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Contemporary Women’s Mystery
BY LINDA RETTSTATT
Nurse Gemma Wallace is held suspect when opioids go missing from the neighborhood clinic where she works. She’s questioned, but never arrested or charged because the police have no solid proof and an abundance of reasonable doubt. Still the suspicion hangs over her like a sword. This is just the tip of an iceberg that sends her life sinking around her.
In a moment of utter hopelessness, Gemma considers ending it—all of it. She’s pulled back from the edge by a woman who’s been to that same edge more than once. Through Collie, she meets the Mountain Mamas—four women who show Gemma the power of friendship and the truth that no one is free from doubts—reasonable or otherwise.
Gemma soon realizes the burden of proving her innocence falls to her. While she searches for the truth of what happened that day, other truths are revealed. Truths that erase doubts about herself that she’s carried for years.
The distant chime of the doorbell dragged Gemma from sleep. She reached to her left. “Mitch, are you awake?”
Her husband’s side of the bed was empty. As she sat up and squinted at the clock, the insistent dinging continued. It was only seven-fifteen and Saturday morning. “What the hell?”
She got up, pulled on a robe, and stepped into her bedroom slippers. She padded down the stairs and peered through the security hole in the door. The detective who had questioned her yesterday at the clinic stood there and beside him stood a female uniformed police officer.
Gemma opened the door. “Is something wrong?”
“I’m Detective McDonald. This is Officer Owens. May we come in?”
“I remember you, detective.” Gemma opened the door wider and looked past them to see a line of four police cruisers and one unmarked vehicle parked at the curb. “What’s all this?”
“I need for you to come down to the station for further questioning,” the detective said.
“I answered all of your questions yesterday at the clinic.”
“Yes, well, I have more questions.” He reached into his jacket pocket and produced a folded slip of paper. “I also have a search warrant. While you go with us to the station, those other officers will be here conducting a search.”
“Search warrant? This is insane. Am I being arrested?”
“No, ma’am. You need to vacate the house during the search. And I have new information that I need to ask about.” His gaze slid over her bathrobe and slippers. “Officer Owens will go upstairs with you so you can get dressed.”
“I can get dressed on my own.”
“Not an option.”
Linda Rettstatt began her writing career at the tender age of 18 while working as a classified ad clerk for her hometown newspaper. She covered the local community theater stories no one else wanted to cover, and she did so with enthusiasm, insisting upon a by line. Rettstatt’s creative nature steered her into a career as a semi-professional folk musician for a number of years. Finally, in 2002, she sat at a computer determined to find out if she could write a novel. That novel and three more were contracted by a small press. She moved from small press publishing to self-publishing in 2014 and has forty novels and novellas and several short stories in her bibliography.
Four of her novels finaled for the prestigious EPIC eBook Award, and two novels, Love, Sam and Ladies in Waiting, won the award in 2012 and 2016 respectively.
In April of 2021, Linda retired from her social work position in NW Mississippi and relocated back to her home state of Pennsylvania where she continues to write and to offer services as an editor and writing coach.
REASONABLE DOUBT is her fortieth novel.
Links to Linda’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Thanks, Linda, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!