Saturday, August 11, 2018

#Amazon #Goodreads #ReviewTour - The Last Lie She Told (Lies and Misdirection Book 1) by K.J. McGillick

Title: The Last Lie She Told
Series: Lies and Misdirection Book 1
Author: K.J. McGillick
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: July 20, 2018

Lies and misdirection rule the game.

To some, Fiona O’Dell is clever and manipulative. To others, she is a dangerous sociopath. One thing is certain - she’s trouble wherever she goes. Now she has vanished from her job at a cutting-edge genetic technology firm, but not before being seen leaving a motel room where one man is found dead, another on the edge of death. When a genome-editing tool of incredible potential also goes missing, the CEO is convinced that Fiona has it. Millions of dollars are at stake. His fear—she will auction it off on the Dark Web.

After the devastating loss of his wife, Lee Stone leaves the Chicago homicide unit to search for a new career opportunity in the private sector. Things go smoothly, and he is comfortable at the firm until he is assigned the case of Fiona O’Dell. In a race to find her, he tracks her across four states in an attempt to obtain the gene-editing tool. Fiona continually eludes his grasp and leaves a trail of dead men in her wake. With little information and even less evidence, each new crime scene brings more questions than answers. 

It is not until Lee teams up with the bright and forthright NYPD detective, Belle Hughes, that he connects the dots. As their personal relationship heats up, the pair encounters a growing number of potential suspects including the CEO himself. But are the murders and theft connected?

While secrets are revealed, Lee and Belle can draw only one conclusion: Fiona controls the game, the players, even the course of the investigation. As the danger to their own lives escalates, they must master the game or fall victim to it.

Benjamin gave us a rundown of the crime scene. “The pictures were nauseating, Jackson,” Benjamin said. “Dennis’s ankles looked like barbequed pulled pork. The blood-crusted handcuffs had dug so far into his skin I’m positive the metal met bone. The handcuffs had chunks of skin and hair embedded in the small wells; they had rubbed his wrists raw and had cut into the tendons.”      
Mary made a face of disgust while Benjamin paused to collect his thoughts. He sounded exhausted, but he pushed on.
“I don’t understand how people stomach the savage destruction people do to each other. What the hell is wrong with people?”
        “You’d be surprised how desensitized our civilization has become,” Lee, the new member of my team, said. “When I worked Chicago’s gang division and then homicide it felt like I was in the middle of some tribal war.”
        Benjamin let that sit and continued. “The crime scene photos showed three stab marks inflicted without hesitation at points that would cause the most damage. I’m not a blood splatter expert, but it looked like someone had straddled Dennis at the hips and plunged the blade from a back overhead reach into his stomach until the blade hilt fully sank into his stomach. The attacker ripped the blade upward and then tore it out. Think of the brutality it took to cut him open like that—gutted like a deer. The stab penetrated his aorta and killed him.
        “But from what the report indicated, the punctures in his femoral arteries triggered the gusher-like blood spray, which was easy to visualize pulsating in rhythm with each heartbeat. Jackson, I swear, the room looked like Pollock had risen from the dead just to put his signature splatter and drip marks on the cream-colored walls,” Benjamin said, taking a deep breath through his nose.
        “They found Ryan passed out next to Dennis. His chest was smeared with dry blood, and his face was painted with blood in a war paint manner. He had no visible injuries but was in a coma. They transported him to the hospital.
        “A long blade, like a hunting knife, was found on the floor. Part of the handle was still sticky with brown, crusted blood. The sheets were soaked with whatever blood hadn’t hit the walls. The report said the room had a metallic and urine smell.”
        Benjamin’s voice wavered, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he bolted to puke. I suppose that visual of all that blood burned into your brain would haunt you forever.
        “So, what makes you think this Fiona person was with them?” Lee asked as he jotted notes on his short yellow pad.
        “There aren’t any cameras at the motel. But when the police took statements, one witness said she’d seen a woman matching Fiona's description knock on the door ten minutes after the men entered. However, the witness appeared inebriated, so they’re taking what she said with a grain of salt. There’s no physical evidence placing her in the room,” Benjamin said.
        “What a mess,” Lee said.
        “But I don’t understand why you need us,” I said. “You need to let local law enforcement handle this mess. This is a job for them.”
        “I need you to find Fiona. The police are treating this case as a murder. Ryan’s in the hospital with high levels of ketamine. If he wakes up, he might not remember anything, and there’s no physical evidence he murdered Dennis. But I believe they feel strongly that Ryan is the main suspect in the murder. The police aren’t going to look for Fiona. They’re going to focus on the murder, and unless Fiona becomes a person of interest or she’s dead too, she’s not on their radar. Fiona is an adult, and the police said our only option was to file a missing person report, if warranted.
        “Here’s my dilemma, Jackson. Ryan, Fiona, and Dennis were working on a sensitive project. Someone in that department stole the entire research project and wiped the server and cloud of all data.” He hesitated.
        “So why not alert the FBI or local law enforcement?” Mary interjected, raising an eyebrow and leaning forward to get closer to the speaker on the table.
        Benjamin cleared his throat. “We acquired the project from a lab in Berlin. Berlin found a mechanism that allows the alteration of DNA at the base level. The implications are enormous. Upon completion of the project, our price to sell it would be in the neighborhood of half a billion. It could be used for good, to cure disease, or for bad, to alter existing DNA after someone committed a crime. Whoever stole the project, wiped all the servers of the information after they completed the transfer to an external drive. On the dark web, it could be sold for billions. We wanted to sell it to one entity, so that party could fully develop it and market it. On the dark web, however, it could be sold again and again. So where is it? Either Dennis hid it, or Ryan or Fiona have it. I need you to find out which one of them has it, or where they hid it.”

K.J. McGillick is an author of psychological thrillers and draws from her background in the law, medicine and art history to engage her readers in her fast-paced thriller series, A Path of Deception and Betrayal. She draws upon her legal knowledge as a practicing attorney and experiences as an avid international traveler to produce page turning books filled with mystery and suspense. 


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