Queen City Crimes: Book 1
Publication Date: October 11, 2022
Who would ever suspect that their mentor, teacher, and friend was a cold-blooded killer? Jessie Martin didn’t—at least not until she answers the midnight call.
Late one August night, Jessie’s lifelong mentor and friend–and presently a popular, charismatic, and handsome high school teacher–Terrence Butterfield calls. He utters a startling admission: he’s killed someone. He pleads for Jessie’s help, so out of loyalty she rushes to his aid completely unaware that she’s risking her relationship, her career, and her life–and that of her unborn child–to help Terrence.
Does Jessie’s presence at Terrence’s home implicate her in the gruesome murder of the teenage boy found in the basement? Why does Terrence betray Jessie when he has a chance to exonerate her of all charges? Has he been a monster in disguise for all these years?
To reclaim her life and prove her innocence, Jessie must untangle the web of lies and reveal the shocking truths behind the homicide. The quest turns out to be the fight of her life: to preserve everything and everyone she holds dear.
Corporate attorney Jessie Martin shares a strong bond with her mentor, local high school teacher Terrence Butterfield. That’s why she responds to his urgent late-night call, dragging her heavily pregnant self and her fiancé to Butterfield’s house.
Author Jodé Millman sets forth a set of circumstances that pushes Jessie’s loyalty to the limit and overshadows her dreams for the future. The Midnight Call is part of the Queen City Crimes series, but it actually takes place prior to Hooker Avenue. While it can be read as a standalone, my recommendation is to read this one first to fully appreciate the development of Jessie’s character.
Speaking of characters, Terrence is the epitome of evil. While he has carefully cultivated an exterior persona as a trustworthy, supportive father figure, he hides a truly dark and depraved side that is displayed at the murder scene.
Through a detailed analysis of courtroom events, the storyline delves into the horrifying act that took the life of a teen boy from a prominent family and explores the psyche of a murderer. From start to finish, the book is packed with intensity.
With well-developed characters and top-notch writing, The Midnight Call reminds me of The Silence of the Lambs, especially the book’s final sentence. There’s no doubt that we will see these characters again.
Jodé Millman is the acclaimed author of HOOKER AVENUE and THE MIDNIGHT CALL, which won the Independent Press, American Fiction, and Independent Publisher Bronze IPPY Awards for Legal Thriller. She’s an attorney, a reviewer for Booktrib.com, the host/producer of The Backstage with the Bardavon podcast, and creator of The Writer’s Law. Jodé lives with her family in the Hudson Valley, where she is at work on the next installment of her “Queen City Crimes” series —novels inspired by true crimes in the region she calls home.
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