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New Release | The Last Broken Girl by Cynthia Rice #suspense #psychologicalsuspense #wrpbks #mustread

Title:  The Last Broken Girl


Author:  Cynthia Rice


Genre:  Psychological suspense


Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Book Blurb:


The Last Broken Girl explores the potential dark side of small-town living, which can offer its victims no escape. Erin Moore, kidnapped as a teenager and held for months, leads a rigidly structured life with her husband and two young daughters and now has a successful psychology practice in the same small Wisconsin town. When her abductor is paroled early and goes missing, leaving behind a large pool of blood, Erin and her husband become suspects. As she watches her life unravel, including her marriage, career and possibly her sanity, she knows the only way out is to bring her tormentor to justice, even if it’s twenty years late.




Cody closed the front gates after Lindsey drove away, then armed the security system. Erin checked the camera feeds on her laptop, and satisfied everything was in working order, headed off to bed.


She watched as Cody released his stump from the prosthesis and climbed into bed. She grabbed her iPad and leaned back on the pillows.


“It was nice to see your sister. It’s been a while.”


“It was bad timing.”


“Well, the girls were happy to see her. Are you going to read for a while?”


“Another chapter or two. I need to unwind.”


“I’ve got another suggestion on how to clear your mind,” he said.


“No, Cody, please.”


He turned to face her and stroked her forearm slowly, up and down. She pulled her arm away and tucked it under the blanket.


“I’m just saying, it’s been a long time,” he said.


“Does today seem like the right time, considering what’s happened?”


“Can I at least hold you?”


She exhaled loudly. He nodded and eventually turned towards the wall, like she knew he would.


She powered up her iPad and returned to the exterior security camera monitors, five in all, capturing the front gate, the entrances, and the interior of the barn. Two of the goats abruptly stood in their pen and scurried to the back corner. Erin inhaled sharply. Was there someone out there? She swung her legs from under the covers and sat on the edge of the bed, watching. A few minutes later the same two goats returned to the center of the pen and lay down. The lighting was dim but finally she was convinced there was no intruder in the barn.


She studied the dark shadows cast by the trees, the patio furniture, any cars slowing as they drove by, scanning for any movement. There was none. She would watch, if only for a few minutes. Veronica was out there, and she would be coming again, for Erin or possibly one of the girls. It was simply a matter of time.


 Now Veronica might have Stanley Duggan at her side, if he succeeded in getting parole.


Erin climbed back under the covers and switched back to the interior cameras. She scanned room by room. Finally, she watched over the girls, asleep in their beds. This had been her routine since they had been born. She leaned back against the headboard and shut her eyes. She breathed in for three seconds, out for four seconds. Over and over. Tonight, the familiar routine didn’t help. She finally gave up, sat forward, and snatched her phone off the nightstand.


She turned her attention to the on-line News-Journal. It was the lead article, as Lindsey had described.


“Convicted Kidnapper Stanley Duggan granted parole hearing with possible release after June hearing.” The article went on to summarize the months of captivity which had destroyed her life twenty years ago and haunted her still. He described the question of a female accomplice, seen only by traumatized young Erin, and authorities were not sure she existed. Duggan had denied having an accomplice. Fuck them. She had no doubt Veronica was alive and watching.


At the bottom of the article, it mentioned “Erin Moore-Jackson still lives in the area with her husband and two young daughters, with a Psychology practice with Meadowview Center in Lake Delton, Wisconsin. She could not be reached for comment.”


She checked her phone’s call log and saw there were no missed calls. The reporter hadn’t even tried to reach her, and he had no business mentioning her girls and her place of employment.


After studying each security camera feed again, she threw off the covers, tiptoed down to the kitchen and topped off another glass of red wine. She settled on the living room couch and wrapped a throw around her legs, clutching her glass so tightly she was afraid it would shatter in her hand as the pen had done earlier in the day. She would not be sleeping that night.


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Author Biography:


 Mystery and suspense author Cynthia Rice presents The Last Broken Girl, set in rural Wisconsin, where she has strong family ties.  The novel won the 2023 Claymore Award in the category of suspense. She is a physician living in the Milwaukee area and a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. When she’s not working on her next novel, she keeps busy ready, traveling and playing mediocre tennis and golf.  She lives with her two cats, Porkchop and Clarice.


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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jun 17

Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your book with our readers!

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