How the Mighty Fall
E.J. Chadwell grew up in the South Bronx. As a latchkey kid, she spent most of her free time at the Mott Haven branch of the New York Public Library, where she developed a lifelong love of reading. Her father, a postal worker, and her mother, an office worker instilled in her the value of education. Chadwell graduated with a post graduate degree in library science, after which she worked for more than 10 years in print and broadcast media for a major newspaper, a national television talk show and a production house where she wrote script treatments for cable shows such as A&E’s The Unexplained, American Justice, and Biography. She has also worked as a publicist and a freelance journalist, publishing magazine articles before turning to books. A voracious reader of mysteries, Chadwell is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.
The mysterious disappearance of media mogul Connie Ross during a party on her yacht exposes a web of dark and twisted secrets. Jimmy Frail, Chief of Detectives, suspecting foul play and the potential media circus, partners a most unlikely pair of detectives. Gigi Mirabelli, a missing persons’ officer, is recalled early from maternity leave to work with Harry Burns, a brilliant, but tormented homicide detective looking to restart his sidelined career.
Suspecting murder, but unable and needing to prove it, Mirabelli and Burns must first find a way to work together before they can hope to solve this perplexing crime. They first develop a working partnership of opposites and then skillfully sift through the evidence; all while walking the political and media tightrope in this high profile case.
The blaring party noise seeped out of every crevice, breaching Connie Ross’
sanctuary. The dramatic change in the weather compelled the party to convene in the lounge one deck below. Connie could hear the persistent, low buzz of indistinguishable chatter marred by occasional bursts of laughter. It shocked her from her languid stupor.
Ross staggered from her compartment onto her private deck, and leaned against the rail as the yacht unhurriedly cruised to its final destination. Her head swirled in unison with the swirling waters below. Breathe, Ross told herself. Breathe. She hoped that the fresh air would bring her back to life. Inexplicably drowsy, Ross had been forced to leave her party. She now held tightly onto the rail as she bobbed and weaved in time with the churning waters.
Standing in the dark shadow of the doorway, a gentle-voiced visitor cooed, “Here you are, clutching the rail.”
She turned her head, recognizing the familiar voice. “Where are you? I-I can’t see you.”
Stepping out of the darkness, the velvety-voiced visitor could barely be heard above the ear-shattering party music.
“I’m glad y-you’ve come. Not feeling well, too much to drink…guess.” Ross heaved, wiping the perspiration from her brow with her hand. She felt breathless.
In slow measured movements, the solicitous-voiced visitor came up and stood behind Ross whispering, “Allow me to help you.”
“Yes, can use your h-help.”
“Relax. Close your eyes and take long deep breaths,” said the reassuring visitor whose hands traveled from Ross’ lower back up her spine to Ross’ neck and head, and back again, over and over.
“Oh-h-h…yes-s-s…” Ross purred as those wonderfully strong hands repeatedly worked their black magic. Drifting, drifting off, she soon released her grip on the deck rail. Ross was floating now. The hands, with palms flat against her back, deliberately massaging her, now lingered in position with fingers tenderly tapping along her spine before giving her lasting relief with one forceful push against her back that sent Ross over the rail.
She plunged into the abyss.
Drugged, pushed overboard, murdered. Her last conscious feeling was the painful splat her body made against the churning wake of the yacht.