From the Publisher
“A pulse-pounding, page-turning, absolutely can't-put-it-down roller coaster ride of a read! Get ready to stay up all night.” #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner on Blood Vines
“Blood Vines is as mysterious and delicious as a fine cabernet…TOP-NOTCH SUSPSENSE.” Linda Castillo, New York Times bestselling author of Sworn To Silence
“A fast-paced, intense story that's hard to put down.” RT Book Reviews (4 stars) on Blood Vines
“SPINE-TINGLING.” Star Magazine on Breakneck
“A GRIPPING STORY that unfolds with breakneck speed, heart-quickening suspense and characters you can't help but root for.” Bookreporter.com on Breakneck
“TOP PICK! Filled with well-developed, multidimensional characters, Spindler's latest boasts fast-paced action and emotional tension…. The intricately woven plot makes this novel a sure winner for readers who like to keep guessing all the way to the end.” RT Book Reviews on Breakneck
“A MUST READ. In this gripping new thriller, we are introduced to a tough, new detective duo set to take the crime fiction world by storm…a great read.” Evening Telegraph (UK) on Breakneck
“BREAKNECK SUSPENSE...Breakneck is a taut thriller, which proves Erica Spindler is still a master of suspense. With adrenaline fused prose, you will find yourself sitting up into the wee hours unable to put the book down until you reach the very last page.” Ulster Tatler (Ireland) on Breakneck
“A FIRST-CLASS THRILLING READ...Breakneck grabs the interest immediately and never lets go. This is a timely and enthralling piece of work, and has a message for all computer users.” Fresh Fiction Review on Breakneck
“Erica Spindler never disappoints...Breakneck literally moves at breakneck speed.” Reader to Reader.com on Breakneck
At the start of this gripping romantic suspense thriller from bestseller Spindler (Blood Vines), someone bashes in the head of elderly Father Girod at New Orleans' Sisters of Mercy Catholic School and Church. The unknown killer also spray-paints the church's stained-glass windows with the words: "He will come again to judge the living and the dead." When Det. Spencer Malone questions Mira Gallier, who restored the church's stained-glass windows after Hurricane Katrina six years earlier and still mourns her husband, Jeff, who perished in that catastrophe, the police detective has to wonder why she appears more distraught by the vandalized windows than by Father Girod's death. As the body count rises, Mira becomes one of the chief suspects in the murders. Meanwhile, Jeff's best friend, Connor Scott, returns to New Orleans, and Mira, who can't stop thinking about Jeff, feels guilty about her attraction to Connor. The plot takes numerous twists and turns until reaching the startling conclusion. (June)
Mira Gallier, who restores stained glass, is getting on with her life after losing her husband to Hurricane Katrina. Then a man called the Preacher assails her, her house is broken into and one of her restored windows vandalized, her husband seems to appear in a crowd, and she's blamed for the grotesque murder of an assistant. If you like them really chilly, this is for you.
Read an Excerpt
New Orleans, Louisiana
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
He had been alone so long. Among the living but not of them.
Mary had come back for him. They’d been together all those many years ago, separated by his father’s will and the whole screwed-up, broken-down world.
But that was the past. She was again within his reach, and this time they would not be torn apart.
It had begun.
He climbed the stairs to his grandmother’s bedroom, treading softly, careful not to wake her. Moonlight crept around the edges of the closed drapes, creating bright knifelike slivers on the dark stairs.
He knew these steps so well he could climb them blind. How many hundreds of times had he carried up a tray of food or drink first for his mother, struck down while still so young, now for his grandmother?
He peeked in at her sleeping form. She lay in her bed, head propped up on pillows, coverlet tucked neatly around her. He wrinkled his nose at the smell—of age and illness. She’d become so frail over the past months. So thin, not much more than skin and bones. And weak. Hardly able to lift her head.
Unable to fight him off.
He frowned. Now, why had he thought that? He loved his grandmother; he owed her his life. When his mother had passed, she’d sacrificed everything to raise him. For these past twenty-two years, she had supported and guided him. She had believed in him. In who he was and who he was meant to be.
He shook his head, clearing it. He had told her about Mary’s return. They’d argued. She’d said terrible things about Mary. Ugly, hateful things. Each word had pierced his heart.
But in this, his love for Mary, he would not be swayed.
He crossed to the bed. The jagged moonlight fell across her torso and onto him. He lifted his hands into the light, spreading his fingers.
Blood staining his hands.
The blood of the lamb. Splattering on impact.
He blinked at the clearly spoken words. He looked behind him at the empty room, then down at his sleeping grandmother. “Who’s there?” he asked.
You know me. I am the one who’s always with you.
“Father,” he whispered, “is it you?”
Yes, my Son. What troubles you tonight? It has begun. You should rejoice and fear not, for through the Father the Son will be glorified!
“One of your Holy ones, Father. I had to. He came upon me so suddenly—”
A martyr. He will be remembered, sanctified for his role on this day of new beginning.
At his Father’s words, certainty washed over him. Renewed purpose and peace. “Yes, Father. It is indeed the day you foretold and the one I have awaited. I’m in your hands, Father.” He bowed his head. “I am your servant. Direct me.”
Leave the old one now. Remember, only one can stand beside you.
Yes. Her moment is coming as well.
He eased one of the bed pillows from behind his grandmother’s head. He gazed down at her, drinking in her face, emotion swamping him. What would he do without her?
Tears stinging his eyes, he plumped the pillow and bent and carefully replaced it, cautious not to awaken her.
He pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Good night, Grandma. Sleep well.”
Copyright © 2011 by Erica Spindler