Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Unique Novel, Out of Sync, by Chynna Laird!



PROLOGUE

LOCAL NEWS
Accused Double Homicide Suspect to Stand Trial
BY CHONDRA KELLY, EDMONTON JOURNAL.COM

EDMONTON – Yesterday in Alberta Criminal Court, Judge Fernadette Noseworthy ruled that there was enough evidence against double homicide suspect, Marcus Harper, to go ahead with a trial.
Immediately after the Judge’s ruling, Harper lost control and not only threatened his lawyer but also the Prosecution team as well. “This is your fault,” he yelled at them. “I will get out. And you will suffer as I did. All of you will suffer. You will know what it’s like to have everything taken away!”
Harper, who had been brought into the courtroom in shackles and restrained to the defense table with handcuffs, sprang at his lawyer, knocking the table over, in an attempt to choke the man. It took the bailiff and three police officers to remove him from the lawyer, with the assistance of a taser to control him.
Harper was immediately removed from the courtroom and ordered back to the Maximum Security Prison, where he had been held in isolation since his arrest. Back when local TV stations broke the story last month, public outcry for revenge grew intense, due to the brutality of his crime. And his antics in the courtroom only seemed to confirm public concerns.

***
On his way out of the courtroom, the threats he directed to Cheyenne McCarthy, the Chief-of-Police, William McCarthy’s wife, were the most chilling: “I’ll save you for last, Dr. Lady. This isn’t the first time you’ve screwed with my life. You’re gonna get what you deserve. And I’ll enjoy hearing you scream for mercy.”
Cheyenne McCarthy is the Forensic Psychologist who played a key role in bringing Harper down.
Harper is accused of gunning down two people, one, a young adult male currently known as a ‘John Doe,’ and a Hopinachi woman believed to have been in the later stages of pregnancy. Harper’s detached demeanor and lack of remorse during his arrest and pretrial have sent angry ripples through the community, creating an even stronger public outcry for justice for the three lives he’s accused of taking.
When police had arrived at the scene of the shooting, Marcus was found standing by the bodies smoking a cigarette—still holding the gun in his hand—seemingly with no acknowledgment for what he had done or remorse.
“The man is sick,” one woman was quoted to have said outside of the courthouse, shortly after court adjourned. “It’s about time this thing moved forward so that guy is put away for good.”
Not all people are happy about the ruling, however. The leader of the Hopinachi Tribe, Chief Longfellow, along other tribe members who had witnessed the pretrial, felt that Harper would do better if he were returned to his people and punished in their own traditions.
“His family has suffered too much through all of this,” Chief Longfellow said, as he was led to his car by two fellow Hopinachi members. “We all need to be at peace, including Marcus.”
The Prosecution team is currently preparing a statement for later this afternoon.
Harper is without bail until his trial on the 15th of next month.

***

A week has passed since the pretrial. Those involved with Marcus's trial spent much time looking over their shoulders taking his threats to heart. Even Cheyenne...
Even with the upcoming trial, and worries of Marcus' threats, Cheyenne had more important things on her mind.
The atmosphere was perfect: candles were lit, Michael Buble'
crooned from the stereo, baked gnocchi bubbled in the oven and a fruity non-alcoholic wine rested in ice. Everything was ready, except William wasn't home yet.
She glanced at the time as she switched the plasma television off to catch the news. She didn't like listening to the news--it always upset her. But she kept it on just in case.
Even though she had a private psychology practice, her expertise in Forensic Psychology and forensic sciences had made her a highly sought-after expert for the District Attorney, especially on high profile cases. So watching the news helped prepare her for any upcoming job she'd be forced to take on.
6:45 p.m. Where was William?


He was one of those anally-prompt people who got ready, then waited for everyone else. Cheyenne and William had made a promise to one another--once the clock hit 6:00 p.m., they'd leave work at work and spend their evenings together--except when those high-profile cases screamed for their attention...
As she checked on the gnocchi--fearing it's been in the oven too long--something caught her eye on the television. Perry, William's partner, was being interviewed by a local reporter. His face was white and expressionless as his lips moved. A shot of adrenaline sparked like a wildfire from her stomach out to her extremities. She reached for the remote to turn up the sound.
Perry's rich Irish accent filled the dining room. "...he didn't know what hit him."
What?
~~~

Out of Sync

By Chynna T. Laird

It was just another case for which Dr. Cheyenne McCarthy had been asked to act as an expert witness... It was just another case where her husband, William, had been assigned...



But, this time, the killer threatened that he would come after those who had been involved in capturing him... And before long, his first victim was William McCarthy, Cheyenne's husband...

Cheyenne McCarthy is an intriguing character, with an unusual set of symptoms that affect many people in various ways. It was six months after her husband had been murdered when Cheyenne had made her first attempt to go back to her office, clearly having suffered from clinical depression as well as her long-time sensory issues which created odd responses  to people, situations, and events. In the book she was adopted through a closed arrangement so had no ability to learn of her medical background. But her description was about loud and too much noise, as well as smells which she could not stand. To me they were perhaps symptoms I had seen in forms of autism but Cheyenne had never been diagnosed, living with "being different" somehow all her life. It was her husband who had shielded her from many of these issues--now she was on her own... For me, Laird's interest in using her novels to spotlight health issues many individuals face required kudos for her, but also provided an interesting facet to the main character's personality as she found herself called in to help with... forensics of criminal cases... It would be interesting to learn more about her in other novels...

Almost before she finished watching the news where she had heard that the condition of the Chief would not be released until the family had been notified, Perry, William's partner was at her door to take her to the hospital...While turning off the stove and the lights, she saw the "positive" pregnancy test on the table, which was the basis for her surprise dinner... She left it there, hoping William would be back home soon...

Now clearly pregnant, with William gone, Cheyenne was once again depending on her friend Perry. They had previously had a relationship that seemed to stay at the friendship level, but it was Perry who took on the role of protector. Indeed he was there that first day she had come back to her office. However, it wasn't only to ensure the office was safe, but he needed her help. They had found an older native american, Chief Longfellow, who had information about the case, but he would only share it with Cheyenne...


It is at that point that the mysticism of a native american elder brings guidance... and, though blind, he sees much... 


"You are looking for a very evil and cowardly man--a man who preys on the weaknesses of others. He isn't like other men. Others aren't going to find him. But you can. You will."
His eyes, although unseeing, moved around furiously, watching the movie that played only for him. Cheyenne put her coffee down to calm her hands. "Well, Chief, I'll do my best to find him."
"He will find you," the Chief said. He squinted. "You have what he wants."
He slipped a hand into his pocket and the officers reached for their guns. Cheyenne motioned them to stand down. Chief Longfellow pulled out a picture and held it out to Cheyenne. From where she sat, she recognized little Maria.
"Take this," he said. "Read what it tells you. Your answers are here." As she leaned to take the photo, he grabbed her wrist. Her heart lurched. His other hand pressed against her belly.
The policemen drew their guns. "Remove your hands from her!"
The Chief ignored their order. "I had a vision," he moaned, his lips brushing against her ear. Musk flooded her nostrils, dizziness swept over her. "He will come for you...for him. You have what he wants."
"Did you hear me, old man? Release her!"
His hand tightened on hers with urgency. "He knows your losses and will use them against you. But remember...what was your enemy in the past will be your greatest ally in the weeks to come."
"Let her go!"
He released her and slumped back, returning to his meditation chant...
~~~

In this story, the Chief becomes a major character who works with Cheyenne on through the book. Yes, there is a connection which lends a very surprising and wondrous climax to the story.

Marcus Harper is a dangerous, vengeful man and is the villain readers will meet right from the very beginning. Indeed, readers will learn much about his thoughts as the drama begins and Marcus is on the hunt... And then specifically hones in on Cheyenne, torturing her with notes and invasions into her home...

Psychological suspense is heavy as Marcus seems to be able to get in and out of places and just disappear... Where can you hide from such a disturbed man? The book is tense, edgy, and yet is lightened by those who care about Cheyenne and support her as much as they can. But she couldn't help but remember the dream shared by Chief Longfellow--he was coming for her and what she had... And Cheyenne had realized from his notes that it could very well be her baby that he wanted... 

Traditionally, it is the Warrior Maiden who was called upon to lead a group of fearsome warriors to battle. To the Hopinachi, she's simply the woman who shared their blood--their watched on the outside--who brought peace back to their people using the very gifts she'd always feared.
~~~

Highly recommended!


GABixlerReviews


CHYNNA LAIRD - is a freelance writer and award-winning author. Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder and other special needs. She's authored a children's book, two memoirs, a Young Adult novella, a YA paranormal/suspense novel, a YA contemporary novel and an adult Suspense/Thriller.
Website: www.chynnalairdauthor.ca