Someone is murdering women on college campuses. Agent Mick O'Shaughnessy's mission is simple: stop the killer. Following every lead, he meets Meg, the faculty advisor for one of the victims, who can help him track the killer through her campus connections.
Meg Connelly is focused on getting her master's degree to show her estranged family she doesn't need anybody's help to succeed. There's something about Mick she can't resist, but the last time she let someone get close to her, it cost her everything.
As the investigation heats up, so does their relationship. But Mick's interest in Meg doesn't just endanger her heartit puts her in the sights of the killer.
Once he gets her alone, he can take all the time he needs...
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About the Author
An award-winning author, Cathy Perkins works in the financial industry where she's observed the hide-in-plain-sight skills employed by her villains. When not writing, she battles the beavers over the pond depth or sets off on another travel adventure. She lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs & the resident deer herd. Visit her at www.cperkinswrites.com
Read an Excerpt
The body lay in dappled shade. Patches of light caught pale fleshan ankle here, a hip there. Resurrection ferns spread lacy fronds, partially concealing the limbs. Mick wondered if the irony was deliberate.
This deep into the woods, the trees blocked the breeze and the humidity increased as the air sucked moisture from the thick mulch spread across the forest floor. The noxious mixture of smells pressed against him in a cloying layer that was nearly visible amid the shifting patterns cast by the overhead branches. Pausing at the edge of the clearing, he batted at the flies circling his head. He hated flies. He associated them so strongly with death that a fly in his condo drove him crazy.
Two local detectives looked up, acknowledging Mick's presence. His short hair marked him as a cop as much as the holstered pistol and gold badge clipped to his belt. The locals would already know who he was. He hadn't been able to escape the publicity surrounding the murdersthe Captain kept putting him in front of television cameras. The Greenville, South Carolina, stations had been particularly relentless in their quest for footage, repeatedly lurking outside the upstate SLEDState Law Enforcement Divisionfield office.
The medical examiner crouched over the body, obscuring the head and upper torso. He stood when Mick approached, revealing the now familiar pose. Emily Geigerif the nude corpse was Emily Geigerlay on her back, arms opened with the hands palm up in a welcoming gesture. Her legs were spread, bent at the knee, a blatantly sexual posture. Frozen in full rigor, the body would have to be photographed and transported in this degrading position.
Until the Newberry police department asked SLED for assistance, Mick had no authority at the scene. He listened as the ME reported his findings to the local detectives. While they talked, he studied the men, looking for the best way to interact with them. Detective Larry Robbins looked like an oak tree, stocky rather than fatthe kind of guy Mick would want on his side in a bar fight. His twenty years of experience showed in his eyes: weary, heard-it-all-before cynicism. Jerry Jordan, on the other hand, was a greenhorn. He was trying to project confidence and experience while keeping his lunch down. The effort sharpened his jaw and squared his shoulders, but he still looked like a kid in over his head.
The ME estimated the time of death as sometime Monday night. "Lividity's fixed. Rigor's just starting to relax, so it's been less than forty-eight hours. I'll be able to narrow it down when I get back to the lab, but she's been here at least twenty-four hours."
"How can you tell?" Robbins asked.
The doctor gestured at the sample he'd collected. "Blowflies. They show up within fifteen minutes of exposure and lay eggs in the natural orifices and open wounds. The egg stage lasts twenty-four hours. These are blowfly larvae."
Jordan looked even more nauseous.
"A dump site." Robbins gave the clearing a disgruntled look.
The ME continued. "Lividity indicates she died lying faceup, but see the dual pattern on her arms and legs? They were repositioned after the blood pooling started, but before rigor set in."
"What time would you estimate she was moved here?" Mick asked when no one else did.
"Early Tuesday morning, roughly six hours postmortem. I expect he moved her while it was still dark."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this book! I honestly did not want to put it We meet Agent Mick O’Shaughnessy at the beginning of the book when his is pulled in as part of a special task force to solve murders that are affecting small town college campuses. Crimes that are so horrific in type, but the killers unique calling card is the only thing that all three victims have in common. Mick and the rest of his task force find themselves working against the clock to stop the next murder from happening, but the killer is getting is getting antsy. Meg Connelly is our heroine, a strong woman who has had to face much of the world alone. She finds herself placed in Agent O’Shaughnessy’s path after a drunken sorority member’s actions get reported to the police. Sparks immediately begin to fly between the Agent and the Sorority Advisor, Meg. Having already survived abandonment, Meg tries to resist Mick’s advances until it is unavoidable In the middle of the wonderful tension between Mick and Meg, our murderer begins to get nervous as Mick and his task force start to form a picture of who the killer might be. The Professor begins to make plans to move as he feels the path leading to him, but he will not move without one more kill, and this time it is personal against Mick. Filled with enjoyable, down to earth characters, and one wonderfully rotten villain who you cheerfully despise, I never felt as if one character upstaged another. The secondary characters are woven into the fabric of the story so fluidly, that I could not see the story’s evolution without them. Cathy Perkins’ debut novel, The Professor, from Carolina Press, is a fun, edgy, mystery, romantic must read. I promise you will become an immediate fan and look forward to the next book by Ms. Perkins.
I don't normally read mysteries, but The Professor sucked me in from the first page. Ms Perkins has created an engaging story that constantly keeps the reader guessing what will happen next. The murderer is smart AND creepy...two traits that aren't always mutually exclusive. Mick is the perfect alpaha male, tempered by intelligence, patience and understanding. Meg is driven to succeed, but has learned to hide her vulnerability behind a mask of polite detachment. These two characters not only complement each other, they create enough sensual tension to ignite the pages. I screamed warnings, cheered for, and sighed with heartfelt emotion as Meg and Mick struggled to overcome and survive every obstacle thrown at them...
There were several things that pulled me right into Cathy Perkins’s book The Professor. The setting, back in my single days I worked in Manning, SC. My aunt and uncle lived in Lake City, SC. One of the best school librarian’s I ever worked with grew up in Newberry. It was fun reading a book set in places that I could close my eyes and remember, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do that with a book before. The emotion felt by the characters, the way the author chose her words, and wove them together in a way that made you feel the way the characters felt. Meg’s past, how it made her the woman she is. Mick’s past that gave him the gumption to be supportive, even though he didn’t know what she’d been through. Then toward the end… Oh my, enough said. The sinister Professor, learning about him, tidbit by tidbit throughout the book made it hard to put the book down. I had reached a funk in reading. There are so many publisher required formula books on the market these days, that I’d lost hope of reading something that would capture my imagination and draw me in. I’m glad that I’m a part of a book club that wanted to read The Professor, it returned the joy of reading to me.
I read a lot of mystery and suspense so I'm on the lookout for new authors. A friend recommended The Professor. The characters drew me in completely - I was right there as Mick and Frank chased clues, building a profile of the killer. This author either knows law enforcement or did a lot of research because it all seemed so believable. The growing attraction between Mick and Meg was a nice counterpoint to the investigation without bogging the story down. The tension kept building and I stayed up late to finish it (don't want to do spoilers, but the end flips between Mick and Meg and I couldn't read fast enough!). I'm looking forward to Ms Perkins' next story.
Be sure you don't pass this one by. Well done!