The need to right a wrong against an innocent victim triggers a hailstorm of revenge.
Flames of Wrath
by J.L. Campbell
Genre: Crime Thriller
A mother’s quest for justice turns into a race against time to stop insidious murders that mysteriously begin populating throughout the city. Fans of Lisa Jewell and Ruth Ware will be enthralled by this emotionally chilling thriller!
The need to right a wrong against an innocent victim triggers a hailstorm of revenge!
In less than twenty-four hours—before Alexia Leighton is scheduled to return to Miami from spring break in Jamaica—a group of friends betray her in a grisly assault that stops a heartbeat away from murder. The seventeen-year-old prays for the mercy of death. She survives. While on the road to recovery, Alexia’s attackers become victims of mysterious acts of violence, leaving authorities confounded and racing against time to prevent another deadly attack. Concern looms, as the perpetrator has proven to be two steps ahead of them at every turn.
When the attention swings to Alexia’s mother, a cyber-security expert, the family closes ranks. Geneva Leighton must quickly eliminate herself as a suspect, but not without handing down more punishment. The offenders fear for their own safety and the secrets that plague them. Can they trust the police to find the killer before someone else dies, or has their fate been sealed—leaving them with no place to run, and no place to hide . . .
Alexia’s eyes were half open, but she wasn’t conscious. The doctor had explained a moment ago that Alexia was in an induced coma to stabilize her system.
Aside from head trauma, she suffered broken bones, a dislocated knee, and a long list of internal injuries. Only God knew what brain function she’d have when they woke her up, and whether she’d be able to breathe without the ventilator. The neck brace was another source of worry. The doctor didn’t think she’d have permanent spinal damage, but they couldn’t be sure.
A slash, closed by neat stitches, marred her forehead. Vivid red trails leaked across the white of one sunken eye, and the area around Alexia’s cheek was bruised and swollen. Her smooth, reddish-brown skin was otherwise unmarked. Alexia’s nails were broken, which brought Geneva a tinge of satisfaction. My baby fought back.
“What happened to her face?” Geneva’s voice was loud in the small room.
“Her cheekbone and the lower part of her eye socket were fractured. We did a closed reduction to reset …”
His voice faded against the nightmarish reality Geneva faced. What kind of animals would do this to a friend? What could Alexia have done to deserve this beatdown? The little Geneva’s mother knew about what was supposed to be a farewell party in no way equated to the ravages visited on Alexia.
With a gentle touch, she stroked Alexia’s cheek. “Will she be able to see?”
The light glinted across Dr. Harewood’s glasses as he nodded. “Her vision may be blurred for a while but should return to normal.”
She sank in the chair next to the bed, her mind a hive of jumbled thoughts. The questions tumbled over each other, demanding to be asked. For now, only one was critical.
“How soon can we fly her back to Miami?”
The hunched doctor with pale skin glanced at the nurse, then said, “As things stand, that’s not a good idea. To be on the safe side, I’d give it a week or more before moving her, especially since she’s had several seizures. That will allow us to stabilize her.”
“So, the breathing tube…?”
“Part of that process.”
Geneva’s gaze drifted back to the bed. “This is a lot to absorb.”
“I understand.” He bobbed his balding head.
Frowning, Geneva asked. “Was anyone else brought in with similar injuries or from the same location?”
Eyes narrowed, the doctor shook his head. “Not to my knowledge.”
“Thank you. My mother is waiting to see her, so I’ll allow her to come in.”
“I’m sorry, but—”
Geneva held up one hand. “I know, only one person at a time.”
Can I come back in after she sees her?”
She discarded the gown, gloves, and mask, then left the room behind the doctor, who faced her outside the door. “We’re doing everything we can for her, Mrs. Leighton.”
Looking him dead in the eyes, she asked, “What would you say are her chances of survival, in terms of percentages?”
He lowered his head, then cleared his throat. “At this point, somewhere between five and ten. Her injuries …”
Geneva stopped listening.
Dr. Harewood was duty-bound to convey what he saw as the facts laid out on the bed inside that room. She didn’t have to accept them.
National Bestselling Author, J.L. Campbell lives in Jamaica and writes across several genres. She is a certified editor, and book coach, who has produced over forty books. When she’s not writing, Campbell adds to her extensive collection of photos featuring Jamaica’s natural beauty.
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