During a family vacation at a mountainside lake, psychic sleuth Baxley Powell is enlisted by the local police to find the killer of a man mysteriously drained of his life force. The otherworldly trail leads to Jonas, a vampire who feeds off energy, not blood. Joining forces with a Native American detective whose powers rival her own, Baxley sets out to conquer this formidable entity.
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About the Author
Maggie Toussaint has published seventeen books, fourteen as Maggie Toussaint and three as Rigel Carson. She is president of the Southeast Mystery Writers of America and has a seat on the national MWA Board. She is also a member of Sisters In Crime and Low Country Sisters In Crime. Toussaint won the Silver Falchion Award for Best Cozy/Traditional mystery in 2014. Additionally, she won a National Readers Choice Award and an EPIC award for Best Romantic Suspense. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. Visit her at maggietoussaint.com.
Read an Excerpt
Mayes said something, but I barely heard him as I slipped into a meditative trance. Light fractured into kaleidoscopic panels whirling and turning and making me dizzy. At the same time, rage vectored up my arm, turning my stomach, making me want to puke. In a flash of light, I saw a clearing where nothing grew. The image whirled and stopped at a strangely shaped tree. The earth was disturbed there. Blackbirds cawed and flew at my face.
I willed myself back to the group home and found Mayes supporting me, his hands holding my hips in a snug grip. "What?" I asked, gazing at the refrigerator and the sink. Hadn't I been in front of the sink when this started?
"You're okay," he said. "I've got you."
Being held felt nice. More than nice. But this was wrong on several counts. My marriage. His being a stranger. I stepped away from him. "Did something happen?"
"You dropped the plates immediately. Your eyes twitched, then you started walking. Tried to walk right through the refrigerator. That's when I grabbed you, so you wouldn't hurt yourself."
Odd. I'd never moved during a dreamwalk before. "Thanks, I think."
"I'd offer you something to drink or a seat, but you don't want to do either in this strange house."
Something else was different about this vision. Something that had not happened. For the first time, I'd felt truly alone on the dreamwalk. "You're right."
"Was it worthwhile?" Mayes asked. "Did you learn anything to help us find Twilla Sue?"
Instead of touching my necklace, as I often did to center myself after a vision or a dreamwalk, I touched the tattoo on the back of my hand. Cold as ice. Usually Rose's tattoos heated when I crossed the curtain. Not this time. Hard to say I missed Rose, but her absence puzzled me.
"The vision was filled with changing images, light, and rage," I said. "I saw a weird tree with disturbed earth nearby. Not a leaf on this skeleton tree, just black bark. The limbs twisted in every direction."
"How does this help us find the sheriff?"
"I don't know. I'd like to talk with you later about the images, about the places I saw. I'm unfamiliar with the area so I don't know if they are landmarks or remote areas we might never identify."
"We will." He seemed to draw into himself for a moment. "Meanwhile, during your dreamwalk, we found the stolen car, but no Twilla Sue. I've ordered scent-tracking dogs to the location."
"We'll find her," I said with more conviction than I felt. I had no idea what we were dealing with in Jonas Canyon. Was he more than an energy vampire? That was enough, truly, but how did he bend people to his will so easily?