Book launch: Dead Man Lying

The third Hawaiian Storm is available on e-tailers

FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm returns to rain-soaked Hana on Maui, Hawaii, to investigate the death of a once-famous contry-rock star.

Talking to the late singer’s family, she finds a nest of liars and deceit. An enormous antique handgun. And a whole new album gone missing.

The greatest deception, though, is by the victim—the dead man, lying.

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Vanessa’s breath caught in her chest. That’s Erica Harrison—Sangster’s second wife. Even after all the years since her marriage to Steven Sangster ended, Erica Harrison still had a fan base and could sell out concerts. Vanessa had bought one of her albums as a girl.

“Let her in,” she said to Gilmour, who opened the front door.

Erica entered in a flurry of dark tresses and denim. She wore a flowing scarlet blouse and faded jeans with her trademark big belt buckle. Despite the lines on her face and the traces of grey in her black hair, she radiated energy.

“Is it true?” she cried out as soon as she was in the door, then scanned the roomful of the Sangster family. “Oh my God. I just heard when I landed in Kahului. I came as fast as I could.” She came to Janet, wrapping her arms around her. “I’m so sorry. Steve asked me to come earlier, but I put him off. Maybe if I had been here—”

“It’s not your fault,” Janet sobbed, and the two women cried together, rocking in each other’s embrace. “Dad was at the heiau. He fell. There was nothing you could have done.”

“Dad was just too stubborn,” said Jeffrey from the other side of the room. Unlike Janet, he hadn’t stood when Erica Harrison had come in.

Vanessa let the scene play out. She knew that Erica Harrison was not the mother of Jeffrey and Janet. That was the first Mrs. Steven Sangster, Frances Garcia. Apparently, the second wife had established a better relationship with Janet than she had with Jeffrey.

Eventually, Erica let Janet go and took a tissue from her pocket. She offered another to Janet, and after drying her face, hugged Janet’s daughter, Madison, and then her son, Ben. She nodded at Jeffrey and Paula and ignored Kefir.

“Ms. Harrison, I’m Vanessa Storm with the FBI,” she said, offering her hand. “Please, sit down. Officer Gilmour, would you get Ms. Harrison a glass of water?”

“I’ll get you something stronger, Erica,” said Kaholo Iolani. He knows his way around the living room, Vanessa thought as the groundskeeper opened Sangster’s liquor cabinet and poured a shot of bourbon into a heavy crystal tumbler.

Erica went to Kathryn, the current wife, and hugged her. She responded stiffly, avoiding a kiss. Erica turned toward Kaholo then, who put the glass of whisky into her hand. She took a large sip and turned toward Vanessa.

“The FBI? Why are you involved?”

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