Calculated Risk

Calculated Risk

by Denise Tiller
     
 

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Newport Beach, California actuary Liz Matthews discovers counting dead people for a living can be murder when the bodies start multiplying.

Liz builds her life around things she can count on: numbers, her father, and her cop boyfriend Jack. Order is disrupted when she literally stumbles upon the latest victim in a string of brutal rapes.

As she helps and

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Overview

Newport Beach, California actuary Liz Matthews discovers counting dead people for a living can be murder when the bodies start multiplying.

Liz builds her life around things she can count on: numbers, her father, and her cop boyfriend Jack. Order is disrupted when she literally stumbles upon the latest victim in a string of brutal rapes.

As she helps and befriends the rape victim, order continues to unravel when she receives a shocking phone call from her mom. The mother she'd told everyone was dead. Not only that, Mom wants Liz to find Liz's half-sister. Trouble is, Liz didn't know she had a half-sister.

But first, Liz finds a freshly dead body, then uncovers a twenty-year-old murder. A Mardi Gras mask connects the serial rapist, her missing sister and the murders. Armed with a black belt in mathematics, she uses intuitive and analytic skills to unearth a trail of blackmail and betrayal. Meanwhile her relationship with Jack splinters and even more bodies turn up that need counting

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587520174
Publisher:
Timberwolf Press
Publication date:
06/28/2003
Edition description:
5 CDs
Product dimensions:
6.46(w) x 6.24(h) x 1.07(d)

Read an Excerpt

"Krystal doesn’t live here. The divorce is almost final."

He ushered me to the master bedroom and flicked on the lights. "Watch this." He pressed a button on a console by the waterbed and the draperies slowly opened, revealing the beach and ocean. My eyes felt as big as my fiber-enhanced chest.

He dimmed the lights. "You can see better now."

I nodded and allowed myself a bit of envy. He pressed another button and the big screen TV came to life. He switched it off and turned on the music. New Age sound surrounded us. "Can you see why the kids come here?"

"Yeah. I could almost move in myself."

"But you haven't seen the best part. Lay on the bed."

Dim lights, soft music. How blonde did he think I was? "No way. You're married and I've got a boyfriend."

He held up his hands. "I'm flattered, and as much as I'd love to seduce you, it's not that. You should see this."

Just to keep him quiet, I crawled on the bed, pulling at the hem of my little black dress to keep the rating PG. The water sloshed and he pointed up. The mirror in the ceiling reflected my image back at me. Andre slipped in on the other side and we rocked in his wake. "You like it?"

"I don't know." I fanned my hair out on the burgundy and gold velvet bedspread and posed. He was close enough so that I could smell his cologne and I watched his reflection carefully. "I've never had a desire to see myself do it. Anyway, this is earthquake country. I don't want to turn into a pin cushion when the big one hits."

"What the hell's going on here!"

It hit. Jack stood in the door. The bed rocked violently as I scrambled out. "It's not what you think."

He glared at me, then Andre. "We'll talk outside."

No one takes that tone with me, or jumps to such gigantic conclusions. I stomped down the stairs after Jack. Hal Peters tried to stop him in the living room, but Jack waved him off and walked out the door. When my high heels sank in the sand of the beach, I struck first. "How dare you embarrass me like that?"

His jaw dropped. "What? You were in bed with a man."

"But he was just showing me the mirror in the ceiling. Jesus, give me some credit."

"Credit? You want credit for that?" He slapped his forehead. "Why the hell do you think he was showing it to you?"

A woman screamed and a sharp crack of a gun sounded over the noise of the surf. Jack drew his weapon and ran. A woman lay bleeding in the alley beside the house. A man was running away. He stopped at the corner, spun, and fired. Jack took the shot in the chest. He went down and rolled against the house.

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