A Killing in the Valley

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Buy A Killing in the Valley now at Doubleday Book Club.


When a young Latina high school senior is found murdered on the land of one of Santa Barbara’s oldest families, and a privileged Anglo boy is put on trial for the crime, can justice ultimately be served?

High-priced lawyer Luke Garrison and sharp-witted private investigator Kate Blanchard are called upon for the defense. But it is not until Kate’s daughter Sophia, a classmate of the murdered girl, does some dangerous super-sleuthing of her own that the murder investigation finally gets under way.


She had to get out of here. She didn’t know the location; she hadn’t been paying any attention during the drive. She did remember they had turned off Highway 154 past the town of Santa Ynez. If she could get to the county road they had turned off to get here, somebody could drive out from Santa Barbara and get her. The way she looked, nobody would pick her up hitchhiking. She knew that because she had checked herself out in the morror, after he had finished with her. One eye was almost completely closed, her bottom lip was split and oozing blood.

She reached into her purse, took out her cell phone, and started to dial.

“Who the hell are you calling? . . . Don’t call the police!” he yelled at her. That won’t do either of us any good.”

She momentarliy stopped dialing. “The police?” She laughed in his face, that was such a lame idea. “You think the police would do anything for me against someone like you? My word against yours, whose are they gonna believe?”