Release: Feb 13
Dreamspinner Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/prodigal-by-ta-moore-11519-b
Fifteen years ago Sammy Calloway disappeared on his way home from school. Now he’s back… or is he?
Boyd Maccabbee has spent his life second-guessing his actions on that fateful day. What if he’d done something differently? Maybe Sammy would have made it home safe and never become Cutters Gap’s most tragic famous son. Or would it have been Boyd who was never seen again? When the police find new evidence on the disappearance, Boyd hopes to finally get some answers.
The last thing Morgan Graves needs is to be dragged into some old case about a missing kid. He doesn’t know why police hit on his DNA, but he’s not Sammy Calloway. He thinks he’d remember being kidnapped.
He knows he’d remember firefighter Boyd.
Drawn into the complex web of suspicion, grief, and anger that has knit Cutters Gap together in the years since Sammy’s disappearance, Morgan struggles to hang on to himself when everyone already assumes they know him.
And somewhere, the truth about Sammy Calloway is waiting.
First of all, thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with my new release Prodigal, the first in the Lost and Found trilogy. Prodigal is set years after the disappearance of a child in Cutter’s Gap left the town, and the people left behind, shattered. In ‘Feet of Clay’ I revisit Cutter’s Gap in the years between Sammy Calloway’s disappearance and the start of Prodigal.
I hope you enjoy it
Panic throbbed in the air as the rest of Cutter’s Gap PD lined drunk kids up in lines and tried to get them to answer simple questions and parents shouted angrily in the background. It popped at ear drums and prickled sweat in armpits as it pressured you to move faster, act now, worry about mistakes later.
Except mistakes always came home to roost sooner than you’d think.
“Lottie. You mean Charlotte Beresford?” Mac asked the sobbing girl with cropped, pixie pink hair. “The editor at the Dispatch’s kid?”
The girl wiped her drip-black eyes with the tissue he’d given her and then blew her nose. She nodded shakily. “Lottie.”
Mac didn’t know every teenager in town, but he knew most of them. He’d spent a lot of time at the school five years ago, followed up leads that ended at kitchen tables as he asked about Sammy or Shay. It was a shit super power, but it was what he had.
It helped that Lottie had kept herself fresh in his memory. She was fourteen and had run away last year, called for help from a suspicious hotel clerk’s office while her 50 year old boyfriend skipped the state. Six months ago she’d run away again and stabbed Kim—Patrol Officer Ford—with a fork when the search had caught her in the same guy’s car at a gas station.
“Beth. Bethie right?” Mac said. He snapped his fingers to get Bethie to focus on him. “Has she been talking to Leary again?”
Beth widened her eyes, lashes clumpy with tear sodden mascara, and retched violently. She clapped her hand over her mouth as she gagged, her shoulders hitched up to her ears as she turned to stagger away from him. The sound of her puking into an azaleas got the attention of one of the paramedics. He loped over to check her pupils with a desultory flash of his torch. She covered her eyes with both hands and the paramedic shrugged apologetically at Mac as she led Beth, who couldn’t quite decide if she wanted to sob or puke, away.
“Lieutenant MacKenzie, what the hell happened?” Captain Brennan asked he stalked over. “How can a kid go missing in front of one of my men?”
“She didn’t,” Mac said. He’d gotten that much from the other kids before the ambulance and half the shift arrived. “Nobody at the party has seen her for over an hour. This was just the first time that Beth, who was meant to be watching out for her, realised she’d not seen her for an hour. The last person seen with Lottie was…”
Mac trailed off and waved a hand reluctantly toward Shay, who perched on the back of the ambulance with his long legs trailing the ground. His feet were bare and studded with sharp bits of gravel and his head hung forward until his chin nearly touched his chest.
“The Calloway boy,” Brennan said. He pinched the bridge of his nose. “So damned if we do, damned if we don’t?”
It was one of the boys this time who suddenly doubled over and sprayed the ground with bile and puke. His eyes rolled back in his head and one of the medics had to run over with a basin tucked under one arm and catch him as he fell.
The sound of gravel sprayed out from under a car going to fast carried up the road to them.
“Same as always,” Mac said. “Let me talk to him?”
It was a nice car, a metallic navy Porsche splattered with mud all up around the wheels. A thin, man with a long, anxiously neurotic face tumbled out. His face was blotched red with worry under a prickle of shaved down ginger hair.
“Have you found her?” the man asked in a tightly pessimistic voice, as he expected the answer to be ‘yes, in bits’. “Lottie is only fifteen. What the hell was she doing at a party with a bunch of grown men?”
Mac faded into the background to let Brennan deal with the first parent. It was always the second parent that was hard-nosed, brittle. First parent on the scene just thought you needed to know what the kid looked like. Second one wanted to know why you needed to know, especially when she worked for the paper and already had a good idea of how bad it could be.
I mean, they all knew. Everyone in Cutter’s Gap had watched how bad it could be play out once already.
TA Moore -
TA Moore is a Northern Irish writer of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. A childhood in a rural, seaside town fostered in her a suspicious nature, a love of mystery, and a streak of black humour a mile wide. As her grandmother always said, ‘she’d laugh at a bad thing that one’, mind you, that was the pot calling the kettle black. TA Moore studied History, Irish mythology, English at University, mostly because she has always loved a good story. She has worked as a journalist, a finance manager, and in the arts sectors before she finally gave in to a lifelong desire to write.
Coffee, Doc Marten boots, and good friends are the essential things in life. Spiders, mayo, and heels are to be avoided.