Chapter One

Book Reviews

I looked down at my hands to find them covered in blood. Looking up I saw, just a few inches away from me, the body of my uncle Malcolm. Had I done that? Had I really done that? I thought incredulously. Sure I hated him, but not enough to kill him, right? Right? And why?

'Because he killed your parents.' A voice said from the distance in my mind.

My parents? Yes, now I remembered. I had looked on the internet at the article about the car wreck. The car was a BMW, not the Ford Focus my father usually drove to work. They had been coming home from a business dinner when the car swerved and hit a tree. After the funeral, my older brother Jake, who was 16 at the time, and I, age 15, went to live with my father's brother. Jake and I are step siblings actually.

But how did I get the knife? Was it self defense? What was I going to do with the body? Would I be able to get out of it?

'But you won't.' taunted the same voice. It will plague you for the rest of your life. Forever will you stand alone-.'

The voice was cut off by the door bell ringing. I looked again at my hands, the shock still present. There was one thing for me to do, hide the gold hilted knife, leaving no prints, and washing my hands, and then make my escape through the back door. The door creaked open just as I wiped the sink out.

'Hello?' someone called.

I hastily made my exit.

Miss Natalie Farthington set the book down. It had been while since she had first written those words. Two years in fact. And yet it was like yesterday. She had been twenty six. She picked up another book.

'From the author who brought you No Second Thoughts brings you another great tale of passion, betrayal and murder, No Going Back.' A review had said.

Tali began to read the a few passages.

No one seemed to notice me absence at my uncle's funeral. After they found the body, the police notified all his relatives. When I received the call it wasn't very hard for me to fake the sadness. I had taken acting classes when I was younger, so I was able to act in a manner befitting a grieving niece. Even my fiancé believed it.

My fiancé? More like my money's fiancé. God, how I was a fool. For, while I was fooling him with my tears, he was fooling me with his caring façade. I was never expecting such betrayal.

I had gotten back from a business trip and was thinking of nothing except having a hot bath and long sleep, when I found a piece of female clothing strewn on the couch. I thought nothing of it at the time because sometimes my brother brought his paramours over for the weekends that I did not mind, as long as he changed the sheets afterward. Which he was pretty good about doing. My bed is known to be very comfortable.

I shrugged it off and headed to the kitchen when I heard a familiar giggle. 'Jeremy, I have missed you so much. Why don't you come around to my floor anymore? I get lonely.'

Another familiar voice this time male answered, 'Lisa, you very well know that I am engaged to Sara. I can't be giving her any doubts as to why I am marrying her. If it gives you comfort, I've miss you as well.'

'Oh, Jeremy, you sure know how to please a lady.' Lisa giggled seductively.

I nearly choked on the sip of water I had taken.

'They do say love is blind.' the voice that I hadn't heard from since my uncle's murder said. I tired to ignore it but the harder I tried the louder it became.

Love? Was I in love with the guy?

'You should have known why he wanted the key. Making up the excuse about his apartment building was getting checked for termites.'

But he has never given me any reason not to trust him. I foolishly defended. Like a pathetic teenager in love.

The voice scoffed, 'Sara, Sara, Sara, he has taken advantage of you kindness, your money and you. And yet you'll let him get away with it? You do not like the girl either but you'll let them get away with it together? Sometimes I do not understand you.'

But it is wrong to kill someone no matter what they do.

'Oh, hang the bloody thought. You've killed before.' The voice said impatiently.

That was in self defense.

'So you say. Hang that thought as well. There is no going back.'

Tali stopped reading, remembering that fateful day. Thinking it was never going to end. When the police came the gun had been disposed of and the look on the drawer looking like someone had picked it. Again, it looked like a robbery, where the robber had to take desperate measures not to get caught.

Tali shook her head to dislodge the memory. She picked up the third on in the series, Third Time's the Charm. She smiled. The title was self explanatory. The third murder was of someone relatively close to her, and of her getting caught. Or maybe Sara was just tired of running and turned herself in. It had gotten the same amount of praise as the other two. It came out that year, August 10th a day after she turned twenty eight.

The forth and final book, No Guilty, didn't fair so well, even though it was released a few weeks after. Not that she minded. It wasn't like she was in it for the money. Some how the first story had found it's was into the hands of the editor. Tali shuffled thorough to the last page in the book. It still amazed her how the book ended.

'Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, on the count of murder in the first degree have you reached a verdict?'

'We have your honour.' The Forewoman said, in a strong voice.

I waited with a baited breath as the judge nodded for her to continue.

'We find the defendant, Miss Sara Austen, not guilty.'

I let out the breath I had been holding. The words ringing in my mind, not guilty. After all that I was not guilty.

Tali stood up and stretched. Looking at the clock she was amazed to see it almost ten thirty. Deciding to go out she got dressed and headed out.

When getting home she picked up her mail and the newspaper off the floor. She flipped through the letters finding none she wanted to read. She took the paper as she headed to her bedroom to get some comfy cloths to change into after her bath. While waiting for the tub to fill up she looked at the wanted ads. Until one caught her eye.

So, the infamous writer Morton Rainey was looking for a house cleaner. Natalie recalled the gossip about him. It was rumored that he had killed two people. She scoffed. Their past was just alike. Even if they where rivals in the same genre in the writer's world.

Yes, she thought to herself, she would apply for the job. She picked up her cell phone and dialed the number on the bottom. All she got was a ring. Hum, she would just have to put in a personal appearance at his cabin in the morning.