Author: Theresa Dale
Genre: Supernatural Thriller, Mystery, LGBTQ
Publisher: Paper Doll Publishing
Cover Artist: Jeff Kelly (jeffkellyart.com)
Chrysalis is a compelling mystery with metamorphosis as the theme.
Explored from a fresh perspective, we are offered a rare peek into the quiet underworld of an ultra-conservative Canadian city. Our unlikely hero, Trey, is an energy-seeing, cross-dressing sex worker on the precipice of a life or death decision, but when a friend goes missing, he finds himself distracted from the business of self-destruction.
Desperate to find his missing colleague, twenty-four-year-old Trey finds himself part of an unusual group, from a deranged kidnapper to a devoted cop, all focused on a missing girl. And when confronted with these Canadian people, dealing with both human and Canadian issues, we find ourselves suspending our judgement on characters we’d often prefer to look past.
Through it all, we witness Trey’s chance at transformation – will he be able to set himself on a new direction in life as he finally begins to understand that being different doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t belong?
Malachi reached for Trey’s hand, expertly masking his astonishment at the realization that the stunningly beautiful woman – albeit unusually tall and athletic-looking – in front of him was Trey O’Callaghan. “You presume correctly,” he replied, then released Trey’s hand and motioned for him to follow him down the stairs. “You’re Trey, then?”
He continued when Trey nodded. “Your – roommate called you, I take it?”
“Called, texted, freaked out in general. Don’t take it personally, though. He said you were nice.”
“And that you drove him to work.”
“I did. He was kind enough to talk with me even though he was late, so it was the least I could do.”
Trey’s eyes lowered to the sidewalk. “He is kind,” he said, then glanced at his phone. “I have a taxi coming shortly – oh, shit, can you give me a sec?”
Malachi put his hands up. “No problem.”
Trey appeared to write a message, then send it. “Sorry; now I have a taxi coming.”
“Understood. I don’t want to take up too much of your time, Mr. – uh, do you prefer being called Miss?”
“No preference.” Trey waved the question away. “But to make it easier, you can call me Trey.”
“Trey – thank you. Anyway, I’m sure he told you what this is about?”
“Yes. Tiff – she hasn’t shown up, yet?”
“I’m afraid not. I checked with her roommate again on the way here.”
Trey glanced up the road again. Bit his lip. “I was supposed to meet her last night, but I was late. I didn’t see her. Didn’t even realize it until I came back home again.” He looked back at the detective. “Do you think – what do you think’s happened?”
Malachi shook his head. “Could be she’s just run off with someone – or alone – for a couple days. Happens often enough with –” He paused.
Trey cleared his throat. “Sex workers.” A statement rather than a suggestion.
“There’s a but.” Another correct statement.
“There is. I trust my gut, Trey, and my gut says that’s not the case, here.”
“Does your gut say she’s alive?”
Malachi was, despite his strict rule to never judge a person before you talk with them, momentarily taken aback by Trey’s question. Not just the question, but the level gaze as he asked it. The intelligence in it, as well.
Trey continued. “Because mine does. My gut says she’s alive, and I’m known for having good instincts about things, too.”
“Huh. Miss Johnson’s roommate said something like that.”
Trey nodded, his expression one of openness and concern. “Tiff likes me to vet her new dates.”
“Is that why she was coming to meet you last night?”
“Yeah. I don’t even know if she made it – I suggested she meet him here, but I don’t know – I never saw her, and now I’m sorry I didn’t.”
“Don’t suppose she said where she and her date were going?”
“Nope. All I know is that she was going to the drug store first – in fact, she probably talked to the pharmacist there. What she needed was behind the counter.”
Malachi made a note on his pad. “The one on Broad?”
Trey shrugged. “Most likely, but – sorry – I don’t know for sure.”
“Good. That’s something, anyway. Thank you, Mr. – Trey.”
Trey looked surprised. “That’s it?”
“For now. I might need to speak with you again, though.”
Malachi shook his hand again, then started the walk back to the cruiser. He spotted a taxi headed their way.
“Wait – Detective?” Trey called.
He turned. “Yeah?”
“Remember – remember my gut instinct, OK? If you hit a dead end? Maybe I can help.”
He frowned, but nodded. “Thanks. And if you hear anything – anything at all –”
Trey nodded as the taxi stopped beside him. Malachi watched him fold himself into the car elegantly, holding his purse with one hand so as not to lose it as he sat. Like it was natural rather than learned. And yet he’d made no obvious effort to sound – or act – feminine. In fact, it had become quite obvious as he spoke that Trey was unabashedly a man in woman’s clothing, and completely comfortable with that, and with other people realizing it, as well.
He felt an odd admiration for the man. And he believed what he’d said about his interactions with Tiffany Johnson.
As far as what he’d said about contacting him if Malachi found himself at a dead-end, though? Malachi felt quite sure that he wouldn’t find himself considering that as a viable option. Logically, anyway.
His gut, on the other hand? Well, it said not to discount the option just yet.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0878YYNNT
Theresa Dale writes a refreshing and fun brand of supernatural thrillers. Readers are delighted by delicious suspense and characters that feel like family...dead or alive. Theresa currently lives in Quebec, Canada, and grew up in Nova Scotia, so it follows that most of her stories are told in Canadian settings. She won't disappoint a hungry reader; she's passionate about telling her ghost stories with a unique and thoughtful style, and always has more waiting in the wings. Look for Rose's Ghost on Facebook and theresadaleauthor on Instagram to stay tuned!
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