In the Missouri Ozarks, some things aren't talked about … even abuse. But prosecutor Elsie Arnold is determined to change that.
When she is assigned to prosecute a high-profile incest case in which a father is accused of abusing his three young daughters, Elsie is ready to become the Ozarks' avenging angel.
But as Elsie sinks her teeth into the case, everything begins to turn sour. The star witness goes missing; the girls refuse to talk about their father, who terrorizes the courtroom from the moment he enters; and Elsie begins to suspect that their tough-as-nails mother has ulterior motives. To make matters worse, Elsie receives gruesome threats from local extremists, warning her to mind her own business.
While Elsie swears not to let a sex offender walk, she realizes the odds—and maybe the town—are against her, and her life begins to crumble. But amidst all of the conflict, the safety of three young girls hangs in the balance ...
A powerful debut, with the haunting atmosphere of Winter's Bone and the page-turning suspense of Alafair Burke's thrillers.
But when the investigation reveals that the deceased woman was driving a school bus, and the police locate the vehicle, its interior covered in blood, the occupant and only suspect is a fifteen-year-old boy. Elsie’s in for more than she bargained for.
Win or lose, this case will haunt her. No one has successfully prosecuted a juvenile for first-degree murder in McCown County. If she loses, it’s her career on the line and a chilling homicide unresolved; if she wins, a boy’s liberty will be taken from him before he reaches his sixteenth birthday.
In rural McCown County, Missouri, a young pregnant woman is found beaten to death in a trailer park. The only witness to the murder is Ivy, her six-year-old daughter, who points to her mom’s boyfriend—father of the unborn child. County prosecutor Madeleine Thompson promises the community justice, and in the Ozarks, that can only mean one thing: a death sentence.
When Madeleine’s first choice for co-counsel declines to try a death penalty case, she is forced to turn to assistant prosecutor Elsie Arnold. Elsie is reluctant to join forces with her frosty boss, but the road to conviction seems smooth—until unexpected facts about the victim arise, and the testimony of the lone eyewitness Ivy becomes increasingly crucial. Against Elsie’s advice, Madeleine brings in the state attorney general’s office to assist them, while cutthroat trial attorney Claire O’Hara joins the defense.
Elsie will not let the power of prosecution—of seeking justice—be wrested from her without a fight. She wants to win the case, and to avenge the death of the mother and her unborn child. But as the trial nears, Elsie begins to harbor doubts about the death penalty itself. Meanwhile, the child Ivy is in greater danger than anyone knows.
“Unflinching and gritty.” — Library Journal
McCown County assistant prosecutor Elsie Arnold is prepping an assault case when a girl is found beaten and bloodied at a roadside no-tell motel. Elsie tries to convince the teen to reveal who attacked her, but Mandy is too scared—and stubborn—to cooperate… and then she disappears. Elsie’s positive a predator is targeting the Ozark hills, yet the authorities refuse to believe their small town could be plagued by sex trafficking.
Then middle school student Desiree Wickham goes missing, but only Elsie suspects it could be connected to Mandy’s assault. As she digs deeper into the events leading up to Desiree’s disappearance, she stumbles upon an alarming discovery: local girls are falling prey to a dubious online modeling agency, and never seen again. Elsie shares her concerns with Detective Ashlock and the FBI, but they shut her out.
She takes matters into her own hands and lands an interview with the head of the modeling agency. But when she meets him face-to-face, she discovers the fate of Desiree and Mandy… and becomes his newest captive. Elsie’s desperate to free the girls—and save herself—before the unspeakable happens. And she’s in for the fight of her life.
William Morrow/Harper Collins e-original thriller imprint Witness Impulse presents a free sampler of excerpts from twelve new or upcoming novels, as well as "Claws," a complete original short story by Stephen Booth.
An Introduction from Witness Impulse editor Emily Krump
"Claws" by Stephen Booth (in its entirety)
Excerpts from Newly Released Impulse Books:
Settled Blood by Mari Hannah
Cold in the Earth by Aline Templeton
Shadows on the Mirror by Frances Fyfield
Prince by Rory Clements
Cut Short by Leigh Russell
Confession by Carey Baldwin
Coming Soon from Impulse:
Code of the Hills by Nancy Allen
Someone You Know by Brian McGilloway
Blessed are the Dead by Kristi Belcamino
Daddy's Girl by Margie Orford
Psalmist by James Lilliefors
China Dogs by Sam Masters
• Text based questions
• World map
• Bold keywords with picture glossary
Each 24-page title in the Little World Everyone Everywhere series features full-color photographs, world maps, bold keywords with a photo glossary, comprehension and extension activities, and more to engage young learners and prompt their reading comprehension skills.
The Social Skills series helps young readers learn how to handle the many different situations they'll face as they grow. Each 24-page book features real-world examples, tips, and more to help teach everything from respect and teamwork to internet safety and beyond.
The Symbols of Freedom series will allow students to explain events or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause versus effect. Each title features photographs, maps, and informational sidebars that work with a Show What You Know section to help readers build their understanding of the topic.