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Prologue


A sticky, sweet smell veiled the house, making it hard to breathe. I should have known immediately. After all, how many times had I described it in my books? Yet it didn't even occur to me as possible. Never could I have imagined my fiction so brutally brought to life. And so close to home.

The odor stuck in my throat. I gagged. Fear caressed my skin with its clammy hands. In the pit of my stomach I knew something was wrong, dead wrong. The intense certainty propelled my feet forward despite my legs unwillingness to move. They felt sluggish and uncooperative as I entered the only place left to look, the kitchen. The odor grew stronger, burning the inside of my nose. Swallowing several times to force the lump in my throat down, my mouth went dry. I concentrated on not throwing up, instead of what I might find. I stretched my hands out defensively. Time slowed. Every one of my senses assaulted by blood and death, I froze in place. The cold, blank, dead eyes of my husband met mine. Rocking back and forth, the room spinning, I couldn't process the whole of what I was seeing. All I could do was stare back into Danny’s eyes—eyes frozen open in horror and pain. The floor smacked against my body as my knees gave way.

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