The day Sadie Thompson finds her high school student, Lexie, asleep in class and can't wake her is the day she realizes how entrenched a prescription drug ring is in her school. As Sadie is pulled into doing something about the growing problem, she becomes involved with Ethan Stonea Texas Ranger who suspects the drug ring reaches far beyond the high school.
Helping Lexie recover from the overdose, Sadie feels she is making a differenceuntil the 16-year-old's best friend dies from the apparent mixing of various prescription drugs. Lexie doesn't think her friend took her own life, but her relationship with her Uncle Ethan is precarious and she doesn’t know if either he or Sadie will help her discover the truth.
About the Author
Margaret Daley, an award-winning author of eighty-five books, has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her Tulsa, Oklahoma household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at www.margaretdaley.com.
Read an Excerpt
Book 4 of Men of the Texas Rangers Series
By Margaret Daley
Abingdon PressCopyright © 2013 Margaret Daley
All rights reserved.
Fingering the necklace, Jared had given her for her seventeenth birthday, Kelly Winston cracked her bedroom door open. When she peeked out, her mother strode toward the staircase. Releasing a swoosh of air, Kelly snuck down the hall to her mom's bathroom and pulled out the middle drawer where she kept her supply of medicine.
Kelly picked up the first bottle, a painkiller her mother had started taking last winter after her car wreck. Kelly shook one into her palm. She grabbed the next bottle, not sure what these pills were, but she pocketed several of them anyway, then moved on to the next medication, an old one for anxiety her mom had taken when Dad divorced her and moved away. She took three of them.
"Kelly," her mother yelled from the foyer downstairs.
She shot straight up, her heart pounding, but she didn't hear any footsteps approaching.
"Your date is here."
She drew in a deep breath to calm her rapid heartbeat and quickly closed the drawer. "Coming, Mom."
She stuffed the pills she'd taken into her jean pocket and hurried from her mother's bathroom before she came looking for her. When Kelly saw Jared standing next to her mom in the foyer, she smiled and nodded once.
His mouth curving up, a dimple appearing in his left cheek, he winked at her.
"When are you going to be home?" her mother asked as she walked toward the kitchen.
"The party lasts until midnight so after that."
"Don't wake me when you come in. I'm exhausted and hope to go to bed early."
"I won't," Kelly said, right before closing the front door. It was so easy to stay out when her mother took a sleeping pill. Mom would be out until tomorrow.
"What did you get?" Jared rounded the front of his Porsche.
After sliding into the front seat, she dug the dozen pills out of her pocket and laid her palm out flat to show him. "Painkillers, sleeping pills, and an assortment of others. Is that what you wanted?"
"You did great. This will be fun."
"Are you sure your friends will be okay with me coming?"
"You're my girlfriend. We've been dating for over two months." At the stoplight, Jared looked at her, his blue eyes gleaming with male appreciation. "You're the most beautiful girl at Summerton High School. I'll be the envy of every guy at the party."
Though his words flattered her, Kelly's nerves tensed throughout her body. This was her first pill party. She'd heard of them from some of the other girls. She'd always wanted to be a part of the in crowd. Tonight she would be. Finally. All because Jared Montgomery, a hottie and a senior, had started dating her when she became one of the junior cheerleaders—after years of honing her skills and dieting constantly.
When Jared parked behind a warehouse, Kelly glanced at some of the other expensive cars. A few she recognized. "The party is here?"
"Yeah. This place isn't in use right now. Perfect for what we want to do. Ready?"
She nodded, laying her quivering fingers on the door handle.
He clasped her shoulder, stopping her from leaving the car. "Just do what the others do. It's a small group of my closest friends. You'll be fine. This is such a rush. You'll see what I mean tonight."
Peering at him, she fortified herself with the knowledge he'd told her he loved her last week. All the kids were doing this. What harm could a few prescription drugs really do? They were all prescribed for someone to take. Her mom took several every day. It wasn't the same as taking illegal drugs like meth or crack. Those could seriously mess with her mind.
As they walked toward the back entrance to the warehouse, hidden from the street, Jared grasped her hand, brought it to his lips, and kissed her knuckles. "Stay close and I'll take care of you."
His gaze connected with hers. Her stomach flip-flopped. He could always do that—make her feel so special. She certainly didn't get any affirmation from her mother, or her father, who lived in Chicago and couldn't be bothered with her.
Before going in, Jared tipped her face up and kissed her, then pushed the door open.
The beat of the music pulsated in the air. Four teens sat or stood around the huge cavernous warehouse—bare of any items as far as Kelly could see, except for a few crates used for the party. Beyond the pool of light, darkness lingered as though a black curtain encircled a small part of the building, cordoned off for the pill party.
Jared retrieved two beers from a cooler and passed one to Kelly. She hated the taste but noticed all the other kids had one. She'd pretend she liked it.
"Let's put our drugs in the bowl. When everyone arrives, we'll grab a handful and take them with the beer." Jared pulled a wad of pills from his pocket.
"We drink, dance, and wait. For some nothing much happens. Dud pills. Others get a rush, feel euphoric. Either way, we'll forget our problems and have fun." He released his pills to fall into a large plastic bowl where there were a lot of drugs in various colors and sizes.
Kelly uncurled her hand, and the ones she brought tumbled on top of the others, then she took a swig of beer, suppressing her gag reflex.
Jared tapped his can against hers and then lifted his drink, downing probably half of it. "C'mon. We need to catch up with everyone. We'll be floating in no time. Not a care in the world, especially the English test you have on Monday."
While she tilted the can to her lips, he slung his arm over her shoulder and cradled her against him. His sweet action reinforced why she was here in the first place.
Jared loves me and won't let anything bad happen to me.
* * *
Her throat parched, Kelly swayed in the middle of the lit area with several teens slumped on the concrete floor. The light and dark swirled before her. She searched for Jared and found him where he'd been before she'd gone to see if there was something to drink. The coolers had been empty. To ease her dryness, she'd considered cupping her hands into the melted ice, but she didn't.
Kalvin Majors stumbled and fell into a stand with a light. It crashed to the floor and shattered. He continued wandering around in a circle, shouting every once in a while, "Go Eagles."
Kelly returned to the darker area because the room didn't seem to spin as much. She plopped down and crumpled back against a post. Jared lay not far away, and no matter how much she'd tried earlier to get him up, she couldn't. He'd just batted at her as if she were an annoying fly pestering him.
Another girl, Zoe, was stretched out on the floor moaning, while Luke, who was in several of her classes, vomited. The stench assailed her nostrils, and she almost hurled. She cupped her hand over her mouth and closed her eyes.
This isn't fun. I want to go home.
She crawled toward Jared, afraid to try standing. When she reached him, she shook his shoulder hard. Nothing. At least before, he would mumble or groan, but this time he didn't do anything. Cradling his face between her hands, she intended to yell at him until he woke up.
His skin felt cold, but it was hot in here. How could he be so cold? Her mind fumbled around trying to grasp onto something she should realize. Did she stick her hands into the ice water after all?
"Jared! Wake up!"
Someone—Brendan maybe—said, "Pipe down."
She didn't care. Increasing her volume, she shouted his name over and over.
Kelly lifted his arm to pull him up and get him outside into the fresh air. His limp arm was dead weight, making it hard to budge him at all. Finally, the effort zapped all her energy, her world spinning faster than before. She collapsed on top of Jared. A black veil descended ...
Someone jostled Kelly, pushing her off her comfortable pillow. She blinked, a harsh light glaring in her eyes.
"He's dead," a frantic female voice shrieked, piercing through Kelly's dazed mind.
Dead? Kelly struggled to focus on the two blurs standing over another blur.
"We've got to get him out of here. This is my dad's warehouse."
"And do what?" the girl screamed.
"Don't know. Can't leave him in here."
Kelly curled up into a ball, the cold concrete against her cheek. She wanted to open her eyes again. To see what was happening but the darkness beckoned. If she slept a little longer, she would be okay.
A scraping sound penetrated the haze in her mind, but she kept moving toward the black.
She jerked, then folded in on herself even more. Now running toward the dark void where she could escape ...
Kelly rolled unto her back, the cold hardness beneath her demanding she wake up. She tried forcing her eyelids up but only managed to open them a slit. Through her narrow vision a face loomed close. The darkness surrounding her made it hard to see who it was. Blue eyes? Jared?
But no matter how much she tried, she couldn't keep her eyes from shutting again. Her mind in a fog, she allowed it to swallow her up.
* * *
"Really, Mom, I don't feel well. I think it's something I ate last night." Lexie Alexander drew the cover over her head and hoped her mother would just leave her alone.
Her mom threw back the coverlet and felt her forehead. "You don't feel hot. I hate going to church by myself."
"I thought Uncle Ethan was going."
"He got a call. Some hikers found a dead body."
Lexie's stomach roiled, bile rising up. She jumped from bed and raced for her bathroom before she got sick all over the carpet. Barely making it, she heaved into the toilet.
Her mom handed her a cold washcloth. "Guess you really are sick. I thought you were trying to get out of going to church."
As Lexie hung over the rim, she shook her head.
Her mom filled a cup with water and gave it to her.
Lexie swished the cool liquid around in her mouth then spit it into the toilet. "I really did eat some spicy food that didn't agree with me. I had the Cantina deliver last night while you were out on your date with Cord."
"I'll stay home, in case you need me."
Lexie handed the cup to her mother. "I don't think there's anything else in my stomach. I'll be fine with some rest. I was up a good part of the night."
"You should have come and gotten me."
Lexie rose, glimpsing her wild short hair and pale face. "I know you're a nurse, but what would you have been able to do? Hold my hand while I puked? I know I'm not eating at the Cantina ever again."
Her mother lingered in the doorway into the bathroom. "On the way home from church, I'll stop and get some ginger ale and saltine crackers, in case you want something later."
Lexie waved her away then cupped some cold water and splashed her face. The awful taste in her mouth reminded her of that spicy food that probably was the culprit behind her getting sick. As she heard the bedroom door click shut, she put a glob of mint-flavored toothpaste on her toothbrush and scrubbed her teeth, hoping to get the nasty taste out of her mouth.
She trudged back to bed and fell across the messed-up covers. Her mind started surrendering to sleep ...
The song "Because of You" blasted the air, startling her wide-awake. She fumbled for her cell phone on her nightstand and brought it to her ear. She didn't feel like talking—even to her best friend.
"Hello." Her answer came out long and drawn out.
"Lexie, I need your help."
"Kelly?" She pushed to her elbows. "Why are you whispering?"
"I'm at a warehouse across town. I need a ride home and bring me that blouse you borrowed last week. Mom has to think I've been up and out with you this morning."
"Where have you been?"
"At a party—all night. I'm scared. Come get me."
Lexie looked around and saw her car keys on the desk by her purse. "Where's the warehouse?"
"At the corner of Sixth Street and Bluebonnet Road."
"That's clear across town in the bad part of town."
"I know. That's why I'm not walking home. I need your help, Lex." Fear laced each word Kelly spoke in a shaky whisper.
Lexie swung her legs off the bed. "I'll be there as soon as I can."
"Pull up in back of the warehouse. I'll be watching. I don't want to leave until you come."
"Okay." Lexie hung up and snatched her jeans and T-shirt off the floor nearby. She stood to put her clothes on, but the room tilted. Plopping down on the bed, she dressed. Remembering the fear she'd heard in Kelly's voice prodded her to move as fast as her shaky body would allow.
* * *
"Thanks for coming out on a Sunday morning," the police chief of Summerton said to Texas Ranger Ethan Stone.
"Cord, what happened here?" Ethan stood just outside the cordoned-off area with yellow crime scene tape.
"Two hikers found a car in Summerton Lake with a dead body in it—Jared Montgomery."
Ethan whistled. "Have you told his parents yet?"
Cord Thompson shook his head. "I can't call and tell them over the phone. I need to make sure the crime scene is processed by the book first."
Ethan removed his tan cowboy hat and raked his fingers through his hair. "Agreed." Bradley Montgomery owned the largest ranch in this area of northeastern Texas, and Jared was his only child. "Did the hikers recognize Jared?"
"They are with an officer giving their statements. One of them dove under to see if someone was trapped in the car. He saw Jared and tried to get the door open. He couldn't, but he could see Jared was dead. He hightailed it out of the water to call 911. Hopefully, since only those hikers know about Jared's death, this gives us a little time before the news gets out. I can't mess up this investigation, or I'll be looking for another job."
"What do you want me to do? You know I'm always here to help."
"Considering the potential of this case to be high profile, I'm glad you're the Texas Ranger assigned to this area." Cord rubbed his nape. "I've got a feeling this case will come back to bite me. I don't want Bradley Montgomery to find out from someone else besides the police, but as I mentioned, I need to stay here. Sending a street officer would say to the man his son wasn't important enough to our police department to have someone higher up inform him of Jared's death. Bradley is one of the people whose taxes probably pay a good part of our salaries. He goes to your church. You know him. Would you inform him of his son's death and that you'll be working with us on this case?"
"You and I go to the same church."
"I know, but you two were better friends in high school." A grin skittered across the police chief's face, but only for a second.
"So you're officially asking me to participate in the investigation?"
"Since when have we stood on protocol? We've known each other since childhood, and you know the Texas Rangers are here to help with local cases when needed."
"As I said, we can't make any mistakes with this case. I can already imagine Bradley breathing down my neck, and I won't blame the man when he does. I don't have children, but if something happened to my niece or nephew, I'd be all over it."
"I haven't been here long. What kind of kid was Jared? Like his father?"
"Yes. Jared is a popular guy and well-liked from what I've heard. He's on the football team as the quarterback. This will be a blow to the whole team and school."
Ethan walked to the red Porsche, still dripping water, and studied the boy, his body leaning back, held in place by his seatbelt, his head bent to the right. "Are there signs of foul play?"
"Not that I can see, but the Medical Examiner is on the way. I didn't want to move him from the car until he got here. I'll push to have the autopsy done immediately."
Cord frowned. "It doesn't feel right. He has everything going for him. That's why I want to be here when the ME arrives. Nothing about this scene looks like a suicide."
"What are you afraid of? That this is drug or alcohol-related, and Bradley's active campaign against drugs is known all over these parts?"
Cord nodded. "Why here? Yes, I suppose he could have driven into the lake because of the boat ramp here," he pointed at the pavement ending in the water, "but it's set out of the way from the parking lot where the road forks."
"Which brings us back to suicide. He could have purposely driven it into the lake. Or someone else did. So who would have it in for Jared if he's so popular?"
"You see how many questions there are. Bradley will want them all answered and then some. He'll be looking for someone other than his son to put the blame on." Cord removed his trademark toothpick from his front shirt pocket and stuck it into his mouth. According to him, chewing on it helped him think since he'd stopped smoking.
Excerpted from Severed Trust by Margaret Daley. Copyright © 2013 Margaret Daley. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Severed Trust by Margaret Daley The Men of the Texas Rangers Series Book 4 Texas Ranger Ethan Stone has recently moved back to his hometown. Things are not right there. After the death of a high school student things quickly turn worse. Heading up the investigation with his old friend Cord Thompson, who is the chief of police, they find themselves buried in the investigation while trying to protect those they love. Sadie Thompson also recently returned to town. After choosing to marry a man her father disapproved of, she left. So did her new husband after the twins were born. Now she finds herself as a teacher in the local high school in the middle of a prescription drug ring and her ex has returned wanting to be part of her twins lives, thirteen years late. Not the best time for her young girls crush to make a reappearance. This story pulled me in from the start and held on to the end. It gave insight to several of the characters points of view. There was definitely romance, put on the back burner while real life took over. This series is so well written and hard hitting. Truths of what is going on in everyday life. Starting with Saving Hope that deals with child prostitution rings, then Shattered Silence dealing with bullies among other topics and book three is Scorned Justice which deals with an organized crime ring.
Severed Trust is one of those novels that's scary not because it is spooky or supernatural but because the events portrayed could happen in your town. In that way, it reminded me of a Lifetime movie—those always take place in a small town or the suburbs, and evil lurks where you least expect it. I'd like to believe that the events in this novel could never happen in my small Nebraska town, but I'm not so sure. And that realism drew me completely into this novel. At first, I had trouble keeping track of all the characters—there are many. And I do think that limiting the novel to two or three points of view (say Ethan, Lexie, and Sadie) would have made the novel easier to follow. But overall, I really enjoyed Severed Trust. The author put in a few twist I didn't anticipate, and though I did finally discover the killer's identity, it wasn't until pages before the author revealed it. For a romantic thriller that really could happen in your backyard, check out Severed Trust. It's book four in Daly's Men of the Texas Rangers series, but it functions as a complete stand-alone novel. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advance reading copy of this book for review from Abingdon Press through its early reader program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
It's the latest "in" thing. But first you have to be approved by those that are already part of this exclusive group. Funny how it has to happen that way but in order to ensure security within the group it has to be this way. Oh and you do have to bring along a little something to contribute to the party as well. Welcome to a pill party. Now that you have been approved based on who you're dating, you are expected to bring along whatever happens to be in your medicine cabinet. Don't take too many pills from those bottles as we don't want others to notice they are missing, but maybe one or two for now. They can be anything, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, blood pressure medicine or even pain pills. Just make sure no one sees you taking them and we'll see you there. Make sure you don't tell anyone either or else! Such is the premise behind Severed Trust by best selling author Margaret Daley in the fourth book in her Men of the Texas Rangers Series. We are immediately introduced to Kelly Winston who finally has her shot with the popular kids in Summerton High School. Now dating a football player, Jared Montgomery who literally has everything going for him including the fact that his dad Bradley is one of the town's richest men and who also owns the largest ranch in Texas. Now Kelly just has to make it through this party with Jared who ensure her that he won't let anything happen to her. He loves her after all and this is a way for Kelly to get to know his closest friends. Armed with a handful of prescription pills that removed from their parents medicine chests, they arrive at the party to contribute their pills to a large bowl in the middle of the abandoned warehouse. The goal of the party is to take a handful of the assorted pills and drink them down with a beer and see what happens. Jared tells her nothing bad has ever happened. Most of the time, kid's don't experience anything at all; some get a temporary high or others simply sleep off the effects. However Kelly questions just how right any of this is, but wanting to be a permanent part of Jared's future, she decides to take a risk. Only tonight things will take a dramatically different course. When Kelly wakes up she finds Jared cold and laying on the ground of the warehouse. She hears someone mention he is dead and that they have to get him out of the warehouse. Kelly knows she has to get out of here before anyone finds out, so she calls her best friend Lexie to come give her a ride. She makes Lexie promise not to say anything about picking her up, but when she arrives home, the police are waiting for her. It doesn't help that Lexie's uncle is Ethan Stone, a Texas Ranger and her dad, Cord, is the chief of police. Just how can she find her way through being loyal to her best friend and doing the right thing, especially when Jared's body has been found in the lake. Now it leads Lexie to wonder just what Kelly and Jared were up to and Kelly doesn't want to talk to her about anything that happened that night. In fact, Kelly goes as far as telling the police that she came home after her date with Jared and she doesn't know what happened after he dropped her off. But soon clues begin to point Ethan and Cord to the fact that Jared was murdered and his father will pull out all the stops to ensure that the murderer is caught. I received Severed Trust by Margaret Daley compliments of Abingdon Press for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable one and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. This really opens the readers eyes to what may in fact be happening in schools all over the country. With illegal drugs becoming harder to come by, "pill parties" are becoming the latest thing for middle school and high school students to be involved in. We already know how easy it is for some kids to become addicted to prescription drugs but this is a chilling look at the dangers that may be happening right under our own noses. Once again Margaret Daley takes this novel into a sensational suspense thriller and completely leaves you guessing at what is happening until it all falls into place at the very climatic ending. Makes you wonder how far you'd go to cover for your friend when you give them your word? I'd rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and think it definitely gives parents another conversation starter to have in their own family to prevent this kind of thing from happening to those we love and care about.
Margaret Daley has great talent for writing intriguing mysteries, and this book proves it. Fast paced, and multiple murders bring the reader to the edge at every chapter. The subject of teen prescription drug abuse is scary and important for all of society to know about, and Daley handles the issues well in this masterful story. There are a lot of characters in this book, and the reader might benefit from keeping a list of names and their relationships handy. Every once in awhile i would find myself asking who's so-and-so; forgetting when that character was introduced and how he or she related to the plot. As with other of Daley's books, this one had me guessing right to the end who the main bad character was. Chalk up another winner for Daley.
This is another excellent book by Margaret Daley, and the perfect conclusion to the Men of the Texas Rangers series. As is the case with all her books, this story deals with some pretty serious topics, like prescription drug abuse, trust issues, and peer pressure to name a few. At times, the story had me gripping the edge of my seat. There were a couple plot lines running through the story, and the author did an excellent job of bringing everything together to a satisfactory close. Margaret took a little bit different approach with this book. Instead of two main characters, this story was written in several different points of view, the main ones being Lexie, Kelly, Sadie, and Ethan. It made the story more interesting and helped me better connect with the characters. Each character had to deal with someone in their lives who abused or experimented with prescription drugs. Reading the story from Kelly and Lexie's perspective opens your eyes to what is going on with our youth today and drives home the importance of keeping an eye on any medications in your house. Sadie and Ethan provide a nice romantic relief in the, sometimes, heavy plot. The message of forgiveness is clearly stated in Lexie and Sadie's stories. Each character has to deal with a wrong that has been done to them and how the respond to it. By staying angry and not forgiving that person, you are opening yourself up for bitterness and heartache. Holding a grudge doesn't hurt anyone but you. And God. God wants us to forgive people, like He does for us, over and over again. Overall, this suspenseful story will have you hooked from beginning to end. I highly recommend it.
This is a romance and mystery, it keeps you turning the pages and you hate for it to end. I really enjoyed reading it and was surprised what goes on in some schools and towns
I just finished reading Severed Trust by Margaret Daley. I believe this to be a must read for all parents of young people. In the story popular kids were having pill parties and alcohol in private. Youth were dying, and it took a long time but the ones who were guilty were put behind bars and the city and schools could continue in safe living. Also, they were going to be more alert as to prescription drugs among the youth. It kept my attention constantly, even read through Wheel of Fortune, my favorite TV show. Read this it is worth it. Informative, shocking to me. pen name is JuanitaJW
I liked Severed Trust, by Margaret Daley, because it discussed a subject that many of us may not know a lot about, prescription drug abuse. I didn’t know a lot about drug abuse before I read the book. Now I realize how easy it is for everyone to have access to prescription drugs. People really need to keep track of their prescriptions, because other people can be taking them. I enjoyed the characters in this novel. Sadie Thompson, Texas Ranger Ethan Stone, and Lexie Alexander were strong characters and dedicated to solving the mystery of the mysterious deaths of Jared Montgomery and Kelly Winston. There were also other strong characters, but they were the ones who had done the crimes. I would recommend this book to both men and women. There is a lot to learn about prescription drug abuse and what may happen when teens abuse the drugs. Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Severed Trust, by Margaret Daley, for free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Margaret Daley in her new book, “Severed Trust” Book Four in The Men of the Texas Rangers Series published by Abingdon Press takes us into the lives of Ethan Stone and Sadie Thompson. From the back cover: Is it suicide — or murder? When a popular high school student dies under mysterious circumstances, teacher Sadie Thompson is not only pulled into the growing problem of prescription drug abuse but also becomes involved with the Texas Ranger investigating the death. Through Ethan Stone Sadie discovers the drug ring reaches much further than just into her high school. After Ethan’s niece Lexie is drugged in an attempt to silence her, Sadie helps Lexie piece her life back together. They make progress until Lexie’s best friend commits suicide–or so it looks to the authorities. When Lexie confides to Sadie about her suspicions concerning her friend’s death, Sadie and Ethan find themselves in a desperate race to stop the abuse — and a murder. I like stories that involve The Texas Rangers. It does not matter to me what time period the story takes place in just so that it involves them. There is a certain personality to this group that captures my attention. Let me say this right off, Margaret Daley does not disappoint! Drugs! Not the prescription kind, the kind that does terrible things to the body and turns it into an addict. A criminal group is targeting High schoolers with their evil pills and Ethan is trying to combat them. Sadie is just trying to teach but her “kids” are involved and they drag her into the investigation. Now the two of them with some help from Lexie are going to try to put an end to this epidemic. I think that “Severed Trust” is her best work yet. Ms. Daley knows how to ratchet up the tension so that your nerves are strung tight as you work with Ethan and Sadie to break the organized crime ring that has a death grip on their teenagers. “Severed Trust” is a thriller as the characters are in deadly danger practically from page one. On top of everything Ms. Daley manages to weave a romance into this story that just captivates you. This is also just plain fun and exciting as well. Don’t start this book late at night because it will cost you sleep. I hope there is a next book in the series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”