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Voice of Innocence -- EPUB

  • He’s a man with a sword hanging over his head. She’s the woman who can save him…with a little help from “beyond.”
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$1.99
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Release Date:
January 15, 2012
ISBN:
9781612521312
Cover Artist:
J.L. Fuller

Product Description

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Professor Lachlan MacAndrews is in trouble: books go missing from his office, then reappear…his late assistant's glove appears from nowhere…and his new doctoral fellow is a double for Annie Cooper, his previous assistant, whose death he still blames on himself. Is Lachlan being haunted, losing his mind…or worse?

Amanda Sullivan is ecstatic: she’s scored a doctoral assistantship at Carlyle College with the famous Dr. MacAndrews, a legend in his field and devastatingly handsome to boot. But she’s not prepared for the shock of seeing her resemblance to his previous assistant…or learning that her mentor is a suspect in Annie Cooper’s death.

Neither of them knows they have a mutual enemy who will stop at nothing -- double-dealing, forgery, even murder -- to keep them from discovering the truth. They’re about to start the battle of both their lives…with a little help from “beyond.”

EXCERPT

It's starting again. God help me.

Professor Lachlan MacAndrews knew how he'd left his office mere moments prior. Room 205, the best seat in the house of the Humanities department, had been in great shape for his return from sabbatical. Clean. Neat. Orderly. Inviting. Desk lamp burning, tartan mugs at the ready. Blotter, aligned precisely three inches from the front edge of the desk. Books that marched straight on the ebony shelves, like soldiers at attention.

Then he'd walked to the opposite end of the second-floor corridor, filled his water carafe, and returned... to chaos.

Desk lamp off.

Coffee mugs bottoms-up on the credenza.

Books, sprung from their places, spread-eagled on the floor.

A cold that surrounded him, seemingly working its way into his pores.

God in heaven, the cold. Neither air conditioning nor a sliver-opened window breeze from the September morning, this was a chill beyond human control. Dank, sinkhole cold. Neglected-cellar cold. The cold of a space in the earth, six and a half feet deep...

God. Help. Me.

He forced air into his lungs and willed his hands not to shake. He couldn't let this get to him. Not like he'd allowed the unexplainable to get to him before. He'd already lost a Division chairmanship to a moment of weakness. One more "incident" and he was finished as a teacher, not just at Carlyle College but anywhere.

This won't lick me. I can beat it. I have to beat it. Or else.

Deliberately, Lachlan switched on the lamp once more. Measured the grounds, filled the reservoir, set both mugs to rights. Steam from the drip brewer drove back a tad of the shivers that marched up his spine, and his shoulders began to relax. For fifteen years he'd done this, in this very spot, every morning. He would keep doing this here for fifteen more, or longer, if he had any say in his future.

If.

Lachlan's jaw clenched. His future wasn't a matter of if. It was in his hands. He'd start by putting his office back in order.

He bent, methodically picked up books one by one off the floor, and reset them in place. A power surge could have altered the temperature, even messed with his lamp. For all he knew, he might have left the mugs head-down himself -- but he couldn't explain the books. Carlyle didn't lie on any fault lines that he knew of. He hadn't felt a tremor in the building, certainly not one strong enough to dislodge inanimate objects from shelves. Perhaps he'd just not paid it any mind. No surprise there. He'd had his own fault lines to deal with over the past year.

He replaced the Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and the Churchill first edition; the Chaucer and the Austen; and the freshman-lit anthologies, before he saw the straggler. One last book lay not on the floor, but on one corner of his desk instead. With a sigh, he reached over to grasp it, read the spine, and felt his mouth go dry. Then a small object dropped out of its inside back cover, and Lachlan's knees nearly cut out beneath him.

The book? A collection of Robert Burns' poetry, a volume he hadn't seen in over a year. He knew who'd had it last. The same person who'd owned the glove now on his blotter. Delicate, cream-colored kid, cutwork at the wrist. Scented with roses and citrus.

Her trademark perfume.

Gracing one glove of the pair she'd been wearing on the wintry night she died.


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