Down on her luck, private investigator, Rhonie Lude, agrees to find the estranged daughter of retired FBI agent, Oliver Kurtz. Despite his eccentricities, the job seems simple enough—tail and report. Protect, if necessary, but Kurtz’s continuous refusal to provide Lude critical information gives rise to suspicion.
When a mob-related cold case surfaces in Lude’s investigation, the truth rears its ugly head in the direction of the person she is hired to protect. Lude’s missing person’s case soon becomes a homicide and every lead pulls her deeper into a web of deception. Each exposed lie edges her closer to becoming the killer’s next victim and cuts a straight path to the only man she trusts—a man Lude now suspects has ties to the mob and police corruption.
Risks aside, Lude is determined to expose the sinister killer who will stop at nothing to keep a deadly secret buried.
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Marta Stephens’s love of mysteries began at an early age through children’s mystery series. Noir films and movies of the mystery/suspense genre, especially anything Bogart, have also influenced her writing.
Stephens’s third novel, SHROUD OF LIES (2017), introduces private investigator, Rhonie Lude, who knows the pecking order and that to survive, she has to be tougher than a man and twice as smart. “I’m a woman doing a man’s job and that’s threat enough.”
Stephens’s debut novel, SILENCED CRY, the first book in her Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, (2007) received honorable mention at the 2008 New York Book Fair. Book two in the series, THE DEVIL CAN WAIT, (2008), received the Bronze Medal in the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY).
Stephens, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, lived in Los Angeles in the late 1970’s but has called Indiana home since the age of four.