Yesterday, my second Dean Matheson crime thriller – Where the Snow Bleeds – was released as an eBook and audiobook. The taster (prologue) is coming up below but first, let’s see how things have changed for Dean since we last saw him in Who Cares If They Die (available now as paperback/eBook/audiobook).
In the first book he was reeling from the shock of his brother’s suicide, which caused him to make some terrible life choices. His ultimate goal has always been to become a homicide detective (he’s currently a police officer) and when he gets a chance to give that a try, he basically screws it up. Literally! 😊
By the end of book 1 we see a broken and disheartened Dean who makes the choice to leave the police force and his home town of Maple Valley. He heads to Las Vegas to become a private investigator, with his loyal wannabe police dog – Rocky – beside him.
So, in Where the Snow Bleeds we see how Dean is coping living and working in Las Vegas. He’s not enjoying it because he finds the job to be far more boring than he expected, as it mainly involves catching dog thieves. So when a woman walks into his office with an interesting case, he can’t resist. The woman’s daughter has gone missing whilst working at the Winter Pines Ski Resort in the creepy, desolate town of Lone Creek, Colorado. Dean agrees to visit the town and find out what happened.
This is where we meet Detective Eva Valdez for the first time. She was a great character to write as she’s strong and independent and the last thing she wants is some failed cop trying to help her. But she and Dean quickly realise they need to work together in order find Hannah and Jodie, the missing girls, before it’s too late.
Hannah already has a tragic backstory, as told from her point of view in my first novel – The Girl Who Died. Here we learn why she moved to the US from the UK, which clearly isn’t working out for her!
Early reviews of Where the Snow Bleeds confirm the story is dark and compelling, which is exactly what I was aiming for.
Book 3 – as yet untitled – is now finished and takes Dean in a direction even I wasn’t expecting…
Here’s the prologue from Where the Snow Bleeds, to whet your appetite! (Available from all digital platforms, including Amazon, now!)
Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Trixie, the pure white Pomeranian who would almost certainly vanish into the thick blanket of snow but for her small black nose and fake Chanel collar, is doing something very unladylike. But boy, is she enjoying it. As she licks away, relishing the salty flavour and thick, greasy texture of this red liquid she’s never tasted anywhere before, she can hear her mother shouting for her. This is followed by crunching and panting sounds as her mother treads closer into the dense woods.
‘Trixie? Trixie, baby! Where did you go?’
Trixie yaps in excitement as her mother approaches, happy to share with her this new culinary delight. But she doesn’t turn around just yet because she wants some more for herself. A shadow suddenly blocks out the daylight.
‘Here you are, baby! That was very naughty to run away like that! Mummy’s trying to eat warm cookies after a long day on the slopes.’
Trixie’s mother, a wannabe-socialite from New York State, sounds relieved to have found her. She doesn’t notice or care what’s caught Trixie’s interest, assuming it’s the scent of yet another pine squirrel. Instead, in her relief, she reaches down, scoops her up and rubs her face all over Trixie’s without looking, which is their usual way of greeting.
‘Here’s mummy! Yes, here I am!’ she coos. Suddenly, she stops. She holds Trixie out, to look at her properly for the first time since she ran off.
Trixie blinks at her, then wags her tail. She’s eager to please but even more eager to get back to the good stuff. The scream, as her mother notices the bright red blood that covers Trixie’s soft white face, echoes through the Rocky Mountains and almost pierces poor Trixie’s delicate ears. Trixie suddenly finds herself discarded on the ground, confused.
As her mother dives away in disgust, heading for the safety of a bathroom to wash her face, Trixie trots back to the discarded hiking boot which her mother never even noticed.
‘Trixie!’ her mother yells after her as she retreats. ‘You come away from whatever dead animal you’ve found right now, you naughty girl!’
Trixie looks longingly at the jagged ankle bone that’s sticking out from snow-covered boot before obediently running after her mother.