trips to Detroit and across the border to a casino in Windsor, Canada, to strange calls from Rebecca’s home to a charismatic political candidate, to a women’s health organization, to a secretive church group that seems to have more information about its members than it should, Roxane needs to figure out how everything is connected before a dangerous secret gets someone else killed.

I glanced down at her hands; her left sported a modest wedding set. “Is there someone we can call for you?” I said.

She pulled a phone out of her handbag and promptly dropped it on the concrete. Blotches of red had appeared now on her ashen cheeks. “My husband is on his way. He’ll know what to do. I can’t believe this.”

After that, Stacy led her back inside the ER and I took a turn with the dog’s leash. I was on the lookout for Maggie’s husband, James, who was en route from Findlay, where he worked two days per week for some petroleum company. I hoped the dog would like him better than it seemed to like me. While it low-key growled from its place under the bushes, I scrolled through my phone and read a series of apology texts from Andrew about standing me up. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but I wasn’t in the mood to reassure him.

James Holmer was bookish and flushed, dressed in a brown Carhartt jacket over a burgundy polo shirt and khakis. I knew who he was from the way he rushed past me, then noticed the dog snarling from the bushes and turned back. I said, “James?”

He stopped and stared at me from behind his frameless glasses. “Where’s Maggie?”

“She’s inside.”

He didn’t ask me who I was, just proceeded into the emergency room.

I sat for a while on a concrete bench. Eventually a Delaware County sheriff’s deputy approached the door and we had a rather perfunctory conversation about what had happened. Then he went inside, and a few beats later James Holmer came back out. “You’re still here.”

I held up the leash.

“Thanks for watching him.” He tugged on the leash and the dog came forward skittishly, whining now. “Let me put him in the car. Sorry you got stuck here—hopefully you were on your way out of the hospital, not in.”

“No worries. I was actually at the park. I talked to your mother-in-law, briefly.”

“Oh.” He looked up at the grey-white sky over the lenses of his glasses. The dog strained against the leash, trying to retreat to the safety of the bushes, but James ignored it. “Wow. Did she say what happened?”

“No, this was before.”

James nodded, his eyes drifting down to the dog. “Did you see what happened?”

“I didn’t.”

“I hope she didn’t trip over him,” James said, nodding at the dog. “He’s always underfoot. I’ve tripped over him already once this week—she’s been staying with us. Maggie’s due date is tomorrow.” His expression hardened, probably as he realized how the birth of his child would be, one way or another, affected by what had happened this morning. He cleared his throat. “Okay, well, thanks again, for your help.”

“Of course.” I found a business card in my wallet and gave it to him. “If you need to reach me for anything.”

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