New forensic artist Annie Kingston is asked to update a 20-year-old photo of Bill Bland for the TV show American Fugitive, but she’s hesitant. Taking the assignment means descending into the mind of a killer, even more torturous with her brain’s vivid visualizations of scenes. But Emily Tarell has waited twenty years for her husband and his business associate’s murderer to be found, and Annie can’t refuse.
She begins shifting through the files and interviews those who knew Bland – his ex-wife and Emily Tarell’s son Edwin, the lone witness to the murders. Annie continues to deal with her rebellious son and furthers her relationships with Detective Chetterling, her neighbor Dave Willis, and the God Dave believes in. Then a box of dead roses arrives on her doorstep with an ominous message: “Stay well, Annie. And alive.”
The slogan for Brandilyn Collins’ suspense novels is, “Don’t Forget to Breathe,” and this one lives up to the high expectations. While this isn’t the scariest book you’ll read, it packs enough suspense into the rollercoaster ride to be ruled out as a late-night read for those who spook easily. At the same time, detailed characterization makes Stain of Guilt enjoyable even for those who dislike thrillers. A pulse-pounding and insightful read. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book Previews.com
As I drew, the house felt eerie in its silence...A strange sense stole over me, as though Bland and I were two actors on stage, our movements spotlighted, black emptiness between us. But that darkness grew smaller as the space between us shrank. I did not know if this sense was due to my immersion in Bland's face and mind and world, or to my fear of his threatening presence.
The nerves between my shoulder blades began to tingle.
Help me, God. Please.
For twenty years, a killer has eluded capture for a brutal double murder. Now, forensic artist Annie Kingston has agreed to draw the updated face of Bill Bland for the popular show American Fugitive.
To do so, Annie must immerse herself in Bland's traits and personality. A single habitual expression could alter the way his face has aged. But as she descends into his criminal mind and world, someone is determined to stop her. At any cost. Annie's one hope is to complete the drawing and pray it leads authorities to Bland--before Bland can get to her.