by Anita Richmond Bankley
Elise Jeffries, new media spokesperson for the huge multi-national ScanTron, has to prove herself - and do it fast. She lost her last job and ended up in court when a man she trusted leaked information she had given him - information that turned out to be dead wrong. The mistake ruined her career and nearly wrecked her marriage, as the costs of the lawsuit wiped out her husband's dreams of his own business. Now a chemical plant explodes and a huge fire threatens to rip through her old Texas hometown of Flatwoods - a disaster that has already destroyed several nearby homes. The friendly town of Flatwoods that Elise remembers from childhood has disappeared, replaced by rows of houses for sale and angry people suffering from a series of mysterious ailments. As the acrid smoke from the fire covers the area, more people fall ill. But the company denies that anything toxic is stored at their facility, and Elise believes them. She believes them until she finds her girlfriend - still young but no longer the pretty, vibrant woman Elise remembers - ravaged by illness. With her suspicions growing and her old nemesis trying to win her back into his confidence, and perhaps his bed, Elise must defend ScanTron or lose her job. But her conscience tells her she must do something else - find out the truth about the accident, the truth about ScanTron's real business, the truth about the sickness killing her people. It's an investigation that will take grit and daring, for Elise is uncovering secrets someone is willing to kill to keep.
Hardcover: 340 pages