Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Black Sheep"

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eighteen novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.

Lyons has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Black Sheep, and reported the following:
Black Sheep follows FBI Special Agent Caitlyn Tierney as she tackles the one mystery that has haunted her all her life: her father's suicide.

After his death when she was nine years old, Caitlyn and her mother moved away from Caitlyn's western North Carolina home and she hasn't been back since. Now, twenty-six years later, she's involuntarily getting sucked into a case that will force her to return home and finally face her past.

Page 69 is pivotal in the story as it's the point where Caitlyn must decide whether to put the needs of a missing girl first and return to the last place she was seen, Caitlyn's home town. Her only ally is a convicted killer.
Great. A self-confessed killer her number one fan. "I don't even know where to start looking for her. Surely he gave you some specifics?"

"He said she'd gone home to Evergreen. It's a small town in the mountains, near Cherokee."

Evergreen. Caitlyn's mom's had left her entire family behind when she'd moved Caitlyn away from Evergreen, trying to distance Caitlyn from the memory of her dad. It hadn't worked, but Caitlyn still felt a chill at the mention of the town. She'd been nine years old when she'd last seen Evergreen.

"Yeah, I know the place," she told Whitford.

Twenty-five years being locked up had driven the man insane. Sending her on a wild goose chase after a girl they didn't even know for certain was missing and a mysterious conspiracy that probably existed only in a convicted killer's mind.

But Caitlyn was no miracle worker. She was already breaking every rule in the book just by being here. She might have even gotten Hale killed by coming to see him. The expression on Hale's face as he lay there dying…the face of her father, blood everywhere. Too many memories, too much pain.

All leading back to Evergreen. Didn't mean she had to play the game, follow the bread crumbs. Caitlyn yanked the gearshift to put the Impreza in reverse. "If you think of anything else, call me. Anytime, day or night."

"What are you going to do about Lena?"

"I'm going home."
Taking that first step to returning to her childhood home is also Caitlyn's first step to facing her greatest fears: that her father didn't love her, choosing death over his family; that her mother's emotional distance is caused by Caitlyn's own inability to trust; and that there are secrets buried so deep, betrayals so close, that her need to save one girl might destroy her.

Black Sheep is a dark, psychological suspense that continues the themes first brought up in Blind Faith and wrestles with the questions: who do we decide to trust and how do we protect our hearts against betrayal?
Learn more about the author and her work at CJ Lyons' website.

--Marshal Zeringue