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NO Doubt
Kathleen O'Connor
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Detective Sunny (Royal Sun) Cloud's life is the stuff of country and western songs. He's been shot up, fed up and his woman is gone. He has one last murder to investigate and then he's off to a Florida retirement.

But this last case proves to be his most challenging. Library Director Ian Fisher has been bludgeoned to death with a paperweight, and the fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to Joanne Gallagher, mother of rookie detective Mitch Gallagher.

A former alcoholic, Joanne Gallagher is newly sober and newly separated. Only a few details stand in the way of her redemption—those prints on the murder weapon and the scratches on the victim's face both came from her hand. She tries to explain but no one is listening. She’s considering making a false confession in order to save her son’s career.

Detective Sunny Cloud thinks Joanne Gallagher is as cute as a new baby chick and as guilty as hell. Will she be able to convince him of her innocence before it’s too late?

Detective Sergeant Royal Sun (Sunny) Cloud woke in the crowded recovery room and wondered why his throat was so sore. There was no one to ask so he drifted back into a drug-induced sleep. When he woke again, he was in a private room and his best friend and former college roommate was looking at him with obvious concern. “I’ll be all right,” he rasped.

“Of course you will,” Nick Mancuso answered too heartily.

Sunny gestured to this throat. “Think they took my tonsils out too.”

“They used a breathing tube during surgery.”

“Intubated me?”

“Had to. Shoulder injury was close to the lungs.” Sunny had taken two bullets while delivering Easter candy to the city’s largest housing project.

“Did they catch them?”

“Yeah. Two fourteen-year-olds. They were crouched behind that low brick wall just waiting for you guys to come.” Mancuso was the Chief of Police in a small Connecticut town that averaged one annual murder and had no housing projects. Only an hour’s drive by car—but worlds away from the inner city where Sunny worked.

“Anybody else hurt?”

“No. Just you. You were the sponge.”

Sunny looked at the oversized clock on the pea-soup green wall. It was almost seven. “Go on home. It’s getting late.”

“I’ve got a hotel room across the street.”

That was when Sunny realized it wasn’t going to be totally all right. Though highly drugged and foggy brained, he was still able to acknowledge that at approximately ten o’clock that morning, Holy Saturday had deteriorated into holy shit, and nothing in his life would ever be the same. “Did you talk to the doctor?”

“Yeah. It was good news and bad news.”

Sunny knew Mancuso wouldn’t sugar coat. “Just give me the bad news.”

“You’re going to have some degree of permanent numbness in your right hand because of nerve damage. Your knee was also pretty messed up. You might need to walk with a cane—for awhile anyway.” Then Nick asked, “Where’s Mia?”

“We’ve split.” Nick didn’t ask why. It was kind of obvious. At thirty-eight, Sunny married a twenty-year-old model and the inevitable happened—eight years passed, she didn’t mature but he aged.


Actually it wasn’t so tough. He was tired of Mia’s narcissism and childish outbursts. For awhile he had enjoyed the glamour, excitement, and acquisitiveness that defined their relationship. But lately the marriage had felt as hollow as those chocolate rabbits he intended to distribute. And maybe that was why he always listed Mancuso as his next of kin. The two men were closer than brothers and even kind of looked alike—as much as a Sicilian and Mohawk could.

“You’ll get through this,” Nick reassured.

Sunny didn’t think so. Both men understood the emotional passages a gunshot victim navigated. There was that initial euphoric stage after having survived both the shooting and the surgery to be followed by denial, despair and chronic depression. Sunny felt himself fast forwarding into despair. His grueling job in Bridgeport’s Major Crime Unit was going to be just a memory. Though tired of his law-breaking clients—drugged up, dead-eyed people with cracked lips and flawed reasoning—he would miss his buddies.

Women had always found him attractive, he would miss their attention. But what pained him the most was the loss of his youth. In mere seconds he had turned from a guy with limitless possibilities into a gimpy old geezer. “It’s over.”

Nick whipped around and shook his head vigorously. “Don’t think like that. Your career isn’t over. You’ll do some therapy and then you’ll come work for me. There’s money in the budget. I’ll hire you as a special investigator. We need someone like you. Crime scenes get contaminated. Evidence gets lost. The new technologies aren’t always used.”

Mancuso’s voice was belligerent and his eyes were becoming alarmingly moist. Sticking out his hand, he said, “Promise me you’ll come to Ridgely.”

All in all No Doubt leaves little doubt as a well done story.
Reviewed by Lori. Once Upon a Romance. Rating 4.25


NO DOUBT is a touching romance suspense story that leaves you feeling good. As you learn more about Detective Cloud, you are drawn into the mind and heart of a man who is unable to let go.... Unexpectedly, he finds himself attracted to Joanne as he tries to work out the details of the murder of Mr. Fisher. Although Joanne admits to being in Mr. Fisher's office and touching the paperweight, Det. Cloud does not believe that she is a killer. His belief in her is what helps Joanne through the nightmare of proving her innocence. Their relationship grows slowly out of mutual respect and trust and it leaves you wondering.... if she didn't do it, who did? The mirade of relationships between other library workers, the town vagrant, and Joanne's estranged son, Mitch are all complex but fit together nicely. The story flows and although the romance is not overpowering, it's underlying vein is a nice addition to a murder mystery story.
Reviewed by Kathy Fisher. Romance Reader's Connection. Rating 3.0


This book left me utterly awestruck at the brilliant way the author wrote such pained, vulnerable characters. Each page made me ache over their broken spirits and hope they find some measure of peace in the end. The murder investigation is simply the catalyst for an emotional ride that takes the reader through their trials and tribulations and their healing is a soothing balm for both the characters and the reader in the end.
Reviewed by Charissa. Coffee Time Romance Rating: 5 cups


Sunny and Joanne are great character that are brought to life in NO DOUBT. Their personalities are honest and well drawn out, they are both show realistic emotions and their actions are mature and full of strength. Kathleen O’Connor has given them hard past lives, and manages to bring them around to where they are accepting their position in life, and enjoying where they are today.
Reviewed by Angie. Love Romances. Rating 3.5


Ms. O’Connor generates a vibrant read that captures everything in her characters, then paints them on the pages as if she were sketching a lovely portrait. With the on-going investigation of a murder case, the two (lead characters) are thrown into a world that is full of emotions and sensations that carried this reader right along with them. This poignant story brings two heart-tugging characters together and shows them how loving hearts can heal all wounds. This is definitely a keeper.

Reviewed by: Linda L. FAR Reviews. 5 Angels


Lots of well-drawn characters in a well-told tale by talented author Kathleen O'Connor. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to any mystery reader who likes a bit of the unexpected and romance in their reading. A story I'm sure you will enjoy. I did.

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader. Rating 4 bolts

Fiction Books :: Mystery & Detective Books :: General Books

ISBN: 1593744757
ISBN(13-digit): 9781593744755
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 198
Paper Weight (lb): 8.4

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