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Suzanne M. Hurley
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FBI agent Ryan Leam's son is missing.
Seeking truth, Psychologist Samantha Barclay risks her life to go undercover at Sacred Heart Academy.
Newspaper reporter Mariah Blue is hot on Samantha's trail. No one knows why.
Will Samantha find the boy before it's too late?
Will she survive Mariah's confrontation?
The truth is shocking and unbelievable.
“I need your help.” The plea was urgent.
“Who is this?"
No way would an FBI Agent be calling me. “You're joking, right?"
“I have to talk to you."
This time I detected a mild lisp. It really was Ryan.
“Can I come over?
“Sure." How could I refuse a man of the law?
“Be there in ten." He hung up.
My name is Samantha Barclay, Sam to my friends. I am the counselor at Milton High here in Paxton, West Virginia. Ryan and I had crossed paths over the last couple of years when I had been involved in a few dicey situations. Like almost being killed twice. He had been a cracker jack deputy who ran the drug unit for Fayette County. Many felons were behind bars because of him. His expertise, skill and sharp mind had the FBI at his doorstep, begging him to join. He was now a special agent in Richmond, Virginia.
Ryan frowned at my involvement in police matters just as I objected to his brusque no-nonsense approach to life. The fact he wanted anything to do with me, especially enough to bother me at work, was a surprise.
It was not a welcomed one either. If I knew Ryan, it would probably mean something serious. I was in a good mood and didn’t want anyone or anything to spoil it. I was just about to call my dad to see if he had any last minute wedding preparations he needed taken care of. He was marrying my landlady, Irena Edwards. Tomorrow was the rehearsal and Saturday, the main event. Excited, I was literally counting down seconds until the nuptials began.
A loud knock drew my attention. I glanced at my watch. Ten minutes exactly.
I opened the door and was shocked by Ryan's appearance. Where once he was impeccably dressed, he now sported a stained black T-shirt, wrinkled green trousers and stringy brown hair in desperate need of a wash and trim. A couple of days’ beard growth added to his disheveled look. He was forty-two years old, yet appeared much older. Up close, I could see black smudges under his eyes which signaled sleepless nights. Taut, razor sharp creases below his cheekbones echoed a dramatic weight loss. In short, he looked a complete mess. If he were a client of mine, I’d have him at the doctor’s office by the end of the day.
“Sit down." He pointed to the recliner by the window.
I did as he said. I was used to his overbearing manner.
He pulled up a chair in front of me.
“I need a favor."
“What is it?"
“I want you to go to Sacred Heart Academy."
That school was in Virginia, two hours from here.
“For a visit?"
“No. To work."
“I have a job here."
“I need you to find out something for me."
“You're asking me?" Stunned, I stood up. “You have FBI agents to help you."
“Please." He rose as well.
Ryan looked scared. I had never seen cool, in control, Special Agent Leam like this before.
He reached out to grab my arms and moved closer. He stared me in the face.
“My eighteen year old son's been kidnapped. I need you positioned at Sacred Heart to help me find him. Surely, some of his friends must know something." He dropped his hands, and hung his head, a picture of defeat. “They're not telling me anything. I can't even trace Jason's final hours at the school. Everyone's closemouthed."
His son was gone! No wonder he looked horrible. My heartstrings were tugged tightly. I wanted to hug him, to tell him how sorry I was, but Ryan was not the affectionate type, so I held back, keeping it strictly business. I figured it was all he could handle.
“Is there a ransom note?"
“Not yet. There should be one any day now."
I was torn. “How can I just up and leave?"
He looked at me, a touch of hope in his eyes. “I have your principal's permission. Your job here will be held for your return. I just need the okay from you."
Casey Peak was a great principal. He would support anything if it meant helping someone. He also had complete faith in me, more than I had in myself.
“So, will you do it?"
Happiness to this author is curled up with her laptop creating imaginary worlds that come from her heart. Writing is her passion and dreaming up story lines is her love. Suzanne was born in Peterborough, Ontario and currently lives in Caledonia, Haldimand County, where on morning walks, she tries out her new plots on the cows, sheep and numerous wild animals she greets along the way.
Please visit Suzanne at her website: www.suzannemhurley.com
Delusions can be deadly. Sometimes survival depends on the ability to see beyond appearances to reality.
Suzanne Hurley explores this idea in her new romantic mystery, DELUSIONS (Wings e-Press, October, 2008). DELUSIONS is a bittersweet tale of teen angst and tragedy, of a murder-minded drug dealer roaming the halls of a small rural high school, and of benign faces hiding their true natures behind masks.
Once you meet Sam and her friends, you'll be eager to know what lies ahead for her. Good news! There's a third book in the works. -- Dorothy Bodoin -author www.dorothybodoin.com
DELUSIONS is a fast moving, tense mystery. Just as the reader thinks all has been revealed, the author springs yet another surprise. An enjoyable read. I highly recommend it. -- Norma Seely - author
Delusions, the sequel to Changeable Facades, Suzanne M. Hurley’s debut romantic suspense novel, is a story filled with numerous twists and unexpected turns. I thought I had my finger on the culprit, but Ms Hurley’s genuine talent for deception kept me guessing the plot’s ultimate outcome. A great ‘who-dunnit’ Ms. Hurley can be proud of. -- Kimberley Dehn www.kimberley-dehn
DELUSIONS: Suzanne Hurley keeps the reader in suspense, right up to the very end, with both the identity of the person behind the drug problem and with the outcome of Sam’s romantic life. -- Linda Rettstatt - www.geocities.com/lindarettstatt
In Delusions, Suzanne M. Hurley creates another suspenseful Samantha Barclay Mystery, as the High School councilor once again gets into trouble when she gives in to her own natural curiosity to ferret out the truth. Why are her best people getting into drugs? Suzanne Hurley creates another suspenseful, page turning mystery where absolutely everyone appears to be the culprit. -- Joan Powell - author www.congerbooks.com
Chances: I loved this suspense novel so much I read it twice, back-to-back. Yes, it’s that good! I’ve read Ms Suzanne M. Hurley before, but this is by far the best book she has master-minded. The ending will keep you gasping with surprises. Don’t wait for a rainy day to read this one. Get it today. -- Joan Powell
Chances:The high school counselor, Samantha Barclay, is at her best when she is sleuthing undercover. A student has disappeared. Some say he has run away, while others insist he has been kidnapped. Sam puts her own life on the line to find him and keep him safe. Little does she know that even as she and her dog, Maxine, brave dangers to locate the missing teenager, she herself is being stalked by an aggressive New York reporter, Mariah Blue. Even as she works to win trust from others, she herself struggles with the same problem. Her boyfriend, Deputy Al Michaels, can only shake his head in wonder as Sam tries to tackle the whole situation… alone. -- Joan Powell
Chances: For Samantha Barclay, counselor at Milton High School in the little town of Paxton, West Virginia, life is never serene. Just when her relationship with Deputy Al Michaels has reached an exciting new stage and her father is on the verge of marrying his newfound love, change enters in the form of an old FBI friend.
When we think we know the answers, Ms. Hurley cleverly twists the plot in a different direction. Soon Sam finds herself once again in grave danger, risking not only her relationship with Al but also her life. In the meantime, after a series of frustrations and dead ends, Mariah Blue finds Sam, and we still don’t know her agenda. This is a book that will keep you guessing right up to the last chapter.
Ms. Hurley is a talented writer who is willing to experiment with previous success. She uses the first point of view for Samantha, as in previous books; for Mariah she switches to third person, a technique that keeps the suspense at a fever pitch. And this is a true page-turner. It kept me coming back to read “just one more chapter” while my other chores went undone.
I was happy to be back in Samantha’s world wit
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 345
Paper Weight (lb): 14.4
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