“They found Denny Musgrove’s body on the scablands, curled up like a fetus inside the belly of a prize Hereford cow.” So begins SCABLANDS, the first of The Carmen Carillo Novels, a series of suspense, set in 1995. Dr. Carillo is a forensic psychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of sexual disorders. She is renowned throughout the western states and Alaska and often consults with law enforcement.
When Carmen learns of the murder of her former protégé, she immediately grasps her deep level of involvement and responsibility, and is compelled to find a solution to the vicious crime. Enlisting the help of her on-again, off-again boyfriend, the attorney, Bradley Garrett, she is asked to consult on the case by her friend, the only female detective on the force in Lamona, Washington, Olive Durant. Carmen’s mother, Ruby Pacific Shoals, aging hippie and Lotto winner, inadvertently places herself in the middle of the investigation, as do Carmen’s son, David, a university student, and Dr. Mary Norman, an ob-gyn and Carmen’s foster mother.
From her initial visit to the morgue to the exciting denouement, Carmen meets the characters who help her draw a finer portrait of Dr. Musgrove: Tommy Plante, a former evaluee whom she referred to Dr. Musgrove; Vincent Berenga, a client of both Carmen’s and Dr. Musgrove’s; Vincent’s mother, Evangeline, who owns the ranch on which the murder took place, and a pair of young men from Seattle who developed a pornography website which appears to be at the root of Dr. Musgrove’s demise. But it is Sturdevant Day, a man who runs cattle near Evangeline’s ranch on the channeled scablands who becomes her most difficult challenge. She falls hard for him at the same time that law enforcement identifies him as a primary suspect. Carmen battles her own sense of guilt and responsibility as she uncovers a nefarious network of shocking and deceitful behavior emanating from all sides, putting her at increasingly greater risk as she closes in on the truth.
City and county law enforcement are at odds, leaving Carmen space to investigate the murder, using her own style of intelligence. perceptiveness, courage and conviction. From Lamona to Seattle and back, she is locked in the turret of a castle, abducted near the lobby of a Seattle hotel and threatened by an enigmatic figure in a limousine as many of the principals in the story end up dead. Her fellow colleagues region-wide complicate the picture. She even doubts the intentions of the county detective assigned to the case. With so many players involved, Carmen’s famous ability to free herself from impossible jams is put to the test in the startling conclusion where, in a strange twist of events, the scablands become the greatest threat of all.
Available on Amazon

“A GREAT new series, first book!”

Five Star Review on Amazon By Patricia Nasburg

This is am amazing story and I can’t wait to read the next installment of Dr. Carmen’s great suspenseful work! I hope EJ Averett’s adult books, these Carmen novels continue to be as memorable and powerful as this one! I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in psychological thrillers.

About the Author

My first published novel was HOMING in 1987. I had been writing for some time and feeling rather abandoned by the imaginary publishers and critics I had created in my head who were waiting for every word I put on the page. They don’t exist, of course, but they serve a good purpose on those days when writing seems the last thing you want to do. The novelist, William Saroyan, said you can’t call yourself a writer until you’ve written a million words, and at the time I found that quote, a million words seemed an impossible accomplishment. That number has come and gone and my enthusiasm for getting words down on paper thankfully has not diminished. It has increased. Some of you may know my work under Edward Averett, where I published two YA novels, THE RHYMING SEASON and CAMERON AND THE GIRLS. CAMERON was named by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of the top 13 children’s books in 2013.

Writing is a vocation, an obligation to writers who came before me, a key to the rusty lock of my imagination. Frankly, I don’t understand why more people aren’t writing. It’s cheaper than a shrink.

Please visit my website at ejaverett.com and read my blog: Man Without A Continent.

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