Scorched Grounds

Scorched Grounds

by Debbie Herbert


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From bestselling author Debbie Herbert comes a chilling, fast-paced story about family tragedy and confronting what terrifies us most.

In the eighteen years since her father went to prison for killing her mother and brother, Della Stallings has battled a crippling phobia. Her fear only grows when her father’s released. She still believes he killed her family, but the police don’t have enough evidence to arrest him again.

When new grisly murders occur—each bearing the telltale signs that seem to implicate her father—Della begins to wonder if the real murderer is still out there. Could her father have been framed?

To find the truth, Della must face her greatest fears and doubts—not only to find justice for her family but to ensure her own survival.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542005869
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 01/28/2020
Series: Normal, Alabama Series , #2
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 863,880
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Debbie Herbert is an Amazon Charts, Washington Post, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author who’s always been fascinated by magic, romance, and Gothic stories. Married and living in Alabama, she roots for the Crimson Tide football team. Debbie enjoys recumbent bicycling and Jet Skiing with her husband. She has two grown sons, and the oldest has autism. Characters with autism frequently appear in her works—even when she doesn’t plan on it.

For more information, visit and sign up for her newsletter to receive a free short story. Connect with her on Facebook at Debbie Herbert Author or Debbie Herbert’s Readers and on Twitter @debherbertwrit.

Customer Reviews

Scorched Grounds 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Denice_L 15 days ago
Between the title of the book, the book synopsis and the name of the town, Normal, Alabama, you can easily figure out that this is going to be a thriller of a book. That is the last thing that is easy to figure in this book. I read the first book in the series, Cold Water, but it would not affect the thrill in this book if you had not. Debbie Herbert's descriptions of the town and it's citizens as well as the background she has built gives the reader a very "visual" experience with this story of a woman traumatized by the deaths of her mother and brother who must now decide if her father was really their killer or if a murderer has been free all this time and is now on the hunt again. Both of Debbie Herbert's books are 5 star reads for me.
dcl55 4 months ago
Scorched Grounds by author Debbie Herbert keeps the reader turning the pages without taking a break! Scorched Grounds is the second in the Normal. AL series and the suspense before the end of the book had me almost on the edge of my seat. Della Stallings is trying hard to live a somewhat normal life after witnessing the horrendous murder of her mother and younger brother. Her father was convicted of the murders and sent to prison. It is eighteen years later and Della has found out her father is being released. She wants nothing to do with him.but his scheming draws her into his new drama. A new murder occurs the week after he comes back to Normal, and Della must consider the possibility that he may have killed again. She begins a friendship with Det. Nathan the investigation into the recent murders heats up against her father. Della has to fight for her life before all of the answers are uncovered along with more bodies! Publication Date: January 28, 2020 Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
jettaperry3 5 months ago
This was my first book by this author. I think she is one to watch. The book was about a woman Della whose father was arrested 18 years ago for murdering her mother and brother. In the beginning of the book her father is released from prison and she is not happy about it because she believes he did it. Then soon after he is released a woman is found murdered. Della thinks it can't be a coincidence and she begins her own investigation to determine whether her father killed her family or not. I found this book to be a fast read because it kept me guessing thru every twist and turn. I think the author has much potential and this was an enjoyable read. Thank you so much to Thomas and Mercer and also #NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.
Anonymous 5 months ago
In Scorched Grounds, it's now eighteen years after Della's father went to prison for murdering Della's mother and brother when Della was just a young child. Della was narrowly able to escape. As an adult, she continues to deal with trauma symptoms from that horrible event, including a serious phobia. When her father is released on a technicality, he returns to town and claims he was framed. When murders begin again and evidence suggests her father may be involved, Della begins investigating. Della is a complex character and the depiction of her ongoing trauma symptoms seemed well done. The book moved at a nice pace and the author pulled together the story lines well at the end, answering questions and concerns I'd had throughout the book. Content Warnings: SPOILER cross dressing (I think that was what was being depicted here though it involved only makeup) that seemed concerningly stereotypical with the character ultimately being depicted as crazy and dangerous; graphic depictions of blood, injuries and murder; physical and verbal abuse END SPOILER Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC. The opinions in this review are honest and my own. #ScorchedGrounds #mystery
annie2015 5 months ago
Wow! What and interesting and suspenseful book. The characters were entertaining and the mystery kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or favor.
Shirleylinn 5 months ago
Scorched Grounds was another fast paced suspenseful read. It kept me on the edge of my seat and the twists and turns kept me guessing until the end. I am a fan of this talented author's books and this was another amazing read. I would definitely recommend it.
IAGrams 5 months ago
Scorched Grounds by Debbie Herbert is the second in her Normal, AL series. I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Note: this review contains spoilers! I have to admit when I first started reading this book I didn’t like the main character, Della, very much. She just wasn’t very likable. But as I got to know her story, I learned that she made herself that way to protect herself. Anyone who as a child witnesses their mother and brother being stabbed to death is allowed to protect themselves. The question is who killed them? Was it her father Hunter out for the insurance money? Someone else? But who? A dirty cop framed Hunter, but that doesn’t mean he was innocent. As we delve into the story, there are more questions than answers. Who killed the other people and left bells, bells that belonged to Della’s mother, with their bodies? Will Della be able to overcome her fear of the color red in order to save her own life and others? Will the real killer be found? How many more are going to die? This was one time when I regretted reading an e-book rather than a hardcopy. I was so shocked at one point I wanted to slam the book shut but you can’t do that with an e-book so I turned it off instead! The characters were great, the story line fascinating, the action would grab you just as you thought things were slowing down. A truly great read! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
booklover- 5 months ago
Della Stallings has an almost insuperable phobia. Her father went to prison 18 years ago for killing her mother and brother. He's now been released and her fear is growing by leaps and bounds. She still believes he is guilty of murder and now that he has been released on a technicality, similar murders are occurring that seem to implicate him. Has her father resumed his killing ... or is he being framed? To find the truth, Della must face her greatest fears and doubts—not only to find justice for her family but to ensure her own survival. This is billed as a Gothic Thriller, although this can cover any number of genres or combined genres. Usually there is an element of horror ... but I did not find that in this story. What I found was a well written crime fiction, that grabbed me from the very first chapters to the surprising unpredictable ending. The characters were deftly defined, and most were likeable. Many thanks to the author / Thomas & Mercer / Netgalley for the digital copy of this crime thriller. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
LisaB95 5 months ago
Review This was a very crafty story. I just love this author. She was able to weave mystery and suspense in and out of the lives of so many in the town of Normal, Alabama. I have to say, I didn’t see this ending this way. I sort of wondered about who the killer was but I never suspected the part of someone else. Shoot, I want to talk about it but it would spoil it. Goes to show you that some people aren’t always who you think they are. It kept me turning pages way into the night. I liked even better than the first one.
Margaret Yelton 5 months ago
What an suspenseful book, it kept me wondering until almost the end whom the guilty party was. I actually had picked the wrong person in my mind. I have never read this author before, but I will definitely be trying more of her books. I found the book very well written, a page turner from start to finish. I would certainly recommend this book to those that enjoy reading pyschological suspense books. I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher and this is my fair and honest review.