by: Lisa Regan
Series: Jocelyn Rush Mystery
Release Date: December 10, 2015
Fourteen years ago, high school track star Sydney Adams was gunned down in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. The investigation yielded useless clues, and the case went cold. But homicide detective Augustus Knox never gave up on finding Sydney’s killer. Now, retired from the police force and with only months to live, he enlists the help of private investigator Jocelyn Rush to clear the case once and for all.
Armed with little more than a theory as to who murdered Sydney, Jocelyn tries to lure a killer into the open. But unraveling the mystery means facing off against a cunning psychopath whose ruthlessness knows no bounds. When more bodies start to pile up, Jocelyn has to decide just how far she’s willing to go to catch a cold-blooded killer.
“So tell me,” Jocelyn said to Knox. “About your case.”
Knox cleared his throat as if he were about to address a room full of people. “The victim was Sydney Adams. She was seventeen years old, a track and field star for Franklin West High School. She was a senior there.”
“The charter school over by Drexel University?” Anita asked. “The one where they had that shooting in 2006?”
“Yeah, that one,” Knox answered. “Sydney was only a month or so from graduating. She left her grandmother’s house around seven in the evening for her nightly run through Fairmount Park. She always ran the same route. She didn’t get very far that night, so I think she was killed close to seven-thirty, although I was never able to get the medical examiner to say so. He would only give us a four-hour range. He said Syd died sometime between seven and eleven.”
“Where in the park?” Jocelyn asked. Fairmount Park was really a collection of outdoor parks that covered over 9,000 acres in the city.
“She started her run around the athletic field on Boxer’s Trail. Not too far from her house.”
“She lived in Strawberry Mansion?”
“Yeah, over by 31st and Dauphin. Anyway, she was shot in the back three times at close range. There was a bullet lodged in the tree, so there were four shots in all. .22s. There were no shell casings, so we think the killer picked them up and took them.”
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Hi Lisa. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I am doing pretty well. We are putting some medical issues behind us in my family, and I’m pretty happy about that. I have this new release out and people are responding really well to it. I am looking forward to what the next year brings both personally and professionally.
You are a new to me author. Your books have won several awards, congratulations. How do you come up with your ideas?
Thank you! Pretty much all of my ideas are what-ifs. I am always asking myself, “What if this happened? What if that happened?” or you see something just insane in the news and you think “What could possibly have happened that brought things to this point?” and then my imagination is off and running.
Tell me about your protagonist, Jocelyn Rush.
She is in her late 30s, a single mom who adopted her sister’s child when her sister was too deep into drug addiction to take care of the girl. She used to be a detective for the Philadelphia Police Department. She is now a private investigator. She has seen and been through some horrific things in her life, but she is very, very tough. She has a vulnerability to her, though. But she still says just exactly what’s on her mind and never apologizes for it. She has an extremely rigid sense of justice and she cannot be swayed once she has made up her mind to right a wrong. She’s also a millionaire who still lives in a row house. She is a mother first and everything else comes second. She wishes she could make really cute cupcakes, but hey, she catches bad guys and that’s not so bad. You can’t have everything.
Cold-Blooded is the sequel to Hold Still. In fact, it takes place a year after Hold Still. How has Jocelyn grown as a character?
I think that she is more vulnerable than she was in Hold Still. At the end of Hold Still, something truly horrible happens to her, and she is traumatized in a way that she had never been before. As a police detective, she was always on the sidelines of trauma. Even with all the things that happened to her sister, Jocelyn was on the sidelines. That all changes at the end of Hold Still. In Cold-Blooded we see her on the other side of that. She struggles with what happened to her, but in true Jocelyn fashion, she refuses to be cowed by it. There is a softness to her in Cold-Blooded that I think readers will enjoy.
It’s not often I have the ear of a mystery/thriller author. I have to ask, how do you go about writing your books? Do start off knowing the who and why or does that come out in the writing process?
I know virtually nothing at the start! Hah hah. I spend a lot of time writing to see where the story is going. Then I stop to outline, then write, then outline. The story changes as I go. I usually have a loose idea of whodunit or how it will end but it’s extremely loose and subject to changing at any time. For example, in the book I’m writing now, Over The Edge, I knew one of the characters would be killed, but I thought it was going to be near the end of the book. But as I wrote, it just made more sense to the story for said character to be killed in the middle. It just sort of happened as I wrote. So then I had to stop and revise my outline.
Does your writing ever surprise you and give you chills?
It surprises me all the time, and that’s the best part. I think if it isn’t surprising me then it’s no fun. In Cold-Blooded I was actually completely surprised by how things unfolded. I kept having to revise the end of my outline to accommodate the new developments. I get chills sometimes when I am working with familiar characters and something major happens to them. The scene between Jocelyn and her sister at the end of Hold Still gave me chills because the entire dynamic of their relationship changed, and that was huge for them. The scene in Cold-Blooded where . . . well, no spoilers, but let’s just say there’s a very dramatic scene about 60 percent through that gave me chills. In Over The Edge, I just had two characters in a love scene that was completely and utterly unexpected but turned out to be pretty cool, and that gave me chills. I don’t often get chills from my own work cause I’m so hypercritical of everything I write, but every once in awhile the things that happen between the characters will get me emotional.
If Jocelyn was a real person and you two spent the day together, what would you to do?
I would go to the shooting range with her probably. Or have her take me on a tour of the city and tell me all the stories of her various cases. She seems like she has a lot of good stories.
What do you think Jocelyn and those in her inner circle would say about you, their creator?
There’s a question I’ve never gotten before. They’d say that I’m honest about the events that I’m transcribing. Kevin would complain that I didn’t give him enough hair.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Lisa.
Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it! (smiles)
The Jocelyn Rush Mystery Series:
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You can read the Cold-Blooded review here.
Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime/suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, Finding Claire Fletcher won Best Heroine and was runner up in Best Novel in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards for 2013. Her second novel, Aberration won Best Twist in the 2014 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent Book Awards. Her third novel, Hold Still was released by Thomas & Mercer in 2014 and has been translated into German. She is at work on her fifth novel.
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