Monday, April 19, 2021

The Fragile Ones

 The Fragile Ones first chapter reveal

Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 300
Genre: Crime Thriller


“Please Mommy, can Tessa and I go play on the swing by the creek?” the little girl begs, pushing a blonde curl from her eyes. “We’ll stay together, and we promise to be safe.” Hours later, their mother waits anxiously for her darling girls to arrive home with a list of reasons why they are late. But the front door never opens…

When the bodies of eleven and twelve-year-old sisters, Tessa and Megan, are found at the bottom of a ravine—dressed in matching pastel summer outfits, their small bodies broken from the fall—Detective Katie Scott is called to one of the most shocking and heartbreaking crime scenes of her career.

Carefully picking through the fragile remains, Katie makes the first of many disturbing discoveries: the girls were not biological sisters. The youngest, Megan, is a DNA match to a kidnapping case years before. The tiny number burnt into her skin the mark of a terrifying killer intent on keeping count of his collection.

Her PTSD from the army triggered, Katie is left reeling as she maps other missing children in the local area. Has this twisted soul found a way to stay nearby his victims? Could he be watching now as Katie hits one dead end after another?

A wild storm building, matching a fiber found during the autopsy to a nearby boatyard is the break Katie needs. But when another girl goes missing, just as lightning strikes and the power goes out, Katie only has her instincts, her team and her service dog to rely on. As time runs out for Katie to finds the stolen child alive, who will become the next number on this monster’s deadly list?

Fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh, you better buckle-up for the ride of your life! BEWARE – this gripping crime thriller is guaranteed to keep you up all night!


Wow!!!… a page-turningnail-biting crime thriller!!… absolutely fantastic… had me completely hooked… filled with nail-biting suspense… keeps you on edge.’ Bookworm86, 5 stars

Excellent… nail-biting… had me enthralled from page one gripped through each twist and turn… jaw-dropping and totally unexpected… brilliant.’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars

My heart was in my throat… kept me tapping my e-reader screen.’ Robin Loves Reading, 5 stars

Oh, my goodness!… non-stop!’ Diane is Reading, 5 stars

THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS PUTTING THIS BOOK DOWN!!!!!… I was literally holding my breath… I HAD TO KNOW!!!!! As for the explosive ending? WOW definitely not what or who I was expecting.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

The Fragile Ones

Chapter 1

Two years later

Tuesday 1945 hours

“I’m so proud of how far you’ve come, and really impressed at how hard you’ve been working to tackle your anxiety,” said Dr. Carver, her calm voice and serene expression beaming through the computer screen.

“I’m finally feeling like I’m in control and not the other way around. I can actually say that a weight has been lifted,” said Katie Scott as she took a deep breath and tried to visualize her worries and fears leaving her body as she’d been taught. She then readjusted herself on the couch with Cisco, her jet-black German shepherd, at her side.

“I want to insert a bit of caution,” said Dr. Carver.

Katie didn’t want to hear anything negative to take away how great she had been feeling recently, but she knew that Dr. Carver had been right about many things so far. She braced herself and listened.

“This process will sometimes involves great steps forward and then surprise you with unexpected setbacks, but I don’t want you to become discouraged. Okay?” The doctor continued to makes notes just out of view, pushing her dark hair away from her face to concentrate.

“I understand,” said Katie.

“Do you still have nightmares?”

“Sometimes, but they are becoming less frequent.” The truth was that she had disturbing dreams a couple times a week, but she’d had them so long that she only really counted the truly terrifying ones. They’d become such a familiar part of her life.

“That is common—so don’t worry. And taking into consideration your job as a cold case detective and its unique stresses, it’s best to be alert, calm and prepared for what your next case will bring,” she said and smiled. “There might be some setbacks, but it won’t take away all the hard work you’ve put in. You are in a much better place now.”

It was true. Katie had come a long way since she arrived home a little more than a year ago from two tours in Afghanistan as an Army K9 handler. She glanced down at Cisco who was snoozing beside her. Not a day would go by where she wasn’t grateful for being able to bring home her partner with her. “Thank you Dr. Carver.” She smiled. “I know there will be tough days ahead, and my past experiences will haunt me from time to time—but I’ve never given up on a fight.”

“And that’s when all your new skills and knowledge will kick in, and you’ll be much better prepared.”

“I know now that the first case I took on after I came home from the army caused me more distress than I realized. The image of the graves of those little girls will never leave me.”

“I know, but now you can use the fact that you overcame your demons and solved the case as a strength. Don’t forget what we’ve talked about; how you stay focused and in the moment, counting to ten with each breath. As simple as it sounds, it’s more difficult when you’re in the middle of an attack.”

“Yes. I have several images that help to calm my mind,” she said.

“Well, look, our time’s up for today. And I think that we can meet again in two weeks?”

Nodding, Katie said, “Definitely.”

“You know you can call me anytime, if you need to speak before then. Okay?”

“Thank you.”

“Good night.”

“Good night,” said Katie as the screen went blank, before the screensaver kicked-in with a photo of her and Chad—her childhood best friend and now boyfriend. It was amazing how they had found each other again, and on this occasion the timing was right. She smiled, remembering everything they had been through growing up together, and then finding each other again at the perfect moment.

Slowly shutting her laptop, Katie mused that things were falling into place at last. Perhaps for the first time since leaving the army she felt it was possible to be a police detective and lead a normal life. There were things that she had seen that would never be erased from her mind, but she was learning how to live without panic attacks and anxiety paralyzing her. She was learning to forgive her past, and herself.


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My Review
The Fragile Ones ended up being quite the thriller that sent chills up my spine. It was one of those books that had me on the edge of my seat not wanting to put the book down. Especially as I felt emotionally invested in Katie.

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