EXCERPT: Killing Season by Faye Kellerman

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A year ago after Ellen Vickburg went missing, and on the anniversary of her death, her younger brother discovered her body in a ditch by the river. Now nothing will stop Ben Vicksburg from finding his sister's killer — not the police, not his age and not the wall he just hit in his investigation. Ben thinks all of his work is for naught until the new girl at school, Ro Majors, helps him see previously unknown connections in his case.

The closer Ben and Ro get to the truth, the closer they are to danger ...

Begin reading Killing Season by Faye Kellerman below — and if you need more of this 5 Star Gold, then enter our grab bag for a chance to win a copy!

No wonder the South lost the war.
No one could tolerate this kind of sweltering heat, with afternoon temperatures rising above the hundred mark and humidity off the scale—blistering and relentless. It was the kind of heat that charred the lungs and seared the skin. It burned his eyes and cracked his lips.
In the city, the people around him kept apologizing: telling him that it was a heat spell, that usually the humidity wasn’t this bad, and that it usually cooled down at night. But the night was just as hot, with radiant heat coming from the asphalt in shimmering waves. The road had been periodically illuminated as he drove to the woodlands, but once inside the miles of untamed terrain, it was black as tar. And sticky. From where he stood, drenched in sweat, he was miserable and tired and dealing with a multitude of bugs.
Mosquitoes, the palmetto bugs known to most as cockroaches, and the clouds of gnats. The forest hummed with bugs especially since he was near water. The insects were merciless: buzzing his ears, dive-bombing his nose and mouth. And the chiggers, clinging to his socks and trousers, smelling the salt and sweat, waiting for the hem of his pants to ride up or the tops of his socks to fall down to sink their teeth into his flesh.
Because of his heavy dress, his tools, and his knapsack, he was overloaded. He was having trouble breathing. He was having trouble moving. He had always been steady and meticulous. He had always been painstaking. This time, he was just plain sluggish.
Too bad because he wanted to relish the final phase of his handiwork. Tonight, if he was smart—and of course he was very smart—would be the last time he went digging.
Tonight should be the last time. Tonight needed to be the last time.
Except for the tedious niggling fact that despite his best efforts, things hadn’t worked out perfectly. And that preyed upon him more than the heat, humidity, or any of the carnivorous insects.
Sweat in his eyes, dripping off his nose. He was clothed head to toe, from shoe covers to his hat: a living sauna.
He plodded on.
Hunting for the right spot that was clear enough, close enough, and soft enough. Lugging the shovel over his shoulder, he had to squint hard to see the flashlight beam, giving him barely enough illumination in the smothering darkness. Using his ears, the sound of the river as his guide. 
He was getting too old for this. After this, he would stop. He had to stop.
He paused, took a deep breath in and out. Put down his knapsack and opened the front pocket. He took out his measuring tape and cordoned off the spot—a perfect three-by-five. He’d go four feet deep, maybe more if the ground was soft enough. It would take him hours to get it right. It would take him all night. He would finish before daybreak.
Always finish before the sun came up.
He plunged the shovel into the ground. The crypt had to be precise.
He’d be back to fill it up.
For the last time.
Absolutely chilling! To get your hands on the rest of Killing Season, either enter our grab bag or pre-order from one of these retailers: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Indiebound
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