Where Evil Waits

( 6 )

Overview

"Kate Brady's debut novel is everything romantic suspense should be: scary, sexy, pulse-pounding, and page-turning. Remarkable characters, pitch-perfect pacing, and a memorable villain make One Scream Away a standout book. A winner."
— Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author on One Scream Away

SHE'LL RISK EVERYTHING
Special prosecutor Kara Chandler is very good at her job, so good that a homicidal ...

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Overview

"Kate Brady's debut novel is everything romantic suspense should be: scary, sexy, pulse-pounding, and page-turning. Remarkable characters, pitch-perfect pacing, and a memorable villain make One Scream Away a standout book. A winner."
— Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author on One Scream Away

SHE'LL RISK EVERYTHING
Special prosecutor Kara Chandler is very good at her job, so good that a homicidal mastermind vows to kill her and everyone she cares about. Desperate to save herself and her son, Kara seeks out cartel hit man Luke Varón. The last time she dealt with Luke, she saw him beat the system and escape prison. But now, the most dangerous man she's ever met is the only one who can keep her alive.

HE'LL STOP AT NOTHING
Luke Varón isn't who he appears to be. After spending years in the criminal underworld, he seeks redemption . . . and revenge. Yet when he sees the fear in Kara's eyes, he can't walk away. People around her are being murdered, and only he can help uncover the killer's motive. Now as danger closes in, Kara and Luke must trust each other with their darkest secrets - before the evil in their lives destroys them both.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/13/2014
Villain Sasha Rodin narrates alternating chapters in the intense sequel to Where Angels Rest, but watching him plot against the heroine only increases the tension as corpses pile up. Sasha’s diabolical plot comes at Atlanta ADA Kara Chandler out of left field as he begins murdering people she loves, including her husband. She suspects that only her own demise will end the killings and protect her son, Aiden, so she calls on Luke Varón, a skilled and resourceful hit man, and asks him to help her fake her death. The crook is highly skeptical of the public servant, but mutual mistrust isn’t enough to keep the pair out of the sack, as Kara and Aiden flee and Sasha pursues. Despite a couple of plot holes big enough to throw a cadaver through, Brady delivers a decent dose of suspense with a solid twist ending. (Mar.)
USA Today (Happily Ever After) on Where Angels Rest
"If you enjoy a dark, pulse-pounding thriller Where Angels Rest is a highly recommended read."
RT Book Reviews
"A well-crafted plot and strong tension lie at the heart of this story. Add to that quick pacing, edgy suspense and a few unexpected twists, and Brady's latest is a page-turner."
From the Publisher
"A well-crafted plot and strong tension lie at the heart of this story. Add to that quick pacing, edgy suspense and a few unexpected twists, and Brady's latest is a page-turner."—RT Book Reviews

"If you enjoy a dark, pulse-pounding thriller Where Angels Rest is a highly recommended read."—USA Today (Happily Ever After) on Where Angels Rest

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455502066
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 134,262
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Brady is a RITA Award winning author, choral director, university professor, wife, mother, and caretaker of a variety of furry, feathered, and scaly pets. She lives with her family in Georgia, where she is currently at work on her next novel.

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Read an Excerpt

Where Evil Waits


By Kate Brady

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2014 Kate Brady
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4555-0206-6


CHAPTER 1

Seventeen years later ...

Thursday, June 20, 7:03 p.m.

Atlanta, Georgia


Louie!"

Kara Montgomery Chandler shouted from deep in her gut but Louie didn't hear her. Damn it. She wasn't far away but the space between them churned with noisy fans, security guards, and vendors selling everything from chili dogs to stuffed tomahawks. Streams of humanity poured toward the gates at Turner Field, with Louie and the boys sucked into the current trying to make it to their seats before the first batter came up.

Seven minutes from now.

Kara's heart beat faster. Dear God, she had to stop them. She had to stop the killing. That thought washed over her in a wave of horror. Nausea rose to her throat and her fingers clenched her cell phone—the keeper of gruesome, inconceivable horrors. She swallowed back bile, struggling to wrap her mind around what was happening. After a year of weird mysteries, a shocking reality had emerged: Her husband had been murdered. Others were dying. All because of her.

Look what you've done.

She closed her eyes, willing it to be a dream. Please, let me wake up. Let it not be happening.

Someone bumped into her and she stumbled. "Sorry, lady," the offender said, grabbing her arms. Kara looked down, checking her hand. Her phone was still there, clamped in white knuckles. No, it wasn't a dream, it was real.

So catch Louie. Hurry.

She bullied down the panic and pushed to higher ground, scanning the veins of people flowing toward the turnstiles. A flash of red hair bobbed in the crowd.

"Aidan!" she shouted. He stopped and turned, fans edging past him as he searched out the voice. His shoulders slumped and a minute later he and his friend Seth separated from the crowd and moved upstream toward her.

"Mom," Aidan groaned. Fourteen years old, and out with the guys. The last person he wanted to see was his mother. "What are you doing here?"

She forced a smile. Keep calm; don't scare him. "I need to talk to your uncle Louie."

Louie came up between his own son and Aidan. "Wait here, boys." He took Kara's arm and walked her several yards out, where the crowd had thinned. "I told you we'd talk later. I can't bail on Seth and Aidan. They did chores for weeks to buy these tickets."

"I know," Kara said. She'd paid them exorbitantly to wash her car and weed the front garden, re-organize a closet that didn't need it. Then, when Father's Day came around and they still didn't have enough for the tickets, she and Louie's wife threw in the last fifty bucks themselves. She didn't want them to miss this game, either.

But things had changed. People were dying. She had to make Louie believe her.

"I got another message," she said, her throat knotting with tension. "I have to show it to you."

"Not here."

"Louie—"

"Damn it, Kara, I told you I'd look into it. I pulled the file on Andrew's accident this afternoon and talked to the chief. I also stuck my nose into the Penny Wolff investigation since you're so worried about her. There's a good team working it, but they don't know where she is. She just vanished."

"She's dead."

"You don't know that."

"I do. That's what I'm trying to tell you. I have proof now." She held up her cell phone. "Right here."

Louie frowned, then ran his hand over his face, as if he could wipe away everything she'd told him. He glanced at the boys. "Hold on," he said, digging the tickets from his pocket. He threaded back through the few straggling fans and sent the boys off to find their seats. When they were on their way, he started back to Kara. She turned on her phone to call up the grisly messa—

Crack. A shot split the sky. Louie dropped.

Kara's heart went still. She stared and the screams started. One person, then another, and soon people scattered like billiard balls. Some dropped to the ground; others ran for cover. Louie was the only one who didn't move.

No. Kara forced her feet into action. She staggered toward Louie, dodging a handful of fans who had hit the ground. They came up as it registered that no second shot had sounded—and by the time she got close to Louie, others were there, too.

She fell to her knees beside him. A bright red stain bloomed on his shirt.

"Dad?" Seth's voice. He and Aidan pushed through a growing wall of onlookers. Someone's hand appeared on Louie's chest and pressed down, and Louie gagged on his breath. A trickle of blood formed at the corner of his mouth.

"Dad," Seth cried, sinking to the ground. Aidan crouched beside him and they clung to one another as Louie's eyes rolled, searching for focus. They stopped on Kara, glazed and wide, and his lips moved through a bubble of blood. She bent down to listen. Only one word touched her ear.

"Run."


Sasha took Louie Guilford out with the first shot. Good light, powerful scope, no wind, and Guilford made it easy by separating himself from the crowd. One squeeze of the trigger and people scattered like droplets of water on a hot skillet.

And right in the center of it: Kara Chandler.

Fuck. She shouldn't have been here.

A knot of rage tightened in the back of Sasha's skull. He lowered the rifle and looked. Without the scope, the scene was like ants scrambling after someone kicked their mound, but he could still make out Kara. She'd shown up just seconds before he fired. Bitch. This was the second time she'd interfered with his plan. First, a couple of days ago with Penny Wolff. Then, with Louie Guilford.

He took a deep breath, started to count to ten to cool off but stopped at five. Okay: Didn't matter. Wolff was dead and Guilford—if he wasn't dead by the time he hit the sidewalk—would be soon. Problems solved, even though Kara was doing her best to fuck things up. She wouldn't succeed. And he'd make damn sure she understood that she was the reason people were dying.

She was the reason for everything. And soon, she would know what that meant. She would learn the truth.

Sasha took out his earplugs and unscrewed the scope, his mood lifting as the pain in his head let up. He didn't like guns—his own brand of killing was much more personal—but now he was glad he'd spent time learning to shoot. His father had always said that practice led to perfection. Wouldn't he be impressed with this?

He loaded up the gun, anxious to show off tonight's handiwork. He wouldn't be able to get in close and take a nice gory photograph like he had with Penny Wolff but Louie Guilford was a cop and he'd just been shot down outside a Braves game at Turner Field. This would make tonight's news. The Atlanta PD would go nuts. Maybe Ted Turner would even speak.

Yes, there would be plenty of publicity to share between father and son.

And Kara? He'd have to think about her later. Right now, he needed to get out of here. He was situated on an overpass six hundred yards away—a safe enough distance for a while, but there was no sense in lingering. Authorities were too busy clearing people from sight and moving Louie Guilford to safety to analyze the trajectory of the bullet just yet, but it wouldn't take long before they did. Within minutes, they'd have choppers in the air and roadblocks surrounding this whole area of the city.

Wouldn't matter. Within minutes, Sasha would be gone.

Too bad. He'd love to stay and watch Kara suffer.

He shook his head. Patience. Her birthday was right around the corner and now that Penny Wolff and Louie Guilford were out of the way, Sasha could get back to preparations. It was a scheme more than a year in the making, one that had cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and taken him all over the country. A plan so Machiavellian it had left even his father slack-jawed.

Only one kill left now—a girl named Megan. Sasha would bring her home tomorrow night. Then all would be ready, just in time for Kara's big day.

He smiled and tossed one more glance toward Turner Field. Poor Kara. She must be horrified by now, but it was about to get worse. His reign of terror was just beginning and he'd seen to it that there was no one she could turn to for help. Nothing she could do to stop him from making this the party of a lifetime.

Three more days. Happy Birthday, Kara.

CHAPTER 2

Friday, June 21, 11:56 p.m.

Atlanta, Georgia


It was an odd place to find Kara Chandler, at an odd time: a squalid alley in the armpit of Atlanta, nearly midnight. The air sweltered—code orange, said the news, with dramatic warnings for asthma sufferers and the elderly to stay inside—and here, in an alley off Vine Street, the odors of urine and smog and rotten trash clung to every surface like a film.

Luke Varón inched to his left, peering past a Dumpster to the sidewalk. An odd place indeed for Kara Chandler, yet there she was, looking nothing like he'd expected. The heels were gone, her normally businesslike bun now falling in gold waves over her shoulders. In place of the usual classic suit, she wore jeans and a short-sleeved blouse, and instead of a fashionable purse, a shapeless macramé sack hung over one shoulder with her right hand buried deep inside.

Gun.

Luke held to the shadows. Two aluminum-caged security bulbs studded the eaves behind him but he'd broken the nearest one, forcing what was left of the sickly light toward the street. Kara Chandler paused, then took a few steps to go peek into a culvert that wasn't visible from the alley's entrance. Luke's hackles lifted: Ms. Chandler had been here before.

"Mr. Varón?"

Her voice stroked the night and every fiber of Luke's body tightened. Damn, he shouldn't be here. In two days, eight and a half tons of cocaine cut with levamisole would arrive off the Georgia coast, and with the shipment, Frank Collado. Luke had spent the last week securing the route from Colombia. He'd returned to the States a few hours ago, longing only for a clean bed and about sixteen hours to languish in it.

What he'd found was a message from Kara Chandler: Assistant District Attorney for Fulton County and Andrew Chandler's wife. As either identity, she could threaten the security of the shipment. As both, she was downright dangerous.

"Mr. Varón?" she said again.

Luke strung the silence out another inch, then said, "Here."

She whirled, a bulge forming in the canvas of her bag. "Where? Come out, damn it."

"So you can shoot me through a wall of macramé?"

"I didn't ask you here so I could shoot you. You're not worth the effort."

"Flattery," Luke drawled. "There's a saying about where that will get you."

"I need to talk to you. Come out."

He did, leading with a G18. Her gaze dropped and he watched the details of the weapon register in her eyes: a lightweight, 9mm shooter with a threaded barrel to accommodate a silencer, and just now sporting an extra magazine that held thirty-three rounds. Tonight, he'd added the extra clip just for show, but in fully-automatic mode, the G18 could fire all thirty-three bullets in less than two seconds. It was legal only among law enforcement and the military.

Luke Varón was neither.

He didn't know what she was carrying, but it didn't take her long to determine she was outclassed. The bulge in the bag slackened.

Luke tipped the Glock skyward. "Your turn," he said, but Kara Chandler didn't move. "Lady, pull your fucking hand out. I'd hate to fill you with bullets and then learn you were going for lipstick."

An inch at a time, she withdrew her hand—empty. Luke lifted the edge of his Armani suit coat and tucked his gun in the holster. He took two steps to his left so when she angled to keep her eyes on him, the frail light caught her face. Not that he needed any reminders of what she looked like: hair the color of sunlight, bottle-green eyes dulled by tragedy, two teasing little tucks in her cheeks that flashed like lightning when she was angry and perhaps—Luke could only speculate here—when she smiled. Without her heels, she stood only a few inches above five feet, but she carried herself as if meeting him eye to eye.

On her turf—in a courtroom trying to convict him of murder, for example—Kara Chandler was the definition of cold control. Out here, she was wired so tight Luke thought she might snap if she so much as took a deep breath.

"You called?" Luke asked.

"Yes," she said, but beneath the steel nerves, Luke caught a quaver in her

voice. "I have a proposition for you."

Luke feigned delight. "Now, what could a faithful public servant like you want with a common criminal like me?"

"This has nothing to do with the DA's office. It's personal."

"Even better," he said, and let his gaze run down her figure and back again. Christ, Andrew Chandler had been one lucky son of a bitch. Except, of course, that he was dead. He'd been killed by a drunk driver while walking across a street, along with the woman on his arm.

Elisa.

"I want to hire you," she said, and he almost blinked. He caught himself and arched a dark brow instead.

"I'm not a stockbroker or private chef, Ms. Chandler."

"I know what you are. You're a drug cartel hit man, an arsonist, and a cold-blooded killer. So this job should be right up your alley. I want you to blow up a boat and make sure its owners die in the fire."

Luke was flabbergasted. Christ.

"I'll pay you," she said. "I want it done tonight, as soon as possible ..."

She rattled off details, speaking right past him as if she'd rehearsed a script. His skepticism climbed to the surface. He'd already checked the area. There were no electronics and no surveillance. The thought passed that Chandler could be wearing a wire, but she was an unlikely choice for a sting.

Besides, this didn't have the feel of a scam. District Attorney Ben Archer hiring Luke Varón to commit multiple murder? No way.

"It should be done at least two hours before sunris—"

"Why me?" he asked.

She stopped, startled. "Because you can get away with it. You proved that when you walked out of court a month ago. You can get away with anything."

"More flattery," he said. "But you must know dozens of good criminals."

Her gaze might have melted steel. "Besides you, the criminals I know are behind bars."

"Ah, yes," Luke said, letting the hint of a smile show. "You aren't accustomed to a checkmark in the LOSS column. I'm sorry I tarnished your record."

She took a step toward him. "It wasn't a loss, it was a mistrial. And you were guilty. You know it and I know it. You killed a man in that warehouse fire—some unidentified soul who went to an unmarked grave. You should be in prison for the rest of your life."

"Lucky for you I'm not. Who would you call to commit your felonies?"

She gritted her teeth. "I don't know how the evidence against you disappeared but I know there was enough to put you away for life, at the very least. The fact that you're a goon for Gene Montiel and have access to his resources is just proof that he's as dirty as the DA thinks."

"And as powerful?" Luke suggested. Kara Chandler wasn't a gracious loser. Apparently, that was especially true when the freed defendant—Luke—worked security for a multi-millionaire land developer who owned a good portion of Atlanta's businesses, police, and justice department. A man the DA claimed had ties to a major drug cartel.

The DA was right: Gene Montiel did have a tie to a major drug cartel—Luke. But that didn't have anything to do with Kara Chandler.

"I appreciate the film noir character of this little charade, Ms. Chandler," Luke said. "But is District Attorney Archer really so desperate to nail Gene Montiel that he's sending you into dark alleys to entrap Montiel's ... goon?"

"This isn't a charade. I told you, this is personal."

"Prove it."

"Excuse me?"

He skimmed down her blouse buttons. "Show me you aren't wearing a wire."

Her eyes blazed, but Luke could see that she was thinking about it. Considering stripping her clothes in a lonely, dark alley with a hit man for the Rojàs cartel, just to prove she wasn't wired. Proof enough, Luke thought, and couldn't quite believe his eyes when her fingers slipped the first disk through the hole. Jesus, she was going to do it. He felt like a twelve-year-old who'd just stumbled on a Playboy magazine under a mattress, watching her cleavage and the upper swells of her breasts come into view, her flat, pale belly revealed an inch at a time. His blood drained from his brain as she slid the blouse from her arms and let it drop to the pavement with her bag.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Where Evil Waits by Kate Brady. Copyright © 2014 Kate Brady. Excerpted by permission of Grand Central Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A Fantastic book

    A Fantastic book Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Atlanta Georgia


    Kara Chandler is a special prosecutor that is very good at the job she does. Maybe a little too good as a mastermind that is homicidal has vowed to kill everyone she cares about and also Kara, herself. She is desperate to save herself and her son and the only way she sees to do that is by seeking out cartel hit man, Luke Varon. The last time she dealt with him was when she was prosecuting him and watched him beat the system and escape going to prison. He is also the only man that can possibly keep her alive.

    Luke Varon isn’t quite what he appears to be. He has spent years in the criminal underworld and he is seeking revenge and redemption. Though when he sees the very real fear in Kara’s eyes he can’t just let it go. People around her are being murdered and he may be the only one that can uncover the killer’s motives before it is too late. As the danger closes in on them, Kara and Luke must trust each other with their darkest secrets before the evil hunting them can kill them both.


    This is a great romantic suspense with some psychological elements thrown in. This one will take readers on a lot of twists and turns before the truth finally comes out in the end. The story proves to be very hard to put down as the reader will want to find out the why behind it all. The action is pretty much nonstop and the story proves to be very fast paced and intriguing. The characters and plot are very well written and believable. This is part of a series but the story can easily be read as a standalone. Though if the reader starts with this one it will have the reader wanting to read the rest of the series to see if the others are as good as this one. This story is also one that once the reader finishes they will find the story staying with them for a while to come.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Me

    Good story but very disturbing. Lots of characters to keep up with. Perfect amount of romance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Anonymous

    Could not put it down. First book I read from kate brady.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2014

    I was drawn in right away with Kara and her son Aidian. Luke is

    I was drawn in right away with Kara and her son Aidian. Luke is a supposed villain who Kara hires to fake her death and ends up helping her. They believe that the cartel killed her husband but are finding they are very wrong. Kara has a killer after her and many others. Quite a gripping tale that kept my interest all the way through. Grabs you right from the beginning and grips you til the end. I loved this mystery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    My rating: 4 of 5 ¿¿ It has been a year since ADA Kara Chand

    My rating: 4 of 5 ¿¿




    It has been a year since ADA Kara Chandler's husband was killed in a hit and run and since then evidence has been growing that someone is after her and those she cares about. Her attempt to go to the police with her findings met with a devastating outcome and she fears there is only one avnue left open to her to save herself and her son. 




    In a last ditch effort to find help, she approaches the man she prosecuted a year ago on murder charges. Luke Varon, hit man for a dangerous drug and weapons smuggling cartel, but also a man with far reaching resources that could help her and her son 'disappear'. 




    Appearances deceive and Luke knows everything about that, in fact, he counts on it. He has lived a lie for years looking for justice. When he is approached by Kara he struggles to stay in character, but given her desparation, he can't turn her away. 




    Trust doesn't come easy between the ADA and the hit man, but when danger closes in and they are forced to disclose more of their secrets, an unlikely bond is formed. 




    ****




    A great read!!




    I have to admit, the first few pages I was a little rattled. The information seemed to be a bit disjointed and came fast and furious with little context to place it against. HOWEVER!!! Before long the framework of the story became clearer and the book fell into a steady flow. 




    The book is a good one, a solid suspense novel with ample action and a secondary romance story that produces a touch of heat. The characters have an interesting chemistry that starts off as an involuntary antagonistic attraction.




    Kara is portrayed as quite the strong woman, stronger yet in the determination to keep her child safe. She is not helpless, but intelligent enough to know when she is out of her depth. In the turmoil and chaos of a life ripped apart, she re-discovers a side of herself that had long gone dormant.




    Luke has been a chameleon for so long, adapting to what his surroundings required, he has not had much reason or opportunity to consider his future. In a very short time, his focus shifted from what his objective had been over the last years, to Kara and her well-being. And with that the possibility of a future suddenly opened up.




    A very creepy psycho rounds out the main characters you will encounter in the book and I am not going into detail about him, except to say he is one sick puppy!!!




    For lovers of the the romantic suspense genre....a little heavier on the suspense, this is for you!




    ¿An intense, graphic and chilling tale of truth.¿




    **ARC provided by NetGalley and Forever in return for an honest review.**
     

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    In Where Evil Waits (Mann Family #2) by Kate Brady, people are d

    In Where Evil Waits (Mann Family #2) by Kate Brady, people are dying around Kara.  Thinking her husband's death was an accident, everything is in question now that Kara and her son are threatened.  Receiving frightening 'gifts' and no longer safe, Kara, a prosecutor, seeks help from Luke.  The one man who might be able to keep her safe.
     
    Luke is deeply involved in the criminal world, and not someone Kara would usually find herself associating with.  But there is more to him than meets the eye, and Luke is going to do what he can to keep Kara and her son safe.  Neither of them trust easily, but they no longer have a choice when they are trying to outrun a mad man with his own agenda.
     
    Kara and Luke both have things they are hiding, but secrets must come out for them to stay safe.  The truth is so much more and different than either of them imagines.  Will they find answers, and along the way a future neither of them expected?  Or will it be too late?
     
    Kate sucked me in and kept me glued to the pages of Where Evil Waits!  Kara and Luke are both strong characters.  Kara is smart and loyal, and will do what it takes to keep her and her son safe.  I would have liked a bit more background about Kara's adult life and marriage to help me know her better.  Luke is also smart, loyal and so protective!  Kate really brings him to life and made me love him from the start...no matter what brush he was painted with!  I liked how Kara and Luke interacted and worked together with a subtle attraction nibbling around the edges.  Their characters, their feelings are believable and very like-able.
     
    Kate gives an intriguing addition to Where Evil Waits with flashes of the killer/stalker's POV.  This adds a very edgy dimension to an already action packed, suspenseful story.
     
    What you see isn't always what you get...sometimes you have to dig a lot deeper as Kate demonstrates well in various ways in Where Evil Waits.  Where Evil Waits is fast paced and easy to become immersed in.  Kate weaves the plot with lots of mystery and the unexpected to make you stay and find out what and why!




    I'd recommend Where Evil Waits to readers who enjoy a suspenseful mystery with romantic undertones.

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