The opening scene of Dark Deeds finds ghostwriter Megan Scott and investigative reporter Michael Elliott driving along an isolated country road at night. They put their busy work schedules on hold and are looking forward to a relaxing weekend with friends at a lakeside resort. But that’s not going to happen.
In setting the ambiance for my mystery novel, Dark Deeds, I established an ominous mood in the first few pages to give readers a feel for the rest of the story. Imagery as seen through Megan’s eyes is part of that process. In this excerpt, she shares her thoughts:
Towering trees on both sides of the road blended into the starless sky, obscuring defining lines. The night was as soundless as it was black. We might as well have been in the middle of nowhere.
A brief banter between Megan and Michael ensues, but their conversation is cut short by a sudden intrusion. The mood darkens and Megan reacts:
The sound of sirens crept up on us.
My heart beat faster.
A fire truck raced past—it red light flashing, tires spewing dust and stone pellets onto our windshield.
I flinched, raised my hand in a protective gesture.
Another unexpected sight raises the level of Megan's anxiety:
As we neared our destination, billows of white smoke rose above the trees to our left and vaporized in the air. My hand trembling, I pointed it out to Michael. “Isn’t that where we’re heading?”
“Yes, and it doesn’t look good.”
Megan and Michael’s worst fears are realized when they arrive at the resort owned by their friends, Jessica and Ethan. Again, as told through Megan’s point of view:
I froze. A fire truck’s light bar flashed on Jessica and Ethan’s two-story clapboard house, thick smoke and flames shooting upwards….
I had my hand on the door handle before Michael turned off the engine…
I jumped out and raced toward the scene, my heart thumping.
These excerpts build up to the first dilemma in the story—a threatening fire. My sleuths encounter many more predicaments—and get into a lot more trouble—when they discover a frozen corpse, search for a missing child, and hunt for an elusive killer.
One reviewer described Dark Deeds as “extremely well-plotted and punctuated with shocks … delivers great twists and turns.” Another reader described it as “a solid well-written, taut mystery.” I'm so happy to hear that readers enjoy my mysteries. It motivates me to keep on writing and doing what I love!
If you haven’t yet read Dark Deeds, you're in for a thrilling ride. Visit my Books page to find out where you can get your copy.