♦ ♦ ♦***This is a short story prequel companion to the first novel in the Reverend Cici Gurule Mysteries, A Pilgrimage to Death.*** Few people ever experienced a connection like Reverend Cici Gurule had with her sister. The women weren’t just twins; they were identical. Yes, were. Cici knew the exact moment her sister had died because Cici had passed out in her apartment. She’d swear until the day she died her sister said her name in a soft, broken voice as her own mind had switched off. Now, Cici must learn to live without her sister… and deal with a cold trail and unsolved murder.
An acclaimed new series from a USA TODAY BEST-SELLING author, J.J. Cagney. Winner of the 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards, 2019 TopShelf Book Awards Mystery Finalist, and named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2018.Cici discovers a body in the forest, and the victim’s wounds are identical to the ones that killed her sister a year ago… Someone murdered her sister. And shot her dog. The killer won’t stop until she’s dead, too. Now, the killer has Cici on the run. With her identical twin sister hauntings her dreams, as Cici and her dogs must dodge arrows, bullets, and even a demon truck. Worse, she must grapple with the knowledge her twin’s death was much more sinister than a random act of violence. The chase is on. As Cici closes in on the takedown, the criminals plan to wipe the sleuth off their radar. Permanently. An unconventional woman. A brutal murder. To solve the case, one reverend will look for help from beyond the grave… Cici Gurule wants to pretend her dream is nothing more than a meaningless nightmare. But she cannot ignore that the bruised and bloodied woman looked alarmingly like her. When a baby turns up on her porch—a baby who was reported missing days before—evidence points to a connection with the woman in Cici’s dream, and she can no longer ignore the nighttime vision. Cici and Detective Sam Chastain struggle to follow the garbled evidence, but the killer scores his victim first. Worse, a message pinned to the victim’s blouse states, “You’re next.” Now, it’s a race against the clock to keep the baby safe and find the murderer before his trail goes cold. Cici’s only chance to solve this mystery, before she becomes the next victim, means choosing between her faith and believing a message left by her ghostly twin.
A 2019 Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize finalist.A botched execution. A reverend on the run. Can she solve the mystery before she’s caught in the crosshairs? Reverend Cici Gurule went to the sacred Chaco Canyon in search of a sign. She’s been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in a megachurch, but taking the position would mean abandoning her Southwestern home and the man she’s grown to love as much more than a friend. She’s so caught up in her thoughts that she doesn’t realize when she stumbles upon a group of heavily armed operatives on the verge of an execution. Soon, Cici’s dodging bullets and scaling mesas with the mysterious man she saved from certain death. With a little help from her twin sister’s ghost and restless ancestral spirits, they venture deeper into the maze-like rocky terrain. But her new companion’s deadly aim makes her wonder if she can afford to trust his side of the story. To make it out of the canyon alive, Cici must unearth the true story behind the man and a sacred Navajo artifact before the next blood shed on sacred ground is hers. The fourth installment in the Kirkus Reviews, National Indie Excellence Awards and Publishers Weekly award-winning series by USA Today Best-selling Author, J. J. Cagney: The first victim rolls out of a rain barrel. Soon, Cici Gurule dreams of other women’s attacks, thanks to visions from her dead twin. The victims’ watery graves torment Cici, feeding her growing fear of water. The killer targets Cici’s congregants and friends, taunting her and her lover, Detective Sam Chastain. Sam partners with the SFPD to investigate the widening web of assault, death, and pain… all while Cici struggles with the choices she made in Chaco Canyon. When the killer lures a teen girl from her family, Cici and Sam’s desperation to identify him becomes critical. But the clues, from the disappearance of Sam’s ex-lover, to a cat with a chilling message for Cici, are leading them further from the truth, rather than toward saving the kidnapped girl.
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♦ ♦ ♦J. Cagney is the mystery/thriller pen name of USA Today bestselling author Alexa Padgett. Her debut mystery, A Pilgrimage of Death, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ 100 Best Books of 2018, 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards winner, and Goodreads Best Mysteries of the 2010s. Cagney holds a bachelor’s in international marketing and spent part of her twenties as the marketing director for an elite sports management firm. And, yes, she did her requisite stint with a dotcom back in the early 2000s, first as a marketing coordinator and then as a content manager. She’s penned work for a variety of websites and magazines, and she worked as a literary agent for Irene Webb Literary. She lives in northern New Mexico with her husband, children, about a million fish, and their Great Pyrenees, Ash.
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