One mother’s life can change in the blink of an eye—and there’s no going
Elaine’s worst fears become a reality when her beloved son Jakob is diagnosed with cancer.
She needs to find a bone marrow donor, and time is running out. While awaiting test results
from herself and her husband Nathan, she approaches his business partner, Roger—her
ex-lover—to see if he could be a possible match. Instead, an even greater shock awaits: Jakob
is not her biological son. For years, she has been raising someone else’s child.
The news threatens to send Elaine back to the pills that almost destroyed her life once
before, pushing her already fragile mental state to the breaking point. As the family faces one
crisis, a ghost from her past emerges to jeopardize everything she’s built. But is the threat real,
or is it all in her mind? Elaine needs to stay strong for her son, but as her whole reality continues
to unravel, she can’t trust anyone—not even herself.
Genre: Thriller Published by: Relay Publishing Publication Date: September 4th 2018 Number of Pages: 372 ISBN-10: 1726446328 ISBN-13: 978-1726446327 Purchase Links:AmazonGoodreads
Read an excerpt:
Telling parents that the search for their missing infant had gone cold was a job that no one
wanted. And honestly, Detective Aaronson had tried to pass it off to someone else—to his
partner, Miller, and then to a uniform. Ultimately, though, the chief had put his boot down and
pushed it back on Aaronson. He was the point man. He and Miller had worked the case together
for a month before the leads dried up, but it had been Aaronson who had sat with the parents,
talked to them on the phone, and kept them updated.
He’d been the one to give them hope, so it followed that he should be the one to take it
They had agreed to meet him at the station. That seemed to be the best choice. No one
wanted to get this kind of news in their own home—it would put a stain on the place that would
never wash out. No, it was more professional to have the talk here in one of the small
conference rooms. No decorations, no distractions, nothing to make the moment seem too
casual. Only gray brick, white linoleum and a wooden table and chairs that were plain and
Now he sat across from them, steeling himself and trying to work up some moisture in his
mouth. There was water, but they hadn’t poured a glass so he wasn’t about to. Both of them
had dark circles under their bloodshot eyes, and a waxy pallor to their skin. They hadn’t slept in
a month, he figured. He’d have put money on it. Hell, he could barely sleep when his teenager
stayed out late with her friends on a weekend. And their child had been gone for more than a
month. As a parent, he understood part of their pain. Just part of it. That’s what made this so
“We’re not closing the case,” he said, his tone as flat as he could manage. “But as of now,
“You’re not looking anymore?” the mother asked. Fury filled her eyes, and loss. One of
those was for him.
“It’s only been a month,” the father said. “You can’t stop now. Please, our son is out there
somewhere—we know it.”
“I can feel him,” she said. “You have to believe me, I can feel him here.” She clutched at her
chest, at the threadbare, peach-colored sweater she wore.
You have to keep it short, the chief had said. Keep it direct and then refer
them to the counselor. That’s your job.
Aaronson wondered if the chief had ever done this before. He imagined he’d had, but to
make it seem so simple… Of course, there were regulations. He couldn’t be the counselor and
the detective, and there were good reasons for that. “We will keep the case open,” he told them.
“If any new leads come in, we’ll follow up on them.”
He meant it, too. But the truth that he knew, and that these two knew even if they didn’t want
to believe it, was that after seventy-two hours, most of these cases were never solved. Every
day after that windows closed, the likelihood of finding a child like theirs dropped exponentially
until it plummeted to a fraction of a percent which itself really only represented the handful of
miracle cases that had been resolved sometimes decades after a disappearance.
“Please don’t do this,” the father begged. He took his wife’s hand, and they leaned into one
another. “One more month. There was that woman—”
“At the moment, Andrea Williams has been cleared as a suspect,” Aaronson said. That poor
woman’s life had been all but destroyed already. “We’ve been over her life with a fine-toothed
comb. If new evidence emerges, we’ll look into it again, but I’m telling you that she’s not who we
“So, what do we do now?” the mother asked. “What do we do now that you’ve abandoned
our boy? Abandoned us?”
Aaronson was so close to breaking. He stood from the table. “I swear to you both,” he said,
the words bitter on his tongue, “that we will pursue any and every lead that comes across my
desk. We’re not abandoning anyone. Alright?” And while it may have been technically true, it
sure felt like a lie.
Nothing but contempt came from them, and he didn’t blame them at all. And he hated
himself for what he had to say next. “There’s a counselor here. Doctor Amari. She’s a grief
counselor, and it’s free to see her. I can send her in, but I have to leave you now. I’m sorry.
Really, I am.”
They turned their faces from him.
As he left, he closed the door gently even though he wanted to slam it hard enough to
shatter the glass. He wasn’t even sure who to be angry with. Himself, mostly, he guessed, or
the whole damn department. And Andrea-fucking-Williams, who had wasted their time from the
beginning by lying to protect herself instead of telling them the truth about her record so that
they could have moved on.
He took only two steps before the mother wailed loudly behind him. The entire department
went quiet. That sound was one they all knew. It was the sound of a woman who had lost the
last shred of hope she’d had. The shred that he’d taken away from her.
That was the sound of a mother whose child had died. And, at this point, Aaronson had
nothing to suggest it wasn’t true.
Jo Crow gave ten years of her life to the corporate world of finance, rising to be one of the
youngest VPs around. She carved writing time into her commute to the city, but never shared
her stories, assuming they were too dark for any publishing house. But when a nosy publishing
exec read the initial pages of her latest story over her shoulder, his albeit unsolicited advice
made her think twice.
A month later, she took the leap, quit her job, and sat down for weeks with pen to paper.
The words for her first manuscript just flew from her. Now she spends her days reading and
writing, dreaming up new ideas for domestic noir fans, and drawing from her own experiences in
the cut-throat commercial sector.
Not one to look back, Jo is all in, and can’t wait for her next book to begin.
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ENTER TO WIN!:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jo Crow.
There will be 5 winners of for this tour. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon GC; there will be 3
winners of one (1) A MOTHER’S LIE eBook; and there will be 1 winner of one (1) A MOTHER’S LIE
by Jo Crow audiobook. The giveaway begins on September 18, 2018 and runs through September
25, 2018. Void where prohibited.