Book Preview: "Final Words"
A hit-and-run driver kills Emma St. Clair. But the young medical examiner returns to life able to communicate with spirits of the dead who come to her autopsy suite. Using her ability to solve murders, she hides her gift to avoid being labeled emotionally disturbed and removed from her job.
Detective Jason MacKenzie lost a friend to the accident that critically injured Emma. Worse, his sister’s year-old hit-and-run death remains unsolved, so Jason vows to bring this deadly driver to justice. When Emma solves cases with information she shouldn’t know, he focuses on the beautiful coroner and finds his investigation turning into attraction.
Then Emma uncovers a serial killer at work in Clear Harbor and puts her own life at risk to find him. Learning that another detective was one of the killer’s victims, she enlists Jason’s help. But can she keep him from discovering her secret? Or will her ability to talk to ghosts prove deadly…in love and life?
Looking up, Emma saw a woman standing in the shadows near the cooler room door. Her features were difficult to make out in the dimness, so Emma lifted her face shield. It didn’t help.
“Jaime wanted to watch that silly game. ‘Here now,’ I said to him, ‘I watch my hospital show on Monday night’.” The woman’s voice quivered with age. She sounded Hispanic.
Emma narrowed her eyes, taking in the woman’s white cotton housedress and slippers. This isn’t one of the new technicians, she realized.
The woman gestured toward the body. “Jaime did this.”
Shaking off her surprise, Emma moved forward. “Ma’am, you can’t be in here.”
“I had to tell you about Jaime. My brother. He shot me and ran out the back.”
Tiny hairs on Emma’s arms prickled beneath the sleeves of her lab coat. She stopped near the middle autopsy station and studied the other woman’s form again. Small and slight, the figure seemed almost a part of the shadows and, somehow, not quite right. Emma wished that Skitch would return.
“Ma’am, you really have to leave,” she said.
“Here now, young lady.” The woman’s voice shook again, as if she couldn’t quite catch her breath. “I had to tell you what my brother did.”
Emma’s gaze ran over the shadowed form. “You said your brother shot you. Are you hurt? Shall I have someone take you to a hospital?”
“I’m getting tired but I do not hurt, Dr. St. Clair.”
Emma caught her breath. “You know my name?”
The woman stepped forward at last, into the pale light.
Bile welled in the back of Emma’s throat. That face. The woman’s face, lined with age and as dry and pale as paper, stared at her with dark eyes.
Emma jerked around and looked at the body on the table.
“You’re…” Words wedged their way past the bile in Emma’s throat. “You’re her.”
When Emma turned back, the space in front of the cooler room door was empty.
The woman had vanished.