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The Worst Evil
Carlene Rae Dater
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Maddie Eland has spent her life running from the consequences of her roommate’s murders. Scott Barons, a journalist, tracks her down. He’s determined to find the killer, no matter how many more lives are affected, no matter the cost to Maddie. He discovers more than he bargained for and almost dies before uncovering the truth.

It was the bitterest winter in a century. Frigid air swept down from Canada. Hard icy winds blew off the lake. The temperatures hadn’t been above freezing for weeks. Most people were cold, many were miserable. Some died.

Maddie shivered, huddled in her bed, petrified with cold. A sharp noise drilled into her brain. She rolled over in her sleep, burrowing her nose deeper under the covers to escape it. Curled into a ball for heat, she cradled her hands between her warm thighs.

In her dream, she runs across a vast, white blanket of snow, trips, falls, gets up and runs again. Her feet are blocks of wood, too frigid to support her. No matter how fast she runs, she knows he…it…something comes ever closer. She turns to confront her tormentor. A siren pierces her brain. It jerks her awake.

Beside her bed, the alarm clock screamed from the top of the rough wooden crate that served as a nightstand. Through the shadows, Maddie could see the luminescent hands pointed to six o’clock. Time to get up, get ready for the early morning flight to Miami. Her arm shot out from the semi-warmth of the covers and slammed the off button; her fingertips grazed the wall of her small cubicle. A sliver of wood jammed under her nail. She yanked the splinter out, then threw it under the bed. Pain sizzled through her head; her tongue stuck to the roof of her dry mouth. She inhaled deeply and exhaled. Her brain seemed to crackle and sizzle. A foul fog of air escaped from her lips. With a groan, she threw the bedspread over her head and tried to go back to sleep.

Why on earth had she had so much to drink? She and her four roommates had had a party to celebrate her first trip away from Chicago. Maddie remembered having two beers and three shots of scotch…or four. She rolled over. The curtain that served as a door to her cubbyhole room caught her attention. It waved and rippled in a breeze.

How could there be a draft in the kitchen? With a lurch, she pushed back the blankets and shoved her feet in the slippers beside the bed.

“What the…”

There were tiny chunks of ice in the toes.

Maddie jumped up, and draped the bedspread around her shoulders for warmth. She staggered over to thrust aside the curtain. Her head pounded and bile rose up in the back of her throat. She swallowed a bitter lump and stared in wonder at the open back door seesawing in the frosty draft. Tension zigzagged through her body like heat lightning in a summer storm.

Snow was piled in the doorway; wind drove the mound ever further into the kitchen. Snippets of frost hung off the kitchen chair closest to the door. The remnants of an impromptu pizza party littered the grimy white oilskin-covered table. One of the crusts had fallen onto the floor and stood upright in the indoor snowdrift. A sudden gust blew in through the open space. The heap of snow skittered and shifted across the linoleum. She watched an indentation dissolve in the swirl. It had the shape of a footprint. Maddie couldn’t tell if the track was headed in…or out. She dashed across the room, slammed the door closed, clicking the lock to make sure it was fastened.

She stood still in the darkness and held her breath. It was silent, still in that half-dead part of night just before dawn. Terrified she would see a face watching her, she let her eyes skim the dim recesses of the pantry. The space was empty; only can goods resting on the shelves stared back at her. Air hissed out of her lungs in one long whoosh. After a few seconds, she heard the clattering clank of heat rising in the pipes.

"Just when you think you have it all figured out, Carlene Rae Dater tosses the reader a new twist and turn. Maddie has her secrets but how could she not after all she has been through. This is a complex character that this reader couldn’t decide if she loved or hated. Ms Dater did a wonderful job in creating this character. Kudos to Ms Dater for penning an amazing tale of a woman who has had a terrible childhood and was never free of her past. Scott is a liar. He came into Maddie’s life after much research so he knows he can’t tell her the truth. She would never talk to a journalist. He had to have a catch hook to suck her in, something that would make her want to talk to him. Money will do it if all else fails. But even though he is dishonest, the reader can’t help but like Scott. And he redeems himself in the end, which is a wonderful thing.

THE WORST EVIL is packed full of suspense and mystery that will leave the reader on the edge of their seat, biting their nails. Few mysteries that this reviewer has read have left the reader guessing until the very end, but THE WORST EVIL does it. The killer turns out to be a very surprising twist. A sad and heart felt ending was the most amazing part of this totally engrossing story. This reviewer can happily and very highly recommend THE WORST EVIL to mystery lovers out there. Go, read, and enjoy!"

Reviewed by Penny Love Romances 4 1/2 Hearts

ISBN: 1593743599
ISBN(13-digit): 9781593743598
Copyright: 2009
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 268
Paper Weight (lb): 11.4

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