by Patricia Hale
on Tour October 1-31, 2018
Track star, Ashley Lambert, has just been accepted into the prestigious Johns Hopkins
University, so when she jumps eighteen stories to her death her parents hire the PI team of Griff
Cole and Britt Callahan to find out why. The investigation exposes a deeply disturbed family
hiding behind a façade of perfection and follows Ashley’s descent into performance enhancing
drugs and blackmail. Ashley’s coaches, peers and even her parents come into question. The
disturbing truth behind Ashley’s death is testimony to lines crossed and allegiances sworn…. in
the name of love.
Meanwhile, things don’t add up next door. Britt’s working overtime researching their new
neighbors whose one-year-old son disappeared four years ago. Rhea McKenzie, has a secret
and bruises aren’t the only thing she’s trying to hide. When an off-hand comment discloses a
connection to Ashley Lambert the two cases become entwined, setting off an unstoppable chain
of events. Britt is sucked into an alliance with Rhea and driven to make decisions that challenge
her ethics, threaten her relationship and in the end, push her over a line she never thought
Published by: Intrigue Publishing
Publication Date: September 1, 2018
Number of Pages: 194
Series: Cole and Callahan #3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
“She was a star athlete at the top of her class and a week from graduation,” Greg continued.
“She’d been accepted at Johns Hopkins Berman Institute for Bioethics. And you’re telling me
that’s a kid who makes bad decisions? I don’t think so, Ms. Callahan.”
Okay, he shut me up. (A momentary lull.)
“Mr. Lambert,” Griff spoke up. “I have a daughter. I can’t imagine what you must be going
through dealing with all this. What is it you think we can do for you?”
“I told the police and the medical examiner that my daughter wouldn’t take her own life.
Cops shook their heads, said it wasn’t their call to make. The medical examiner said it
presented as a cut and dried suicide.”
“And what do you say, Mr. Lambert?”
“My daughter was murdered.”
I glanced at Gwen. “Do you agree, Mrs. Lambert?”
She raised her eyes, glanced at her husband and then to me. “I’m not convinced, but I do
agree that suicide doesn’t fit with who my daughter was.”
Griff kept his focus on Greg. “What makes you think someone would have killed your
daughter? Did she have enemies that you’re aware of?”
“No, no enemies that I know of, but her jumping makes no sense. She had everything going
for her and absolutely no reason to end her life. She would never have done that to me.”
Strike two. The selfish bastard assumed his daughter’s tragic death had more to do with him
than whatever had driven her to that fateful state of mind. “Suicide is about what’s going on
within the person themselves,” I said trying not to let my voice betray my disgust. “I doubt Ashley
was consciously doing anything to you at the moment she jumped. If she jumped.”
“She knew the goals we’d set,” he said dismissing my remark. “And she had every intention
of attaining them.”
“Goals?” I asked.
“Johns Hopkins, her PhD, an Olympic gold medal.”
“Had she been accepted to compete in the Olympics?” Griff asked.
“It was in the works,” he said annunciating each word as though we were hard of
“Did you let the medical examiner know how you felt?”
“Of course, I did.”
“And was an autopsy performed?”
Greg Lambert glanced at his wife. She looked away. Touchy subject, I gathered.
“Useless,” he said. “They found nothing.” He turned to Gwen. “Go get my checkbook.”
She rose and disappeared inside the house without a word, still holding the columbine in her
I caught Griff’s eye and he raised his eyebrows as though asking, should we?
“Look Mr. Lambert,” he said. “Britt and I like to discuss a case before we commit to it. We
want to feel some degree of surety that we can help you before money changes hands and we
sign a contract. Give us time to talk it over and we’ll get back to you tomorrow.”
Gwen reappeared holding a large, black-spiraled checkbook. Greg took it from her along
with the pen she offered and flipped open the front of the book. He looked at Griff. “How much
do you want?” he asked.
“Mr. Lambert, I…” Griff started.
“We’ll give you the information you need to get started. I don’t have any doubt you’ll see it
my way. What’s the retainer?” He held the pen poised over the checkbook.
“Five thousand,” Griff said.
I thought that was a little high. He must be thinking about the pool we wanted to install.
“And a list of names. Professors, coaches and friends,” he added.
Greg pointed to his wife. “Put that together.”
Dismissed, Gwen went inside to gather what we needed.
Once we had the necessary information from Gwen, and Greg’s check was folded inside
Griff’s pocket, Carole stepped onto the deck and offered to show us out.
“We’ll be in touch,” Griff said. He stood extending a hand toward Greg.
Greg Lambert rose from his chair and placed his hands on his hips. “When?”
“As soon as I have something to tell you,” Griff said lowering his arm.
Griff’s ability to come off unfazed by blatant rude behavior is beyond me. I couldn’t get off
that porch fast enough. If I’d lingered I would have placed a well-directed snap kick to Greg
We followed Carole to the front door. She swung it wide and stepped with us outside then
pulled the door closed behind her. On the front step she glanced from one of us to the other
then dropped her head and stared at the granite, clearly trying to make up her mind. We waited.
When she looked up she extended her arm toward Griff as though intending to shake.
“Look,” she said. “I’m probably way out of line here and dipshit in there will have me banned
if he knows I’m talking to you. I’m already on probation around here so whatever I say stays
between us, all right?”
Griff nodded and reached for her hand, keeping his eyes on her face.
She slipped a folded piece of paper into his palm. “I’m Carole Weston, Gwen’s sister. Call
me,” she said. “There’s more to this. A lot more.”
Excerpt from Scar Tissue by Patricia Hale. Copyright © 2018 by Patricia Hale. Reproduced
with permission from Patricia Hale. All rights reserved.
Patricia Hale lives in Standish, ME with her husband. She is a graduate of the MFA program
at Goddard College, a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and the NH Writers Project. Scar Tissue is
the third book in the Cole & Callahan thriller series. When the computer is off, you can find
Patricia on the sideline of her grandsons’ sporting events or hiking the trails near her home with
her German shepherd and one very bossy Beagle.
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