by D C Mallery
Tesselesset Books

"With trembling hands, she read the last line written by the man who had translated the instructions long ago. Was it a warning? A gentle admonition? Or a simple statement of fact?"

Sage knows about scars, from those she has inflicted on herself to those she photographs in old buildings. She has left the scars of her youth behind, or so she thinks. But now they are appearing on her body unbidden, and even though they have not come from her hands, she must decipher the messages they leave behind. As an energetic young deputy who desires to rise within the ranks, Marq finds himself hindered by the mysterious numbing in his legs and arms. The police station is a place of ridicule for him. But people are being dismembered and then put back together again. The killings are called the Marionette Murders, and Sage and Marq have an idea of who is committing them. The mystery begins to unfold when the author shares the connections between Sage, Marq, and the lovely but troubled Artemesia.

Mallery provides an audacious twist with each character introduced as they meld one to another, building each scene with connections to the mystery of Artemesia's life and death and the role her brother Tony plays. With captivating suspense, the author takes the reader on a hair-raising roller coaster ride as they understand who the killer is and begin to guess who the next victim will be. He brilliantly weaves in a legend that includes a special potion that Artemesia believes will bring her transcendence over death from the genetic disease she is sure she carries. The killer becomes totally mesmerized by Artemesia, her death, and her transcendence in time. While Sage and Marq continue to fight the puzzling scars and numbness that have taken over their bodily control, Mallery has the reader wondering if the killer can be stopped at all. This compelling story's persuasive dialogue and fast pace provide a mystery that every reader will love.

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