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Archive for February 23rd, 2017

Child’s Play

Child's Play by Merry Jones

Child’s Play

Merry Jones

February 1-28, 2017 Tour

Synopsis:

Child's Play by Merry JonesSince her husband’s murder two years earlier, life hasn’t been easy for Elle Harrison. Now, at the start of a new school year, the second grade teacher is determined to move on. She’s selling her house and delving into new experiences―like learning trapeze.

Just before the first day of school, Elle learns that a former student, Ty Evans, has been released from juvenile detention where he served time for killing his abusive father. Within days of his release, Elle’s school principal, who’d tormented Ty as a child, is brutally murdered. So is a teacher at the school. And Ty’s former girlfriend. All the victims have links to Ty.

Ty’s younger brother, Seth, is in Elle’s class. When Seth shows up at school beaten and bruised, Elle reports the abuse, and authorities remove Seth and his older sister, Katie, from their home. Is Ty the abuser?

Ty seeks Elle out, confiding that she’s the only adult he’s ever trusted. She tries to be open-minded, even wonders if he’s been wrongly condemned. But when she’s assaulted in the night, she suspects that Ty is her attacker. Is he a serial killer? Is she his next intended victim?

Before Elle discovers the truth, she’s caught in a deadly trap that challenges her deepest convictions about guilt and innocence, childhood and family. Pushed to her limits, she’s forced to face her fears and apply new skills in a deadly fight to survive.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspsense
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 1608091910 (ISBN13: 9781608091911)
Series: Elle Harrison Thriller #3 (Each can be read as a Stand Alone Novel)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

I was the first one there.

The parking lot was empty, except for Stan’s pickup truck. Stan was the custodian, tall, hair thinning, face pock-marked from long ago acne. He moved silently, popped out of closets and appeared in corners, prowled the halls armed with a mop or a broom. In fourteen years, I couldn’t remember a single time when he’d looked me in the eye.

Wait—fourteen years? I’d been there that long? Faces of kids I’d taught swirled through my head. The oldest of them would now be, what? Twenty-one? Oh man. Soon I’d be one of those old school marms teaching the kids of my former students, a permanent fixture of the school like the faded picture of George Washington mounted outside the principal’s office. Hell, in a few months, I’d be forty. A middle-aged childless widow who taught second grade over and over again, year after year, repeating the cycle like a hamster on its wheel. Which reminded me: I had to pick up new hamsters. Tragically, last year’s hadn’t made it through the summer.

I told myself to stop dawdling. I had a classroom to organize, cubbies to decorate. On Monday, just three days from now, twenty-three glowing faces would show up for the first day of school, and I had to be ready. I climbed out of the car, pulled a box of supplies from the trunk, started for the building. And stopped.

My heart did triple time, as if responding to danger. But there was no danger. What alarmed me, what sent my heart racing was the school itself. But why? Did it look different? Had the windows been replaced, or the doors? Nothing looked new, but something seemed altered. Off balance. The place didn’t look like an elementary school. It looked like a giant factory. A prison.

God, no. It didn’t look like any of those things. The school was the same as it had always been, just a big brick building. It seemed cold and stark simply because it was unadorned by throngs of children. Except for wifi, Logan Elementary hadn’t changed in fifty years, unless you counted several new layers of soot on the bricks.

I stood in the parking lot, observing the school, seeing it fresh. I’d never paid much attention to it before. When it was filled with students, the building itself became all but invisible, just a structure, a backdrop. But now, empty, it was unable to hide behind the children, the smells of sunshine and peanut butter sandwiches, the sounds of chatter and small shoes pounding Stanley’s waxed tiles. The building stood exposed. I watched it, felt it watching me back. Threatening.

Seriously, what was wrong with me? The school was neither watching nor threatening me. It was a benign pile of bricks and steel. I was wasting time, needed to go in and get to work. But I didn’t take a single step. Go on, I told myself. What was I afraid of? Empty halls, vacant rooms? Blank walls? For a long moment, I stood motionless, eyes fixed on the façade. The carved letters: Logan School. The heavy double doors. The dark windows. Maybe I’d wait a while before going inside. Becky would arrive soon, after she picked up her classroom aquarium.

Other teachers would show up, too. I could go in with them, blend safely into their commotion. I hefted the box, turned back to the car. But no, what was I doing? I didn’t want to wait. I’d come early so I could get work done without interruption or distraction before the others arrived. The school wasn’t daring me, nor was I sensing some impending tragedy. I was just jittery about starting a new year.

I turned around again, faced its faded brown bricks. I steeled my shoulders, took a breath and started across the parking lot. With a reverberating metallic clank, the main doors flew open. Reflexively, I stepped back, half expecting a burst of flames or gunfire. Instead, Stan emerged. For the first time in fourteen years, I was glad to see him. Stan surveyed the parking lot, hitched up his pants. Looked in my direction. He didn’t wave or nod a greeting, didn’t follow social conventions. Even so, his presence grounded me, felt familiar.

I took a breath, reminded myself that the school was just a school. That I was prone to mental wandering and embellishing. And that children would stream into my classroom in just three days, whether I was ready or not.

Merry JonesAuthor Bio:

Merry Jones is the author of some twenty critically acclaimed books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has been translated into seven languages. Her previous Elle Harrison novels have been THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE and ELECTIVE PROCEDURES. Jones lives with her husband in Philadelphia.

Catch Up with Merry online:
Website 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗

 

Book

My Review

4 stars

Elle Harrison is having a tough couple years since the death of her husband. She sees her husband in her house and although she knows he is just a vision she plans on selling the house. But this is going to be the least of her trouble. It is the day before school starts and she is preparing her classroom for the second graders when she stumbles upon the body of the school principal, then another teacher.

Elle learns that a former student, Ty that was accused of killing his father has just gotten out of jail. Is there a connection? When Ty’s younger brother, Seth comes to school with bruises, Elle reports the abuse and has Seth and his older sister removed from their family. But when she is attacked, it is starting to look like Ty is behind everything. But how could it be him when he confided in her that she was the only adult he could talk to.

This is a great thriller that had me guessing until the end. You can’t help but feel bad for Elle. She is such a strong and smart woman, it’s sad how she has her Elle Moments. On top of that she has a real estate agent that just has to be a creep. Then you have Ty. It’s so easy to put him in the role of the killer. Everything seems to point to him.

If you are looking for a great mystery, look no further. Child’s Play is the third book in the series but it is written in such a way that it was easy to read as a stand-alone story. I can’t wait to read the first two books in the Elle Harrison series, The Trouble with Charlie and Elective Procedures.

I received Child’s Play from Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Tour Participants:

Don’t miss your chance to stop by these awesome sites for reviews, guest posts, interviews, & more great giveaways!

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Oh, & Enter the Giveaway!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Merry Jones. There will be 1 winner of one $15 Amazon.com Gift Cards AND 3 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Child’s Play by Merry Jones. The giveaway begins on January 26th and runs through March 3rd, 2017.

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