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Excerpt: Mâtowak Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler

A murder enveloped in pain and mystery...

When Canada's retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife's unsolved murder.

The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.

Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister's horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him.

Excerpt

Chapter 3

Ryan leads the way down a long hallway to a large, high ceilinged room at the back of the house, directly across the courtyard from the kitchen. Two brown leather sofas face each other in front of the ceiling-high fireplace. The leather coffee table between them is four feet square. I hadn't seen Mrs. Warner sitting on the sofa from the kitchen because it was out of view of where I'd been standing. A blind spot. Ryan returns to the kitchen while I pause at the entrance into the room.

Mrs. Sally Warner is dressed in an expensive two-tone linen pantsuit of dark brown, the jacket trimmed at collar, waist, cuffs with satin stitch embroidery. Her matching slacks have the same trimming at the bottom of the legs. I don't normally care, but it's the type of suit Angie would have admired. She might even have carried it at the boutique shop she'd managed. She once asked me how much I thought a suit similar to this one would cost. I said, “Two hundred?” She smiled. “It retails for over two grand. Not too many men would have guessed correctly.”

I'd seen enough shoes in Angie's shop to recognize Mrs. Warner's as Italian, probably costing fifteen hundred. Angie called them pumps. When I asked why, she shrugged. Their colour matches the suit.

Mrs. Warner is intent on her fingers being fingerprinted. She sits with her back straight, ankles crossed. Her complexion's softly wrinkled. This isn't a woman who indulges with Botox. Her skin is fair with no heavy makeup. Her light blonde hair is styled nicely, and not in the usual granny-cut from the fifties. She looks like a proper politician's wife. Actually, she could pass for one herself. Composed, in control, privileged.

Sitting to her right is an Ident member. Pinscher, the first constable on the scene, stands at the front entrance to the room. He's watching me. Some of the colour has returned to his face. I cross the room towards him.

“When Mrs. Warner is ready, I want you to drive her to a hotel room downtown. Guard her door and make sure no one enters unless she recognizes them.”

He nods.

“You'll make sure she's safe?”

He stands at attention. He probably hopes this gesture is seen as a sign of respect, a way of fixing his earlier purse-mistake. “Yessir.”

I cross the room towards the vic's widow. “Pardon me, Mrs. Warner. My name is Corporal Danny Killian.”

The Ident member has a small fingerprint tablet open and is printing the fingers of Mrs. Warner's left hand. Mrs. Warner turns her gaze from what he's doing and looks up at me. She blinks infrequently, her gaze unfocused. Her right hand lies limp in her lap. No wedding rings. No earrings. No sweating around her hairline. Up close her complexion is grey, her breathing shallow.

About the Author

When Joylene's father died in 1983, she wrote her first full–length manuscript to channel her grief. The seven-year process left her hooked and she began Dead Witness within a few weeks of finishing Always Father's Child. Today Joylene is the author of three suspense novels: Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and the steam-punk collaboration Break Time. While she'll admit being published didn't fix all the wrongs in her life, she wishes her parents had lived to see her success. Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal, and its sequel Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is due for release November 1, 2016.

Joylene lives with her husband and their two cats Marbles and Shasta on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.

For more on Joylene and her writing, visit her website and blog then connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.

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